LA Parks: Watts Towers

by Gabrielle Antonette

There are a lot of people in LA who have never been to Watts Towers. Really? Look at them. We may be biased because we love anything involving pastel colors and decaying structures, but this is a cool place, probably objectively. This site was at some point Simon Rodia's backyard. This guy, a construction worker from Italy, spent 34 years (starting in 1921) building this collection. He is quoted as saying, "I had it in mind to do something big and I did it." The towers are now protected and surrounded by a park and community center/gallery, so you can make an afternoon of it, especially if you plan ahead and pack a picnic. You can always visit the towers because they're outside, but to get a closer look and walk through, take a tour. The entire area, Watts, is full of visual treasures: murals, graffiti, vintage signage, darling little houses, so try not to rush it.