Welcome to Ernest Debs Park. You could think of it as the Runyon Canyon of the Eastside, since it’s hilly and sunny and full of people exercising, but you’d be missing a lot.

This is LA’s rus in urbe (country in the city), almost as much as Griffith Park. For me, this park is LA itself, condensed into all its good, bad, and ugly. It’s full of hikers and families; kids smoking pot and kids following rangers; gentrifiers, the gentrified, and those who don’t know or care about such things; dogs off leash, coyotes, rabbits, crows, and hawks; epic views of the city and the mountains; plenty of trash and graffiti; massive homeless encampments; afternoon barbecues, quinceaneras, birthday parties, friendly meet-ups, fishing; even murders.

It’s a lifeblood and escape for an ever-changing city (at least for those in the neighborhood or in the know). It’s my backyard and a home away from home.

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