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Plants commemorating diverse Angeleno backgrounds are clustered around the park; here, blossoming specimens from Mexico and Central America.
We strolled with our iced latte and learned about that thorny-barked tree we've seen around town. It's called the floss silk tree and is native to South America.
Definitely the highlight was the restored Arthur J. Will historical fountain, with a newly added wading pool in front of it.
The Court of Flags was a quick American history lesson, with more than a dozen flags from 1775 to 1960.
From the beaches to the hills, Angelenos are spoiled for choice when it comes to great outdoor experiences. But we?ve discovered a secret, uncrowded picnic spot to steal away to after a day spent exploring downtown?s edgy boutiques and museums--Grand Park.
Unless you work in the area, you?re not likely to have discovered this gem of a cosmopolitan green space. Grand Park opened last year after ten years of development that was supposed include a fancy hotel, condos and shopping. All that?s been stalled by the economic downturn; only the park--comprised of 12 acres between Grand Avenue and Spring Street--was completed.
And grand it is. On a recent weekend afternoon, we strolled the wide walkways spanning from the top of Bunker Hill to the base of City Hall, enjoying the nearly empty stretches of green grass (take that, crowded Venice and Santa Monica). Lawns are dotted with Pepto-Bismol-pink tables and chairs. We studied unique touches like gardens of drought-tolerant plants from Africa, Latin America and other homelands of Los Angeles?s diverse cultures; a collection of historic state and national flags; and a jazzy fountain that connects to an inches-deep wading pool with jets that periodically shoot water five feet in the air.
Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave.; 213-972-8080 or grandparkla.org
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