Tag Archives: parks

Pocket Parks: Schader Park

You know those tiny pockets inside your regular front jeans pocket? The one that is supposed to be for a pocket watch or something? Schader Park is like that pocket – TINY!

This lovely little slip of a park is along Cloverfield Blvd, just south of Santa Monica (Click on the map image to go to the map.)

And it’s not large. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in charm, shady benches and lovely trees.

And that is all there is to say about this wee green space!

Pocket Parks: Stewart Street Park

Tucked between Olympic Blvd., the 10 Freeway and what appears to be the Santa Monica City work yard, sits the lush green spot that is Stewart Street Park.

I was there on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend and it was pretty empty. Not sure if that was because of the holiday or if because it’s always pretty quiet in this tidy corner of East Santa Monica. With a number of office buildings nearby (The Lantana Building and Tribeca West to name a few) I can imagine this is a nice spot for office dwellers to come to for lunch when they just need some fresh air.

Here’s where to find this green retreat (Click on the image to take you to the google map.):

There is ample parking and very clean, bright, airy bathrooms – two each for ladies and gents.

The sinks are outside and I kinda dig ’em:

There is a basketball court near the front of the park surrounded on three sides by shady trees. No other courts at this park, just the B-ball.

Beyond the basketball court was a baseball field ringed with a fence and this sign. Unfortunately there was no information on when the field would be completed.

Fortunately, just past the jungle gym, there is still plenty of field left unfenced for frisbee, catch or a rockin’ game of Freeze Tag, if you are so inclined.

At the end of this path, at the west end of the park are the swings. I was tempted to stop and enjoy them, but saved it for next time.

From the swingset end, looking back to Stewart Street.

I’m curious how busy this park actually gets on non holiday weekends. It seems a gorgeous spot to relax and unwind after a busy week. I hope it is well used and loved by it’s neighbors!

Pocket Parks: Culver West-Alexander in Culver City

If you look at a map of Culver City, you’ll see there is an arm that reaches to the Pacific Ocean. This is “Culver West” and it’s nestled between Mar Vista and Marina Del Rey.

There is a sweet gem in that arm called Culver West-Alexander Park and if you are in the neighborhood and looking for a great spot to spend an afternoon, you will love this one.

I remember this park from the very early 90’s as I used to work in the Marina. The big field seen here used to have a baseball diamond and one year I spent many an early morning practicing softball with our company team. (Go Hurlers!) Even without a baseball diamond, you can NOT get bored at this park. I dare you!

There are basketball and tennis courts, BBQ pits and picnic tables, tons of jungle gyms and swings and even a community center. If you are a Westsider, check this spot out, bring the kids and grandparents and a big picnic. You never know what you’ll see here.

How to get there (click on the image to go to the Google Map):

You want sports? We got sports!  One tennis and two paddle tennis courts (this is where my honey and I play a lot.)

Here’s a close up of the mural at the end of the tennis court. It’s like being inside Wii Tennis!

In case you were wondering:

And also:

This happy mural greets  you when you park on Moore street. Handball courts (three) are here on the backside of the tennis court.

Wider shot of Basketball and handball courts with informal running path in front.

Close on the Mural at the Basketball court:

Plenty of stuff for the kids to clamber over and around:

And when it’s time to eat, there are plenty of shady spots to spread out and grill up some yummy picnic food.

There is plenty of parking on Moore Street and also in a small lot near the jungle gym/tennis court side of the park.

Alas, Fido will need to stay on the designated path. But it’s a sweet path!

And if you need to just chill in a grassy, shady spot, there is plenty of that too.

Read more about Richard Alexander, after whom the park was named. (Click picture for bigger version.)

Stop by some time! It’s a gorgeous little park and it’s all yours.

Pocket Parks: Glen Alla in Marina Del Rey

Discovering a small neighborhood park tucked away down quiet side streets is such a joy. It’s like finding hidden treasure. The green grass, the open space, maybe a few courts with people playing and having fun. Picnickers, dogs, families, the occasional tortoise = joy.

Glen Alla Park in Marina Del Rey is just such a park.

