Stifling the sizzle

A searing heat wave this week drove people of all ages to Glendale's cool spots as they waited out temperatures that soared past 100 degrees.

A popular place on Thursday was the outdoor water feature at Pacific Park. Preschoolers to pre-teens splashed about, including Ricky Lozano, 4, of Echo Park.

"This is our first time here," said his mother, Alma Lozano. "We've seen it many times as we drive by on our way to the Glendale Galleria, and I told him we would come someday. Today's the day."

Ricky loves to play in the water, his mom said.

"He can play with his toys for two hours in the bathtub at home," she said. "I always tell him 'OK, five more minutes,' but soon it's another half-hour."

By 1:30 p.m. the number of parents and children were thinning out, although when she came at noon, the play area was packed, she said.

"This is nice. The kids can play and have fun and share with the other kids," she said. "In my community — Echo Park — we don't have anything with water like this."

Craig Price of Burbank got away from work early to bring his kids, 18-month-old Izabel and Max, 4. His wife usually brings them to the water park, he said.

"When it's hot, it's the perfect place to bring the kids to cool off," Price said.

Flavio Astroga of Los Angeles brought his daughter Allison.

"We drove by here several times, but this is the first time we've come to the park," he said. "It's a way for my daughter to cool off and mingle with the kids. She's an only child, so this gives her some socializing time."

Alternately, seniors were enjoying the air-conditioned indoor amenities at the new Adult Recreation Center on Colorado Street. The facility has been designated by Los Angeles County as an official cooling station for seniors seeking refuge from the heat, said Sevag Garabetian, community services coordinator.

This past week, the center's hours of operation were extended until 5 p.m., he said.

"Extending the hours allows seniors to have a place to go because it's still so hot at 4 p.m." he said.

Another event planned to keep seniors cool, Garabetian said, is an ice cream social at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Seniors can exercise in the weight room, watch a movie in the lounge, play backgammon or cards in the multipurpose room, shoot pool in the billiards room or, on Thursdays, use the dance floor during the weekly mixer.

"Since the hot weather, more people have been coming earlier in the mornings," said volunteer Yegnazar Patatanyan while he waited for his turn at the billiards table. "My friends come every day and stay until 4 p.m."

Josefina Caballero, of Glendale, was watching a movie in the lounge.

"Someone told me the tai chi class is good here, so I want to try it," she said. It was only her second time at the adult center since its opening.

"Now it's beautiful," she said. "It makes you want to come to the classes."

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