urban hikes: forgotten la 


cultural and architectural walking tours + beat poetry with guide mike sonksen dedicated to exploring the unexplored corners of los angeleS

+URBAN HIKES: FORGOTTEN LA is a unique series of tours devoted to the exploration and celebration of sometimes-forgotten parts of Los Angeles. URBAN HIKES provides a unique and enriching view into neighborhoods such as Little Tokyo, Leimert Park, MacArthur Park, Korea Town, the Downtown Historic Core, Boyle Heights and many more.

+Los Angeles poet and native Mike Sonksen, aka ‘Mike the Poet’, performs his poems live and loud while providing a cultural, historical, and architectural tour exploring the forgotten and hidden gems in our City of Angels.

+Mike Sonksen is widely acclaimed for his live performances, contributions to international publications and legendary city tours with A+D Museum, Red Line and The Museum of Neon Art. Poet, journalist, historian, tour guide, and teacher, Mike is published in Citybeat, O.C. Weekly, New Angeles, L.A. Weekly and many others. A third generation L.A. native, Mike graduated from UCLA in 1997. His book I AM ALIVE IN LOS ANGELES! has been added to the curriculum of several universities and receives rave reviews. 


upcoming URBAN HIKES


Miracle Mile | Saturday, January 17th at 11.00 AM

Join A+D and Mike the PoeT on a cultural and architectural walking tour exploring the unexplored corners of Los Angeles.

Miracle Mile is not only the home of Los Angeles' largest grouping of art museums, it is also home to a buzzing business neighborhood adjacent to quiet lanes lined with 1920s garden apartments. It is one of the city's richest and most easily recognizable Art Deco commercial districts.



>All tours begin in the neighborhood explored, running about 60-90 minutes.
>Meeting locations sent via email prior to each Urban Hike.
>All hikes begin at 11am



past urban hikes


leimert PARK 

Leimert Park was designed by the Olmsted brothers, famous for their plans for Central Park in New York City.  It was one of the first planned communities in Southern California.  Today, it has become the center for African American arts and culture in Los Angeles.  Filled with jazz and blues clubs, theaters, hip-hop venues, and other arts institutions, Leimert Park has been called "The Black Greenwich Village", but clearly stands alone as a culture center in its own right.


Arts District Downtown L.A. 

Join A+D as we explore this exciting and rapidly evolcing area of downtown Los Angeles.  In the 1970s, artists seeking inexpensive space to live and work began to move into empty industrial buildings on the East side of Downtown LA.  The city legalized the practice in 1981 and ever since, the neighborhood has been on the path of gentrification.  Today the Arts District is home to an eclectic mix of lofts, art studios, warehouses and design factories, as well as Sci ARC school of Architecture and the still-operating Union Station Rail Yard.



Named for the immigrant population that has claimed the area as their new home in LA, Koreatown features bustling urban life and a blending of Korean and Latino cultures in historic Los Angeles.  Koreatown is reportedly one of the most densely populated and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Los Angeles.  In the 1930's it was the epicenter of golden-age Hollywood, with the Ambassador Hotel in the Coconut Grove.  Come and see for your self how Koreatown has evolved in the urban paradise it is today.



Beautiful downtown Burbank has been billed as the "Media Capitol of the World".  Burbank is home to several major production companies, studios, and the workforce they employ.  Extending from the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains to the Eastern edge of the San Fernando Valley, Burbank remains an attractive, walkable town, with access to Griffith Park as well as Bob Hope Airport. 






A special Urban Hike exploring the Los Angeles River, in conjunction with A+D's Drylands exhibition, gave hikers the opportunity to learn about Los Angeles' own water scarcity issues first hand along with LA's rich history surrounding the river. 




Leimert Park, designed by the Olmstead Brothers (designers of Central Park, New York), was considered a model of urban planning as one of the first planned communities in Southern California. Leimert Park serves as the center of the African-American art scene in Los Angeles with blues, jazz, hip-hop and poetry enriching and filling the streets of this hidden Los Angeles neighborhood. 




The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County’s North Campus, designed by Mia Lehrer + Associates, celebrated the institution's 100-year anniversary as well as a manifestation of their mission to research, document, and protect animals and the natural world. Led by the landscape architecture firm's very own project manager and principal Michelle Sullivan, hikers gained a deeper understanding of how creative design facilitates and translates the museum's philosophy into a tangible, interactive setting.





*urban hike TICKETS ARE TRANSFERABLE TO ANOTHER GUEST FOR THE SAME hike, BUT ARE NONREFUNDABLE. please contact (323) 932-9393 or info@aplusd.org.