The starting point: Echo Park Lake
I'm not sure there's ever been a better day for a walk.
And I think about 300 people could back me up on this. The 8th Annual GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK attracted a large crowd of first timers and veteran participants, all joining in to take Los Angeles on by foot. We hiked 18 miles from one statue to another: The "Lady of the Lake" in Echo Park to "Saint Monica" at the edge of Wilshire in Santa Monica.
In between, we walked up Sunset and down the Sunset Strip, before cutting through Beverly Hills (via Whittier Drive) to take Wilshire to the ocean.
It was the quickest walk ever -- to the surprise of everyone, including me. This was the second-longest GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK ever, and yet this is the earliest the bulk of the group made it to the ocean. (My theory: Perfect weather meant Walkers didn't have a reason to slow down. And with so many food options, including the relatively quick service at Carney's, our lunch break was shorter than usual.) We started in Echo Park at 9 a.m. but got to the ocean around 4:15, giving us time to enjoy the sunset (poetic to see the sunset after walking Sunset?) before walking back to Tinga Santa Monica for the after party.
The mild temperature was perfect. There was a nice mix of sun and cloud cover -- giving us some stunning views. And by the time we hit the ocean in Santa Monica, the skies were so clear that you could see Catalina Island in the distance.
"#glaw you were awesome!" tweeted @JessicaVeggie. Wrote @yourfriendszn on Twitter: "I loved meeting strangers on 17mi trek through LA." A few more comments from the Great Los Angeles Walk event page on Facebook:
Sarah Emery Bunn: "THANK YOU for leading the walk and getting us all organized. Not just an example of pedestrian power and truly getting down to see the city you live in, but also a great community building event. I had so much fun talking and walking with the other participants, and explaining to confused passers by about what we were doing! Can't wait for next year."Thank YOU, Manuel, and thank all of you for joining in!
Todd Pelkey: "Loved this year's route. Lots of variety. And why were we all able to do the 18 miles so quickly?!"
Manuel Montano: "It was my first walk. I heard about it the Friday before on Facebook. I was still undecided until Saturday morning about 8 am. "I'm doing it" and I headed to Echo Park. Awesome walk. I'm doing it again next year and bringing my family. Thank you Michael."
Along the way, this year's Walk centered on Sunset, where Walk-ers walked by Tiki-Ti, the KTLA/Sunset-Bronson and Sunset Gower Studios; the Hollywood Palladium, Cinerama Dome and Hollywood Athletic Club; and Hollywood High School. A bunch of us also walked around the Crossroads of the World, considered the world's first shopping plaza. Then came the Sunset Strip, home to the Chateau Marmont, the Comedy Store, the Viper Room, Whisky A Go Go, Roxy Theatre, Rainbow Bar & Grill and and so much more.
Thanks to Big Parade LA founder Dan Koeppel (above) for helping us kick off the Walk with a talk about the power of the pedestrian. Then at 9:15, we were off! Later, many of us enjoyed lunch at Carney's in West Hollywood, which offered Walkers 20% off their meals. Here are some pics from the day:
And we're off!
Looks like the Imagine Dragons singer is serenading our Walkers. Hey, that's "Radioactive"!
Walking up Sunset in Echo Park
Chickens, cats and ninjas, oh my!
As usual, we confused several people throughout the day. particularly when we hiked past sidewalk diners
Hey Great LA Walkers, TEN HUT!
The Elliott Smith tribute mural
Oh, Madea, you so crazy!
Talking to KCBS/KCAL on the Walk. 'Cause that's how I do!
Sidewalk closed? Boo, future Target. Boo.
Emerson College's new Hollywood campus is shaping up to be quite the unusual, fascinating building
Old American Express sign
Columbia Square, gutted
Crossroads of the World
"I Want YOU to Have a Dream!"
A Great LA Walk mantra? Stop! Car!
Carney's on the Sunset Strip
Inside Carney's for lunch
Skeletor? Is that you?
Still miss you, Tower Records!
Bonnie and Clyde are not fans of the Great Los Angeles Walk.
Star Maps Here
Oh, crap, what did we do now, TMZ?
They're growing Santa Claus-es in Beverly Hills!
"In lieu of us providing health care to employees, we just ask you not to hit then with your car."
Does that include blisters?
Save the Wadsworth Chapel! (read about its problems here).
Sunset begins, at the end of our day on Sunset!
Some of the Walkers, at the end
And more Walkers at the end!
Read most of the Tweets from the day -- at least the ones with the #glaw hashtag -- here!
Post your Great Los Angeles Walk photos to our Flickr stream here.
Still want a t-shirt as a souvenir? They're available here: http://greatlawalk.spreadshirt.com/.
Save the date for next year -- Saturday, November 22, 2014. If you're looking to do more urban hikes before then, make sure you check out the regular epic walks that Big Parade LA puts together.
Here are some links to other recaps of this year's Great Los Angeles Walk. Send us your links!
The Great Los Angeles Walk 2013 Flickr Pool
Pedestrian Photographer: Walking (Half Of) The Great Los Angeles Walk
Ron's Log: Great LA Walk 2013
Dan Gutierez: The Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Stairwalking in L.A.