Talkin’ ’bout walkin’

Colorado was beautiful, but I'm happy to be back on my own turf.

Way back when I was a single lady, I was honored to be interviewed by two men I admire on my propensity for pedestrianism. (Is that a word? I’m going with it.)

First, I was the subject of an entire episode of Colin Marshall’s excellent podcast Notebook on Cities and Culture, where he asked some pretty insightful questions about our quickly changing Los Angeles and how I see my role as a design writer morphing to encompass issues around public space and transportation. Colin’s show is amazing and I highly recommend listening to some of the other interviews, like this one featuring my hero, DJ Waldie.

The following week, I was featured in Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne’s latest story in his series on LA’s boulevards. In this installment, he focused on Sunset Boulevard, strolling it from the sea all the way to East L.A., and I talked to him as he walked through my neighborhood, with some thoughts on Sunset’s increasing walkability:

Walker is a dedicated pedestrian who doesn’t own a car and casually uses the word “walkshed” to refer to the area in her neighborhood that she can reach easily on foot. She says the plaza is emblematic of a wider shift in the city.

“When I go to parties, people always say, ‘Where’s your car?’ And I’ll say, ‘I walked here.’ And it used to be like, ‘Oh, my God, you’re crazy! It’s not safe!’ But now people will say ‘That’s cool,’ or ‘I walk a lot too.’ In the last three or four years the level of surprise has really dialed down.”

Funnily enough, I also happened to be interviewed by both of these fine men in the exact same place—at the same table, in fact—in the Sunset Triangle Plaza. I’ve actually been taking lots of my meetings in the plaza, or heading down there to work outside for a few hours. I would say just the fact that I can conduct my business on a street closed to cars says almost everything you can say about the way LA’s changing for the better.

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