Walking in L.A.: The End of the Road? Walking in L.A.: The End of the Road?

Walking in L.A.: The End of the Road?

by Ryan Bradley

June 13, 2010

I met a man on my walk who was weathered and bearded. It was impossible to tell how old he was—anywhere between 35 and 60. He wore a beat-up raincoat and cracked sandals and had an expensive-looking backpack on. He walked everywhere in Los Angeles, he said, but only on weekends. During the week he had a car and drove. He liked to set out on a different trek each time and walk until he got lost. He made his way back home using the mountains. If you can see the San Bernadinos to the East, he said, you're fine. 

I want to say that I met this man on the beach at Venice because that would sure be a nice, literary coda to this walk. But I didn't. I met him on the first day on the corner of Rodeo Road and La Cienaga Boulevard, outside the parking lot of a 7-Eleven. A few blocks later I snapped a photo of a traffic camera and then, four days later and four stories underground, I watched the same intersection on one of the 16 screens at ATSAC.

Before parting, I asked him what he enjoyed about walking in the city and he said that he just liked the feeling of getting lost and finding his way back home, and that given enough time he'd wander this city forever. I get what he means and I didn't disagree and kept walking. I still had to make downtown before nightfall. Seven miles to go. Seven miles, that's 10,560 steps.

Photos by Ryan Bradley

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Walking in L.A.: The End of the Road?