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September 30, 2015 - Today we were back at Griffith Park for another adventure.  At over 4,300 acres, Griffith Park is one of the largest urban parks in North America with numerous attractions and today we came to see Amir's Garden.  Amir Dialameh, a native of Iran, worked a steep hill in Griffith Park for more than three decades with a pick and shovel and turned a scorched, barren landscape into a lush, shaded grove.

"…what you need first and foremost here is shade," Dialameh explained in 1989.  "That's why I planted trees like the jacaranda.  In ten years, this place will be covered with their branches."

His words were prophetic. Today Amir's Garden is nearly five-acres and is a shady rest stop for Griffith Park's hikers and equestrians.

Unfortunately the jacarandas bloom in late spring, so we missed that but, we did see a lot of flowers.

A lot of people now plant trees as memorials to those they have lost and we saw a few of them.

Amir liked to create sculpture from "found objects," and they decorate many of the winding trails here that cover the hillside.

We met a dog walker who braved the steep climb up here with her six doggies.

After criss-crossing the many trails that wander through the garden, it was time to head back down.  It's about an 850 foot vertical climb from the parking area to the top, so we enjoyed the view of Glendale on our way down.

Huell Howser did a heartwarming show about Amir's Garden and if you have 28 minutes, you can see it by clicking here.

After our hike at Amir's Garden it was time for lunch, so we visited the Eastside Market Italian Deli near Dodger Stadium.  We both had their "hot plate," which is their homemade meatballs and sausages.  Of course it was smothered in their own red, tomato sauce, which some Italians call "gravy," and a scoop of roasted peppers thrown in.  After they plated everything, it was covered with sliced Provolone cheese, which melted by the time we sat down.  It is to die for, and we were lucky enough to have a little leftover for tonight.  And the atmosphere couldn't be beat.  I've never seen so many policemen and plain-clothes detectives, all carrying guns, in the same place.  Both of us never felt so safe in any other restaurant.  No wonder they've been in business since 1929.

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