Monday, January 24, 2011

Japanese Garden / Serenity Now / Things to Do in Los Angeles

I have lived in Los Angeles a L-O-N-G time, and sometimes I feel like I have already seen everything that there is to be seen here. WRONG! I am making a concentrated effort to visit new places, preferably one new place a week, or at least one new place a month. My weekends tend to get bogged down with annoying errands and shocking amounts of laziness, but I am trying to FIGHT THAT TENDENCY and get out and DO MORE STUFF and VISIT MORE PLACES. [Note: If I shout about it on this blog, maybe I will follow through on this goal? Maybe.]

This weekend I stopped by The Japanese Garden in Van Nuys. The weather was warm and sunny and amazing (about 80 degrees F / 27 C in the dead of winter -- WTH?!), and it was peaceful and quiet in this beautiful garden. Here are a few of the shots I took while there.

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Admission was CHEAP -- $3 a pop.  I couldn't believe it.  And parking was free.  And they have a cute little gift shop where I bought some adorable Japanese trinkets + origami stuff for under $20 total.  YEE HAW!  

All of the water used in the garden is from reclaimed wastewater that has been processed at the nearby water reclamation plant.  It was cool to see such a great use of water recycling and reuse, but it did kind of stink in the area like pee and poo sewage.  Then again, I am a freak and I think I have heightened senses, because nobody else seemed to be noticing the odor.  Or maybe everyone just wanted to be polite about it? Humph. All I could think was P.U.!  Well, it wasn't bad enough to make me leave in a hurry, and perhaps the stank would be less noticeable in the spring when everything blooms.  Perhaps.  I am guessing it stinks to high heaven in the summer when the temperatures are sweltering.  Ew!  P.U.! Well I don't really want to end this post on a stinky note -- it was still a nice place to visit!  And it is probably even more beautiful in the spring.

P.S. If you live in Southern California and have recommendations of fab places to visit, please let me know.  Thank you!


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43 comments:

bananas. said...

i'm always so amazed by your gorgeous outdoor picture taking skills. that place looks GORGEOUS!!!

though my heightened sense of smell (due to my failed other senses) would probably hate the stank factor. lol.

bananas. said...

ooh first to comment...haven't done that in a while ;)

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

transported to another world, J!
Love the sound of bamboo leaves blown by the wind!
peace~~~

Morgan said...

THREE DOLLARS?!?! What the?? You can't wipe your butt in Charleston for less tahn $5. You're lucky! That place looks like a mini heaven.

Dancing Branflake said...

Gorgeous photos! And look at you... trying to be all go getter. Impressive! I need to do the same. There's so much in California. I recommend seeing a ballet or other dance group. A lot of the famous ones roll through LA.

Melanie's Randomness said...

Wow those gardens are beautiful!! I love the lilypads!! =) I really need to get out there and see more too. Maybe if I write that down I'll do it? I hope! =)

Melanie's Randomness

Lorena said...

What a pretty place, the pictures are gorgeous !
Seems like your weekends are pretty much like mine a list of stuff to do and then some.
Sucks.
I have the beach an hour away and never go.
It's like I don't want to do anything, my H says I am getting old.
Whenever I get an invitation I don't even think about it and just say no.
Now, I am trying to say yes a little more, but I got to be careful or I could send the wrong message.I got hit on by a neighbor this weekend. Dude I am married and I don't like u!
Anyways I guess if you get bored, living in LA you can always take the famous people tour bus. Have you ever done like touristy stuff?
Am I like just writing too much ?

Isabel said...

im jealous of your weather and the garden looks beautiful!

Isabel @ Walk of Fashion

Jo said...

I didn't even know this place existed!! Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely check it out.

Here's a tip for you: Do you have a bike? If so, go to cicle.org. There is an Urban Expedition bike ride the last Saturday of every month (this Sat!!), exploring a part of LA on bike! Fun!!

Kimbirdy said...

it looks so peaceful and lovely there! maybe i'll go next time i have a cold and am too stuffed up to smell anything. :)

have you been to the travel mart in echo park? it's one of the "826" non-profit writing places that dave egger started, and the front is a little store all about time travel. we loved the one back in san francisco all about pirates, so we were psyched to find we live a few blocks from this one. it's hilarious and so fun!

ps - the word verification word is "scroutm" which i giggled at, even though i'm 28.

Elle Sees said...

My sweety used to live there & I miss visiting. when I go back, i(l add this to my list!
Ooh and this has nothing to do w.anything...well, your post the other day...but I saw this product that looks like a flat sandal w.suction cups on the bottom. It has bristles on and it & is used to wash your feet! Hideous (but I secretly wanna try one).

DON'T FORGET THE 'Y' said...

HWAT? I totally need to go here!

Caroline said...

OMG...keep doing these posts...I need to explore more! I will check this place out. Gorgeous shots! You may want to check out the Mission in San Juan Capistrano...gorgeous!

http://www.missionsjc.com/

You can take the Amtrack down from Union Station...the mission is 3 blocks from the train station in SJC..cute little town too if you have not been...

SabinePsynopsis said...

Smell aside, it looks really peaceful and beautiful. It's weird how lazy one gets in one's own surrounding, no? It takes decisive action, yesss!

