On my maintenance runs in the week I always run past the 'Electric Fountain' in Beverly Gardens Park and not only does the mist from the fountain's water-jets help cool me, but the sight of the dancing water and changing colored lights at night always help revitalize my spirits.
Electric Fountain by Robert Merrell Gage, 1931
The water feature on the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards features a Native American sculpture atop the fountain praying for rain, which is quite apt for L.A. most of the year.
When you're training for a marathon and running so much it's not just the music you're listening to that keeps you going, it's also the visual relief you find along your training route.
This fountain is just one of the fantastic sculptures to be found in Beverly Gardens Park and two of my favorites are The Drummer rabbit bronze and the colourful Hymn of Life tulips.
There's also the gleaming Erratic sculpture which always makes me smile as I run past too.
One of the downsides of running though this park in Beverly Hills is that you see lots of homeless people and it reminds you that the divide between rich and poor is no more apparent than in this infamously extravagant neighbourhood.
For me it also evokes memories of the 1986 movie starring Bette Midler, Richard Dreyfuss and Nick Nolte as a tramp in Down and Out in Beverly Hills, but sadly the reality is no comedy.
I understand you can't help everybody, but at the end of the day I know that my marathon training and fundraising for those affected by HIV and AIDS means that some individuals and their families won't end up on the streets themselves.
With several marathons lined up this year, let's hope public art like this fountain will keep inspiring me for all those long miles...