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Trekking Los Angeles walking tour makes a beeline to Boyle Heights garden, artist's studio

July 20, 2010 |  7:11 am


Trekking Los Angeles, a monthly series of neighborhood walking tours sponsored by the nonprofit arts organization LA Commons and UCLA's department of urban planning, was designed to connect people to their city. "We have all these fantastic neighborhoods at our fingertips, and people often don't access them," LA Commons director Karen Mack says.

"Our focus is on trying to give people an authentic experience that is through the eyes of the people who live in the neighborhood."

MariachiA tour of Boyle Heights from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday will begin at Mariachi Plaza (pictured at right), at the corner of 1st Street and Boyle Avenue. Trekkers will listen to mariachi music and talk to the musicians. Mack will then lead the way to the studio of artist Ricardo Mendoza.

"Ricardo will talk to us about his mural-making and other public artworks," Mack says, "and then we’ll bridge to altar-making with Ofelia Esparza."

The tour ends at the thriving community garden Proyecto Jardín (pictured at top), known for its medicinal garden. The day ends with alfresco dining in the garden with food from local vendors and more mariachi music.

Upcoming tours include Koreatown and MacArthur Park on Aug. 15 and Leimert Park on Sept. 5. Tickets for each Trekking L.A. tour are $25.

-- Lisa Boone

Photos, from top: Proyecto Jardín. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times. Mariachi Plaza. Credit Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times