Kristin said...

How gorgeous! Cherryblossoms rock my world!

ASSHOLE BOYFRIEND said...

Check out this place:
http://www.museumofdeath.net/

Also enjoy seeing guys getting blow jobs in Griffith Park (near Travel Town) and go enjoy a Mojito cupcake at Yummy cupcakes in burbank:
http://www.yummycupcakes.com/

TK Kerouac said...

Beautiful shots!

Claire Kiefer said...

Those pics are stunning. I totally feel you on trying to find new things in your city. I always feel so good when I discover something new and beautiful about San Francisco. And this reminds me that my last trip to L.A. was far too long ago.

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Thanks for the rec! Hmm I wonder if I'd notice the smell...

blueviolet said...

All that loveliness for just $3? That's absolutely incredible!

K.Line said...

What an utterly gorgeous place. How I would love to spend an afternoon in that warm, sunny, beautiful setting.

ticklishfromadistance said...

You are a great photographer, pea. Honest. Wish I was there....gardens looks AMAZING, but a beer on the beach would do.

xoxoxoxooxoxoxox

photojoy said...

Hi! Thank you for sharing this post. I live in Japan and it's so exciting to know there is such a lovely Japanese garden in LA. And your photos are just beautiful.

Char said...

you have some great shots there - love the one of the clouds reflected in the water especially. i love finding little places that i've never seen before. i would want to investigate more.

Vivienne said...

beautiful photos! I haven't been there. Have you been to Huntington Gardens in Pasadena? That's pretty too.
:)

Lisa (aka sweetie) said...

hey drollgirl..thanks so much for your tip on this garden..I wanna take my girls there for some serenity. looks awesome..XO Lisa

Farah said...

I LOVE the second picture! very crisp! ;)

libbeh ♥ said...

Oh, this looks like a lovely place to go in LA. I, too, have been searching for places to go, and have been more "open" about driving in LA during the weekend. But if it stinks, idk.. I have a good sense of smell, and the smell of sewage might hinder my desire to go, even though the garden looks peaceful and lovely. Bet it would smell a lot better in the spring time, after the cherry blossoms bloom. Ohhhh, might just go then! Thanks for the tip! Hope you're having a good start to your week! :)

Sister Wolf said...

Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles is a nice excursion.

and flowers pick themselves said...

very gorgeous!

xo Alison

Georgina Dollface said...

Gorgeous photos! Yes, do go out more and take us along for the vicarious photographic ride! And cherry blossoms in January??? I'm so jealous! They are my favourite part of Spring! - G

Lily Riani said...

beautiful!beautiful!beautiful!beautiful!beautiful!beautiful!beautiful!beautiful!beautiful!beautiful!beautiful!beautiful!beautiful!beautiful!beautiful!

Pretty Little World said...

While a collection of stinky water would not be at the top of my list, I do envy how sunny and lush everything looks! Michigan is covered in ice and snow right now :(

liz said...

so beautiful, I wish it was warmer in nyc so I could go visit some gardens, alas, it's snowy hell

Kara said...

God damn it those are some fine lookin' photos! We considered getting married at the Japanese friendship garden here in Phoenix, but they don't serve booze and frankly that just wouldn't fly.

Booze > pretty location as far as my wedding is concerned ;)

pearls said...

that place does smell like poop, but its really beautiful !!! and in van nuys of all places who knew?

Jewelz said...

So beautiful. I've always dreamed of having a real Japanese garden in my backyard one day. Too bad I live in the city.

Check out my blog :)
http://iamjewelz.blogspot.com/

Phoenix said...

Some of my friends rave about this place all the time and I still haven't gone. I suck! And your photos are gorgeous - and I love how the end paragraph is basically one giant disclaimer within a disclaimer for the gardens. Hilarious! (I have a strong sense of smell too. Hrmmmm...)

Kristine said...

Lovely photos, I am very jealous of that bright blue sky!

...love Maegan said...

oh so pretty ...isn't it crazy how blue BLUE BLUE the sky is in photos? i always think people must think I photoshop the sky in because I don't notice it as much in person until I see the digital image of it. No, I just looked out the window and it's pretty damn blue.

I like the ducks also. Too bad about the PU ...I haven't been there in a while and have no recollection of smell ...maybe if I KNEW it was pee/poo water, I too woulda smelled it.

Also "shocking amounts of laziness" is what the weekends are for, aren't they?

nice novel comment I just left.

Obviously I would be talking THIS MUCH TO YOU if I were at work right now. lol

Christi said...

Beautiful! (but I'm laughing at the poop water.)

Kitty Stampede said...

DAMN GIRL, you got EYE! I adore these photos..and holy shitiwikers, I'm behind..hahaha...sorry foo.

I am so like you in the fact where I want to get out and explore my area but I get a case of the lazy or crappy errands shite gets in the way. There are lots of beautiful places here I've never seen..but I guess winter is a good ass excuse for not getting out as much, am I right?! I think so, hahaa, especially cause it's been damn COLD.

That 3rd picture is INCREDIBLE. something about it. love.

Adiya said...

Ooooh!!! i want to go here. I want some tranquility too