The 18th edition of the Great Los Angeles Walk returns on Saturday, November 18, 2023! (Always the Saturday before Thanksgiving.) Details to come.
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

THE GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK 2011 RECAP: 19.5 Miles of Downtown, Hollywood and Beyond

And they're off! (Photo by Anthony Uy)

We made it! After a semi-grueling 19.5 mile hike across Los Angeles, a few hundred passionate Angelenos successfully endured the sixth annual Great Los Angeles Walk.

More than 200 participants -- including visitors from locales such as London (at least two British visitors!) and Pennsylvania -- met at downtown's gaudy Triforium sculpture (across the street from City Hall) on Saturday. From there, they hit the sidewalks of Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica on their way to the ocean.

"This has to be the most diverse number of neighborhoods we have ever walked through," Great Los Angeles Walk regular Waltarrrrr wrote on Twitter.

Along the way, this year's Walk centered on Hollywood, where Walkers took a look at classic theatres like the Pantages, the Warner Pacific, the Egyptian, the Chinese, the Henry Fonda and the El Capitan, as well as historic buildings such as the Taft Building, the Janes House (the last remaining Victorian Queen Anne house on Hollywood) and the Guaranty Building.

The morning started with a guest speaker: L.A.'s and America's favorite histo-tainer, Charles Phoenix. Charles gave a brief speech about downtown kitsch -- including the 1975 Triforium sculpture we were standing under. (In Charles' famed "Disneyland" Tour of Downtown Los Angeles, he includes the Triforium as part of "Tomorrowland.") "I thought this was a 'cake walk' to the ocean," Phoenix quipped. "Maybe you should do that next year." Sounds like a delicious idea.

At 9:15, we embarked on our journey -- and quickly experienced a wide swath of Los Angeles neighborhoods. From downtown, we continued down Temple, through Historic Filipinotown, to Beverly and Vermont. We then hiked north on Vermont, past the Los Angeles City College and past the neighborhood swap meet and plenty of street vendors. Turning west on Hollywood Boulevard, we marched through Little Armenia and Thai Town to Hollywood.

Waiting for us in the Toyota of Hollywood parking lot, the Food Truck Army had brought along three gourmet food trucks for us to enjoy lunch: Cheer Burger, Gypsy Toast and Sura Truck.

From there, it was off to Hollywood, where some Walkers took our advice to grab a martini at Musso & Franks and a jalapeno margarita at Loteria Grill. After Hollywood, we made our way down Fairfax to Santa Monica Boulevard, then hiked through West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, Brentwood and Santa Monica.

Swift walkers got to the end by sunset. Most made it to the end during the 5 p.m. hour, while the Walkers who did it right (i.e., stopped at Mussos, Loteria or Trader Vic's at the Beverly Hilton) made it closer to 7 p.m. In the end, we overwhelmed the waiters and cooks at Locando del Lago in Santa Monica -- but for those who got a table, we munched on $8 pizzas and finally rested our feet.

Among my highlights: The guy who screamed, "COMMUNISTAS!" at us (assuming we were part of the Occupy LA crowd). Also: The foul-mouthed, cigarette-chomping, green-wearing little person who was standing outside a Hollywood theater.

It was another successful walk -- and even the weather cooperated, as cool temps and partly sunny skies greeted the Great LA Walkers as they made their way through town. I hope to see all of you -- and even more -- at next year's event -- remember to always keep the Saturday before Thanksgiving free!

Read most of the Tweets from the day -- at least the ones with the #glaw hashtag -- here!

And post your Great Los Angeles Walk photos to our Flickr stream here.

Some pics from the day:

The crowd gathers. (Photo by Anthony Uy)

Charles Phoenix
Charles Phoenix talks to the crowd

The crowd
The crowd listens.

Organizer Michael Schneider (hey, that's me, identifying myself in the third person!), with Charles Phoenix, as the walk kicks off.

Occupy LA
Occupy LA, as we "Occupy LA Sidewalks."

They're off!
The walk heads down Temple.

Hands Across Temple. (Photo by Anthony Uy)

Ukulele Bunny
The Ukulele Bunny of Temple

The infamous headquarters from "CHiPs," on Vermont Ave.

Bacon-wrapped hot dogs!
Outside the Vermont Ave. swap meet, it's the official food of Los Angeles: Bacon-wrapped hot dogs.

