Tuesday, May 16, 2017

our walk to work

we walked to work today
we haven't done that in a while.
our place is 3.8 miles (according to google maps) from my office
and although the route we take is not the prettiest to walk to,
it is the fastest so that is why we always take it
we do go through echo park lake which i love so much
 here are a few of other interesting things i saw while on our way to dtla

dtla skyline from the park

an abandoned skate board 

a pretty wall 

this newish art on the wall of the bob baker theater 

we passed the vista hermosa park another of my favorites that i never go to :( 

the only flowers i saw on the way 

and then we decided to get a bike to be a little faster because we didn't leave home on time 

i got a fitbit for my birthday and then surprised ryan with this gem
which i found at one of my favorite vintage/gift shops in dtla
it is a walk-a-matic pedometer it measures your walked miles!  

after we left the bikes ryan went to his office, i still had a few blocks 

made it safe and sound! it was a gloomy day (still had some sunshine and got hot at times)
but it was perfect weather for a walk to work! 


Sunday, March 5, 2017

moments of awe

one of the things i like most about walking is that i feel so connected to the city
when i first moved to la i was not working and i occupied most of my time in exploring the city, i learnt a lot from this, like how to move around or where to find the things i was interested in.
now i don't have time to explore except for the weekends but now i don't wander as much as i would like.
instead i relish in the small walks i take daily while commuting or when i go places after work. but even though they are small, they still have a big impact on my life: they make it better. the other day i was talking about this with ryan and he mentioned he had read an article in planning magazine that he thought i would like because it was about the same subject. i am not a planner, i am simply a person who uses public spaces so i don't know much about it, but i do know how having an interaction with the city makes a difference in my life.
the article was titled: planning for cities of awe, the first sentence read as follows: "how many times during the course of a day a week do you find yourself speechless, unable to express what you are seeing, so affected by and immerse in feelings of wonder and fascination that you not notice the passage of time? perhaps you were startled by streaks of lightning, caught a glimpse of a stunning vista..."
things you see while walking are more probably far more interesting than the things you can see while riding your car. or better yet, you can actually appreciate it them, stop and take it all in if you are walking than if you are moving so fast. kind of like the phrase "stop and smell the roses" you can only do this if you actually see the roses and there are no roses on the freeway.
there are many amazing memories of things i have seen while walking around the city that i would have otherwise missed if i had not decided to walk. so many moments of awe that have amazed me and made me a happier person. in the article they also mentioned that the researchers of the stanford school of management have shown that people exposed to an awe experience are more likely to feel a greater availability of time... moments of awe help slow us down and put us in the moment. this is likely to result in positive health benefits.
i truly believe that walking can make so much difference in someone's life, not only in physical health benefits but as this article made me learn, also psychological health.

a few weekends ago we went on a pasadena exploration, after we tried the most amazing just float therapy, we went off to walk around the cal tech campus to make time until dinner. just that morning i had said to ryan that i really wanted to watch the documentary 13th but it was unlikely as we don't have reliable internet nor netflix. so we were just walking around and enjoying the nice cold day when we stopped to read this little clipping board they had for general announcements and advertising and to my surprise we saw this ad for a screening and discussion of 13th film (!!!) they were also offering dinner (i was hungry by then lol) so it was the perfect timing, we could have not planned better.
it was such an amazing day, we got to do so much and had the opportunity of watching the film as well hearing what younger people thought about it (we did pretend to be students but i mean, i don't think they would have mind if they knew we weren't :) and all this time that has passed i still think of how amazing that opportunity was to us. something that because of us walking and happening to see it were able to take part of. moments of awe are out there just waiting to happen, we have to keep walking and have our eyes open so when we see those roses we are ready to take a good smell
this is a picture of a beautiful info board at the room where they had the screening at cal tech

Saturday, February 4, 2017

one mississippi two mississippi

i know the name of this blog makes reference to walking in los angeles it even has la la on its name, but sometimes we walk in other places, so i thought i'd share our experience of walking in the deep south.
when i was 17 years old i moved to gautier ms and lived there for a year as an exchange student. i was a senior in a small catholic school in pascagoula and it was that year when i met my now husband. i've been back many times ever since i was 17 but now that i am married to somebody from there i go every 2 years (sometimes more, every 2 years is not enough!) for the holidays.
i always tell the story of how when i used to talk to my mom over the phone she would say "well you can just walk there" and i would laugh and then explain to her that there were no sidewalks. i think the cities there still have a long way to go (in terms of urban planning) you definitely cannot survive without a car there, transit is almost non existent and until this day not every neighborhood has sidewalks... however! on this visit we documented the little walk we took in ocean springs downtown just to show that you CAN walk at least in some areas. not all towns on the gulf coast have a downtown but the ones that do, have the most charming little downtowns ever!

after spending christmas with our family we then headed to new orleans in lousiana (my favorite city in the country) and of course needless to say, we walked everywhere there and the weather let us ride the bikes one day, which was enough really because we stayed in our friends house which is in faubourg marigny and really close to the french quarter.
i got to eat in all the new restaurants i wanted to try, and ryan got all the bike lane pictures a man could want. we went to a lot of bars on frenchmen st. and listened to the bands on the street and we had an awesome time as we always do in nola. then my mother in law and her boyfriend came over for new years eve and we had a blast celebrating the end of 2016

it was so rainy! it rained almost all the days we were there

spanish moss!

