Arguably, one of the best things about Autumn and Winter in Southern California are that they feel like anything but. Beyond an occasional fresh breath of brisk air around dusk, the sunshine is radiant, flowers are blooming around every corner and the parks around the city are bustling with an effervescent energy. What I’ve discovered recently, is that no matter what part of Los Angeles you’re in – you’re never more than 10 minutes from a lovely and lush patch of park, if that. And I would know – recently, I’ve started up (yet another) part time gig and it’s required me to be slightly more mobile than working from my home office, and I’ve found myself getting reacquainted with neighborhoods from Silver Lake to Echo Park, Los Feliz and Highland Park; mostly to do with the fact I’ve gotten lost more times than I’d like to admit. One of the highlights to these recent roadtrips is roaming open space and breathing in the little treasures our city has to offer.
The great outdoors – something that more often than not is taken for granted. Did you know that for basically the entire time you’re working Monday through Friday, the sun is gallivanting through the sky, on a predictable yet beautiful path while it doles out showers of sunlight at every angle – even gracing us with technicolor beginnings and endings when we’re lucky enough to be in the right location? Yet, for the most part – we’re inside, staring at a computer monitor, behind a desk, wearing a monkey suit and tap-tap-tapping away at our tasks until the sweet sensation of five o’clock rolls around. Let’s be honest, that’s no way to live – so during lunchtime, do yourself a favor: get out, get moving, lap up some sun and reenergize your day the natural way.
Plants use sunlight do undergo photosynthesis, creating the oxygen that we breathe. As humans, we don’t necessarily go through the same exact process – but sunlight clearly has it’s own set of health benefits. Just a few minutes of sunlight has proven to improve mood by boosting levels of serotonin (have you ever visited Oregon in the Winter…?), and stimulating the body to produce Vitamin D, boosting health and the immune system. Plus, getting some exercise in the middle of your day is always a good call – a brisk walk might not be a run, but it’s not sitting on your ass at home, either.
Slowly but surely, I’ve been compiling a list of my favorite public spaces to plop into – and after several visits in the last few months, Echo Park Lake is slowly topping my list. First and foremost, there’s that spectacular view of the downtown skyline – it looks fantastic, especially with some clouds dotting the sky. Then, there are loads of space on the luscious green grass skirting around the lake, while geese and duck gleefully flock around the park. If you’re feeling adventurous, or a tad romantic – rent out a paddleboat for a spin on the lake! Two points for you if you happened to paddle out to the floating library installation earlier this year, you’re the real MVP. Though there’s no designated parking for Echo Park Lake, the outer rim of the lake offers a plethora of street parking – as do the surrounding neighborhoods. The park has also accepted that we’re living in the 21st century and has it’s own WiFi for anyone trying to get some work done, or maybe just stream their music a little bit easier.
For more on Echo Park Lake, head to their social media channels – or just pay the park a leisurely visit.