Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Great Los Angeles Walk 2014 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Great LA Walk 2014

"Wait, you're doing what?"

"Is walking 17 miles even humanly possible?"

"Can I bike it? Bring a dog? Quit half way through? Are you personally driving me back to my car?"

Here it is, the unofficial Frequently Asked Questions roundup for the GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK 2014! (This will be updated with new information as it comes available!)

1. WHEN/WHERE? Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 -- the Saturday before Thanksgiving, like we do every year. We're meeting at WARNER CENTER PARK in Woodland Hills (5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd). By 8:45 we'll gather for a pep talk, some info about the day and perhaps a surprise speaker. (Suprise speaker TBD.) Then, we're off, straight at 9 am!
2. WHO? We're expecting 300 or so urban hikers this year. We're taking RSVPs at greatlawalk(at)mail(dot)com (yes, "mail," not "gmail") and on Facebook, but RSVPs are not necessary. We'll take anyone who shows up too!
3. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? C'mon, it's completely free! But you're on your own when it comes to lunch, dinner, water, etc. So don't forget to plan accordingly.
4. WHAT'S THE PATH? From Warner Center Park, we'll walk to Ventura Blvd., then hike it all the way to Lankershim (near Universal City). Then, we'll walk up Lankershim to North Hollywood and end at the Television Academy courtyard (5200 Lankershim Blvd). We'll then celebrate an an after party (Location TBD).
5. WHAT IF I CAN'T GET THERE THAT EARLY, OR DON'T WANT TO START THAT FAR WEST? Just wait for us somewhere on the path and join in once we pass by. Several hikers will be Twittering as well -- including us, at @greatlawalk. Check one of those Twitter accounts to figure out where we are.
6. HOW LONG IS THE HIKE? Around 17 miles. IMPORTANT: This is not a race. Sure, you can sprint all the way to the end, but where's the fun in that? There's no prize for who gets there first. Instead, take a breath, and join the bulk of us as we leisurely stroll toward the end and stop frequently to take in the sights.
7. WHEN WILL WE GET TO THE END? With so many hikers, people will eventually start to space out. Impatient, faster walkers might get there soon after lunch. But the bulk of the walkers will get there around 4.

8. CAN WE BIKE IT? BRING KIDS? PETS? Because you're walking on your own accord -- remember, this is an unofficial gathering of passionate Angelenos walking the streets of their favorite city -- you can do whatever you want. Use your best judgement, of course. We're not responsible for you.
9. WHAT ABOUT INJURIES? Again, there is no infrastructure to our Walk, so you need to take care of yourself just like you would whenever you walk anywhere. Be careful, stay safe and stick with a group of walkers!
10. WHAT ABOUT LUNCH? We'll be taking a lunch break -- probably around an hour or so -- around the halfway point. We're still working on finding businesses along Ventura to perhaps offer GREAT LA WALK specials.
11. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WALK IS DONE? We'll take group photos at the end... and then celebrate at an after party between 4 and 7 pm.
12. HOW DO I GET THERE, OR GET HOME? This is the most transit-friendly GREAT LA WALK ever. The start and finish are both near the Metro Orange Line. You can park at one end and take the Orange Line back to your car (or else arrange transportation -- or perhaps, if you're hiking with others, station cars at both ends).
13. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR/BRING? Loose, comfy clothing. I'd wear shorts, a t-shirt (and perhaps a sweatshirt, depending on the temperature). Also, tennis shoes... sunglasses... a hat... sunscreen... extra socks... a blister kit (optional, of course -- I haven't brought one, although Band-Aids  are a good idea)... and most importantly, a camera! We'll all be documenting it and posting pics later.

14. HOW CAN I GET A T-SHIRT? T-shirts are now for sale at (we don't make any money off of these). But order fast, in order get the shirts in time for the Walk.
15. HOW SHOULD I TRAIN FOR THIS? It's not a marathon, so training isn't really necessary. I suppose you could walk around your neighborhood in the days before hand... but I'd avoid any big gym routine the day before, so you're not sore the day you're hiking. But other than that... I didn't train at all for any of the previous eight walks, and have turned out just fine.
16. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? Why not? There's no special reason, no charity, no protest, no issue we're promoting -- other than a passion for Los Angeles. In 2006, I organized our walk down Wilshire to mark my 10th anniversary in Los Angeles. But it was so much fun, and it was a chance to meet so many new people, that we did it again in 2007, down Pico; in 2008, via Sunset and Santa Monica Blvd.; and in 2009, we hit West Adams as we walked down Adams and Washington to Venice Beach. In 2010, we returned to Wilshire for the fifth walk; in 2011, we hit Hollywood; in 2012, it was Melrose's turn; and in 2013, it was all about Sunset Boulevard.
It's the Saturday before Thanksgiving as well, so somehow I don't feel as bad gorging on sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie a few days later. And hey, it'll be a cool conversation piece at your holiday party.

