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Bench me, please!

The benches of the SCV: Sit, relax, reflect

Posted: April 6, 2012 6:00 a.m.
Updated: April 6, 2012 6:00 a.m.

A bench waits for a posterior or two, or three outside of The Patios in Valencia.

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In this world of deadlines and time clocks and must be here, must be there appointments, how often do we just stop, sit and watch the world go by?

There are benches everywhere in the Santa Clarita Valley - perfect spots to sit, relax and reflect. There are bus benches, park benches and benches at the mall and outside other retail establishments.

There are benches of nearly every size and in various colors and materials. Some benches are made of wood, some of steel and a few of plastic. The most comfortable benches can be found inside the mall, where soft, cushy material abounds.

The new Patios retail area at the mall has seating options aplenty, not just benches, but tables and chairs, outdoor furniture of sofas and wing chairs - among many other eclectic options.
These are benches where you can sit and watch the world go by.

However, I prefer the park benches, which offer great locations to meditate and ponder the beauty of nature.
City officials tell me there are 251 bus stops, most with benches of some kind, and more than 100 of the stops are equipped with bus "shelters."

It is interesting to see the variety of benches throughout the SCV. I am grateful that not every bench has been forced to conform to a uniform aesthetic. Among the most unique benches:

On Creekside Road the recent street renovation now offers stone seating areas for the occasional pedestrian.
On McBean Parkway, near the Kohl's shopping center, is an elaborate bus stop with a clay tile roof and stone support pillars.

On one corner in the SCV (Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard) there are benches on three of the four corners and every one of them is different.

There's a green one, an elaborate black shelter and a simple black bench. The street noise on that corner is deafening, however. This is not a place to lounge or linger.

No, the city's parks (with more than 100 benches and nearly 200 picnic tables with benches) are better for quiet moments and a chance to take a deep breath ... and just "be."

But the best place to simply sit and breathe is any of the benches at the Castaic Lake Water Agency's Conservatory Garden, high atop the hill above Central Park. Sign in with the guard at the bottom gate to your left after you enter at the Central Park main entrance, drive to the top of the hill. Pick your bench. Sit.

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