I readily admit to being a bit obsessed with this park. It’s so urban and so diverse and just so great. In addition to the Babi Yar Memorial, near the little tennis shop is a WWII Memorial:
Today I met a woman who lives in her camper van and travels around. She is from Vancouver and her daughter lives in LA. She is here helping her daughter. We both have dogs. The great conversation starter. She was very friendly and eager to tell me about shedding all her worldly possessions and traveling all around. She spends a lot of time in LA. She seemed oblivious to everything around her, however, and didn’t much seem to care when I pointed out the memorial, but turned the conversation back to her camper and the joys of traveling. I immediately launched into one of my familiar internal arguments:
Me 1: What is the point of seeing new places if you don’t care at all about the context of the places you are seeing?
Me 2: Stop being so judgmental–you have traveled through lots of places without having a clue what you are looking at.
Me 1: Point taken. But at least I was open, indeed eager, to find out the context of the spot of earth on which I was standing.
Me 2: Good grief, you are so annoying.
This went on as my new acquaintance told me about parking at casinos and paying $20.00 for hot showers and airconditioning and her eagerness to be back on the road. The argument in my head ended in aporia, as it almost always does.
There were tables of older men playing dominos, cards, chess. There was one table with two chess games going on and you could see the game boards only by looking through the narrow crevices between the bodies of the men crowded around to watch.
The benches were full of older women talking. (They were harder to photograph without being intrusive). Around the eager conversations at benches and tables were playgrounds full of kids, basketball courts, tennis courts, interesting park buildings whose function remains a mystery (Me 2: See? Ms. Smarty-Pants, see? I rest my case).