Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Los Angeles is not designed for pedestrians. And I don't mean that in the it-takes-an-hour-to-get-anywhere-in-L.A.-even-by-car sort of way, I mean it in the there-aren't-even-sidewalks way.

Okay, to be fair, there is a dirt remnant where the sidewalks are supposed to be, but construction in my region of Santa Monica Boulevard has done away with any true paved surface.

But did I let that stop me? The lack of paved surface or functioning street lights? Hell no. I walked (and walked and walked) about 7-8 miles yesterday afternoon/evening. I walked by a christmas tree market, lots of charming apartment complexes, some office buildings, about 10 coffee shops and 4 7-11s. I ended up at a ridiculously fancy mall near Beverly Hills (which, as I expected, on a Sunday evening was closed), then I turned around and walked back on the other side of the street - more of the same.

I decided I needed some groceries for my room. You know, things like green beans, celery, broccoli and edamame (staples for the hour after I get home from work when I'm starving but need to wait to meet up with people before I go out to dinner). So I stopped in the Westside Junior Market and asked where a real grocery store was. The man behind the counter looked at me and said, "There's no where you can walk to." I told him that I'd just walked about 4 miles and wouldn't mind walking more. He eyed me skeptically, "Marathon walker, huh?" "I guess," I said. "Well, there's Von's but it's at least 15 blocks from here so you can't walk there. You've gotta take the bus."

Fifteen blocks? What does that mean in L.A.? The blocks are clearly longer than NYC blocks, but I figured even if they were a tenth of a mile (which would make them twice as long as NYC) that makes the journey a maximum of 1.5 miles. So I set out walking - and lo and behold, 16 minutes, and seven official "blocks" later I arrived at my destination.

Apparently it's not that you can't walk to anything in L.A. - just that people think you're crazy for trying to do so. I can't believe he suggested that I pay $1.25 to take the bus for a distance that I could cover on foot in 16 minutes.

The weather sure is nice though. :)


At 9:53 PM, December 13, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, spoken like a daughter of New England. That hearty Cloudman stock from Maine and the granite in your veins from New Hampshire comes through.


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