The 2013 Great LA Walk hoofs it from Echo Park to Santa Monica via the Boulevards Wilshire and Sunset on Saturday, Nov. 23.
What's the first thing you say to an out-of-towner considering a move to Los Angeles?
Responses vary, but common ones include a) that first year of learning how to get around may try you b) Angelenos are far nicer/less selfish than pop culture would have it and c) you need to get out of your car and hoof it at all opportunities.
Mike Schneider of Franklin Avenue, one of our city's long-running local-loving blogs, gets c) so very well (and b), too, actually). He organized the Great Los Angeles Walk eight years back, a pre-Thanksgiving Week strut that sends urban adventurers from somewhere in the neck of downtown to the ocean via not our streets but the sidewalks.
The Great Los Angeles Walkers are ready to do it again, lo about 300 of 'em, on Saturday, Nov. 23. The route? Sunset Boulevard starting in Echo Park, with a switch-over to Wilshire around Beverly Hills.
And then? The ocean. The 18-mile leg-it -- 18 miles, give or take -- wraps at a certain saintly statue known as St. Monica. In fact, the walk starts at Echo Park's Lady of the Lake, so think of it as a daylong jaunt between two of the city's most iconic sculptures.
It's free -- of course -- and you can join anywhere along the route -- of course -- and the Great Los Angeles Walk "is not a race" -- nope. It is, however, about camaraderie, fresh air, close-up experiences (vs. things seen through the blur of your windshield), and a deeper connection to an oft-driven slice of our city.
And exercise, too. The walk does happen five days ahead of the afternoon we're all likely to consume a little too much stuffing and gravy.
You can RSVP, because that's nice, to Mr. Schneider, who is nice, just so he can keep a count, which is helpful, but not RSVPing doesn't mean you can't wake up on Nov. 23 and decide to join.
So here's another thing you tell someone considering a permanent move to LA: Clear the Saturday before Thanksgiving for a mega walk to the ocean. There's no better way than to get acquainted with a particular street and a whole bunch of adventuring Angelenos.
Adventurlenos? Yes. LAdventurers? That too. Someone make a t-shirt, quick.