On Saturday, July 11th, Doane Liu, Deputy Director and Chief of Staff of the Port of Los Angeles led a very special waterfront walk for Los Angeles Walks, a non-profit that works to make L.A. safer for pedestrians.
Even before I ever met Doane, I knew him as the guy who was always walking his dogs past my house. Doane LOVES to walk. One of the first thing he did when he came to work at the port was walk the whole thing. Nothing would make him happier than if the entire waterfront was overrun with people walking around on it (he told me that).
Doane’s dream came true when he got to lead a group of 50-60 people on a tour of the waterfront from the Catalina Express Terminal all the way to CRAFTED.
Joining us on the walk were three waterfront VIP’s, Rachel Sindelar, Executive Director of CRAFTED, Dave Holop from Brouwerij West and Jonathan Williams, CEO of the USS Iowa.
Full disclosure, I’m the owner of Townee Tours, San Pedro’s only walking tour company. So that makes me San Pedro’s only professional walking tour guide. I have a waterfront tour. Doane took the USS Iowa and shot my tour out of the water with one of those big ol’ guns. But I can’t feel bad because Doane pretty much runs the port, and it is very good to be king.
Doane made sure that there were people at each stop waiting to talk to us about that piece of the waterfront. Here we have our friend Robert Castagnola at the bocce ball courts. Doane was so thorough that when we got to the fanfare fountain, he had someone from WET waiting to turn on the fountain show the second we arrived. He also special ordered “I Love L.A.” by Randy Newman.
Jonathan Williams talked a little bit about the USS Iowa.
If you don’t think having the fountain start on cue was baller enough for a walking tour, this might change your mind. When we got to the downtown harbor, a tug started up and pulled off the dock as Fireboat 2 did a little water dance for the crowd. It was like a little music box harbor, coming to life once someone lifted the lid.
Even Theresa Adams Lopez, Director of Public Relations handed out some waters to the crowd. This was no job for interns. Doane runs a classy ship!
Even Tommy Amalfitano came out to welcome the tour to the San Pedro Fish Market.
Tommy gave them a proper Pedro tasting with shrimp, calamari and beer.
LAMI got in on the fun and educated the group on the official flag ships of the city of L.A., the Irving and Exy Johnson.
When we got to the Ghost Fish, we were nearly to the end of the tour. It was nice to see people marvel at a piece of public art that they didn’t know existed before that day.
Almost there! When was the last time you saw this many people walking down Harbor and 22nd?
Rachel welcomes the group to her CRAFTED kingdom and congratulates them on a walk well done.
All jokes aside about how Doane OBLITERATED me in the tour guide game- this was one of the best waterfront walking tours in the history of waterfront walking tours. No one else could have possibly assembled all those people and moving parts than someone in Doane’s position. Actually, not even just someone with Doane’s position- but someone with Doane’s long standing history working to represent San Pedro.
The fact that it happened is a HUGE deal and should give us all some great hope about the future of the relationship the port has with the community because of Doane.
This walk was important for another reason – there are 50-60 people who got up close and personal with San Pedro’s waterfront with our best foot forward, all engines firing and on a picture perfect day. Walt Disney couldn’t have animated a more ideal experience. That’s 50-60 more people who got introduced to San Pedro’s true charm and majesty.
I really hope this happens again, L.A.’s a big city and we have millions more introductions to make.