We’re talking about the past, present and future of the Los Angeles River on tonight’s Which Way LA? Now, I think the L.A. River is a beautiful place and a local treasure. That said, I also know it will never ever be compared to the Nile or Amazon, or the Thames or Seine as one of the world’s treasured waterways. Most Angelenos assume the L.A. River is just a glorified flood control channel and never linger longer than the time it takes them to drive it on a bridge or freeway overpass.
But if you’ve never visited the L.A River, I really recommend stopping and enjoying it, particularly a five-mile stretch that parallels the I-5 between Glendale and downtown Los Angeles. In recent years riverside pocket parks and cycling and jogging paths have been opened here.
This is also a where the L.A. River looks, well, like a real river, with plenty of flowing water, vegetation and wildlife, from coyotes to herons. It may not be Shangri-La (the rumble of the nearby freeway and the odd abandoned shopping cart you’ll see will remind you of that) but it’s a place with a slower tempo than the rest of the city, one that will reward you with some beautiful sights if you spend some time there either on foot or on a bicycle.