Best Pickup Basketball Game, May 2006

Nestled in the less trendy southern reaches of Santa Monica is Marine Park. Its two side-by-side basketball courts are shaded by gnarled trees and complemented by a regal playground. Impromptu Saturday-morning pickup games look like a family-friendly version of L.A.’s Blade Runner future. Dreadlocked vegetarian brothers trade passes with slight Oaxacan ballers, who in turn offer sun-baked surfers homemade tamales. Summer and street ball coalesce into the basketball melting pot. A short hike from the ocean, the courts are where actors Jesse Borrego, Don Cheadle, and Esai Morales play.