This time last year I took an early morning walk along Pico Blvd, from the beach eight miles up to Fairfax Avenue in the heart of Los Angeles. Here's a link to Part I and Part II.
I started early at 5:45am, and by 7:45 I was in the Pico-Robertson district. Above is the Beverlywood Bakery, located at Pico and Oakhurst. Love the awning - the little tables and chairs out front.
If there is a heart of Jewish Los Angeles, it must be the Pico-Robertson neighborhood. This is one of a dozen Kosher butchers in the immediate area.
In working on this post, I stumbled across Levin Ben Avraham's www.PicoRob.com: "an Orthodox Jew looks at the Pico-Robertson neighborhood from a Torah perspective." Different religion and different beliefs than my own - but I can appreciate the desire to bring faith into every area of life, rather than the "secular/sacred" split so common in American society.
If The Mitzvah Store (that I commented on in Part II) doesn't have what you need, try D. Solomon. Amazing how in one short mile, the feel on the street goes from glitzy Beverly Hills to urban Los Angeles.
Banner for the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival. As I commented in a previous post, I'm continually impressed by the impact that Jews, representing only 2% of the total US population, have made on American culture.
Chabad is a movement within Orthodox Judaism, emphasizing "wisdom, understanding, and knowledge." The largest Jewish organization in the world, Chabad has 3000 centers in over 1000 cities around the world.
Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, tens of thousands of Persian Jews immigrated to Los Angeles. Amazing, but there now more Persian (Iranian) Jews living in the city of Los Angeles than the entire country of Iran. So, here in Pico-Robertson you'll find a Chabad Persian Youth Center.
More outdoor dining at Bibi's Warmstone Bakery near Pico and Liviona.
Got Kosher? Haute Glatt. The word glatt is Yiddish for "smooth" - the term refers in the broader sense to food eaten by observant Jews. The term "kosher" refers to food, but in a general sense, can simply mean anything that's OK.
Milk 'N Honey Restaurant, located on the corner of Pico and South Clark. I like the biblical reference in their name. Serving only Kosher food (of course) and closed Friday night and Saturdays (until an hour after the end of Sabbath). Here's a link to their website.
"I am a stranger in a strange land." said Moses. The huge billboard for the Paramount film "Sex and the City 2" was looming above the biblical-sounding Milk 'N Honey. There was certainly an irony to it all . . . yet, perhaps, something that I and other evangelical Christians can learn from. What does it mean to be "in the world but not of the world"? What does it mean to live out religious convictions in Los Angeles, or New York, or any other major city in the world? What does it mean to practice a faith when it's not part of the dominant culture? More questions than answers, at least for right now.
Eliass Kosher Market, located across the street, with obligatory Persian script.
Crossing Robertson, and looking north towards Beverly Hills and the Santa Monica mountains beyond. This is the heart, as it were, of the Pico-Robertson neighborhood. You'll also notice yet another "Sex and the City" billboard to the right of the photo - just above the obligatory Starbucks.
Crossover Robertson - Elat Market, corner of Pico and Wooster. Elat is a full service Kosher supermarket. The writing on the side is in Persian.
Just off this very busy commercial strip are beautiful tree-lined residential streets, generally with a mixture of two story apartment buildings, which are very common throughout most of Los Angeles, and single family homes. I love the massive sycamore trees.
Back on Pico - looking back west with the office towers of Century City in the distance.
Another residential street, this one mostly with apartments. The palm trees and Hollywood Hills in the distance certainly give the street an "only in L.A." look, but I really prefer big leafy sycamore trees found a couple of blocks away. By the way, palm trees - like pretty much every thing else in L.A. - are imports, brought in from elsewhere.
Looking north up La Cienega towards Beverly Hills, with the Hollywood Hills (part of the Santa Monica Mountains) in the distance. The tower on the left in the distance that looks like a mosque is actually the home to the Academy of Motion Pictures Sciences - you know, the good people who host those Awards every year - with those cool little gold statues called "Oscars."
The Rapid 7 - the bus line I'd be taking back. Limited stops, and the ability to control traffic lights - this bus really moves. I had a few more minutes, so I could catch the next one.
The South Carthay district, complete with map and historical photos. The neighborhood, built out in the 1920's and '30's was home to the very impressive Fox Carthay Circle Theater.
After Grauman's Chinese Theater, the Fox Carthay was Los Angeles' most famous movie theater. Location of dozens of world premiers, it was unfortunately torn down in 1969.
Here's a link to a previous post on the similar looking Fox Village Theater, located a few miles away in Westwood. And our friends down in Anaheim are building a replica of the Fox Carthay as part of a much needed "extreme makeover" of the Disney California Adventure park.
Looking south: Baldwin Hills. Here's yet another link to when my wife and kids hiked to the top of the Baldwin Hills overlook a couple of years ago.
A break in the traffic at HiPoint Studios, located at Pico and Hi Point Street (hence their name). One of dozens of small, independent studios found throughout Los Angeles. Their selling point is "best green screen in town."
Vons Supermarket at the corner of Pico and Fairfax. Somewhat anti-climactic in terms of a final destination but needed to leave enough time to catch a bus in rush hour traffic to my car back in Santa Monica by 9am. This is about two blocks from the Little Ethiopia neighborhood, which I blogged about here.
Here's a map of the third leg of my walk, through the heart of the Pico-Robertson district.
40 minutes later, thanks to the Rapid 7, I was back in Santa Monica: Pico and the beach.
Picked up my car and scooted off to work.
I honestly can't believe how far I was able to walk - and take pictures - in such a short period of time. Started at 5:45am at Pico at the beach. Walked all the way to Fairfax Avenue and then caught a bus back by 9am.
This was really the most enjoyable "urban hike" I took while living in Los Angeles. Now that we're out of the area, I don't know when I'll be able to do something like this again. I highly recommend it: a great way to experience L.A.
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