The real star of Hollywood: Self-loathing.

Michael Jackson mural
Quite possibly the coolest mural of the walk: Michael Jackson.

Hollywood Premiere Motel
Hollywood Premiere Motel.

"People are Terrific!"
Self-affirmation on Hollywood Boulevard.

Thai Town
Gateway to Thai Town.

Keeping guard on Hollywood.

Lunch with the Food Truck Army
Lunch with the Food Truck Army.

Museum of Death
Museum of Death.

Capitol Records
Capitol Records.

Warner Pacific Theatre
Warner Pacific Theatre.

Musso & Franks
Musso and Franks.

The foul-mouthed green little person of Hollywood
Joni poses with the cigarette-chomping, foul-mouthed, green-suited little person. What's going on?

Anthony poses with the Hollywood crew. Still not clear what's going on.

Elvis lost a hand
Handless Elvis.

Bible thumpers march through Hollywoodq
Religious marchers attempt to educate us unwashed Hollywood masses.

Charlie Sheen
Suddenly, a popular star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: Charlie Sheen.

Blues on Hollywood. (Photo by Anthony Uy)

Beverly Hills' metallic...?
In Beverly Hills. Still not sure what this is supposed to be.

Mormon temple
Mormon temple on Santa Monica.

Style is confidence, says Amir
Style is confidence, says Amir.

We made it to the ocean at around 5:40 a.m. -- toward the end of the pack (along with several others). Groups were pretty spread out by the end. (Photo by Anthony Uy)

Thanks to Charles Phoenix, Rocky from the Food Truck Army, and Lago in Santa Monica for participating in this year's event! And most importantly, thank you to the 200-plus die-hard Los Angeles fans who took part in the walk!

Save the date for next year -- Saturday, November 17, 2012. And yes, we'll trim a few miles off next year's walk.

Here are some links to other recaps of this year's Great Los Angeles Walk. Send us your links!

The Great Los Angeles Walk 2011 Flickr Pool

Charles Phoenix, Bullet Casings & O.J.'s Last Stop: the Great Los Angeles Walk in Photos (LAist)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Here's Where We're Meeting on Saturday

Photos via the Public Art in LA website. We'll be meeting under the Triforium -- located at the Los Angeles Mall (or also known as Fletcher Borwon Square) at the corner of Temple and Main -- at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19.

Here's how it looks from the air (also from Public Art in LA):

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Great Los Angeles Walk 2011 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We're getting excited for this year's GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK this Saturday! The good news: Rain does not appear to be in the forecast, and it looks to be a mild day -- making it perfect all-day walking weather.

A few things to note (and check both here at the Great Los Angeles Walk's Facebook event page later this week):

If you are planning on Tweeting the walk, please (a) follow @greatlawalk if you don't already, and (b) message us or respond to us on Twitter to let us know! Also, even if you won't be Tweeting, make sure to follow @greatlawalk to get updates on where we are (and where we're making pit stops) throughout the day.

Also: We've heard from a ton of people via our email address; I wish I had the time to respond to everyone, but I don't -- and Spam filters are preventing me from sending mass bulk emails. I hope this answers most of your questions.

And now, the Frequently Asked Questions:

1. WHEN/WHERE? Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011 -- the Saturday before Thanksgiving, like we do every year. We're meeting at downtown’s Triforium sculpture (at Fletcher Bowron Square – at Temple and Main -- across from City Hall). We'll probably have a speaker or two to kick things off, at around 8:45, so get there early. The Walk leaves PROMPTLY at 9.

2. WHO? We're expecting over 200 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 downtown, we'll walk west on Temple, north on Vermont, west on Hollywood Boulevard, south on Fairfax, west on Santa Monica Boulevard to the ocean.

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? 19-ish 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. WHAT ABOUT LUNCH? We'll be taking a lunch break -- probably around an hour or so -- in the heart of Hollywood. We're also in talks with a handful of food trucks to park along the route and offer special deals for Walk participants. 

9. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WALK IS DONE? We'll take group photos at the ocean... and then celebrate at Locando del Lago in Santa Monica. Lago Santa Monica will offer Great Los Angeles Walk participants $8 pizzas (regularly $14-15 each) and $20 “litros” (carafes, regularly $34 each) of their signature market cocktails exclusively on Saturday, November 19 -- plus, they're even reserving a portion of the outdoor patio for walkers to mingle.

