How to have the best Sunday in L.A., according to Kiersey Clemons


In Sunday Funday, L.A. people give us a play-by-play of their ideal Sunday around town. Find ideas and inspiration on where to go, what to eat and how to enjoy life on the weekends.

If you were to ask 10-year-old Kiersey Clemons what she thought about her parents’ strategy of using Sundays to “get ready for Monday” — a.k.a. do chores — she would’ve confidently called it a “scam.”

But now that the actor, who plays Iris West in Warner Bros.’ new film “The Flash,” is older, owns a home and has an unpredictable work schedule, she understands her parents’ credo.

“Rightfully so, parents have to come up with reasons to reserve time for themselves,” says Clemons, who’s set to star in “Susie Searches” (out July 28) and “The Young Wife” with Sheryl Lee Ralph, which premiered at Sundance in March but doesn’t have a set release date.

“Even as a person who’s not a parent myself, I take any opportunity I can get to prepare for something — a week or a few days — that I know is going to ask a lot of myself,” she says.

Still, Clemons’ ideal Sundays look a lot like they did during her childhood: a sleepover with her three sisters, enjoying her mom’s homemade cooking and hunting for gems at her favorite Salvation Army thrift store in Los Angeles. Here’s how the L.A. native would spend the perfect Sunday.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for length and clarity.

10:30 a.m.: Enjoy a cup of coffee outside

I am probably waking up around 10:30 a.m., and I’m definitely taking it easy and I’m taking it slow. I will probably have my first cup of coffee with my dog outside, which I actually do every day. Which is a really nice routine for me. It forces me to get out of bed and immediately take in what’s outside.

11 a.m.: Chocolate pancakes at Maxine’s

Then I will probably go to a diner and I’ll have two more cups of coffee, chocolate pancakes and bacon. I have a few diners in L.A. that I really love. One that is in my top three is Maxine’s [formerly known as Maxwell’s] in Culver City. I used to live over there for so long in my early 20s, and maybe that’s part of why I love it so much. The food is really good, but also it feels like a spot where my mom and I had really insightful conversations. And we spill all the tea and we’re both big coffee drinkers. My mom is very cozy. She likes a diner that makes her feel like she’s not in L.A. She’s from the South, and so it makes her feel like she’s at a small-town diner. The service is really personable, and it at least feels like they care about you. [Laughs.] They always make sure your cup has coffee in it. There’s a bar area where all the regulars sit. That’s always the best, diner regulars.

12:30 p.m.: Thrift shopping in Redondo Beach

At this point, we’re probably going thrifting. I grew up in thrift stores. My mom loves a Goodwill. I think she is definitely a bargain hunter. My mom grew up very poor, and her clothes were hand-me-downs or her stepmom made them. She always somehow found a way to make sure that I had what I really wanted, to feel like I was in on it. I will never forget when everyone was wearing ripped jeans from Abercrombie, like they were falling apart. And she would find the Abercrombie jeans at thrift stores or she would buy them on eBay. And I would come home from school, and she would’ve done all the rips and tears on them and did the splattered bleach on them. I’d be like, “Mom, oh my gosh!”

I went to high school in Redondo Beach, and there’s a Salvation Army on Artesia Boulevard, and so that was the one I would walk to after school. That’s where my mom would go to get my jeans. She had a lot of furniture from there, but also they just always had all the good stuff. All of the good clothes. All the older rich Manhattan Beach grandmothers’ stuff would end up there, and we got it. I actually will drive to that one specifically to see what they got ’cause they always got something.

2:30 p.m.: Chinese food at the mall

We’ll go to the mall, which again is so cozy and nostalgic. We’ll just walk around the mall and talk. We won’t even do anything. [Laughs.] Sometimes, we’ll go all the way to Del Amo Fashion Center just to go to Din Tai Fung. My mom always orders green beans. Then she soaks it in chile oil and soy sauce, and it’s so good. I get the shrimp and pork spicy wontons. Oh. My. God. Then I’ll hold onto the juices that it’s in, and I’ll dip everything in it.

5 p.m.: Dinner and Lifetime

Now, I’ve probably requested for my mom to make me food. It’s all food. We are so food. I normally request that she makes me fried chicken or chicken and dumplings. Whichever one she has the energy for.

We’re definitely making some type of drink, probably like a bloody mary. My mom loves bloody marys, and she’ll make me some type of drink with mezcal. Then my sisters and I would probably watch some random Lifetime movie or we’ll binge-watch something together. One of them just moved to New York, but she’s coming back. She says it’s partially because of family. I think it’s mostly because of family. We are all very close, and it’s super obvious when one of us is missing. But whenever we’re all in town and able to be together, we’re together on the weekends. And normally everyone will sleep over at my house. So on a Sunday, I’m probably yelling at everybody because I’m so fed up. You have all your little quirks and you’re like, “Whose hair is all over the bathroom? Why can’t anybody pick up their towels? Whose socks are these?” [Laughs.] I’m the oldest sibling, so I’m the most dramatic.

8 p.m.: Walk the dogs and gossip

We’ll probably walk the dogs. If everybody’s dogs are over, it’s four dogs. With our little drinks, we’ll go on a walk around the neighborhood and we’ll just gossip. If someone ever is like, “Don’t tell anyone this thing,” I’m like, “All five of us know.” [Laughs.] If somebody’s got something weird going on, it’s TMI — everybody knows everything.

11 p.m.: Cozy up on the couch

I’ll fall asleep at my mom’s house, then I’ll drive home at like 11 p.m. But before I leave, we will have already planned the next weekend. It’ll be like, “Next weekend at your house?”

11:30 p.m.: Drive home, then fall asleep on the couch, again

I always say I’m going to wind down and then I fall asleep on the couch. And I’m one of those people that if I fall asleep on the couch and you try to wake me up and tell me to go to my bed, I’m going to fight you. Because, like, this is so funny … I don’t want a television in my bedroom, and then I just end up falling asleep on the couch watching TV anyway.


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