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Made in the Shade

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Los Angeles is a bright place.

Some Angelenos embrace the region's light, while others scurry from it like a roach caught in the beam of the refrigerator's bulb at midnight. Whether you are a sun-worshipper or a vampire, though, sun is bad for you.

When the rays are too much, we find solace in shady spots that cleverly use design elements to provide respite and relaxation (yes, we use sunglasses, hats and umbrellas too—but there's nothing like full-body shade).

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Here's a brief tour of places we've found so far:

Getty Tram Pavilion
We don't know why, but waiting for the tram at the Tram Plaza is the part we most enjoy during visits to the Getty Center.

Firefly Bistro
We like dining under the tent at this bistro in South Pasadena (there's another Firefly in Studio City on Ventura). The pecan-coated catfish is fantastic on a summer night amidst the twinking lights. The chef-owners also have a good heart; tonight, they are having a benefit Wine Dinner to raise money for one of their servers, Kelly, who is battling breast cancer without medical insurance.

Under the Malibu Pier
We remember happy times spent under this pier. However, it remains closed to the public due to continuing structural repair and a battle over intellectual property rights to the name "Malibu Pier." How the heck did state officials allow some private citizen to register a trademark registration for the name and image of the Malibu Pier?

Rapid Bus Shelters
While waiting for the bus, we're grateful for any shade. We've even crouched behind a trashcan to escape harsh daylight. We like the clean lines of MTA's Rapid bush shelters and think the translucent coverings are cool. If only the shelters were a bit larger. We find the overhangs to be oddly situated and rarely provide the deep shadow we crave.

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Lifeguard Towers at the Beach
If for some god-awful reason we actually do find ourselves on a Southern California beach in the sun, we'll settle for any lifeguard towers.

What are some of your favorite shady spots?