Friday, November 17, 2006

Tomorrow: Franklin Avenue's Great Wilshire Walk!

Greetings, fellow walkers!

Hope you're all excited about Saturday. I truly have no idea what to expect. Will 16 miles feel like nothing? Or will it feel like an eternity? Either way,it'll be something to share with everyone over the Thanksgiving table!

Kevin Roderick, author of "Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles," emailed with some highlights we shouldn't miss:

-inside westlake theatre at alvarado, go past the stalls into the "theater." can still see the old balcony and ornate ceilings.

-statue of harrison gray otis and newsboy at park view: buster keaton hid among the statues in 'Hard Luck," 1921.

-town house, at commonwealth: you might be able to check out the pool area through the sometimes unlocked gate on commonwealth. once the poshest hotel and pool in L.A. howard hughes lived on top floor.

-berendo and wilshire, the smiling monkey faces on the side wall of the spanish-style building on the northeast corner are distinctive.

-alexandria and wilshire: imagine that it used to be the mouth of the bimini slough that went all the way up past beverly. alexandria was going to be the final leg of the Silver Lake Parkway, a scenic expressway through the ravine and shortcut to Silver Lake.

-mariposa at wilshire was where a creek went under the early boulevard, with a swimming hole that oldtimers still talk about.

-Arroyo del Jardin de las Flores: creek still runs behind the homes on west side of longwood, visible crossing 8th street a block off wilshire.

-house of tomorrow at wilshire, you can sometimes get in the patio area via driveway on highand.

-chateau colline is cool in westwood, just before beverly glen. national landmark apartments.

-the tiny marilyn monroe cemetery in westwood should be open, behind the avco cinema building at glendon.

-the chapel on the VA grounds just past the 405 is the oldest building on wilshire. imagine president mckinley surrounded by white hairs in civil war uniforms in 1901.

-douglas park, 25th and wilshire, used to be a grass airport and douglas aircraft factory.

Thanks, Kevin. Now, I'll see all (most?) of ya on Saturday. Don't forget -- breakfast at 7 at the Downtown Standard. And we'll be leaving One Wilshire (Wilshire and Grand) at 8 a.m. sharp. The weather looks perfect for a day-long hike: Partly cloudy, but with highs in the upper 70s.

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