Living in Silver Lake for nearly five years, I still haven’t really immersed myself into the community as much as I wanted to or taken advantage of everything it has to offer. For a somewhat small neighborhood on the Eastside of Los Angeles, one can actually find quite a lot of things to do on the weekends. Drive down Sunset Blvd. on a Saturday morning and you’ll be rubbernecking at all the hip people eating brunch. Take a quick trip to Ensenada with one bite of Ricky’s delicious fish tacos. If you’re in to seeing live music, you’ve got the Satellite, formerly known as Spaceland, which is usually the first stop for any new band coming through Los Angeles. If you’re into coffee and don’t mind waiting in a DMV-like line for a good thirty minutes, there’s Intelligentsia. If you’re in to dogs or are in to pretending you’re into dogs so that you can meet other singles with dogs, there’s the dog park. If you’re in to doing healthy stuff, you’ve got a nice 2.5 mile dogshit-laden run around the famous Silver Lake reservoir which should totally be used for aquatic’ish activities like remote-controlled toy boats. I don’t know about you, but every time I run around the reservoir, the inner-Discovery Channel dork in me secretly prays for a giant Loch Ness-like monster to emerge and eat a hipster alive! There’s a strange activity going on in within a fenced area next to the dog park. Two, four, sometimes ten people can be seen running up and down concrete with an orange object and it seems like they are trying to throw the orange object into a ring that’s screwed on to a piece of wood. They get very happy when the orange object goes through the ring – and celebrate by slapping each other in the buttocks. I don’t get it at all – seems like a real bizarre waste of time. Anyway. In urban Los Angeles, there’s a real absence of greenery, especially if you live in Downtown, Koreatown, South Los Angeles and unless you’re loaded enough to live on the tree-lined streets of Hancock Park, finding a park is quite the exploration process. But finally, Silver Lake has a new addition to fill the void. Welcome to the Silver Lake Meadows, a nice 3-acre plot of d0g-free grassy land for people of all ages and sizes to frolic around in. And a perfect place to have a weekend picnic. Might as well frolic in that $1,000,o00 of your tax contributions.
The Silver Lake Meadows is located on the northeast end of the reservoir, just north of the dog park and about two blocks before you hit Glendale Blvd. Parking can be tricky since you’re on a curved street with pretty fast traffic, so just make sure letting people know you’re looking for a spot. Luckily, they’ve installed a crosswalk so you can get to your grassy destination safely.
And here we are… Silver Lake’s playground for all walks of life. When we first started coming here, people were pretty scattered out. Few people chucking frisbees, kids running around, a random guy with guitar pretending he’s Bon Iver, people reading, people sleeping and people drawing other people. Now it’s become more crowded and seems to be the ideal spot for a hipster kid’s birthday, but so far no sign of any obtrusive jumper tents. All in all, it’s still very easy to claim your own patch of land and relax.
There aren’t really any signs that prohibit drinking but it’s pretty expected that people will bring a little boozy booze. Does the city really expect people to bring bottles of Squeeze-it and Capri Sun and play patty cake? Not in this neighborhood. But still, it’s recommended to conceal your goods just in case you get that one tattle-taling adult. My friend BL decided his shoes would hide the evidence, not to mention, tamper the taste of the evidence as well.
A bird’s eye view of our picnic. As you can see we’ve gone through a lot of trouble to pack up our kitchen and move it to a public area for a mere three hours, only to repack and put everything back in our kitchen. But it’s well worth it! Going outside and getting some Vitamin Sun is very good for you.
Right between the reservoir and the Meadows, there’s a trail that runs through for people to do healthy stuff like ride bikes and stare at us while we gain weight. I know they are talking crap. But at the same time I can’t help but feel bad for them because they are working so hard on such a beautiful sunny day. Next time, I’m going to offer them something good like chicken liver mousse and a Pimm’s Cup.
I’ve put together a quick list of things you may or may not need for your next picnic. Print it out and stick it on your fridge for future reference!
A. Parasol I recommend going to the SLM from 2 pm – 5 pm. If you go anytime earlier than 2 pm, it’ll be pretty bright so you’ll need this or at least some sunglasses. It starts to get cold around 4:30 pm, so bring a jacket.
B. Pillows Critical. The grass may be soft but you’ll need some neck support. There’s nothing better than taking a nap after eating. $50 fine for pillows with bird prints.
C. Blanket Sometimes the grass is still wet from the dew so I suggest bringing one thick blanket, or two thin blackets or even bringing a rain tarp to put under one of the blankets. Nothing worse than having wet ass while you picnic.
D. Basket Plastic Bags. Coolers. Boxes of Popeye’s fried chicken. All welcome!
E. Fun juice Whatever your vise may be, just remember to keep it concealed. There are also no restrooms, so these may come in handy a la Dumb & Dumber style.
F. Fun juice flask For those that want to make Old Fashioned or Negroni’s at their picnics.
G. Corkscrew Get one that opens both wine and beer.
H. Wireless/Bluetooth speakers I can’t go anywhere without these. You can turn any boring moment into a dance party. I like the Bluetooth ones because you can let anyone play DJ off their iPhones.
I. Hand drums I have yet to witness a real drum circle in effect but I can imagine it must be insane. Grown-ups with nappy hair gathered in a circle channeling their inner weirdness into each beat of the drum. I’m sure this will happen sooner or later. Come on, it is Silver Lake!
J. Ghetto Blaster If that drum circle gets too crazy, it’s time to lay out some cardboard and “jam on it”. Anyone remember Aziz Ansari walking through NYC with shitty music playing on his boombox? It needs to happen here.
K. Bocci Balls Or Giant Skittles, which sounds more fun to me. This is the kind of game you play on lush green grass. This game is a combination of Shot-put and Tiddly Winks and it can be played in any state of drunkenness.
L. Frisbee Football I heard that there could be a ban on tossing the frisbee on a beach. But they can’t be talking about this sport. No, this isn’t just frisbee, this is the National Frisbee League – a true profession. This is an intense match-up of helmet-less guys chasing after a plastic disc, sometimes injuring themselves for 7 pts. Super Frisbee Bowl Silver Lake coming soon!
M. Boomerang This is a crazy thing to rock at the SLM, but it’s not as crazy as showing up with a parrot and boa constrictor around your neck.
N. Slingshot All that delicious food you’re eating has the potential to attract the critters of the meadows. Beware of opossums, raccoons, skunks, squirrels and the occasional PBR-leeching hipster. Use the slingshot only when threatened.