JOIN US SATURDAY, NOV. 22, 2014!

For the ninth year we're walking across Los Angeles!
Meet on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 at Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills. We'll be leaving at 9 a.m. sharp, and walking across Ventura Boulevard, before heading up Lankershim to complete our journey in North Hollywood!

To join in, just EMAIL US at greatlawalk@mail.com or check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/greatlawalk

More details to come, so make sure you're on the email list! And check back here for more!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Great Los Angeles Walk 2014 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Great LA Walk 2014

"Wait, you're doing what?"

"Is walking 17 miles even humanly possible?"

"Can I bike it? Bring a dog? Quit half way through? Are you personally driving me back to my car?"

Here it is, the unofficial Frequently Asked Questions roundup for the GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK 2014! (This will be updated with new information as it comes available!)

1. WHEN/WHERE? Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 -- the Saturday before Thanksgiving, like we do every year. We're meeting at WARNER CENTER PARK in Woodland Hills (5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd). 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 Warner Center Park, we'll walk to Ventura Blvd., then hike it all the way to Lankershim (near Universal City). Then, we'll walk up Lankershim to North Hollywood and end at the Television Academy courtyard (5200 Lankershim Blvd). We'll then celebrate an an after party (Location TBD).
5. WHAT IF I CAN'T GET THERE THAT EARLY, OR DON'T WANT TO START THAT FAR WEST? 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? Around 17 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 end 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 4.

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. We're still working on finding businesses along Ventura to perhaps offer GREAT LA WALK specials.
11. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WALK IS DONE? We'll take group photos at the end... and then celebrate at an after party between 4 and 7 pm.
12. HOW DO I GET THERE, OR GET HOME? This is the most transit-friendly GREAT LA WALK ever. The start and finish are both near the Metro Orange Line. You can park at one end and take the Orange Line back to your car (or else arrange transportation -- or perhaps, if you're hiking with others, station cars at both ends).
13. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR/BRING? Loose, comfy clothing. I'd wear shorts, a t-shirt (and perhaps a sweatshirt, depending on the temperature). 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? T-shirts are now for sale at http://greatlawalk.spreadshirt.com (we don't make any money off of these). But order fast, in order 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 could 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 eight 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; in 2012, it was Melrose's turn; and in 2013, it was 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 2014 page on Flickr for you to upload your pics. And check out www.greatlawalk.com 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.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Great Los Angeles Walk 2014 T-Shirts Are On Sale Now!

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Get your shirt now in order for it to arrive before this year's Walk! Wear it proudly on November 22 -- and show everyone that, yep, you spent all day walking down Ventura Boulevard! Click above for the T-shirts... which this year have some color to them!

We've just posted a whole t-shirts at Spreadshirt, including choices for men, women and kids. Go here: greatlawalk.spreadshirt.com.

Meanwhile, keep up with info about this year's GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK down Ventura via our website (www.greatlawalk.com) or our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/greatlawalk). And RSVP at our email (greatlawalk@mail.com) or our Facebook events page!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Like, Ohmigod! The GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK 2014 is Heading to the Valley!

Ventura

We're shaking things up for this year's 9th Annual Great Los Angeles Walk! After eight editions of our downtown-to-the-ocean urban hike, we thought it was about time we ventured into the San Fernando Valley... so this year, it's the Great Los Angeles Walk: Valley Edition!

I'm still hammering out the exact route, but we'll likely also mix things up by starting in the West and walking to the East. We'll spend most of the time on famous Ventura Boulevard, starting at Topanga Canyon, before making it to Universal City -- and then heading north to North Hollywood. We'll then celebrate in the NoHo Arts District.

The entire walk will be about the same length of our normal downtown-to-city hikes (under 18 miles). But here's another bonus: It will start and end near the Metro Orange Line, making transit a snap, no matter where you park.

Stay tuned for more details! Always check www.greatlawalk.com for updates, and feel free to drop us a line at greatlawalk@mail.com to let us know you're coming!

Most importantly: The date for the walk is SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2014 at 9 am. (It's always the Saturday before Thanksgiving -- just remember that!) More details to come! But in the meantime, to get our Great Los Angeles Walk: Valley Edition started, here are a few tunes destined for the soundtrack.





(Photo Credit: T.J. Boyle's Tortilla Curtain.)

Monday, November 25, 2013

VIDEO: The Great Los Angeles Walk 2013 in 14 Minutes



Thanks to Will Campbell for shooting all 18 miles of this year's Great Los Angeles Walk via his GoPro camera, strapped to his chest. Will's camera snapped a frame every two seconds -- totaling 12,790! He turned it into this 14 minute recap of our 7.5 hours of hiking. Watch and see if you can spot yourself or some of your favorite Sunset Boulevard highlights!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Great Los Angeles Walk 2013 Recap: 18 Miles Across Los Angeles In a Snap

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
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.

Great Los Angeles Walk

"#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."

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."
Thank YOU, Manuel, and thank all of you for joining in!

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.

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013

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:

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
And we're off!

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Looks like the Imagine Dragons singer is serenading our Walkers. Hey, that's "Radioactive"!

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Walking up Sunset in Echo Park

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Chickens, cats and ninjas, oh my!

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Los Angeles!

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Griffin spotting

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Happy/Sad Foot

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
As usual, we confused several people throughout the day. particularly when we hiked past sidewalk diners

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Hey Great LA Walkers, TEN HUT!

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
The Elliott Smith tribute mural

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Oh, Madea, you so crazy!

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Talking to KCBS/KCAL on the Walk. 'Cause that's how I do!

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Self-Realization Fellowship

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Sidewalk closed? Boo, future Target. Boo.

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Emerson College's new Hollywood campus is shaping up to be quite the unusual, fascinating building

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Old American Express sign

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Columbia Square, gutted

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Hollywood Palladium

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Crossroads of the World

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
"I Want YOU to Have a Dream!"

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Rock Walk

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
A Great LA Walk mantra? Stop! Car!

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Carney's on the Sunset Strip

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Inside Carney's for lunch

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Skeletor? Is that you?

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Still miss you, Tower Records!

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Bonnie and Clyde are not fans of the Great Los Angeles Walk.

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Star Maps Here

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Oh, crap, what did we do now, TMZ?

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
They're growing Santa Claus-es in Beverly Hills!

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
"In lieu of us providing health care to employees, we just ask you not to hit then with your car."

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Does that include blisters?

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Save the Wadsworth Chapel! (read about its problems here).

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Sunset begins, at the end of our day on Sunset!

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Saint Monica

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Some of the Walkers, at the end

Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
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.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Great Los Angeles Walk on TV: Friday's KCAL-TV Interview



I was over at KCAL-TV this afternoon chatting up the GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK 2013 on KCAL's noon newscast! Check it out!

Thursday, November 21, 2013