If you're trying to find a place to have a cookout or relax during a quiet weekend, Paul Carlson Memorial Park (named after a medical missionary martyred in the former Belgian Congo) is the place to be. You can rent a party area through the parks website, or just show up with a group, and choose from conventional charcoal grills and brick structures for your barbecue. There's no alcohol allowed on the premises, though there's plenty of shade to rest in if you drink beforehand — and there's a well-kept public restroom, so your bladder won't govern your stay. It's just a couple blocks from downtown Culver City, but there's no vagrant activity or litter. The park is relatively small, and pristine. Children frolic, men play and women sunbathe as the charcoals burn. The lazy Sunday lives on. 10400 Braddock Drive, Culver City; culvercity.org/Government/PRCS/Parks/ParkSites/CarlsonPark.aspx.

—Paul Fisher

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