This the second of three places Graham and I adventured to last week.
Parque del Este
In part one of this series I noted how La Estancia was just two metro stops East. If we conveniently venture one stop further, as G and I did last Sunday, we arrive at Parque del Este, formally known as Parque Generalísimo Francisco de Miranda. All we had heard from friends was that it was a big park with a small zoo. Turns out, at the end of the day, we were able to see not even 50% of what the park has to offer. There are 5 lakes (some more like ponds), a terrarium with reptiles and such, several zoo exhibits, a replica of a boat Francisco de Miranda would have used, botanical gardens, a planetarium, several playgrounds, a couple restaurants, roving food hawkers, and acres and acres of places to walk, jog, and play around. There are any number of group shelters, each of which was occupied by a birthday party. LA people might consider a comparison to Griffith Park.
The 190-acre park was originally designed by the Brazilian artist and landscape architect Robert Burle Marx in the late 1950’s. Some of the park’s elements were not part of the original design; the group shelters and the boat are two examples of new construction that has received a mixed response from the local community.
That afternoon we saw some monkeys and turtles. We had a snack in full view of the boat. (You can get tickets to tour the boat but G declined). And most of all, we played soccer in the fields. La Estancia is beautiful and manicured, but food is prohibited. So for picnicking and playing around, Parque del Este, though less secure and in slight disrepair, is the place to go. And the many hundreds of people doing just that on Sunday was a solid testament.