10. HOW DO I GET HOME? Either plan with a friend and get to Santa Monica early morning, parking one car, then carpool to downtown (where you'll park the other car). OR: Park at downtown, walk to Santa Monica, then eventually take Metro back to downtown. OR: Park at Santa Monica at 7 a.m., allowing yourself enough time to board a Metro bus to downtown. 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: Thanks to Joni Yung for doing the homework on this. She recommends you visit Metro ( for details. But here's a thumbnail:

The last BBB10 bus leaves Santa Monica for downtown at around 7pm. It's the return from downtown that's at around 8pm. so if you're going to party after the walk, your choices are the 704 (or the local 4, both via Santa Monica/Sunset), the 720 (via Wilshire), and the 733 (via Venice Blvd). some run more often than others, some will drop you off closer to City Hall than others.

11. WHAT SHOULD I WEAR/BRING? Loose, comfy clothing. I'd wear shorts, a t-shirt (and perhaps a sweatshirt, given 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.

Several of you have ordered Great Los Angeles Walk T-shirts, which is cool ( but not mandatory. 

12. 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 the first three walks, and came out just fine.

13. 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. Last year, we returned to Wilshire for the fifth walk... and this year, we're hitting Hollywood.

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.

14. 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.

Friday, November 4, 2011

This Year's After Party to Be Held at Lago Santa Monica


Whether you walked a block, a mile or the entire length of the Great Los Angeles Walk, join us the evening of Saturday, November 19 for our after party celebration! This year's event will take place at the northern Italian restaurant Locanda del Lago -- on Arizona Ave. between 2nd and the 3rd Street Promenade.

Lago Santa Monica will offer Great Los Angeles Walk participants $8 pizzas (regularly $14-15 each) and $20 “litros” (carafes, regularly $34 each) of their signature market cocktails exclusively on Saturday, November 19 -- plus, they're even reserving a portion of the outdoor patio for walkers to mingle.

Walkers will get up to three hours of happy hour pricing, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., which is no small feat on a Saturday night!

For more info, check out Lago's Twitter feed here and Facebook page here.

The Official Great Los Angeles Walk 2011 Press Release


LOS ANGELES (Nov. 3, 2011) -- Hundreds of Angelenos will hit the sidewalks this November 19 for The Great Los Angeles Walk 2011 – the annual event that dispels the myth that “nobody walks in L.A.”

For the sixth annual event, participants of the Great Los Angeles Walk ( will once again hike from downtown Los Angeles to the ocean – but this time via Hollywood Boulevard. Participants will meet at downtown’s Triforium sculpture (at Fletcher Bowron Square – at Temple and Main -- across from City Hall) at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, and proceed to walk approximately 19 miles (at a casual, all-day pace).

The Walk will run down Temple, up Vermont Ave., across Hollywood Boulevard and down Santa Monica Boulevard to the ocean. Along the way, walkers will encounter sites such as City Hall, the Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral, LA City College, Musso & Frank's, Grauman's Egyptian and Chinese Theatres, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Capitol Records building, Hollywood and Vine, and much more.

Walkers will pass through a diverse cross-section of the region, including Downtown Los Angeles, Echo Park, Los Feliz, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. The Great Los Angeles Walk will conclude with an afterparty at Locanda del Lago restaurant in Santa Monica.

L.A. journalist and blogger Michael Schneider launched the Great Los Angeles Walk in 2006 as a way to celebrate his tenth year in Los Angeles. Inspired by the book “Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles,” by Kevin Roderick (with research by J. Eric Lynxwiler), he decided to walk the street’s entire length.

In 2007, for an encore, he chose another downtown-to-the-ocean route: Pico Boulevard. The 2008 Walk took on Santa Monica Blvd. (via Sunset). In 2009, the event kicked off in the historic West Adams district and walked to Venice Beach via Adams and Washington. And in 2010, for its fifth edition, the Great Los Angeles Walk reprised its original Wilshire journey.

The Great Los Angeles Walk grew from dozens of participants to hundreds, and continues to expand each year as more Angelenos join in to explore their city on foot.

As always, the Walk is completely free. It is up to the participants to decide how much or how little of the walk they want to do. The Great Los Angeles Walk has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. Weekly, KABC-Channel 7, and ###