Tuesday, June 29, 2010

UrbanHike: Where I Went & What I Saw

The #urbanhike, inspired by my friend and super blogger H.C. of LA and OC Foodventures. Gotta give him props for style and adventure.

I saw the Thirsty Crow as I headed footbound away from Echo Park. Wanna hit this.

Past a sale at a junk shop on Sunset in the nether region between Echo Park and Silver Lake.

Mickey Mouse's doppelganger.

Wonder Woman!

And I don't know who this is but I saw him in Silver Lake and later, much much much later, in Santa Monica.

The living wall on the outside of the new hair salon that used to be a video store in Silver Lake. Video store? Wha dat?

I am in love enough with the concept of a living wall that I have been contemplating buying these planters from Woolly Pockets to plant an herb wall on my front yard facing stucco wall. My friend E is designing some made of wood, and I think I will buy hers instead. Please stay tuned.

And as we left Sunset Junction, the scooter brigade was out in full force.


As we headed east from lunch at BoHo (inefficient service from a very nice waitress, mediocre food...again) we started passing hotels. This particular hotel has always had a very Bates-Motel-I'm-going-to-get-murdered-in-the-shower-when-someone-enters-my-room-through-a-secret-panel-with-a Ginsu-knife kind of feel to it. Quaint, yanno?

The battered and broken down cottages do not lessen the feel at all.  I imagine someone buying this and doing a whole Standard Hotel kind of upgrade, but I don't think the facilities would support hordes of money spending fedora hat-wearing trendoids. No pool, no bar, etc. It will probably continue to haunt my dreams.

Psychiatry: An Industry of Death The Museum. We passed this museum on Sunset Blvd in the heart of Hollywood, intrigued by its semi-Museum of Tolerance feel and set up.  We entered. The idea that all psychiatry is a deception forced purposefully upon us by an evil group of humans has always made me stabby.  I think we have all known people who have legitimately suffered from depression, PPD, mental illness and severe anxiety. I personally know two people who feel their lives were saved through the use of appropriate medication.  The idea that these people could have been torn from my life due to treatable mental anguish that would be denied them if we all fell in line with this type of reasoning makes me Ginsu knife stabby.  Fortunately, I can smell a Scientologist a mile a way and the crazy unmedicated ladies behind the counter were unable to deny this is indeed a Scientology supported museum (of intolerance). In the end, we didn't get past the lobby. While I admit, I am still kind of curious, I won't give them the satisfaction of going back.

Do I sound crazy? Maybe I am.

As one progresses toward the more western side of Hollywood proper the hotel/motel/Holiday Inns get a little less shady. 

But really? Only a little.

I find Sunset Plaza to be one of two things. Completely anaesthetized or boarded up and closed for business altogether. One art gallery has a Warhol exhibit on, but they were closed on Sunday.

The Viper Room. Still holding shows. The River Phoenix sidewalk. Rest his soul.

Whiskey a Go-Go.  The facade is much more impressive after dark!

Steel Panther, live at Key Club every Monday.  From their website:

They were high school pals, hanging out and getting high to stick it to the man. When in the course of being rebellious young men, Satchel, Michael Starr and Stix discoveredLexxi’s penchant for wearing his mother’s make up. To shock him out of his nascent transvestitism, the three school chum decided to burst out of his closet in full make up, a graphic depiction of the error of his ways. Then in a twist of fate,Michael Starr caught sight of the foursome in the mirror, recognizing at once that this look belonged on stage. A quick trip to the guitar store later, the band that would become Steel Panther was born.

I know a couple of you are lemming. You know who you are.

Only in LA does Blackberry try to sell itself by trying to sell out your agent. I don't have an agent. I don't need one. People are lining up to sign me (with sharpies, it's happened twice).

As we headed south on Doheny, I became intrigued by the 1960's architecture circa Mrs. Robinson. Wishing I had brought a longer more intrusive lens, I only got off a few shots.  The busier streets of Beverly Hills/West Hollywood are lovely for a walk: tall trees, well manicured lawns, the occasional baby carriage pushed by nanny or toy dog walked by doyenne. 

Art deco doorway.

One of my now defunct favorite bands used to play here now and again. Smart Brown Handbag.

Dan Tana's. I hear rumors that this is still mafiaoso-esque, but I think that's a romanticism.

Giraffes of WeHo.

If you know what this is, then you know at some point we hopped in a taxi. #urbanhike fail.

Front patio at the Georgian in Santa Monica. I don't know how I managed a shot with so few people, the patio was pretty crowded with people-watchers sipping adult beverages.

Camera Obscura overlooking the Pacific. Definitely worth a look-see.

You know the street performer drill. Out in full force on a Sunday early evening.

Our urban hike ended on an upnote at The Lobster solely for the view.  

Sourdough bread, Beau Soleil oysters. Afterward the long ride home on the #4 bus.


Cookie Chomper said...

I haven't tried the Urban Hike but I did do the Great Urban Race in LA. It was pretty entertaining.. Is it along the same lines?

Food, she thought. said...


The Great Urban Race is something I have wanted to do for a few years running and have not committed to. An urban hike is self motivated and driven. Make a plan, put your walking shoes on and grab your camera. Totally and utterly unstructured.

Not my idea...completely inspired by LA and OC Foodventures H.C.

H. C. said...

Congrats on Urban Hiking and discovering so many great things along the way... and I've always been curious about that anti-psychiatry museum but too scared to step in!

Let me know when you wanna check out Thirsty Crow! And maybe Xoia before/after ;)

And of course, thanks for the shoutout -- but this Urban Hike route was all you!

Daily Gluttony said...

Have you ever seen Steel Panther perform? They are freakin hilarious--cracked my isht up!

Anyways, this urban hike thing sounds right up my alley...I wish I'd done something like this pre-baby. Maybe I'll wait til the kid is a little older & take him with me. He can carry all my stuff. LOL

burumun said...

Echo Park to SaMo, impressive! These urban hikes seem so much fun, I really need to get in on it too.

Food, she thought. said...

DG: No, I have never seen SP perform, it is now on my to-do lost. I have a few friends who LOVE long hair bands. I should bring one of them with me.

Burumun: You MUST go an an urbanhike! From knowing your blog, your love of travel...you would definitely enjoy it! The problem is, in LA, the changes you see on an 8 hour walk are a lot smaller than what you might see in any other urban area. But if you appreciate the subtleties of LA, you MUST do it!