Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Park Day: Grand Park, Downtown Los Angeles

If you have a kid, I am here to assure you don't have to go to Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles, no matter how many articles Eli Broad plants about it in the L.A. Times. It's very nice, and the bathrooms are unexpectedly spotless, but it's not really a kid park.

That said, if you get jury duty at the Criminal Courts Building any time soon, your lunch breaks for the duration of your tour will be awesome, because the CCB-adjacent Grand Park is a very nice space in which to spend an hour or two. (Oh, and it would be a great spot for a family photo shoot, if you're into that kind of thing. Lots of nice backgrounds and interesting light/landmarks.)

Grand Park is spread out over three blocks that include a very odd, un-unified mishmash of plantings and art--here's a traditional bronze statue of Christopher Columbus, here's a 1960s Bulgarian Brutalist megafountain, here's a eye-shaped metal Metro station escalator overhang, here's a walking tour of botanical evolution as told through civic-space garden beds--but the neon pink chairs and tables actually kind of do pull it all together, and the vistas are quite nice.


JUMP! (Los Angeles City Hall and the Criminal Courts building are in the background. This is the middle of the three sections; the smallest one is down next to City Hall. It's got the fancy bathrooms, but is otherwise mostly grass and benches.)
Jackson practices his balance beam exercise. (Gallery of historic American flags in the background, because why not?)

Hugging an agave flower stalk, as you do.

CHEEEEEEEEESE! (This is up in the third section of the park. Grand Avenue is above and behind the fountain, and across Grand Avenue is the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Walt Disney Concert Hall, et al. There's a random free-standing Starbucks next to the fountain, and Jackson loved watching the water spouts while we ate our lunch.)

The landmark DWP headquarters building is in the background.

Lo and behold, the L.A. Opera was holding a little Christmas concert in the park, because downtown Los Angeles is a CULTURAL MECCA. (Or so downtown boosters would have you believe. Really, downtown is just the Legal District of town, but that's OK too.) Jackson wasn't crazy about the music, but he did like running up and down the hill while I chilled and listened to the music. Later he told his dad about the "pee-nano" that was at the park. Hee. :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Menorah Lighting at Westfield Culver City

Jackson got his Hannukah on at the mall tonight at a celebration organized by his preschool.

Pretzels, light-up menorah necklace, blue dog balloon animal -- heaven!

He loves all the ride-on vehicles in the children's court at the mall.

Working on a menorah collage project; plus, more pretzels.

This kid is already keenly aware that he can drive at 16 years old, so he's getting in some early practice.

Clowns! Giant balloon menorah! Whee!

Toy puppies...

Toy puppy love. Awww...