Where Hope Meets Carson


Photos by Nili Nathan

Johnny Carson Park

By Tricia Lin

Named for the beloved host of The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson Park is a beautiful tribute to its namesake. But first, you have to turn right.

To your right is Providence High School. There is a large gate obstructing your view.

But don’t hesitate, now. Traffic time is not a good time to stop just before the 134, on Buena Vista, what with cars in front of you, cars behind you, the sun in your face, a large gate to your right.

“Turn right.” So you do. Turn right and the ominous gate leads to a driveway, through the heart of Providence High School. But keep driving, because there still isn’t anywhere to go.

And there it is. Whether you’re here to read under that tree or to let the kids loose, Johnny Carson Park is as much a part of Burbank as it is an escape from it. Cross the bridge, drag your eyes away from the brook, and you’ll see – it doesn’t matter that some people have commandeered a picnic table, or that some guy is wandering off the path into the sanctuary of trees, or that some child just ran past you to cross the bridge for a third time.

This place is yours.

So take a walk. Take a jog. Take a run around the park. If running isn’t your thing, take advantage of the LifeTrail products throughout the park. You can go to the gym outside today.

Or show your dog around, find the shade of a tree to claim, and watch while the freeway melts away into lush greenery and the Southern Californian sun.

And it just wouldn’t truly be Johnny Carson Park without the Tonight Show Playground. You can leave that for the kids to get to know, though. Unless you don’t mind sand in your shoes.

You have until sundown, but you can always come back.

400 S. Bob Hope Drive Burbank
Off of Alameda Drive, adjacent to
NBC Studios
About The Author

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Tricia Lin is a poet, journalist, and author of literary nonfiction. She has been published in From a Window: Affection, The America Library of Poetry, and A Celebration of Poets. When she comes across spare time, she enjoys reading, skiing, and good-natured debate. Tricia is a staff writer at the Washington Square News, and is currently studying at New York University for a degree in Journalism.