that sign says: post trump stress disorder

my best wishes for 2017 and a whole lot of walking!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

take me out to the ballgame *stress free*

i really think the only reason why ryan decided to look for an apartment in echo park was because he wanted to be close to the dodger stadium... well maybe not the only reason, but i can bet anything it was a strong one.
now we don't live in echo park anymore (however we couldn't move too far from it, only a few miles away in silverlake) in any case we are still very close to the stadium and we do go a few games each season. i am not a baseball fan, even though i grew up watching it. the mexico part where i am from does not do soccer, i know shocking. to be honest i am not fan of any sport, but i do enjoy going to the games, i like to drink the super expensive beer, people watch and have a crappy but delicious veggie dog.
if you have been to a dodger game (or live in the area for that matter) you know how bad traffic gets. sunset gets crazy and just going up the now called vin scully ave. is a nightmare. driving your car to a game is a no no and not only getting there is the problem, but trying to get out of it! it is much easier / faster to walk out than to drive out.
since we don't have a car, that is never an issue for us.
i wanted to write about our way of transportation to one of the most iconic things to do in los angeles,: getting to a dodger game
to me this is the best way, it is stress free and fun and also great for people who are visiting. nobody has time to waste stuck in traffic!
as this was a week day we went from work to the stadium.
fastest way? bike share
my lame attempt to take a selfie while riding the bikes... you can't even see them lol
from the bike share station on 7th and main we rode the bikes all the way to union station where we parked our bikes and were not worried about what to do with our bikes. see? win win!
then we walked towards the dodger stadium express pick up spot and caught our beautiful orange bus that took us all the way there, non stop, preferred lane on sunset, yes that means  you will get there faster than the cars... :)
this is a free service and i love it!
ryan prefers to bike all the way on our own bikes. but that vin scully hill man, that hill gets me. i can't do it i have to dismount every time, every time! so yes it is 1000 times better to fly down on the way out and see all the cars just stopped there while you are way faster on your tiny bike.
but i'm not going to lie, still prefer to be driven up the hill on the bus. sorry ryan.

and there you have it
the wonderful view of this all american game without any stress about leaving early (if you've been there you know everybody leaves before to "beat" the traffic) without any delays, you will be there on time, happy and ready to eat and drink all you want! and also enjoy the game if you are into that sort of thing.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

we go places

we usually try to stay in our triangle area. we like to go places between home and our work offices (home being silverlake, work being DTLA)
the reason i prefer to stay close to the neighborhoods we work and live is because los angeles is a very sprawling city and with that comes traffic... so yes it's hard to visit all and try to keep yourself sane. so i rather not push myself too much. however once in awhile we do venture a little further.
a few weekends ago we went to north hollywood. our beautiful friend Hillary was having her short film premiered at the california women's festival. we were so excited for her and we couldn't miss it.
so of course we rode the bus to our nearest red line station and took the train all the way there. we hopped off one stop before to go to this restaurant i have been dying to try and then took a bus to north hollywood to watch the show. on our way back the whole party (Hillary, her fiance and all her friends) took the red line to 7th station and we went to public school to celebrate!
on rides like this that are longer than our usual commute we bring our books or just enjoy the ride, specially on sunday afternoon when we don't have to rush
the magic of using transit is that even when traffic is bad you never feel stressed out, you can focus on other things or use your time more efficiently, doing things like reading or using your phone.
i have to admit that if we had to drive all the places we go, we probably wouldn't make it to half of them. so thank goodness for transit!

our delicious food from suncafe

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

walking fools

ryan and i riding metro bike share on main and 3rd

i am not a los angeles native
i've been living here for 3 1/2 years and i've never driven in los angeles
i don't even have a license!
ryan and i live a car free life in this"car-centric city"
when i tell people (who are not city planners) that we don't drive everywhere, they usually think we are either weird or crazy... what does that mean? i am not sure
but i think i am neither
i just prefer to use transit, walk or ride my bike... and sometimes uber, which i must admit saves ryan a lot of tired/drunk sofi fuss :)

recently, i read an article on a blog (that i thought was amazing; however after the article, not so sure) about this woman who "tried"walking in los angeles for a week. i say "tried" because what i read was that she just mostly rode in her friends cars (and uber) and hardly talked about what she saw while walking. her conclusion was even: "a person really cannot get around by foot in this city."

the article was very disappointing. however what really make me upset were the people's comments. i will only refer to one as i think it kinda sums up how i feel that all people think about this city
in response to riding transit she said "...sure there are old people/ poor people and you do get the odd homeless person but I really don't think about such things too much..."
excuse me but this to me is... i don't know how to put it... but what makes her think that she is better than the old/poor people?
the thing is that i feel like that is one reason why people don't walk or take transit... they think they are better than everybody else because they are in their car... being in a bus full of dirty poor people is too much to bear.
it makes me sad.

anyway this blog will be like a little journal in which i will share our experiences, our adventures, our everyday lives. ryan and i pretty much walk everywhere. if we can't walk there we will ride transit or take our bikes, but i'm kinda lazy about the last one and as you can guess (being such a car loving city) riding our bikes sometimes feels unsafe, however i see a change coming. hopefully in the future more people understand that a city with less cars and more bike paths and transit is not a city of poor people... but happier ones.