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Pocket Parks: Stewart Street Park

3:00 pm in LA, Maps, West Side by Julia Frey

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!

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Pocket Parks: Culver West-Alexander in Culver City

5:32 pm in culver city, FEATURED, LA, Maps, Sports by Julia Frey

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.

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by Burns!

Win Tix: Dolls Season Winding Down, Excitement Ratcheting Up!

10:00 am in Downtown, Entertainment, Events, Sports by Burns!

Tough Cookies battle The Swarm on Saturday night. Photo by Stalkerazzi f/8.

Tough Cookies battle The Swarm on Saturday night. Photo by Stalkerazzi f/8.

The L.A. Derby Dolls 2009 season is drawing to a close. With only one regular season bout left (then the Championship in December,) now is the time to get to the Doll Factory for the most exciting fast-paced, full-contact sport in Los Angeles. LA MetBlogs has your tickets, so read on to find out how to get them.

The bouts have continued to get more and more exciting throughout the season. This Saturday, November 14, the action will reach a fever pitch as the Tough Cookies (2008 Champions) take on The Swarm. Both teams are undefeated this season, and will battle for the top spot in the standings.

Come with me past the jump to win your tickets to this epic bout. As a special bonus, I’ve also got your tickets to Sunday’s Baby Doll Brawl… Read the rest of this entry →

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by Burns!

Roller Derby Is Alive And Well

4:55 pm in Announcements, Events, Sports by Burns!

Growing up in L.A. in the late-70s was a glorious time for a young sports fan.  The Dodgers won back-to-back NL pennants (’77 & ’78,) we still had an NFL team (the Rams played at the Coliseum until ’79,) the Aztecs played soccer at the Rosebowl, and every Saturday morning channel 9 broadcast Roller Super Stars featuring the Los Angeles Thunderbirds.  Although I (still) loved the Dodgers, I was a nerdy kid and could (still) not care less about the NFL, and only went to one Aztec game. It may have been a glorious time for a young sports fan, but that wasn’t me. One thing I looked forward to every week, though, was roller derby.

Of course, that was 30 years ago.  L.A. hasn’t seen a pennant in 20 years, the NFL has long since departed, and seriously, soccer? Did anyone else remember the Aztecs? The bright spot in this story is that the L.A. Derby Dolls have revitalized roller derby over the last five years, and the first bout of 2009 is this Saturday night at the Doll Factory between the Fight Crew and Tough Cookies.

Follow me past the jump for details on the most fun you’ll have Saturday night with your pants on**.

Read the rest of this entry →

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L.A. Goes #2 as a City That Does

3:07 pm in Books, Events, Music, Pets, Sports, Theatre/Stage, Twitter by Jason Burns

CurbedSF links to a story in the San Francisco Examiner about the latest rankings in Eventful’s 2nd annual Most Eventful Cities. Los Angeles comes in second behind New York among U.S. cities “according to the number and diversity of local events for residents and visitors.”

The 2008 ‘Most Eventful Cities’ rankings are based on the total number of events listed on Eventful that took place in each U.S. city between December 1, 2007 and November 18, 2008.

While we may have dropped from 1st to 4th in the rankings for Music Lovers, and while that Performing Arts ranking is suspect, L.A. has made some notable accomplishments in 2008:

  • We have taken over the #1 spot from San Diego for Pet Lovers
  • We bumped New York out of the top spot for Night Crawlers
  • We climbed from 4th to 3rd for Singles
  • We’re hanging on at #10 for Sports without the NFL
  • And we’ve retained our #1 ranking for Bookworms. Apparently, we have the mostest events for people who read good.

To sum up, we rule. Keep it up. Complete Eventful rankings after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry →

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