Tag Archives: recreation

Boldly Going: Oh Man River!

As two of the lucky few to score tickets to participate in the historic and quickly sold-out Paddle The LA River pilot program which is testing boating feasibility along a San Fernando Valley section of the waterway, my wife Susan and I showed up at Balboa Park in the Sepulveda Basin this past Sunday morning ready, willing and able to fulfill what for me has been a long-time dream — and to document the roughly two-mile journey from our launch point from beneath Balboa Boulevard to its end along the river’s banks between Burbank Boulevard and the Sepulveda Dam (GPS’d route is viewable here).

I won’t waste space waxing all word-heavy about what a wonderful time we had other than to say it was an absolutely unique and phenomenal opportunity and a program professionally presented and staffed that I hope will graduate from pilot status to one that becomes an annual and permanent recreation option.

If you’ve seen some of my past posts sharing my biking adventures along/in the river (or certain communal donut consumption events), you know I’m a bit of a timelapsing nut, and of course my plans were to chest mount my cam and similarly capture the length of Sunday’s paddle. Unfortunately, my principal camera’s battery all-too-quietly went kaput literally two-minutes after I started recording, so the only condensed clip I have to show for it is the following as Susan and me and the rest of our group are getting acclimated to our various flotation devices and the amazement of being in so serene and compelling a place so few have been before.

The good news is I didn’t come kayaking without also bearing my point-and-shoot, which I used to grab some stills and real-time video along the way, a few of which are available after the jump (or all together in this Flickr photoset) to give you a more well-rounded sense of what an awesome experience it was.

Continue reading Boldly Going: Oh Man River!

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!