Best Of :: Mount Washington/Glassell Park/Cypress Park
Best Breakfast Sandwiches: Division 3
Since opening in Glassell Park in early 2016, Division 3, a tiny, shacklike joint with a walk-up window and a shady back patio, has become a go-to neighborhood spot. For such a small space, D3 turns out a surprisingly diverse menu, including sandwiches, salads, pastries, hot links and something called "Jersey French toast ina'cup," a gooey mass of syrup-soaked, toasted bread in a cardboard to-go container that you won't be able to stop eating, especially on a hungover Sunday morning. But the star attractions here are the biscuit sandwiches, which mix various meats and veggies with an over-medium egg and an addictive, Thousand Island dressing–like substance called "D3 special sauce," all served on a homemade biscuit that's flaky but firm enough to hold together as it soaks up that runny egg yolk. The sandwiches come in five flavors, of which the standouts are the fennel-cured salmon, topped with crème fraîche, and the corned beef, as tender and peppery as any New York deli's. They're small enough that those with heartier appetites can spring for two, but even so, at a mere $5 a pop, they might be the best breakfast bargain in town.
Rio de Los Angeles State Park is located on what was once an abandoned freight-switching yard on the east bank of the L.A. River. It sits on a spit of flatland across the river from Elysian Valley and below the hillside bungalows of Mount Washington. Part of the city's river revitalization project that aims to reclaim the postindustrial landscape for green space, Rio de Los Angeles has 47 acres of baseball diamonds, batting cages, soccer fields and basketball and tennis courts, plus a nature trail that unwinds through native flora like a backyard path. There is a playground for the kiddos, with sprinkler fountains that offer refreshment on a hot day. The recreation center hosts classes of yoga, zumba and children's ballet.
There are plenty of L.A. gyms where ripped folks can bro it hard (and whatever the female equivalent is) as they prepare for competitive beach volleyball and topless commercial auditions. By contrast, Everybody is a supremely welcoming gym, for any and all wishing to improve their bodily condition. Founded by upbeat owners Sam Rypinski and Lake Sharp in January, the bright, colorful health club, on a light-industrial stretch of San Fernando Road across from the L.A. River, is committed to absolute acceptance across all demographics — meaning not only class, ethnicity and sexual orientation but also what physical shape a person is in when they walk in the door. From the cool modern rock playing in the background to the mural-covered wall backing the outdoor Crossfit area to the cleverly designed unisex locker room, this gym just has a good vibe. Throw in a three-tier sliding-scale membership based on honor-system income reporting, discounts for neighborhood locals and some classes en español, and Everybody feels like a refuge of generous egalitarianism in these all-too-fractious times.
Journalist Charles Lummis served as the city librarian of Los Angeles for a few years in the early 20th century and throughout his life was a champion of Native American issues and preserving Southwest history. Those passions converged when he founded the Southwest Museum of the American Indian in 1907. Its castlelike Mount Washington building, designed by Sumner P. Hunt and Silas R. Burns, opened in 1914 and helped establish museum culture in the city with its vast collection of Native American artifacts. By the end of the century, the museum had fallen on hard times, including financial woes and damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake. In 2003 it merged with the larger Autry Museum of the American West, which restored the building to its former glory (so much so that it was declared a "National Treasure" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2015) and is working to repair more than 150,000 artifacts that were damaged in the quake. For now, the building houses a small collection of Pueblo pottery and an ethnobotanical garden with a great view. Admission is free, but the museum is open only on Saturdays.