To celebrate Earth Day today, this morning I smog-checked my eight-year-old hybrid. And this afternoon, unlike other recent afternoons, where I’ve stayed at my desk until 7:30 or so, I jumped up at 5:00 and boldly declared,

I’m going for a walk!

I donned my mask, Jimmie’s 100th Year Boston Red Sox Cap (it was sunny out and it was a harbinger of baseball games to happen soon?) and set off to stretch my legs. It was a joyous prospect which ended being about a two hour walk, while I snapped photos of downtown LA, depopulated these days.

Half way through my walk I picked up my friend Rob and we chatted from behind our masks while we looped through the Beaux Arts buildings of Broadway, adjacent to the jewelry district. Do yourselves a favor after this darn pandemic ends. Take the Broadway Theatre Tour offered by the LA Conservancy. It’s about a three-hour tour of all the Broadway district. Book ahead as they are very popular and fill up. According to their website, all tours are postponed until early June currently.

I had to back a distance into the street to get the shot of the Golden Gopher, which in these strange quiet days, wasn’t the least bit dangerous.

Restored 1905 Dive Bar on 417 W. 8th (Currently closed)

We turned the corner on 5th and walked west toward Pershing Square. I paused by the Metro station to shoot some pictures of the mural unfolding. The mural shot is for Martha!

We crossed Pershing Square toward the stately Biltmore Hotel, built in 1926.

We turned around at the corner of Olive and 5th to look back at the mural. It grinned at us as it found it’s late afternoon special.

Continuing up 5th, we walked toward the LA Public library, built in 1925. These later edition skyscrapers undoubtedly would have caused Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, the architect of the Public Library, some consternation.

Turning south from 5th into the garden on the west side adjacent to the library was a treat. The sound of water running from the three fountains was audible in a purer way, without the crush of usual traffic rushing toward the 110 freeway ramp. There was no one around. We paused to sit, able to social distance on the generously wide bench.

You’ll have to take my word for it that Rob even came on this walk, because he refused to have his picture taken with a mask on. We sat in the garden enjoying the fresh air, resting for a few minutes. A library security guard in a mask appeared at the top of the steps, and looked as though he was considering asking us to leave. But we decided we’d had enough of the garden’s magic and moved on.

The way home is downhill on Flower, past the Commonwealth Club, Public School in the Pegasus Building, across 7th Avenue and down the home stretch past one of the uglier buildings in South Park.

It was great to be outside getting some exercise. I came home, having shared some of my pictures with my son. He texted me back these fun facts:

So funny. First Place that served me underage: Golden Gopher*. First place to sell to me on my 21st birthday at 12:00PM: Public School.

*I’m quite sure they aren’t doing that anymore.

Watch for the maternal eye roll. Anyway, when you can get out to take a safe walk, do it! It makes a world of difference.

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