The Ultimate Pedestrian

My way toward the highway...

MTA Accessible Fruit Tree Program

Bare Root Fruit Trees Ready for New Homes

When I signed up to volunteer with Tree People’s Fruit Tree program, I feared many uphill battles cycling up Coldwater Canyon to their oasis at the crest. Happily for me and for any other car-free, car-light or otherwise MTA-oriented types, they have a wonderful location at Grant High School out in the Valley.

Curbside Service via the MTA

Easily bikeable from the North Hollywood Metro Red Line station (bike lanes and/or bike routes all the way along Chandler) or zip up the always-speedy Orange Line to the Valley College stop.

The site is also serviced by local buses 154 and 167.

Bare Root Fruit Trees Soaking It Up

Gathering bare root fruit trees (peach, plum, apricot, apple and nectarine) for pruning and prep for distribution,this little garden patch and future orchard offers an oasis for students and passersby alike.

Kim Trimiew, program coordinator, checks tags on nectarines.

The Fruit Tree program is just one of many ways Tree People makes LA a more livable city.

Visit to find your leafy niche and get your hands dirty.

Every Bike is Beautiful

My friend Sam drew this bike for me after mine was stolen.

I like it as a template for the next design.





Bicycle Thief Has Struck Home

My beloved Batavus was stolen from the courtyard of my apartment building – a quiet spot, behind a house (aka not visible from the street), and flanked by four apartments. BICYCLE STOLEN 121510_FP

Bold, I say, bold. And so dispiriting. I’m surprised at how lonely I feel without it. Your bike really becomes a part of you. I am hopeful it will find its way back to me, but spirits are low.

If seen, please give a shout out to the fine crew at Flying Pigeon Los Angeles who sold me the Batavus and were kind enough to lend me a jaunty Flying Pigeon 3-speed.

Superba Figs & a Flower

Superba Figs and a FlowerWalking to work from the Lincoln & Venice bus stop this morning, I ran into a man carrying a cupful of figs who gestured to a row of the same on his front gate. “I have figs for you…and a flower.”  His name is Dante, and as it turns out his fig tree currently yields approximately 50 figs a day. This burden of abundance has turned another stranger into a generous benefactor. He invited me to please include his house on my daily route, an invitation I’m happy to accept.

This kind of beautiful accident just doesn’t happen when you travel by car — one of the many incidental perks of being a pedestrian.

Few things feel as civilized as receiving fresh fruits and vegetables from the person who grew them.  I’ve been especially blessed by this kind of culinary magnitude lately, beginning with the eggplant, basil and cherry tomato riches of Riverdale Avenue.Superba Figs & a Flower up Close

Fall is full of promise.

Thank you, kind growers.

Gustiest Metro Station

Now that I’m working in Venice, I so miss my North Hollywood commute, largely because I long for the fixture rattling, wind tunnel experience of the approaching downtown train at Universal City Station.  Here’s the secret: sit at the very farthest end of the platform. Wait patiently. First there will be a hushed stirring. Then the metal gratings above you will begin to quake. As the train nears, step up  and watch it arrive for the full civic tornado experience.

MTA Shake Up Fall Out…Proving Once Again MTA Doesn’t Care about Commuters

This image, taken a while back on a crowded 754, cannot compare with the ridiculously overstuffed Rapid 704 that rolls out of Santa Monica around 7:00pm M-F.

The MTA cannot seem to regulate these buses whatsoever. Every night, as the 704’s near their final departure, they either don’t show up at all or they send some poor driver out with a short bus. Yeah, the old style MTA buses, not the glorious accordioned demons of today. What makes this especially bad is that even with the larger buses, they fill up to the brim so quickly, drivers always have to pass people by. Only those of us who’ve waited hopefully, 30 – 40 minutes for a bus that does not show, at the end of a long work day, can comprehend the horror of having a rapid bus just speed by without stopping.

Commuting from the east side to Santa Monica is a foolhardy thing no matter what mode you choose, but the MTA should at least honor their printed schedules and their ridership by not stiffing us with some antiquated-in-need-of-repair-moldy-vented-anchovy-seating short bus.

So there.