I joined about 400 of my fellow Angelenos today to walk seven miles in honor of the famed "Silver Lake Walking Man," Dr. Marc Abrams, who passed away this week. If you live in the area, you no doubt have seen him on his daily walks, always shirtless, usually carrying a newspaper. The Walking Man was a Los Angeles icon.
My friend Verdell Wilson organized the memorial walk with a post on a local blog. She planned the route based on a press interview with Dr. Abrams where he described his daily path, "I usually loop around the lake, and then go down West Silver Lake to Rowena, and then Hyperion, and then Griffith Park Blvd. down Sunset, back down Silver Lake to the reservoir, and then back and loop around the lake again. So it's about 15 miles altogether."
Verdell was surprised by the response from the community. She tweeted, "It's amazing how many people feel personally affected by the passing of a man they didn't know. Me included."
Controversy about the doctor aside, I was personally happy to participate in the memorial walk today. People often say that LA is a city without community. The success of today's walk proves that is not true. The memorial walk was less about honoring Dr. Abrams and more about celebrating LA. Hundreds of Angelenos came together today to bond over a shared experience - the shared experience of seeing the Walking Man every day. Just by doing his thing, he gave us something to share. I met some really great people today. I ran into many friends. I enjoyed Silver Lake for the beautiful neighborhood that it is. And I felt proud to be a part of this community.
Verdell with Eric Garcetti, President of LA City Council Photo by Wildbell