Making the most of the last days of summer

A worker hoses off swan boats at Echo Park Lake
In these remaining days of summer, why not ride on the swan boats of Echo Park?
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

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Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Saturday, Sept. 9. Here’s what you need to know to start your weekend:

  • The end of summer is upon us!
  • Pharmacies are making millions of mistakes
  • The East L.A. parade, which celebrates Mexican Independence Day, is Sunday
  • And here’s today’s e-newspaper

    Making the most of the last days of summer

    In two weeks, summer will officially be over. Good riddance. It has been the hottest Northern Hemisphere summer ever measured (and this is the second-hottest year on record so far, too). Not to mention the 5.1-magnitude earthquake that struck Southern California in the middle of Tropical Storm Hilary a couple weeks ago.


    I didn’t move from New Orleans for this.

    Fall is more my speed. The weather cools and we get the consistent mid- to high 60s temperature.

    But if you’re mourning summer’s forthcoming departure, we’ve got good news:

    Dolphins are still playing alongside the ferries to Catalina Island and swan boats are floating through Echo Lake Park.

    “There’s still time for hills to be climbed, waves to be caught, cocktails to be confronted, and Dodger Dogs to be consumed,” The Times’ Christopher Reynolds wrote in his list of things to do in L.A. before summer ends.

    If you want to soak up the heat before it’s too late, walk through 5 acres of blooming roses at La Cañada Flintridge’s Descanso Gardens, or jaunt through the Getty Center’s four surrounding gardens. Indulge in one of the best frozen treats in L.A: ice cream!

    Few things mark the last days of summer in SoCal more than the end of the Rose Bowl’s summer flea markets. Rummage through countless vintage items to your heart’s content on Sunday, the last market of the summer. You won’t be able to hunt vintage treasure there again until October.

    Whether you plan to spend the rest of the summer indoors or outdoors, enjoy the remaining days before the superior season takes over.


    The week’s biggest stories

    photo illustration of two prescription bottles in a traffic accident
    (Jim Cooke/Los Angeles Times; photos via Getty Images)

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    The week’s great reads

    Images of a concha, avocado, lime, tortillas, tacos
    (Elana Marie / For De Los )

    Column: ‘Slop on a tortilla:’ Why the defense of Mexican and other cultural food is personal. People get emotional when others deride their culture’s cuisine because, as columnist J.P. Brammer writes, they see it as extensions of themselves, of the place they grew up, of their families’ kitchens. “I think there’s something really endearing about that.”

    More great reads


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    For your weekend

    Chimney Creek Campground, Owens Peak Wilderness.
    (Josh Jackson)

    Going out

    Staying in

    L.A. Affairs

    Get wrapped up in tantalizing stories about dating, relationships and marriage.

    A married woman and a bartender touch hands as he prepares her drink.
    (Janet Yingxi Lin / For The Times)

    I wanted an open marriage. Would my husband agree? Last spring, after eight years of a stable partnership, Natalie and her husband opened their marriage. It was the push they needed to jump into the deep end together.


    Have a great weekend, from the Essential California team

    Elvia Limon, multiplatform editor
    Kevinisha Walker, multiplatform editor
    Karim Doumar, head of newsletters

    Check our top stories, topics and the latest articles on