L.A.’s Ghost Zoo

My Escape To the Cages at Griffith Park

On muggy summer days in Missouri, a gang of pre-adolescent hellions who’d dubbed themselves the Marion Street Kids would take to the woods for shady relief and adventure. Every creek was a river to be forded. Every downed tree was a fort waiting to be constructed. We raided our parents’ toolboxes, found scraps of lumber, and fashioned crow’s nests out of stray branches.

Now, pushing 30 and settled in Los Angeles, I’ve revised my standards of what qualifies as a respite or adventure. A parking spot within walking distance of my …