Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Great Los Angeles Walk 2010

"Well, you can always not show up and sleep in instead, or quit half way". Those were some of my thoughts as I went to bed last Friday night. Several weeks earlier I had signed up for the Great Los Angeles Walk 2010 edition. Organized by Mike of Franklin Avenue, the Great Los Angeles Walk was started to celebrate his ten year anniversary of living in Los Angeles. The first Great Walk in 2006 took them down the entire length of Wilshire (15.8 miles!) from Downtown to the sea. The second year the group walked down Santa Monica Blvd via Sunset. Last year was Washington Blvd. and this year was the triumphant return to Wilshire Blvd. I wanted to participate the first year, but couldn't find anyone to join me and then other things came up. The same thing pretty much happened the last two years, but when I learned the walk would be returning to Wilshire, I knew I wouldn't be able to pass it up. As I took the bus down to Pershing Square, my stomach was filled with butterflies. I hadn't properly "trained", it was raining, I wasn't sure which blogger friends I would see and if I would end up walking by myself.

Great LA Walk 2010 - One Wilshire

Great LA Walk 2010 - One Wilshire

It turns out, I worked myself into a tizzy for no reason. I had a great time (mostly) walking down Wilshire and learned a lot about the city in the process. The LA Conservancy and Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council had put together some handy guides of interesting points along our route. Some I was familiar with, others not so much.

Great LA Walk 2010 - Macarthur Park
Macarthur Park

There was a scheduled tour at St. Basil's church in Koreatown. We missed much of what the tour guide said, but it was a beautiful building.

Great LA Walk 2010 - St. Basil's Church

Some of my favorite sites were in Koreatown and Wilshire Center. There is some beautiful architecture in this part of town and interesting history.

Great LA Walk 2010 - The Wiltern Theater
The Wiltern Theater cheered us along

Great LA Walk 2010 - Los Altos Apartments
The beautiful courtyard at the Los Altos Apartments

Great LA Walk 2010 - Wilshire Ebell Theatre
Wilshire Ebell Theatre - home to one of LA's first women's clubs.

Great LA Walk - Wilshire Center
These gates used to be the entrance to the wealthiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Right around the Miracle Mile is where we started feeling the pain. Luckily, this was the area that lunch was supposed to happen. Unfortunately, the food trucks that had been promised had to back out because of the rain. We definitely understand why there are always food trucks in this area. The lunch options are pretty dismal.

Great LA Walk 2010 - El Rey Theater
The El Rey Theater 

Great LA Walk 2010 - Museum Square
Museum Square

After a mediocre meal, we kept on walking to Beverly Hills. By this point, exhaustion and hurting feet were getting the better of us so around La Cienega, we hopped on the 720 bus.

Great LA Walk 2010 - Beverly Hills Porsche
Beverly Hills Porsche

While we were resting our feet and being driven in style, we passed many of the walkers climbing up the non-sidewalked dangerous hills of the Wilshire corridor. Knowing my clumsiness, I would have surely been hit by a passing car. We got off the bus at Wilshire and 26th and continued on our way to the ocean. We just *had* to pop in to The Gap to check out a sale. Our last (and best) pit stop was at Huckleberry to pick up some pastries and warm ourselves up a bit. I finally got to try the salted caramel bar that everyone raves about.

Salted Caramel Bar at Huckleberry

Despite our "cheat", we were still passed by two older women who seemed to power walk the entire way. I felt a little guilty about that, but not too much. At long last we finally made it to the ocean as the sun was setting.

Great LA Walk 2010 - Santa Monica

It was a great fall day to walk along Wilshire. I'm glad that the warmer weather we had been experiencing lately was kept at bay. It really helped to have people walking with me. I think we kept each other motivated especially during those last painful steps. You can view the rest of my pictures from the day in my Flickr photo stream. There are also terrific write ups of the event at LAist and the host blog Franklin Ave. Hopefully next year, with a little more training I will walk the entire route!

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Erica said...

What a cool experience! I bet you're so glad you did it. And how tasty does the salted caramel bar look? mmm . Happy almost thanksgiving to you!

lynn said...

i really wanted to do this but couldn't make the date so thanks for sharing the pix. next year!

marla {Family Fresh Cooking} said...

Looks like a super fun day - even in the rain :) Happy Thanksgiving!

Kristen - Dine & Dish said...

What a fantastic and fun event with a gorgeous ending!

Joanne said...

This sounds awesome! You remind me of how I feel whenever I set out for a long run though. Utterly not wanting to go, but I always feel much better about life by the end of it. So glad you had fun!

vanillasugarblog said...

man i miss it there. :-(
thank goodness for the good treats. i need big rewards for anythig physical.

Peggy said...

Definitely sounds like a great day and experience! Wish we had some cool things like that around here!

Kelly said...

Mmmm. Salted caramel bars. Delicious. From the pictures it looks like a great walk.

lisa is cooking said...

Sounds like a fun event! And, the photos make me want to visit LA again. It's been years. Also, I want that caramel bar!