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Monday, November 19, 2007

... and talking the walk

when you think about it, it makes perfect sense that our community of LA-oriented bloggers were active participants in this past weekend's great LA walk -- not only so we could proudly say that we were actually there (thereby having something new to write about), but also because it was our chance to disprove the popular belief that "nobody walks in LA". so yes, people do walk the streets and boulevards here in LA. especially if there's food involved :)

for starters, not to be missed is the recap from the organizer himself, mike at franklin avenue --

The Second Annual Great Los Angeles Walk took on Pico Boulevard on Saturday. More than 70 people joined me as we hiked nearly 16 miles, from the historic Coca Cola Bottling Plant (at the corner of Pico and Central) straight to the ocean in Santa Monica.

he pretty much leaves the storytelling to all the other bloggers who've posted their experiences (and photos) on their sites.

like the atwater village newbie, who shared his pre-walk training regimen with us:

BY WALKING FROM my cubicle to the office kitchen. And back. What else could prepare me for tomorrow's leisurely stroll, more than 15 miles, along the most culturally diverse boulevard in the most culturally diverse city in the US? From downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean, Pico Blvd., here we come.

as for event day itself, will at metroblogging los angeles summarized his experience thusly:

What's it like to set out at 9:30 a.m. with a whole passel of other pedestrians and transit en masse the 15.76 miles of Pico Boulevard from the historic Coca-Cola building at Central Avenue westward to the surf of Santa Monica beach, arriving just as the sun was about to crawl beneath the offshore marine layer at 4:42 in the afternoon?
Arduous, tiring and ache-making, but otherwise smooooooth sailing.

(he illustrates his point with a photo of a sailboat making its way past the setting sun. looks like he was lucky enough -- and fast enough -- to catch a sight many of us missed, since most of us hit the beach much later!)

don at L.A. stories (yes, he was the one i followed to sky's for lunch, so we have similar stories from that point on) enriched his version with historic trivia:

Pico-Robertson... you enter the heart of Persian-Jewish Los Angeles. One pizza joint here made the poor attempt a year and a half ago to build its business by having the pizza served by bikini-clad waitresses. But between cold weather which made the waitresses wear poofy coats and a sexually conservative populace in the area, the experiment came to a swift ignominious end.

then there was the pioneer who literally ate his way down pico boulevard... and lived to tell about it:

the chili on the chili cheese fries didn't look like dog food, which I later learned from jennifer w. is a bad thing. good chili apparently looks like dog food. the fries were remarkably crunchy and fluffy on the inside. but we got worried when the "cheese" topping the order didn't melt even with all the heat from the fries and the chili radiating in to it. scary.

after reading G12 the outsider's list of the top five highlights of the walk, i'm still scratching my head about #1 and #2... did i miss something somewhere?:

Here are the top five highlights:
1. The dead guy
2. The two heads joke
3. The Bob Hill crane (see here)
4. The naked mannequins
5. The cupcakes

of course, there's nothing like hearing the cliff notes version from a local, N at pico and the man:

We started just past 9am with about 50 fellow adventurers. We walked a few blocks. We stopped for breakfast burritos, Korean-style. We fell behind. We wandered a half-block south of Pico, and found God, Greek-style. We caught up. We stopped for lunch. We fell behind. We caught up. We stopped for cupcakes. We fell behind. We caught up. We kept going. We reached the ocean just past sunset. As Graham points out, we won. We immediately caught a cab home to rest our aching joints.

raul, a fellow runner who blogs at a smudge on the collective consciousness, made the walk sound like one big kumbaya moment. and i don't think anyone disagrees with him:

... what it did do for me was remind me that there are innumerable wonderful people who make up this city who truly and proudly call themselves Angelenos. An event like this attracts the city's cream of the crop. I didn't get an opportuntity to talk to everyone, but I'm grateful for those I got a chance to speak with during the hours spent walking.

and finally, scott at stst blogs spoke on behalf of many when he had this to say:

By the way, despite the long, long walk, neither one of us have any aching muscles and not a single blister. And if you buy that, I’ve got some oceanfront property in Arizona.

ah, life in LA. gotta love it!