The very Big Parade

A long line over the bridge

Last month I went for a walk—a very famous walk—with a few friends. I’ve been writing about the Big Parade for years now, the annual, two-day, 40-mile, 110-staircase walk we do from downtown to the Hollywood sign. But this was no Big Parade.


I think this was the Biggest Parade.

101 stairs

As we filed through the streets of downtown, through Elysian Park tunnels, and up Silver Lake staircases (I only did day 1 and half of day 2 this year) I couldn’t believe my eyes. The line of walkers just kept going and going and going.

1/4 mile long at least

At some points we were 200 people strong.

Not the best sidewalk

Each year, the route is a little different, so I always get to see something new. But this year, we were in for a treat. I’d heard that a sidewalk ran the length of the 110 freeway, from Chinatown to Highland Park. But I’d never walked there before.

The cars are close

You’re basically walking in traffic, as cars going 70 miles an hour buzz by your head. It’s a little unnerving.

This walkway goes on forever

As far as I can tell, this stretch of the 110 used to be Figueroa Street, so all the sidewalks and lights are from before the freeway actually went in.

Pruning for graffiti

The fact that they kept this little passageway is so fascinating, so bizarre. As if someone would want to go for a relaxing stroll in four lanes of traffic. That said, with some improvements, it would make a great bike path.


Once you get to the northern edge of the path, you’re rewarded with incredible views of the LA River.

Many modes of transit

And you’re confronted with the many layers of our transit infrastructure.

More stairs

Then, right in the middle of having your mind blown because you’ve just walked down a FREEWAY SIDEWALK, you see this…

Spiral staircase

Yeah, that’s a spiral staircase at the intersection of the 110 and 5 freeway. Had I ever seen that before? Um, no.

Check out our peeps

After 10 years in LA, I’m still discovering things in plain sight. So yeah, that was the highlight, but here are some other interesting things I spotted along the way.

Like stained glass

A kind of urban subterranean stained glass in a Solano Canyon tunnel.


I love how the morning glory vine has completely overtaken the bottle brush tree, but they look so good together.

Waiting in white

At the mission downtown.

Disney Hall

Disney Hall with a lifting May Gray.


Echo Park ponies.



Pink corner

More pink.

Water in an alley

This is an enterprising neighbor.

Closed streets!

Rare empty streets (for the Amgen bike race).

Mickey Mouse pomelos

Disney pomelos.

More Big Parade photos.

This entry was posted in walking. Bookmark the permalink.