Forgotten LA: The Urban Hikes

Go exploring in Leimert Park, the Arts District, Koreatown, and Burbank.

Big cities, like our own, go through re-branding exercises every few years, at least on the winning-over-visitors front. New logos and t-shirts are trotted out, and bumper stickers, too, and a different angle on the region is tried out, a fresh take.

So we're going to suggest a new motto for LA's next brand-building exercise, a statement probably every local has said at one time or another: "I didn't know this was here!"

I didn't know this was here.

You've said it. We all have, because this mega megalopolis yields surprises on a nearly minute-to-minute basis. The Urban Hikes series from the Architecture and Design Museum is connected to this spirit of surprise and the belief that none of us, even the die-hard-iest LA lovers, truly know everything about this sprawling, sometimes sparkly, and very often surreal region.

The fall hikes are set to kick off with a Sunday, Oct. 20 roam through Leimert Park. Three more walks are set to follow: The Arts District on Sunday, Nov. 3, Koreatown on Sunday, Nov. 10, and Burbank on Sunday, Dec. 15.

You'll be on foot, in a group, rocking the sunscreen and water bottle. (Those you should bring.) A guide will explain the neighborhood's architectural character with some history and personalities thrown in to fill out the tale. It's pretty fascinating stuff, especially if you've driven down the street in question a hundred times and knew not a whit about why anything was there.

"Not a whit" is not how we roll in Los Angeles, though, right? We're a curious bunch, hence our proclivity for exclaiming "I didn't know this was here!"

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The thing is, there are about a hundred thousand "I didn't know this was heres!" left for you to discover in this very area, from small public artworks to random businesses to history factoids. Starting with Urban Hikes is a good way to start crossing off that list.

A general single tour ticket is twenty bucks.

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