On Being a Tourist in Your Own Town


As a tour guide I frequently give tours to life-long residents who often start out skeptical thinking a guided tour is just for tourist. When the tour is over I get a special thrill when these folks get off my bus excited about the new things they’ve learned about the history of their own neighborhoods.

Wherever you live or move to, its easy to miss what makes a place special when you’re caught up in the details of day-to-day life. I should know. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, and was THIRTY-FIVE before I ever saw the Liberty Bell. That was a turning point for me. I realized that we miss the magical things under our very noses.

Since then, wherever I’ve lived, I’ve made a point to explore what makes a place special. With over 4 million people and 500+ square miles, Los Angeles has lots of those places, and I’m determined to explore as much of it as I can.

And I encourage you to do the same. So go ahead… wherever you are… be a tourist in your own town!

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Red Line Walk: Vermont/Beverly to Wilshire/Vermont

Start at Vermont/Beverly Metro Station
End at Wilshire/Vermont Metro Station
Distance: 1 mile (+ 1/4 mile with recommended Bimini Place loop)

This walk is the gateway to LA’s melting pot: Koreatown. Despite its name, along this walk we enjoyed the flavors of many countries. Our favorite spots include a Bangladesh market, a Filipino bakery and numerous Mexican taco trucks. Along the way we were surprised to stumble upon a 40-year-old commune committed to ecologically sustainable urban living and traces of the area’s elegant past.
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