Sunday, November 23, 2014
The Great Los Angeles Walk 2014 Recap: We Conquer The Valley!
Several hundred of us marched across the San Fernando Valley -- "America's Suburb" -- on Saturday, getting an up-close-and-personal look at most of Ventura Boulevard. And it was, like, totally awesome to the max!
OK, enough with the early 1980s Valley stereotypes. The 9th Annual GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK attracted a large crowd of first timers and veteran participants, particularly many new folks from the Valley who had never heard of the GLAW until this year. In the process we hiked at least 17 and a half miles from one end to the other -- Woodland Hills to North Hollywood.
Along the way, we traveled through Tarzana, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Universal City and more. The weather was great, the food options were plentiful and there was much to see. In the end, we celebrated at District Pub NoHo, which was fantastically accommodating to our group.
We kicked things off with a visit from the Nudie car, an El Dorado customized by the late tailor Nudie Cohn. Tommy Gelinas of the Valley Relics museum brought the car for all to see, and also gave a talk about how passionate he is about Valley pop culture history.
Tommy Gelinas, left, and Scott Sterling talk about their mutual love for the Valley.
Then Scott Sterling of the newly opened Museum of the San Fernando Valley spoke and told us all about some of the landmarks we would see on Saturday, and a bit about his new brick-and-mortar location. Thanks to Tommy and Scott for kicking things off!
Along the way, this year's Walk gave us a look at some of the Valley's coolest mid-century architecture, including the Fleetwood Center, Mel's Drive Inn, Casa de Cadillac and more. We also passed by historic sites like the Rancho Los Encinos (a state park most of us had never even visited) and Campo de Cahuenga. We even passed by two of Hollywood's busiest studios: CBS Studio Center and Universal Studios.
This being the most built-up walk of businesses we've ever done, I also lost count at the sheer number of Starbucks we walked by. Not to mention Vape stores. Apparently the Valley really likes vaping. (There were also quite a few tacky furniture stores, reminding us that some folks may still be stuck in the 1980s after all!)
Here are some more pics from the day:
A lot of BBQ joints in the West Valley. This is not a bad thing.
Now this is a taste crime. This infamous building could be one of the ugliest on Ventura.
The view from Woodland Hills' Chalk Hill -- which I did not know was named Chalk Hill until Saturday!
Classic In-N-Out Burger design.
Woodland Casual Patio and Rattan (architect unknown)
Best-named business on Ventura?
Fleetwood Center (architect Lee Oakes). Strip mall with a Cadillac facade, yet was never a car dealership.
Corbin Bowl -- renovated but kept its cool original sign.
Sorry Cupid's, but your mascot is a touch creepy.
Tarzana! No lion sightings.
It's always time to buy liquor.
The hookup on Hookahs.
The best mural on Ventura, hands down. SWEEP THE LEG! Oh "The Karate Kid," you and "E.T." were my first introduction to the San Fernando Valley as a kid.
There's something cool about walking by this Googie-style car wash on foot. Won't be needing one today!
Like I mentioned, the Los Encinos State Historic Park was a great find on this Walk. We had never visited.
More from the park
Some history for ya.
El Camino Real bell
THESE ARE NOT REAL PEOPLE. This art installation is kinda interesting, kinda weird, kinda disturbing.
Walking toward the 405
Mel's Drive Inn (Armet & Davis) Googie design.
Casa de Cadillac (Randall Duell, Phillip Conklin), recently restored but first opened in 1949.
I don't know.
The Valley's war on hipsters.
Soft serve break!
Daryl from "The Walking Dead," spotted on Ventura!
The literal Studio City Hand Car Wash.
This late in the day, breaks are necessary!
Words of encouragement from Prints Charm'n!
Campo de Cahuenga
Tupac ushers in the final stretch.
These North Hollywood Toyota mannequins ALWAYS freak me out.
NoHo! Almost there.
Just a portion of the folks who made it to the end, at the Art Institute of California-Hollywood. (Many were still walking or already celebrating at District Pub Noho when this was taken.)
Thanks to everyone who came and walked! We'll see you next year for the 10TH ANNIVERSARY GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK -- Saturday, November 21, 2015!
Read most of the Tweets from the day -- at least the ones with the #glaw hashtag -- here!
Post your Great Los Angeles Walk 2014 photos to our Flickr stream here.
Still want a t-shirt as a souvenir? They're available here: http://greatlawalk.spreadshirt.com/.
Here are some links to other recaps of this year's Great Los Angeles Walk. Send us your links!
The Great Los Angeles Walk 2014 Flickr Pool