Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Great Los Angeles Walk 2013 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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"Why are you doing this?" "Who's coming?" "Can I bring my kids? Will you drive me home?"

Here it is, the unofficial Frequently Asked Questions roundup for the GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK 2013!

(Pic by

1. WHEN/WHERE? Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 -- the Saturday before Thanksgiving, like we do every year. We're meeting at the LADY OF THE LAKE statue (see above) at Echo Park Lake. Get there early to enjoy some breakfast and coffee at Square One at the Boathouse! 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 Echo Park Lake, we make our way up to Sunset Boulevard. We take Sunset all the way through Echo Park, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Hollywood, West Hollywood (including the Sunset Strip) and Beverly Hills. At the edge of Beverly Hills we take Whittier Drive down to Wilshire Boulevard -- and then take Wilshire to the end, where we'll see another statue, for Santa Monica herself:

5. WHAT IF I CAN'T GET THERE THAT EARLY, OR DON'T WANT TO START THAT FAR EAST? 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? 17-18 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 ocean 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 5.

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, on the Sunset Strip. We're talking to a restaurant about giving us a Walk discount -- stay tuned.

11. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WALK IS DONE? We'll take group photos at the ocean... and then celebrate at a location to be named shortly from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.!

12. HOW DO I GET THERE, OR GET HOME? Either plan with a friend and get to Santa Monica early morning, parking one car, then carpool to Echo Park Lake (where you'll park the other car). OR: Park at Echo Park Lake, walk to Santa Monica, then eventually take Metro back to Echo Park. OR: Park at Santa Monica at 7 a.m., allowing yourself enough time to board a Metro bus to Echo Park Lake. Traffic's light that time of morning, so the bus ride is relatively quick. And that way, when you arrive in Santa Monica, your car is waiting for you.

BUSES: Visit Metro ( for details. But here's a thumbnail:

The last Big Blue Rapid 10 bus ( leaves Santa Monica for downtown at around 7pm. It's the return from downtown that's at around 8pm; you'll have to then take a local bus back to Echo Park. But if you're going to stick around the Afterparty beyond 7 after the walk, your choices are the 704 (or the local 4, both via Santa Monica/Sunset).

13. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR/BRING? Loose, comfy clothing. I'd wear shorts, a t-shirt (and perhaps a sweatshirt, depending on the temperature) and bring a jacket -- it gets chilly at the beach in the evening. 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? We've just posted a bunch of T-shirts for sale at and Zazzle: The Great Los Angeles Walk 2013 T-Shirt. But order fast, it may be too late to 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 should 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 seven 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; and in 2012, it was Melrose's turn. This year, it's 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 2013 page on Flickr for you to upload your pics. And come back here 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.

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