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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Experiencing L.A. on Santa Monica Blvd (Part II)

Three years ago I took an early morning walk up Santa Monica Blvd, following the course of Historic "Route 66" through Santa Monica and on into West Los Angeles. Here's a link to last week's post on that. I began to wonder, how far could I go if I got a really early start? Could I make it all the way to Century City (just shy of Beverly Hills)? A week later I decided to give it a shot. 

The above AAA map gives a better feel for the patchwork of mulipalities that is Los Angeles: Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Culver City are all seperate, independent cities. The city of Los Angeles is pretty much everything else.

I showed up at Santa Monica Blvd and Ocean Ave at 5:45am. Crazy, I know.

And dark. This is looking out at the Santa Monica Pier at 5:45am.

Looking north up Ocean Avenue.

Walking up Santa Monica Blvd, I made good time. I didn't stop to take any photos. Too dark, and besides, I had already taken a lot of photos along this same strech the week before.

A couple miles up, at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Cloverfield, I did notice the "sale" price for a couple of bikes in the window at Cynergy Cycles.

MSRP = $5500.

"Sale" = $5000.


The same price I paid for my car.

Another bike was on "sale" for $5850.


I guess I have no concept of what top-end bicycles go for.

I paid $150 for my used mountain bike 18 years ago.

Cynergy Cyles like a nice enough bike shop. But I think I'll stick with my 18 year old bike for now (and hiking and walking, which doesn't cost anything).

Walking up Santa Monica Blvd into West L.A. I noticed a stationary helicopter in the air (actually, a couple). A major accident on the freeway? Police activity? A movie shoot?

Nope. A fire, a major fire. Santa Monica Blvd. was completely closed from Bundy all the way to to Barrington (about half a mile).

Apparently, there was a major fire in the mini mall I had walked by a week earlier, at the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd and Brockton. A local news reporter and camera crew were there for the "all important" live report.

Pedestrians were permitted in the area - of course, we were expected to stay out of the way.

Tons of equipment.

This being Los Angeles, I kept thinking, "so where's all the lights and equipment and camera crew and catering trucks?" Maybe I lived in L.A. too long. 

The side of one of the fire trucks.

I've always liked design the City's seal, with the "four flags" that have flown over Los Angeles: Spain, Mexico, the California Republic, and the United States.

A group of firefighters debriefing. Always impressive.

According to one of the firefighters I asked, this is only a third of the truck and equipment at the scene earlier in the morning. Apparently, they had crews from all over the City here, over 200 firefighters.

More trucks and equipment on Armacost Street.

Many thanks to the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

More on the walk up Santa Monica Blvd next week in Part III.

© 2012
originally posted 8/15/09


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