Monday, January 29, 2007


One of the joys of living in LA is discovering the great shortcut. I hope the oft repeated notion that people will actually refuse to share these secret routes is an urban myth. What would the rationale be? Fear of some sort of stampede that would turn aforementioned shortcut into a traffic jam?

Since Lincoln Heights sits at the center of the famous Glendale Junction, it would appear to offer access to every area of Los Angeles. It is after all a place where seemingly all the major freeways of Los Angeles converge. Somehow I have failed to find a satisfying way over to Hollywood...and happened. I found the perfect shortcut.

Here it is in all it's glory: Jump on the 5 North, zip up to 134, take the Forest Lawn exit and sail down to Barham, which flows into Cahuenga, which flows into Franklin, which deposits you promptly on Sunset Blvd. Voila. I was no longer a world apart.

Like any secret route, I had to run it many times before I got the kinks out. One false move and you wind up in Burbank or stuck in a traffic jam at Highland and Hollywood Blvd.

Because driving at a cruising speed is a rarely experienced pleasure, I've come to really enjoy this run, especially at night. Forest Lawn, so named as it traces the border of its namesake, the Forest Lawn Cemetery. Appropriately, the road is as dark as an old country road, and curves gracefully across the miles of this peaceful place of eternal rest.

The remains of Bette Davis are entombed here, adorned by her epitaph "She did it the hard way".

Each night drive home, just as I come up the hill, I see the arch of an entryway, and it's white marble sign with its tag line prominently displayed. It reads: "One call or visit arranges all".

Better a truism there never was. One visit is all it takes.


  1. 1) I never knew there was a prevailing 'story' out there that we kept our secret routes to ourselves. I always thought it was the opposite, that we gloried in comparing and sharing little known routing tidbits.

    2) Other than the opportunity race along the edge of Forest Lawn in the darkness flirting with death in a variety of ways, why is this proffered route better than getting off the 5 at Riverside Drive, north on Riverside to Los Feliz Drive, which runs into Franklin right after it hooks left and becomes Western. Of course it is Franklin at Western as opposed to Franklin at Cahuenga, which may expose the hidden subtext in this entry. Cahuenga evokes edgy clubs filled with hipsters of various sexual persuasions. Western evokes baklava and the original home of Zankou Chicken.

  2. Trucha9:23 PM

    I'm not familiar with your shortcut (it sounds interesting, however), but I will say I'm averse to anything that involves Los Feliz Blvd., as I've seen it be a parking lot too many times.

    Speaking of shortcuts, let me introduce you to my favorite L.A. blog (outside of Pasha's, of course). Check out the following link on shortcuts and make sure you peruse the comments as there are more Hollywood shortcuts mentioned.

    Note: the last part of the URL should read