One of the great surprises of Los Angeles is that there are several local places to escape and find a bit of nature. I really dig the hiking trails in Elysian Park, where you can enjoy tremendous views of the bustling city below, including Dodger Stadium, while only hearing the sound of your own footsteps and the rustling of bushes as lizards and small mammals go about their daily routines. Below the trails, there’s also a traditional green-grass park setting, where you’ll find everything from children’s birthday party’s with pony’s, mariachi bands, over-exuberant uncles, and shit-tons of unleashed dogs, to man-whore’s cruising for sex, cracked-out hobos, and gangsters of every flag. Griffith Park is obviously world-renowned for its observatory, but it’s also home to the abandoned site of the old L.A. Zoo! It’s not necessarily undiscovered country, as there are picnic tables and typically a healthy dose of fresh graffiti scrawled over the man-made enclosures, but it is a mildly creepy spot, with a bit of signage explaining its roots. Pack a lunch and climb through the old animal exhibits – just watch out for puddles of human feces, and the more than occasional Urban Outfitters catalog photo shoot.