Monday, January 14, 2008

Walking L.A. #8 - North Culver City

It has been almost a full year since our last walk, Walk#7 at UCLA. We are happy to resume the walks now that our son is 3+ months old and can join us in a stroller or Baby Bjorn.

We drove to the start point of the walk at Washington Blvd and Higuera St. Only one friend joined us this time. She was waiting for us as we arrived 5 minutes after 9:00 AM - probably upset since she had to wake up so early on a Sunday morning and she was the first one there.

The walk began on Higuera St. heading southwest through the Rancho Higuera neighborhood. The street had circular rotaries at intersections to help calm traffic since many people used this rode to cut from Washington to Jefferson Blvd.

The walk continued north on Hayden Ave through a warehouse area where we were surprised to come upon the Debbie Allen (of Fame fame) Dance Academy. Further down the street were some very architecturally interesting buildings that are part of Conjunctive Points. The Conjunctive Points project will rebuild this under-used industrial area so as to unite the arts, science, and entertainment industries in a visionary mixed-use community of innovative work-space, theaters, exhibit spaces, restaurants, and parks. I had no idea about this initiative until now. We walked inside the Stealth Building (which felt like a Darth Vader spaceship) and admired the modern architecture and views of Culver City.

Next we crossed National Blvd and the train tracks that are eventually going to become the the Expo Line. This led to a pedestrian-only entrance into a quiet residential neighborhood which we walked through to get to art deco Helms Bakery complex which has some restaurants (Beacon, La Dijonaise) and the Jazz Bakery all of which I've visited many times.

Finally, we turned onto Venice Blvd and passed the furniture stores as we headed back to our starting point. Our book pointed out that you can detect an aroma of candles coming from some candle outlet on National Blvd. We didn't see the outlet, but we did enjoy the pleasant aroma.

The next walk is Downtown Culver City.

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

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