17. CAN I SEND IN PHOTOS? READ A RECAP LATER? Of course! We'll have an official GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK 2014 page on Flickr for you to upload your pics. And check out the Monday after the Walk to read a full recap! Send us links to your own recaps, YouTube videos, etc.

18. IMPORTANT: You are walking on your own volition. The Great Los Angeles Walk is just a casual opportunity to walk with other Angelenos through the city. It's not an official organization of any sort -- and is therefore not responsible for your conduct or anything that may happen during your hike. Be careful, and be respectful of others and of your city.

Re-Animated: Mickey Mouse, Miss Piggy, "Gravity Falls" and More Get Zombie-fied


The creative minds at Disney TV Animation -- now celebrating its 30th anniversary -- do great work. "Phineas and Ferb," "Gravity Falls," "Fish Hooks" and so many more, have been favorites of the Blogger Kids for years. But in their down time, the animators are just as creative, and every once in a while they showcase their talents via a gallery inside their Glendale headquarters.

On Tuesday night, the Disney Television Animation crew unveiled their latest display: "Re-Animated: The Zombie Show." A mix of beloved Disney characters zombified, and some original creations (and mashups) as well. Disney TV Animation opened the event -- doubling as a celebration of their 30th anniversary -- with a cocktail reception. Here are some highlights from the show:

Disney zombie
(It's hard to tell in this photo, but Zombie Mickey is devouring another Mickey.)

Disney zombie
(Oh, Miss Piggy, what happened?)

Disney zombie
(The "Gravity Falls" kids do the "Thriller" with a new friend!)

Disney zombie
("Gravity Falls" has tackled zombies on the show, so it only makes sense it would be a popular subject at this display.)

Disney zombie
(You always knew this was how Scrooge McDuck would end up.)

Disney zombie
(Zombie-fied "Phineas & Ferb" characters, as drawn on sandwich napkins!)

Disney zombie
(This may be my favorite of all, and I hope they turn it into a real book. A twisted take on "Winnie the Pooh.")

Monday, October 20, 2014

MIKE ON KCRW: Discussing Cable's New Streams on "The Business"

On this Monday's episode of KCRW's The Business, Kim Masters and I had a lot to talk about:
- Major changes in the TV landscape in the past week.

- HBO announces a forthcoming over-the-top subscription service that will allow viewers to access some amount of HBO content online without a cable subscription.

- CBS then says they’ll do the same thing, and their service is available now, for around $6 a month.

- Warner Bros. announces 10 DC superhero movies will debut between now and 2020.

Listen below!

Or here:


Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Great Los Angeles Walk T-Shirts Are On Sale Now!


Get your shirt now in order for it to arrive before this year's Walk! Wear it proudly on November 22 -- and show everyone that, yep, you spent all day walking down Ventura Boulevard! Click above for the T-shirts... which this year have some color to them!

We've just posted a whole t-shirts at Spreadshirt, including choices for men, women and kids. Go here:

Meanwhile, keep up with info about this year's GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK down Ventura via our website ( or our Facebook page ( And RSVP at our email ( or our Facebook events page!

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Visit to Beverly Hills' Wallis Annenberg Center for Kid-Friendly Theater

Beverly Hills post office

If you have kids over the age of 5, I can guarantee they will love "The Man Who Planted Trees," a whimsical hour-long play being performed this weekend at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. We checked out one of the shows last weekend, and the Blogger Kids enjoyed the tale (as well as the arts and crafts beforehand).

Beverly Hills post office

As part of The Wallis' "Theater for Young Audiences" series, the play incorporates humans and puppets to humorously tell the touching story of a shepherd who plants a forest, acorn by acorn, in the French countryside. The kids will enjoy the jokes and the puppets, while you'll appreciate the themes.

Beverly Hills post office

The U.K.-based Puppet State Theatre Company has performing "The Man Who Planted Trees" for some time. It's based on the tale by Jean Giono, which also inspired an Oscar-winning animated short in 1989. Here's a YouTube sample of Puppet State Theatre’s take:

"The Man Who Planted Trees" continues through this weekend. Go here for ticket information.

Other upcoming Theatre for Young Audiences events include Dan Zanes and Friends (Sunday, Oct. 19 at 2pm); Compagnie Les Voisins’s "The Queen of Colors" (Jan. 9-18) and "Lifeboat" (March 13-22).

I hadn't been inside the former Beverly Hills Post Office since I attended a party there years ago. Now, of course, it's been transformed into the Wallis. Some peeks inside and out:

Beverly Hills post office

Beverly Hills post office

Beverly Hills post office

Beverly Hills post office

Beverly Hills Wallis Annenberg

Beverly Hills Wallis Annenberg

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