Mark your calendars, walkers, runners, bikers and proud Angelenos. You won’t want to miss the Great LA Walk this Saturday. It’s a 17-mile walk from Downtown LA to the Pacific Ocean. It’s a way to say, “People DO walk in LA.” It’s a day-long appreciation of this city, whether you’re stopping for lunch, walking through one of countless urban enclaves, learning little-known facts about a historical landmark or stopping in to see a shop you’ve never even heard of before. Let’s be honest: It’s also bragging rights.
And this year, it’s a way to really get to know Melrose Avenue.
Organized by Michael Schneider of popular city blog Franklin Avenue and TV Guide, this walk is one of LA Weekly’s top picks of 2012 – the Best Once a Year Walk, that is. They’re starting at the famous Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall and taking it to the ocean via Melrose. The best part of this? Exercise? Maybe. The education? Most possibly. Lunch options? Definitely.
Michael Voltaggio has signed on his sublime sandwich spot, ink.sack, to be the official lunch spot of this year’s Great LA Walk. And even before you get there, don’t forget to stop in to the original Scoops Ice Cream shop right on Heliotrope (west of Vermont) off Melrose for some unique flavors that owner Tai has created just for the occasion.
Now, I’ve always made it a mission to make it for part of the Great LA Walk, every year. My friends and I caught Ethiopian food when it was Washington Blvd. I caught up when they were doing Hollywood Blvd at Blue Palms Brewhouse, Loteria Grill and Musso & Frank’s last year. This year, if you can’t make it for the full walk, definitely catch up at Scoops and Ink Sack (maybe even beat the crowd by a bit) but for options, you’re also passing the Valerie Confections store at Beverly and 1st (opens at 10AM) (UPDATED (11/15): Valerie will now be offering breakfast treats at 25% off for all walkers and “allegedly” free hot chocolate! So cool!), the awesome Sqirl Kitchen at Melrose and Virgil, Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese at Larchmont and Beverly (known for their sandwiches), Osteria/Pizzeria Mozza and Domaine LA (should you feel like carrying wine on your walk) at Melrose and Highland, Bierbeisl on Santa Monica Blvd in Beverly Hills… Maybe I should just stop right there, before I even get into Century City.
Once you get to the ocean, head on back into Santa Monica for the afterparty at Wokcano on 5th Street. You’ll have some drink specials waiting for your end-of-the-day nourishment.
How to get back? Whether you coordinate a carpool with your walking buddies or plan your bus route back home, be sure you coordinate that before Saturday! (Hopefully, we’ll be able to take the Metro train back one day. Like when Beverly Hills High School moms stop being a pain.) It’s also a great idea to check up on the FAQ, just to be prepared. See you on the sidewalk!!
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Meet: 8:45 AM
Depart: 9 AM
Great LA Walk
Starts: Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
712 N. Heliotrope Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90029
8360 Melrose Ave #107
Los Angeles, CA 90069
1413 Fifth St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401