Monday, November 19, 2007

Urban Jaunts (Part One)

My greatest source of recreation is walking, as detailed in the Is It Safe? series. When I first moved to Los Angeles I became familiar with some of its neighborhoods, El Sereno in particular, through Adah Bakalinsky's compelling guide, Stairway Walks in Los Angeles. I've always regarded staircases or footpaths (the flatlanders staircase), as joyously transportational, more than mere shortcut.

While my own walks are ever altering, deliberately and unapologetically urban, my greatest enjoyment is including pedestrian only features, paseos, parks, or other semi-public green spaces in my nightly constitutionals.

Here is the first of several jaunts. (The short version to follow.)

Starting at Adams and Arlington, travel East (on the Southside of Adams) to Cimarron. Turn South on Cimarron, plunging down the short hill and the corner empty lot.

At 30th St. head West past Arlington one half block to Prescott Court, a paved footpath which leads South past 31st St to Jefferson where it divides a park and branch library.

Sadly the wooden pickets which used to line Prescott Court, painted with the ubiquitous creeping vine, have been replaced almost in total by metal fencing.

Continue South crossing Jefferson (use the broad, striped crosswalk), onto 3rd Avenue. Head South on 3rd (two blocks) to Exposition, cross, and then walk East along the railroad track right-of-way slated for reuse by the Expoline.

Short version: At 7th Avenue, start North past the Streamline Moderne firestation (#34). A neighboring property sports a '37 Olds and another thirties chasis.

Seventh runs past the 6th Street elementary school, at Jefferson, up to Adams. (Other North/South streets are interrupted at Mont Clair.)

At Adams, turn East towards Arlington, along Church row, past the Guasti Villa (by architects Hudson and Munsell), now the Peace Realization Fellowship and best known as a residence for Busby Berkeley; and, architect Charles Whittlesey's amazing Vienna Secessionist Mansion built for Western Arts Tile Works owner Lycurgus Lindsay, now serving as and obscured by the Our Lady of Bright Mountain Polish Parish .

Part Two: the long version.



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