So I’ve spoken here about my frustrations about the myths about Los Angeles, and the fact that so much is missed by many because they’re in their cars. In particular I’ve spoken about public transport (such as the fact that it exists but almost nobody uses it), and I’ve spoken about walking, and cycling. But it must seem all so abstract. So in a fit of frustration at not being able to bring you all along with me and just show you, I decided the day after I did this post that I’d take you with me on one of those mornings when I decide on the way to the bus stop that I’m not going to stop for the bus….. I’m going to go all the way to work on the bike. Yes….the cute little Brompton that everyone living in a city should have to displace their car activity. (I dream, I know.) (See for example here, and here.)
So anyway…I just thought we’d see what I see routinely as I go into work if I cycle all the way. It’s not all guns and violence, it’s not all highways and concrete, it’s not all empty scary sidewalks…etc. It is thriving….wonderful life! Get out of your car and see it too, some time.
We pick up the journey on Hollywood Blvd, where we are passing one of my favourite hole-in-the-wall burrito stands. Dee-licious. (Featured near the end of a journey in an earlier post.) Immediately after is the Barnsdale Sculpture garden, and across the street from that is a nursery of some sort, with wonderful colourful murals on the walls.
After crossing Vermont Ave and carrying on, we pass the excellent Wacko store in Los Feliz (I had to quickly cross the road to get a better shot of the mural) which is just full of wonderful things. More on that later perhaps.
Across the road from that is one of my favourite local food stands. The family in there seem to know me pretty well now, and it is always a pleasure to see them and get a house burrito. Mouth-wateringly delicious. With a cup of horchata, you’ve got an amazing meal for under $6.00…..
Then there’s the Vista, a block further along, just as we merge with Sunset Blvd. What can I say? One of the early classic movie palaces in this area (Hollywood/Los Feliz) with all the wonderful faux Egyptian stuff inside, which was all the rage. They’ve kept it running as a first run theatre, with one film showing for a while…you buy your ticket from the little man in the booth under the overhanging canopy and then it is torn in half and you go and find a seat. They took out every other row of seats some tiem recently and so you can really stretch your legs and enjoy the huge screen and wonderful sound that they have to offer. These guys appreciate film.
Just after the Vista and just past the local plant nursery (Sunset Nurseries) I point out to you the Kitchen, on Fountain. Excellent food, I hear. Must try it sometime. (Haven’t yet.) Oh, and just a bit further along is that place I go to when my equations get too difficult and I want to get a new solution. Joking……
This is the Silver Lake Conservatory of Music (we wandered into that neighbourhood -SilverLake- soon after Kitchen…still going along Sunset Blvd) which was apparently set up and is still supported by Flea of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers (this is their ‘hood)…. This is a rather nice place. Note that we’re moving along the stretch of road which was closed down to accommodate the Sunset Junction street party I went to a while back. Wonderful.
And… oh yes, there are cafes and restaurants with seats spilling out onto the sidewalk. Excellent. This is not supposed to happen in LA, according to the myths. Well, here it is. And on your bike you can stop and get a cup of something and a bit of a think at a moment’s notice. And not worry about parking. Of course, there’s another hole-in-the-wall place. Mmmmmm Fish Tacos. (Actually, I’ve not tried this one yet…..)
Well, that’s enough to be getting on with. We’re not even ten minutes into the journey yet and we’ve seen so much and the morning is lovely. We’ll pick this up in a bit…..See you in a while.