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How I Stumbled Upon This Super Cool Park in Cali (fornia)

Growing up in the suburbs, parks didn't play such a vital role in my childhood life. Most of our outdoor play happened around our home or on our street. But free range kids able to play unsupervised outside and with abandon, are a diminishing part of American culture. In fact, many children, saddled with homework and access to myriad tablet apps and games, seldom make it outside for play. Hence, the proliferation of parks with alluring and engaging design like this one I stumbled upon in Santa Monica last spring.

Tongva Park, Santa Monica, CA

Between the Santa Monica Pier and Ocean Avenue, a provocative metal sculpture projects over the sidewalk from twenty feet above. I was drawn to it so much that I crossed five lanes of traffic in the opposite direction I was walking just to take a peek.

Here's the view that was so captivating. It wasn't the sign that caught my eye, rather the two round sculptures that seemed to be hovering over the sidewalk. I couldn't tell what they were or that this even the entrance to the park. Had to get closer!

And here's what I saw. Two metal sculptures peering out like two eyes from a collage of landscaped retaining walls. The combination of the materials--woven metal, stone and plantings--was fantastic.