Ever since visiting The Great Wall of Los Angeles mural in the San Fernando Valley on Labor Day weekend, I’ve meant to write about it. Even more so since visiting the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach in December, where there’s an exhibit about it. Other priorities keep getting in the way. They might have gotten in the way this week too, except I decided to go for it and make everything else wait for a change. You can read about this amazing mural in my Wednesday column. (Or you can skip it and wait for Friday’s column — it’s a free country.)
I take a tour of Barris Kustom Industries, the North Hollywood home of the late car customizer George Barris’ operations, which will soon be closing up shop and moving to Ventura County. That’s the subject of my Friday column.
I walked LA’s Music Box Steps recently to complete the full “Secret Stairs” complement of 42 urban hikes, the subject of my Aug. 18 column. But I didn’t have room to say too much about the stairs. And since I went back a few days later to do the two-mile loop all over again, this time with the book rather than with the author, to look for things I’d missed, I decided to write about the experience and the movie that gave the steps their name. Thus was my Friday column born.
After years of occasional forays from Secret Stairs, the 42-walk guidebook, I picked up my pace (literally!) during the pandemic to finish them all. Author Charles Fleming, LA’s stair master, joined me to walk the last one: the Music Box Steps. I write about our walk, the stairs and my quest to complete them in Wednesday’s column.
It’s a grab-bag of items. Readers share memories of North Hollywood after my recent column, my praise for a used bookstore that I’d said was the biggest and best is qualified, recollections are sought from anyone who attended the 1966 Rolling Stones concert in San Bernardino, the Fonzie statue in Milwaukee leads to a mention of a TV sitcom film site in Claremont, and a top pop singer hails from Murrieta. All of this — whew! — is in Sunday’s column.
Hot on the heels of my return from the Midwest, I was invited to housesit for a friend in North Hollywood for Independence Day weekend. This gave me another change of scene, but one closer to home, which I share in Sunday’s column.
I attended a Dodgers game to watch them whip my St. Louis Cardinals. Well, that’s not why I went; that’s just the result. I write about seeing a game in 2021, and as someone rooting for the opposition, in Wednesday’s column.
Remember how I used to write now and then about taking public transit to LA and doing something interesting? Sunday’s column is one of those, and the first one in quite some time. I ate lunch at a new restaurant, went to a record store and got frozen custard, while reading newspapers and a novel. It was a nice day.
Bob Herman was a Claremont man who loved L.A. (and Claremont too, of course). He wrote the guidebook “Downtown Los Angeles: A Walking Guide.” In 1999 he and I took Metrolink for a five-hour walking tour of downtown, a journey that made a deep impression on me. He died in April at 92. I write about him and about our outing in Sunday’s column.
For my birthday, I take the stairs, all 282 of ’em, in Culver City, at a famed outdoor hiking spot. Then I eat Nashville hot chicken and stroll Leimert Park, accompanied by a few close — but distanced! — friends. Also, a typo is spotted. I write about the day in Wednesday’s column.