Other Walkers, Part 2: California

General note about this series of entries: It is hard to know how many other every-street walkers are out there. I imagine there plenty who go about their walking quietly, without being noticed by the local news media or without documenting it for the general public online or in print. If you happen to know someone who has walked or is currently in the process of walking every street somewhere (a few are highlighted in my links on the right sidebar) please let me know.

So far no one has come forward to say that they have (or know someone else) who has walked every street in Berkeley. I am still holding out hope; it would be fun to meet up with someone else to compare notes. However, I have received plenty of notes from people who do lots of walking in Berkeley, which is encouraging! San Francisco seemed like a likely place where someone would be walking every street, and in fact the “Walking Man” does just that. Tom Graham writes an occasional series for the San Francisco Chronicle on his walking adventures on the city’s 2,350 streets.

Elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dinesh and Joy Desai walked every street in the town of Los Altos back in 1985. Since then, Dinesh (sometimes with his wife and other friends) has embarked on a number of other walking and hiking adventures, including a 110-mile solo walk around the Salton Sea, a walk of the length of Death Valley National Park (during the summer), and a walks covering the entire California coast.

If, like me, you are so tired of hearing the same old media stories about Los Angeles and its love of the automobile, you will be refreshed to find that someone is indeed Walking in L.A. You can see photos and maps of Neil Hopper’s walks in Los Angeles back to 2002. If you have spent much time in the San Francisco area you have no doubt encountered attitudes of superiority when the subject of SF vs. LA comes up. I suspect getting off of the freeways and onto to the streets on foot might erase some of those feelings. With architecture alone, there is so much to see: Hollywood bungalows, the Googie coffee shops and restaurants, the many interesting examples of modern architecture, and much more. Then there are the beach areas, the hip neighborhoods that have developed in places like Silverlake, Los Feliz, and Echo Park, hills and parks, and the landmarks that most people drive by in a car. If you are interested in walking in Los Angeles, Hopper’s site and the book Walking L.A., by Erin Manohey, look like good places to start.

I have not heard of anyone walking every street in Sacramento, but a Davis resident in his late 70s has walked every street there and now helps with a healthy walking program in town. Otherwise I have not heard of walkers in other cities in California, but I imagine they are out there!


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