Los Angeles as a pedestrian
Los Angeles is usually identified as the city of cars and worst traffic jams, so why not enjoying it as a pedestrian? Last year the City of West Hollywood was named the most walkable city in California by Walk Score, a company that ranks cities and neighborhoods by their pedestrian friendliness. It has been reported that the percentage of residents that choose walking instead of driving went from 8.4 to 16.6.
The pedestrian friendliness of the City of Angeles grounds its roots back in the ’30s, when on Sunset Boulevard they built the first pedestrian outdoor shopping mall in L.A., the Crossroads of the World.
West Hollywood is the perfect place to be when you are car-free. There’s plenty of shopping, dining and night life, and since it is central, you can easily reach the other neighbourhoods from here. Make your way to the Farmers Market on West Third Street, a casual, affordable maze in which you can sample an array of cuisines and dining alfresco. Everything is local-sourced and sustainable. Have a mexican breakfast(brown rice and quinoa, black beans, avocado, cashew nacho cheese and pumpkin seeds) and an exotic smoothie(coconut milk, almond butter, dates, vanilla bean) to take with you on your walking. If you are on a budget, then walk to Santa Monica Boulevard. There are places like the $2 Clothing Store, where you can snatch your new favourite sweater for literally two bucks.
If you are an architecture enthusiast, find your way to the nearby Schindler House, described by its curators as “the birthplace” of Southern California modernism. The Schindler House has no conventional living room, dining room or bedrooms ad it was meant to be a cooperative live/work space for two young families. The concrete walls and sliding glass panels made novel use of industrial materials, while the open floor plan integrated the external environment into the residence, setting a precedent for California architecture in particular. Located on a peaceful residential street, its rooms often serve as galleries for art exhibitions.
The Getty Museum is also not to be missed if you are into art and architecture. It was opened in 1974 by Paul Getty in a re-creation of the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. It is one of the most visited museum in the world, so be prepared to stand in long rows. With works by Monet, van Gogh and Rembrandt, it’s easy to forget all the waiting. In addition the ivory and honey center, designed by Richard Meier, along with the gardens, are works of art in their own right. The museum offers free walking tours of both.
Finish the tour on the beach, listening to the comforting sound of waves, no thoughts in mind.