Archive for October, 2014

Urban Hike: UCLA

On September 21, 2014, my friend Lori & I went on an architecture tour of UCLA with the OSS Meetup Group. This wasn’t a guided tour. It was basically just a brisk walk around the 419 acres (1.7 km²) campus, snapping pictures.

After the hike, I stashed Lori in the Diddy Riese cookie line while I ran over to Stan‘s to get a couple of Huell Howser peanut-butter filled donuts before hustling back to Diddy Riese where Lori got an ice cream cookie sandwich for only $1.75(!) and I got a lime shaved ice for $1.00. Both places are open til the wee hours of the morning, even on Sunday! Sweet!

Here’s my original Bruin statue photo and my artsy Photoshopped photo.

And finally, cute bird’s nest.


100 Hikes in the San Gabriels: Burkhart Trail – Buckhorn Campground to Cooper Canyon Falls and Little Rock Creek

Recently, me and one of my hiking buddies decided we were bored with the Santa Monica Mountains so we’ve started doing hikes from one of her many hiking books, Trails of the Angeles: 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels by John W. Robinson.

#62/#62-1 Burkhart Trail: Buckhorn Campground to Cooper Canyon Falls and Little Rock Creek
4-5 miles
900′ gain/loss

Shoutout to President Obama for giving the amazing San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Status! A million thank yous!

Wow! These hikes just keep getting better and better! With this one on Burkhart Trail, we found ourselves constantly exclaiming how we really felt like we were in the forest and how beautiful it was. We even found real, running water!

My friend is an Earth Science teacher so I learn a lot about the various plants and rocks we encounter on these hikes. The white streaks of what I thought was remnants of some tagger’s paint on rocks is actually some kind of mineral deposit. I guess that’s proof right there that I’m a city kid.

If you need more proof, you should’ve been there to witness the scene I made when I was being stalked by a huge bee. I did everything I know I’m not supposed to do. I ran, I screamed, I took off my hat and swatted at it. God really does look after children and fools…

After the hike we made our third visit to Newcomb’s for the best hamburger I’ve ever eaten in my life and have been craving ever since.

But yeah! Do this hike! It’s amazing!



Paying Respects to Droopy and Boogie: Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park in Calabasas

On October 11, 2014, I went with Obscura Society L.A.  on a tour lead by Hadley Meares, writer for KCET, of the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park.

I had just recently learned about this pet cemetery while reading Lauren Bacall’s autobiography. She talked about burying her dog, Droopy there.

Mother and I went to the Pet Cemetery in the Valley. A woman straight out of Charles Addams greeted us and asked if we would like to go to the Slumber Room to see our dog. All her talk was very solemn, at a whisper. There is often something funny at every sad occasion – in this case, she was it. We followed her into the Slumber Room, where dogs of all types were lying asleep in open coffins, one mutt in a box lined with tufted satin. Droopy lay with his head in one paw just as he’d slept in life…Lauren Bacall in By Myself and Then Some.

Before the tour started, we were given a half sheet of paper with a list of graves that Management preferred not to give us the locations of. Naturally, Droopy and the other grave I most wanted to see, Mae West’s monkey, Boogie, were on the list. Ugh. Oh well, we all kept a lookout for the graves on the list and it was a happy moment for me when Hadley exclaimed “I found Droopy!”

This pet cemetery is a very lovely place and somehow all the plastic flowers & mushrooms, toys and pinwheels are whimsical, not cheesy. People really love their animals and their hearts are inscribed in the words on the headstones. Can you keep a dry eye while reading them?

Ironically, this pet cemetery was created in 1929 by veterinarian Dr. Eugene C. Jones. The same Dr. Jones of the Jones Dog and Cat Hospital that the L.A. Conservancy is suing the city of West Hollywood over because the City is going to allow that magnificent 1938 Streamline Moderne structure to be demolished so that another ugly, mixed-use project can be built there. Shame on ya (again), WeHo!

Urban Hike: Raymond Chandler’s Hollywood

On September 28th, 2014 my friend Lori & I went with the Los Angeles Hiking Group on a 5-ish mile walking tour of Raymond Chandler’s Hollywood.

Hike leaders Tuck, Thelma & Ferris, took us on a fun and interesting stroll through old Hollywood and the surrounding hillside communities, including stops at venues from “The Big Sleep”, “Farewell My Lovely”, “The Long Goodbye”, “Lady in the Lake” and “High Window”. 

A lot of the locations were just that. Locations. The original buildings long gone. So, some of my pictures below have nothing to do with Raymond Chandler. A couple of them are actually locations from Streisand / Redford’s The Way We Were.

I love walking through these neighborhoods and seeing what’s left of the golden era of Hollywood. So much amazing architecture!

After the hike, Lori & I went across the street to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market where I got a pineapple-lime lemonade, a grilled chicken skewer and a delicious pink lady apple. Refreshing on a hot, humid day.