Sunday, January 07, 2007

Walking L.A. #1 - Castellammare

I got a cool gift for xmas -- a book called

Walking L.A.: 36 Walking Tours Exploring Stairways, Streets and Buildings You Never Knew Existed

Last weekend we tried one of the walks in Silver Lake and enjoyed it a lot. We thought it would be fun to get other friends involved to go through the whole book, taking one walk each weekend morning. Two friends joined us for the first of these walks this morning which was in the Pacific Palisades in a neighborhood called Castellammare which means Castle On The Sea.

We met up at the Rumor Mill for coffee and bagels and then carpooled to the start point on Castellammare Dr., which was just off of Sunset Blvd near PCH. It was a beautiful day in Los Angeles. It was warm and sunny. The air was really clear, and you could see for miles up and down the coast of the Santa Monica Bay.

The walk took us by impressive houses including the former abode of John Barrymore, an Italian-style villa, and many modern homes - my favorites. We joked about how we wished someone in our circle of friends could have penetrated this privileged style of living so we could all hang out in neighborhoods like this on patios overlooking the ocean. The views were so amazing, they reminded me of what you can see in Santorini, an island in Greece that I visited in 1996.

After the walk, we went to Gladstones for an early lunch. We learned that their beach-front patio is actually owned by the state and public, which means you can eat there without purchasing anything from Gladstones. I thought that was interesting.

As we were ordering, we spotted celebrity David Hasselhoff of Knight Rider and Baywatch fame. He ended up dining on the same patio with a few other people, one of whom we guessed was his daughter. It was a funny sighting.

The next walk is in Northwest Santa Monica.

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