L.A. is notoriously terrible at public spaces. Not for us the stately city square or grassy riverfront pavilion ennobled with statuary and ringed with decent restaurant options. For whatever reason, that is a code we cannot crack. About the best we can muster is Grand Park, the Front Lawn of Democracy, which runs from City Hall to the real seat of power in L.A., DWP headquarters. Far and away the park's best feature is its fountain, which, unlike so much civic architecture, was designed with humans in mind. Specifically, tiny ones, who run around barefoot in a half-inch of water as their parents or caretakers look on. If you really want to embrace the urban experience, take the train there. The stop is Civic Center on the Red Line. Close your eyes and you'll think you're taking the T to the Esplanade. 200 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn. grandparkla.org. —Gene Maddaus
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