LA is not a particularly peaceful town, not really at all. Even after two years in LA, I'm constantly on the hunt for new spots that feel like an escape from the city. It's no easy feat a lot of the times but whether peaceful or not, the places to discover in LA are eclectic and countless.
Yesterday I visited two different places I'd never been before, both attempt to be urban oases in the chaotic city but are opposites in almost every way. The first spot was Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens. I had never heard of it before. In fact, I had never even passed through the history West Adams area that it's situated in. Admission and a tour of the grounds are free of charge, but you do need to register in advance online. With multiple layers of meticulous gardens with cozy seating tucked in every corner, the place is as peaceful as it promises. It's hard to believe it's right in the middle of a city. One thing to note is that it is operated by a church, which is not made very apparent on the website. While the church was mentioned in the tour, there wasn't really any pressure to engage with the church. I think it's definitely worth visiting at least one time! And if you return, you can bypass the tour and go straight to the garden to find some peace.
While Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens is built around a mansion from the early 1900s that apparently saw its fair share of old Hollywood glamour, the second spot I went to only opened this year. After getting some peace from the gardens, my friend and I headed over to Platform in Culver City. It's pretty much a mall, but according to the official description, it's a "centerpiece for LA’s newest creative generation". There was a plethora of succulents, hip boutiques, healthy food, and also a... SoulCycle! Pretty much everything you need in an LA day. I enjoyed some delicious vegan ice cream from Van Leeuwen Ice Cream while we watched an insane line form in front of a newly opened Boba Guys.
I love seeing new places and needlessly to say, I had a a really fun Sunday. Of the two places I visited, one is old and spiritual and the other new and material, but they really exist for the same reason - to give people a space to relax; and I'm always down for things that make people's lives a little bit brighter.