Quiz: Do you need a red-and-white-checked blanket and exquisite plastic cutlery and a wicker hamper, which is pretty much a souped-up wicker basket, to have a picnic?
Answer: Nope. For picnics are about chillaxing at their heart, and worrying over blanket choice is not chillax-worthy. Fretting over finding a shady spot and if you remembered to make lemonade are valid concerns, but barely. Strike that: Picnics are a 100% fuss-and-fret-free zone.
So fill up that cloth grocery sack -- don't forget the onion dip that's still in the sour cream container and the half-eaten bag of chips -- and make for Grand Park on Saturday, April 18. It's National Picnic Day, and the downtown, City Hall-snug green space is planning on throwing a lulu of a picnic: PicnicDTLA.
That's right, we said a "lulu": It's all about the blanket, your pals, some grub, sunshine, and laughs. It costs nothing to join. You aren't required to do anything except, if you choose, show with a sandwich and the inclination to stretch out on the lawn for a half hour.
For sure, there shall be food trucks "for the picnicker without a picnic basket." Motown'll be spun by resident Fusicology DJs. And dogs are welcome (there's even a Grand Park dog run for them to shake a leg).
As with all large-scale Grand Park happenings, there are a few funky footnotes. You can participate in Butter Aerobics, which involves cream, shaking your stuff, and the ultimate end game, butter. There's a Mobile Bread Oven, which boasts its beautifully clear purpose right in its name. And a recipe swap, and cookbook exchange, will keep the foodie-feeling on the up-and-up.
Because, really. You're so going to eyeball what the other people on other blankets are chowing down on, right? You won't even be subtle about it. Don't fib and say you won't. Best come with your recipes and hope they do as well.
And if you have a "creative picnic spread" you could win tickets and "the essential picnic basket" to the Hollywood Bowl, that ultimate place of picnicking greatness.
Okay, so, yeah, maybe stepping up the picnic game, fancy wicker hamper or not, is in order. But, truly, if you just want to eat a bologna sandwich next to the fountain and soak in the summer's-coming scene, that's entirely in the social-communal-sunshine-bologna-or-vege-sandwich vibe of the happy day.