In Sunday Funday, L.A. people give us a play-by-play of their ideal Sunday around town. Find ideas and inspiration on where to go, what to eat and how to enjoy life on the weekends.
As the mom of a 2 ½-year-old, Rachel Bloom has had various aha moments about parenting. One example: “Becoming a parent means you now side with Ariel’s dad,” she muses on Instagram. And another: “Everyone says that toddlers are selfish, but my daughter has just very kindly given me her beautiful hand, foot, mouth disease from preschool.”
But one of the biggest realizations she’s had is that raising a kid is hard. “Most of us spend 30ish years of our lives honing skills in anything but this, and suddenly you have a kid and immediately need to become an expert in a thing for which you have had no previous training or experience,” she tells me. “There should be mandatory childcare classes in every high school and college. That, and how to do taxes.”
Yet for Bloom, the actress-writer-comedian who starred as Rebecca Bunch in the CW musical dramedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (shout out to West Covina) and more recently as Hannah in the Hulu comedy series “Reboot,” there’s joy in the adventure. She calls her daughter “the sweetest, funniest, smartest and most conscientious toddler in the world” (while acknowledging that everyone says that about their child) and loves sharing stories about their days together.
“Lately, she has taken to getting on her toy phone, calling Barney the purple dinosaur, and then when he ‘picks up,’ saying to him, ‘OK, call you later’ — as if she weren’t the one who called him in the first place. She’s gaslighting Barney!” Bloom says.
She and her husband, writer and film producer Dan Gregor, work a lot during the week so Bloom says the weekend is their time to “be a family.” Here’s what they’d do on an ideal Sunday — both in their Silver Lake/Echo Park neighborhood and all around L.A.
10 a.m.: Take a morning stroll
We’ll get up and do a family walk with our dog, Wiley. I love our neighborhood because it is both incredibly suburban and quiet but also minutes away from Sunset Boulevard. I sound like a real estate ad.
11:30 a.m.: Order carbs and read the paper
With a toddler, going out to brunch is challenging. So we’ll either order pastries from Clark Street Bakery or bagels with lox and cream cheese from Maury’s. My daughter has taken to lox and smoked salmon and salmon sushi. It’s awesome. She’s like a baby bear. And then we’ll sit and read the paper.
1:30 p.m.: Optimize nap time
This is not the “fun day” part, but her nap time is our time to get errands done. We’re always going through her toys, like, “What can we give away? What can we prune out?” I’ll clean out my office and catch up on emails. Or I’ll get my nails done at Gloss NailSpa in Silver Lake.
3:30 p.m.: Explore L.A. through a toddler’s eyes
When my daughter wakes up, we’ll do a family activity. I love going to the children’s garden at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. It’s just magical. My daughter loves the fountains and the fact that you can go barefoot in the river. That’s super fun. And we’ll run around and look for the koi. Sometimes, there are ducks and bunnies.
We also love going to Travel Town in Griffith Park. She can ride the train forever and ever and ever. And I love the fact that it’s a step back in time. L.A. feels like such an isolated place, and we’re just all in our cars. But it’s good to remember that Los Angeles was originally a place for great public transportation, including the trains.
Also, any park with a swing? That’s really all she needs.
5:30 p.m.: Try a kid-friendly dinner spot
A good place for family dinners is Messhall in Los Feliz. There’s an outdoor section, so if you have a toddler, it’s OK. Greekman’s in Silver Lake is another place we like to go. My daughter is obsessed with pomegranate seeds, and so we’ll always get something with pomegranate seeds. And then we’ll get some of the pita bread there. Their pita is great. And then usually a meat platter. You know what else is really good for kids, surprisingly? Girl & the Goat. Apparently, [chef] Stephanie Izard has her kid try every dish there.
7:30 p.m.: Have an evening ritual
We’ll do a big family dog walk at night. This is very ritualized — it’s like we’ll do the big family dog walk, she watches “Daniel Tiger,” takes a bath and goes to bed.
7:45 p.m.: Welcome the babysitter
We’re going out! If we get a sitter, that means we have a show. My husband performs at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, which is now back, and I perform at Dynasty Typewriter.
Or we’ll hang out with friends. We went to a birthday party at Clifton’s Republic in downtown, and now that’s something we want to do more of. It feels like you’re at Disneyland. It’s like an amusement park but for adults. I don’t know why everyone isn’t talking about it all the time! There was a burlesque singer. It was like she was in the swing-dance-1930s era. Every room has a different theme, and it feels like a bar version of the Madonna Inn. And I just love kitsch. It’s amazing that it exists.
11 p.m.: Head home
We might make a late-night grilled cheese and watch “Shark Tank.” We’ll be in bed by 12. Saturdays are when we push it.