Located at Glencoe Avenue and Alla Road (natch), the park takes up a good city block and is within walking distance to the mall nearby. There is plenty of parking on both Glencoe and Alla. Plenty of photos of the park and the facilities follow the map. (Click the map to go to the actual google map page.) (Apologies that the day I was there it was overcast.)

First and foremost, there are bathrooms. I didn’t go in, but they looked tidy and well ventilated.


Just across from the bathrooms was the jungle gym playground area. I love that big happy dolphin!

This playground area was surrounded by fencing though. A sign indicated that it would soon be under construction starting in two weeks. Turns out they are going to put in a Shane’s Inspiration, all accessible playground. This is fantastic!

The mission of Shane’s Inspiration is to create Universally Accessible Playgrounds and programs that integrate children of all abilities socially, physically and emotionally, fostering acceptance, friendship and understanding.

Read about all Shane’s Inspiration here.

Click here to find the many many Shane’s Inspration parks around LA.

If you have or you know kids with disabilities but haven’t heard of Shane’s Inspiration parks, why not go find one this weekend?

Back to Glen Alla….There is a wide grassy area with tons of room for frisbee throwing, baseball catching, picnicking, and lawn darts.

There were many dogs and their owners running around, despite the “dogs must be on a leash” signs scattered about. Everyone looked pretty mellow and under control.

Along one side of the park were the courts — Basketball:

And next to that, two tennis courts:

Then there was a stretch of space with picnic tables (under those trees to the right of the tennis courst), but it also looked like it was becoming the staging area for building supplies with two large shipping containers. But then past THAT, were three, count them three, paddle tennis courts! Both the Paddle Tennis and regular tennis courts have brand spanking new nets.

There were a couple of excellent trees for climbing.

But alas, no golf. Just don’t do it!

All in all it is a lovely, well kept park in the Marina, slightly off the beaten path, away from any hustle and bustle. I know if I lived nearby, I’d mosey down there a lot to play tennis and paddle tennis.

Stay tuned for more posts about pocket parks. If you have a small park you love and want to share, please do so in the comments.

Park[ing] Day LA Coming September 18

IMG_0922Park[ing] Day LA is a guerrilla protest that’s creative, fun, and socially relevant — in other words, tailor-made for Metblogs.  And it’s coming around again, for the third year, this September 18.  So what is Park[ing] Day LA?  As its organizers explain here, people all around Los Angeles will turn metered parking spaces into miniature parks, by feeding the meters and, instead of parking their cars in the spaces, well, take a look at the website and you’ll get the idea.

I like the cause, as encapsulated in the slogan “Parks Not Parking.” However, the practical side of me has a few questions about this:
Continue reading Park[ing] Day LA Coming September 18

More Griffith Park Historic Landmark Stuff

This landed in my inbox and I think it’s important to pass along. Wish I had time to distill it down in my own words but today is my “get the first cat of my six-feral collection neutered” day and I am running out to buy a bigger cat carrier that I can’t afford.

Having Griffith Park named a historic cultural landmark has extremely important benefits beyond the designation itself which creates opportunities for additional funding for maintenance and care of the park, and protection and acknowledgement of the special place this park has in Los Angeles’s colorful history. MacArthur Park is already a historic landmark; doesn’t Griffith Park — ALL of Griffith Park — deserve to be?

That said, this application is much bigger than just the designation. The bottom line is that Griffith Park is the front line in the struggle to keep our green space in Los Angeles away from developers and special interest groups. Sadly, Councilmember Tom LaBonge is fighting this application against the wishes of the Griffith Family, his constituents and the vast majority of Angelenos for exactly this reason — if all of Griffith Park becomes a historic cultural landmark, then every special interest project must go through a very public process for approval. No more backroom deals!

The item copied below is a great letter from the GGPNC outlining some of the sneaky ways politicos are trying to derail this application (very important!) and explaining exactly what action steps each of us needs to take to successfully support the Griffith Park application.

I hope everyone can take a few minutes out of their busy days to help support this pivotal application…

…and please share this with message with others.

Kristin Sabo (parks volunteer, and steward-caretaker of Amir’s Garden)

Instructions on how to make your voice heard are behind the jump thanks to the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council.
Continue reading More Griffith Park Historic Landmark Stuff