I almost skipped a walk around Runyon Canyon, a park rising from Hollywood up into the hills, dismissing it as too popular and too well-known of an attraction. But one afternoon was so lovely — pleasantly cool, with a sky softened by a few clouds — I couldn’t resist a visit.
The park affords splendid vistas of Los Angeles. The panorama from the aptly named Inspiration Point, for example, encompasses the downtown and the Century City skylines, as well as everything in between. Just up the path, the iconic Hollywood sign comes into view.
As memorable as these sights were, it was the people- and animal-watching that I won’t soon forget. At one point, I noticed a woman with hair dyed a glaring artificial yellow, sporting a chrome jacket and iridescent-purple fish-scale leggings (no city does “athleisure” like L.A.).
Just after her pranced a little fluffy puff of a dog, one of many canines in the park that had more meticulous grooming habits than most humans I know. But not all dogs in the park were so well-behaved, it seems. I observed, with some horror, a large splatter of still-fresh blood on the pavement, the result of a particularly nasty dogfight, or so I overheard.
Hurrying past the blood, I couldn’t help but slow as I spotted a man and woman approaching me with plastic bottles of water balanced atop their heads. They looked ridiculous, but I can’t deny that their posture was impeccable.
I turned from them just in time to spot a determined jogger, his well-cut tank top showing off his arms, heading up the hill straight toward me. With his head down, the visor of his baseball cap blocked his view of me. I stepped aside to allow him to pass, catching a close-up glimpse of his face as he trotted by. It was none other than Ryan Reynolds. Perhaps I should have let him run into me!
I observed all this within the space of about an hour. It’s hard to imagine myself living in a place like Los Angeles, but heavens, that city is fun to visit.