In case you might be interested here’s a head-ups pointing you to two stories in the news the last couple days — one in the L.A. Times yesterday and one on KABC’s Eyewitness News today — both of which nicely capsulate a couple of the reasons why I like to bike and walk around town so much. The first is the Times’ profile on author Will Self who’s presently visiting L.A. to talk about his new book. In the feature by Dean Kuipers, Self gets off his Alaska Airlines flight at LAX and immediately goes for a long walk across Los Angeles:
In fact, he wanted to walk all the way to his hotel in downtown Los Angeles, a distance of more than 17 miles, where he was staying a few days to talk about his new book, “Psychogeography.”
His walks, he said, “are about reclaiming cities, both at a personal and a political level. They’re about assaulting people’s idea that there are places that are not worth being in, or traveling through.”
Bingo. Checkmate. And while we’re talkin’ about walkin’ allow me to mention again Franklin Avenue’s 2nd Annual Great L.A. Walk, which will be starting this Saturday at 9 a.m. in front of the Coca-Cola building at Pico and Central and continuing westward the full 15 miles until Pico ends in Santa Monica.
“It’s a funny thing, you start riding a bike in any city and the city opens up to you,” said Lizama.
For Jimmy, it’s about embracing the city head-on, the locals, the landmarks, the neighborhoods we often miss on the other side of the windshield.
“In a car, you’re so stuck in this vehicle, in this little box, and you don’t interact with anybody out here. It’s really, really horrible,” said Lizama.
My sentiments exactly.
P.S. And while biking home tonight I snapped a literal score of things that caught my eye along the way. I’m gonna post it with the headline “The 20-Picture Project.” Look for it later this evening.