A couple weeks back, I took a trip to LA to visit two friends from college.

Mikey, famously known by my family and friends as ‘the girl who lived in the cubby,’ took me on a hike through Runyon Canyon.

Runyon Canyon is a 160-acre park that borders the northern edge of Hollywood. Walking to the north end of the park takes you into the Hollywood Hills. This tiny jewel of public access sits smack in the middle of the residences of LA’s rich and famous.

“We might see some celebrities,” said Mikey. “I can never recognize them, though.”
“Aren’t they always wearing baseball caps and sunglasses?”
“Pretty much.”

We did see a handful of people decked in shades and caps. Given that it was heavily overcast, maybe they were celebrities, maybe not. What interested me more was taking in the views of LA’s skyline and peering into the backyards of mansions.

Believe it or not, no glamorous movie star lives in this monstrosity. After construction began, the foundation proved to be unstable and the building unsafe to occupy. The photo doesn’t show it, but cracks can be seen in the walls. Some of the windows are broken. Mikey told me it’s been overrun by vagrants. Here’s a bird’s eye view of the property.

Just a few hundred feet down the dirt path is Runyan Ranch. It’s a private residence that’s used for events and film shoots. I didn’t get a closer photo of the property because I didn’t know what it was at the time — the film location of Scream 3, omg! — but, in the photo above, you can see the red farmhouse halfway hidden behind a tree, and sitting on the left edge of the photo below.

The couple-mile hike took us about an hour. With an elevation gain of ~600 feet, we finished feeling some pleasant leg-burn.

Touring Hollywood? Get some fresh air and a mild workout: skip the strip and hike Runyon Canyon instead.

~ ~ ~

Oh, I almost forgot … Mikey lived in a cubby.

The fall semester of my junior year at Michigan State made for tricky living arrangements. I planned to move into a bedroom in a duplex a few blocks from campus. Mikey, my friend and co-worker at Marketing Communications, had singed up for year abroad in London, but wouldn’t be leaving until October. She didn’t want to move back home just for a month, so she asked if she could stay in my room. No problem.

Kirk had just spent the previous spring semester abroad in Australia. The upcoming fall semester was his last before he would graduate in December. Finding a half year sublease on short notice (he returned to Michigan in July) proved to be difficult. “Can I crash with you?” he asked. Sure…

So, Kirk moved in, and so did Mikey. Three people in one 12×12 room? A bit squished you might think? Almost. Fortuitously, my room had access to the storage space, or cubbyhole, located above the stairs. It was an L shaped space about four feet high and ten feet deep, accessed by a chest high door in the wall. To get into the space, you had to hoist yourself four feet off the floor.

Mikey claimed the cubby. Her twin mattress fit into the long leg of the L, and in the short leg her iMac sat on a tiny coffee table. She tied a pair of lacy underwear to the bare lightbulb string (much easier to grasp in the dark) and called the cubby home.

For one crazy silly month of college, my friend Mikey lived in a cubby. &#9788