So, this was my afternoon on Martin Luther King day... sorry East Coasters!
I am very fortunate, in that I have a bike, love the ocean, am a giant chicken about riding on the street, and yet someone had the foresight to build a bike path almost directly from my apartment to the beach! This most excellent invention is the Ballona Creek bike path ("creek" apparently being a LA euphemism for "flood channel", but, whatever).
Its actually pretty scenic, especially at high tide and most especially in spring when the second half is lined with fields of yellow daisies. What I like best is that the first half basically goes through people's back yards and side streets, past elementary schools and small neighborhood playgrounds- the kind of things you normally just drive past and never look at very carefully unless they directly involve you. But on the bike you go slower, and on Saturday mornings you pass by people hanging out laundry, men playing soccer, kids playing, all kinds of things. And there is a completely random selection of people on the path itself (hard core bikers in whizzing groups, wearing lots of spandex; old couples going really slow and wearing visors; little families with kids on tricycles; people just strolling along).
Sometimes you get so caught up in your own daily routine, that you construct your own version of wherever you live. You make it out of the places you know you like, fill it full of people you already know or who are pretty similar to you, and can just exist in that bubble endlessly. I like the process of finding places I like and building a little world for myself- it makes a big city feel like home. But, I also like feeling like I'm really seeing the city the way it really is (instead of just my version of it), and really getting a quiet backyard peek into the LA's that people completely different from me have constructed for themselves.
Anyhow, here's the path! Starts off a little industrial (but I'm attached to this bridge. There is no clear reason why it is even there at all, yet its kind of large. and very rusty.)
And, it gradually opens up a little...
And there are more and more plants...
And then you get to see things like this...
And... you're at the beach, and can ride by the ocean! (or lay in the sun and read, either way)