The Los Angeles Central Library: Two Kids One Bike Part Two
In my last post I chronicled my morning commute chauffeuring a pair of three year olds on a bike from Silver Lake to French camp in DTLA. That was child’s play compared to trying to entertain the same two boys after school downtown in the middle of a July heat wave. Did I mention that it was over 100 degrees outside?
I believe that a prerequisite to becoming a park planner in DTLA is a degree in the culinary arts since they obviously enjoy cooking our children. I already knew that the Pershing Square playground had no shade and touching any of the playground equipment in Grand Park requires oven mitts, so when I perused Google Maps for an alternative playground I was cautiously optimistic when I saw shady areas dotted throughout Grand Hope Park (Not be confused with Grand Park. Apparently the park designers also enjoy branding.) Following school I took the boys directly to Grand Hope Park behind FIDM where I did indeed see many shade trees.
Just not over any of the playground equipment. Big surprise.
I was forced retreat to a shady park bench and audible a plan B as the boys ate a snack. We needed air conditioning stat.
Off to the Central Library we went. One MASSIVE ADVANTAGE to biking downtown is not dealing with traffic and parking. I don't know how any parent survives downtown unless they're walking, biking, or taking public transit. With the bike we saved $4/hour by not parking my car at parking meters next to Grand Hope Park, then we didn't have to worry about paying usurious rates to park at a lot near the library since street parking is scarce there. Downtown LA is 1000% better on a bike. To counteract the heat we simply road at pedestrian speeds on the shady sidewalk up Hope to the library. In stretches where the sidewalk was filled with pedestrians, I just walked the bike in the shade. We made it to the library in no time.
Funky mirrored wall.
The Central Library
I love this place. The kids love this place. It's the crown jewel of the L.A. library system. The children's wing is nicely separated from the rest of the library making it easier to keep an eye on your kids. It also makes for a more relaxing outing for the parents because noise is not as much of a concern in the kids' wing. At the Silver Lake and Atwater Village libraries, the kids' area shares the same space with the adult patrons, so as a parent you constantly feel like you're disturbing others or shushing your kids. The Central Library is far more relaxing for parents with young ones. It's also beautiful:
The two boys running into the children's wing.
Besides being more family friendly, the children's wing also has a huge number of titles. After the boys chose to read Star Wars counting books, Star Wars alphabet books, Star Wars yarn books, and every other Star Wars title in the known universe, they were ready for some pretend play with the "kitchen" at the library:
They replaced the pepperoni on my pretend pizza with spiders. Apparently, that is hilarious...
They entertained one another while I got to sit on my lazy, air conditioned ass looking out the giant window at the view. Two hours flew by in no time. Mission accomplished.
HOW WE GOT THERE
From Grand Hope Park to the Central Library:
Then we pedaled our way to Union Station and met #2's mommy. From the Central Library to Union Station:
Usually we would've taken the bike lanes, but due to the heat we stuck to shady sidewalks. At 1st & Main we stopped off at the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters to check out the fancy architecture:
The two boys, wilted by the long day and the heat, waiting for #2's mom at Union Station:
Once our little buddy got picked up by his mom, the Little Dictator and I beat the heat by hopping on the Red Line subway from Union Station to Beverly/Vermont then pedaling ten minutes home.
THE WHERE AND THE WHEN
Grand Hope Park
919 S Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Hours: 6AM - 8PM
Los Angeles Central Library
630 W 5th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90071
800 N Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012