Arts & Entertainment

CicLAvia explores iconic Wilshire Blvd. — with a little help from Pokemon Go

Participants in CicLAvia.
Participants in CicLAvia.
Marco Antonio Torres via Flickr Creative Commons
Participants in CicLAvia.
A participant in CicLAvia, along with her furry companion.
Melissa Wall via Flickr Creative Commons
Participants in CicLAvia.
Mayor Eric Garcetti participating in CicLAvia.
Eric Garcetti via Flickr Creative Commons
Participants in CicLAvia.
Participants in CicLAvia.
Pinkyracer via Flickr Creative Commons
Participants in CicLAvia.
A participant in CicLAvia 2012.
Melissa Wall via Flickr Creative Commons
Participants in CicLAvia.
Participants in CicLAvia.
Marco Antonio Torres via Flickr Creative Commons


This Sunday, you can experience Wilshire Blvd. without its most recognizable sound — the ambient hum of car engines.

For its 18th iteration, CicLAvia will explore "Iconic Wilshire Boulevard," a 3.5-mile route that begins in downtown at Grand and Wilshire and ends at Western and Wilshire in Koreatown.

"It's one of the most memorable routes and most iconic, given the rich history of the architecture of Wilshire Boulevard," says Romel Pascuale, executive director of CicLAvia.

"Many folks don't understand what Wilshire is about. If you take it all the way, it takes you to ocean. But in between is this evolution of the street. There's historic architecture that is very much rooted Art Deco Los Angeles, some of the midcentury design of L.A."

Five years after it debuted, CicLAvia has become the largest open streets event of its kind in the United States. What's new this time around?

Organizers are piggybacking on the popularity of Pokemon Go — something LA Metro has raised to an artform.

Pascuale promises a number of Pokemon stops. "I'm sure we'll have a few gems that folks'll be looking for," he says. He hopes the game will inspire monster-hunters to look up and look around.

"Part of what CicLAvia does is it makes you want to experience your street and to experience it, you have to look not just at your phone, to the side and up and see the architecture and be around people."

One more addition: For the first time ever, the CicLAvia route will be serviced by free pedicabs, part of a partnership with AARP. The goal is to allow people who can't walk long distances to participate in the event.

"There are neighborhoods folks only hear about, whether in the news or newspapers," Pascuale says. "And these communities have rich histories. [Some people] would not have gone there had it not been for CicLAvia."