Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

And so we bid adieu to all our adventures upriver. It’s been a long, hard slog, and promises to be a rather dubious proposition in a bit, as we get into the checkerboard of communities largely unknown to me downstream from downtown. But the early days of our new series, “Down a Lazy Concrete River,” should be interesting, as we will be touring areas that are full of interest. So we’re off, back to Frogtown, across the bridges into Chinatown and the Fashion District and the Toy District, to see what we will see.

  • Chinatown

    At last, we leave the Valley of the Shadow of Nudie and begin our journey down the river from the Elysian Park area. The next days promise to be a lot more interesting than the last ones. We parked on San Fernando across from the Goodwill store and “sheltered workshop.” That used to mean disabled people laboring for peon wages in aid of the dubious theory that they’d feel better if they ... Read more »

  • From Paris to Philly to Tokyo

    We parked in Chinatown and quickly made our way to the jail where Paris Hilton isn’t. Well, of course, there are thousands of jails where Paris Hilton isn’t—though if she continues the way she’s going she might see the inside of a lot more of them—but this is the one where she wasn’t most recently. That is … she was here, two days before, at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility Inmate ... Read more »

  • The District District

    I think it may have started with SoHo in New York. It means “South of Houston,” which New Yorkers pronounce as House-ton, not Hus-ton. (Soho in London is not a contraction. It means “There goes the fox!” in English English.) SoHo used to be called the Cast Iron District because of the old, obsolete but fiercely defended historical warehouses that nobody could figure out what to do with. ... Read more »

  • The Backside of Los Angeles

    Our next-to-last day in Los Angeles didn’t show off the best side of the city. All cities have places like this, and maybe you’ve seen them, but probably as you sped through on your way to somewhere else, or possibly when you needed some oddball item from a warehouse carrying specialty merchandise. Walking through it, you learn a lot more. Not all of it is nice, but a lot of it is ... Read more »

  • Vernon

    So far in our travels up and down the Los Angeles River we’ve been pretty much in Los Angeles, as you might expect. We’ve nipped into the southern borders of Glendale and Burbank, but that’s pretty much it. Upstream it’s LA all the way, though it’s broken up into a lot of neighborhoods. Downstream, it’s a different story. Not far south of downtown the river takes a bend to the east, and then ... Read more »

  • Five Towns

    I learned early on in our urban adventure to go to Google Maps and study the terrain, like any good general should, and map out the day’s campaign. With the satellite pictures I am sometimes able to tell if it will be possible to actually walk along the river … at least I can tell if there’s a walking or bike path, though it’s impossible to see if there’s a gate and, since the pictures are ... Read more »

  • Four Towns, and Random

    Today we were joined in our peregrinations by our friend Random Turner-Jones. I wish we’d had a more interesting part of the river to walk, but you have to play the hand you are dealt. Unless you’re a card sharp. If we’d been intrepid enough to cross the river on a railroad bridge into the City of Commerce we could have hit five towns in one day yet again, but I didn’t suggest it. For one ... Read more »

  • Where We Didn’t See Wild Coyotes

    … but I’m sure they were there. As with the jail where Paris Hilton wasn’t, there are, of course, many places where we haven’t seen wild coyotes, and two where we have: Death Valley, and Sauvie Island, outside of Portland. But this is the only place where we haven’t seen wild coyotes but did see their dens. I counted about a dozen of them. Lee talked to a bicyclist who pointed them out and ... Read more »

  • Farewell Compton, Hello Long Beach!

    Today it came to me in a flash why I avoid public transit most of the time. Especially in Los Angeles, whose transit system, though probably doing the best it can, covers a vast area so that some trips can take two hours or more. Actually, it was a pretty long flash, stretching over almost five uncomfortable hours, a bit more than one hour of which we were able to devote to actual walking. ... Read more »

  • Bixby Knolls

    The Red Line to 7th/Metro. The Blue Line to Del Amo Station. Can’t jaywalk across Del Amo because there’s a Highway Patrol car sitting right there, so it’s west to Santa Fe, around three corners of the intersection because there’s no pedestrian walkway where we need to go. Then over a series of dirt paths, lumpy grass hillocks that are very hard on my knees, and 24-inch-wide sidewalks, ... Read more »

  • The Last Leg

    The title above is accurate in more ways than one. It would be the last leg of our epic riverwalk … and I was on my last leg. We had walked two days in a row, which we usually don’t do, and that turns out to have been a mistake. The next day my left knee was sheer agony. I could hardly walk at all, and just hobbled around the apartment when I had to, and spent the rest of the time with an ... Read more »

  • Twenty-six miles across the sea …

    … Santa Catalina is a-waitin’ for me Santa Catalina, the island of romance Romance, romance, romance. We had thought that, having completed our journey that will surely go down in the annals of urban exploration, we ought to get some sort of reward. Since they don’t give out Olympic gold medals for Urban Walking Over a Period of Months (or at least not that I’m aware of), we’d ... Read more »