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Urban Hikes
Tour destination Atwater Village has a history of rap; the Beastie Boys recorded there in 1992.

Universal Studios theme park can wait for, like, ever: We?ve got a better way to sightsee in our city. The A + D Museum?s Urban Hikes take a few dozen people on hour-long walking tours ($20 each) through lesser-known cultural enclaves like Long Beach (July 21), Atwater Village (August 4) and Glassell Park (August 11). Along the way, you learn each locale?s history and special little quirks. (Fun fact: Atwater Village was named for its proximity to the L.A. River.)

But we?re down with Urban Hikes for more than just the destinations--we?re fascinated by its lead hiker. Mike Sonksen, a.k.a. Mike the Poet, peppers each tour with his trademark performance poetry pieces. Like a hybrid of Eminem and Charles Bukowski, Sonksen?s upbeat delivery and clever, sophisticated writings (he?s a UCLA urban planning grad) energize while they educate. And his flow is downright catchy; we dare you to watch his trademark ?I Am Alive in Los Angeles? and not have its refrain bouncing around your head for hours.

Being serenaded by a young man showing us his secret L.A.: What?s not to love?

Sign up for Urban Hikes at A + D Museum, 6032 Wilshire Blvd.; 323-932-9393 or

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