Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

My Photo
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, December 07, 2008


No Redondo Beach to Malibu run this morning. No sunny postcard either but a cloudy, albeit wonderfully mild one.

I'm staying in the Millenium Biltmore, a storied, architecturally magnificent hotel in downtown LA, where I'm doing some work for the next few days. This morning I took a little sightseeing run and headed uphill from the hotel and went by the Walt Disney Concert Hall, an amazingly ostentatious Frank Gehry creation that I could not take my eyes off. Right past that and at the top of Bunker Hill is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, a contemporary design in a mission style that I hope to take a peek inside of before I go.

City of Angels Half Marathon was today. The finish was right around the cathedral. Had I known earlier I could have jumped in.

But instead I continued on and in a mile or so got to Skid Row. For anybody interested in homelessness, Skid Row is a must see when in LA. Its maybe a square mile of homeless shelters, services, bars, and the like with hundreds of homeless people milling about. Its exactly how not to address homelessness. Where downtown was sleepy on a Sunday morning, everyone seemed out on "the Nickel" and to where there was no room for me on the sidewalk and I ran in the street.

From there it was south on Central Ave. through a section with alot of produce markets and then under the Santa Monica Freeway and into what I quickly figured out must be South Central LA. Things quickly became very Latino, with lots of Spanish and lots of color. An enormous white rooster statue was on top of a restaurant.

Sofar I was enjoying this route immensely, as these and other images and the rapid changes of scenery and neighborhoods got me thinking that I have to write in this morning's blog entry how there is no better way to reconnoiter a city than by running. Then I turned right on Jefferson Ave, and the vibrancy of Central Ave got replaced by more bleak surroundings. One of the things I remember from Mike Davis' late 80's book about LA, City of Quartz, was descriptions of the fortress mentality typical of LA. And here I saw what Davis meant, with walls, fences, barbed wire and the like partitioning and protecting everything. Employees were out painting over grafitti with bright pink paint at a local supermarket. And I'm starting to get nervous that my increasingly frequent crossings against the lights may get me in trouble in a city notorious for ticketing jaywalkers.

Jefferson Ave took me to Figueroa Ave, at the corner of the Southern Cal campus and from there I headed back up to downtown, past the enormous Convention Center and the glittery Staples Center. I got back to downtown and ended my loop as I started it, on an uphill. Map of the loop is here, I recommend it if you're ever staying in downtown LA and looking to run. Did I mention that there is no better way to reconnoiter a city than through a good run. And no jaywalking tickets... today.

Tomorrow the plan is to run out to East LA down Whittier Boulevard, see what that area looks like.

9 miles today in 74:04.


Blogger Quinto Sol said...

Steve- You are brave to run in some of those streets. I would not do it myself; and I blend in :-)

Let me know if you want a meet for a run... anytime is fine... I can take you to a trail, or run around the rosebowl... or run on the LA River biketrails???


10:34 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home