Who says no one walks in L.A.? Last Saturday, I did just that with about 150 other Angelenos for Franklin Avenue’s annual Great Los Angeles Walk. The L.A.-appreciative promenade originated at Union Station in downtown at 9am and continued over 18 miles to the ocean in Santa Monica with an after party at the Britannia Pub. And walkers kept track of one another through Twitter.
Eighteen miles was too ambitious for me since I’m no longer in marathon shape, so instead I parked my car in Santa Monica and took the Metro Rapid 704 to West Hollywood (only took about half an hour) where I caught up with H.C. and Khoi, a couple of Great Walkers at the head of the pack.
But I think I cheated myself out of a really interesting walk by joining for only the Westside vanilla-portion of the stroll. Yes, I live on the Westside. I missed out on Olvera Street, Echo Park and Hollywood. Lots of interesting stuff to take pictures of like graffiti, people, buildings and restaurants. Instead I had to get my jollies off misspelled signs, water fountains, weird Beverly Hills stores (there’s a store that actually blings things) and an army of valet.
One thing for sure, though, it was a great way to enjoy the city; to actually take a closer look at places that you only glimpse of briefly from a car window. H.C., Khoi and I took advantage of the freedom our feet afforded us and briefly went off the beaten path, stopping off at Crumbs, then Sprinkles and posed for pictures by the Beverly Hills sign and the BH water fountain at the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica.
This was my first time to actually enjoy L.A. like this so even though we walked at a pretty quick pace, we still made sure to appreciate our surroundings. I’ve passed that Beverly Hills fountain so many times after living here for 15 years and have never taken a picture of it til now.
And it was cool to just walk to places without having to worry about parking first. For instance Clementine’s in Century City is usually a bitch to finding parking near but this time we just walked in and got our refreshing ginger limeade.
I also learned to appreciate the Metro Rapid, which I’ve never experienced before. Even though I rode it briefly to get to my meeting point in the beginning, I liked how quick it was. It was fun to watch L.A. traffic from high up; people honking at each other and flipping each other off and I didn’t have to deal with them. HA ha! Just watched the news on the bus’ TV and checked out the neighborhoods as we whizzed by. I definitely want to use it for a bar hop in the near future.
This is the third year for the Great L.A. Walk and this year’s had the most miles (the route changes every year) as well as the most walkers yet. It was so much fun that I think I’ll do it again next year, except hopefully from the starting line. Since it always takes place the Saturday before Thanksgiving, I’d say it’s an awesome way to get geared up for the LBC Turkey Trot, which I’m doing this year, too. Yay.
BTW, congrats to all those who participated in the walk, including Siel (Green LA Girl) who joined us for the last mile. By the looks of things at the after party, everyone had a great time.
Pictures from Half the Great LA Walk.