Secret Stair Walk#6: Hermon and Highland Park

– My goal was to finish all the walks in the book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. I only had about 10 walks left when I pushed it to the back burner. One of my 2014 resolutions is to finally share those last walks with you. –

It’s time for walk #6: Hermon and Highland Park. My good friend Biz joined me for the loop. This was a pretty quick loop, but it was nice to see another side of town.

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I just love these old store fronts and signs. As someone who works in the art department, we often “age” new sets to look old on camera. I think it has me hyperaware of rust and the qualities of aging.

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Along one of the roads were a ton of old vintage cars. That’s not something you see every day.

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There’s a snake themed public space along this road. It had a Gaudi-esque flare to it with stone mosaic pathways. It also had a snake theme which made me uncomfortable (I hate snakes).

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After the park we walked over the highway and a “roaring-river”.

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We ran into this Wildflowering LA spot.

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This was a fast loop, so we combined it with walk#8. That’ll be up next!

Secret Stair Walk #12: Echo Park Lake Victorians

–  In 2012 I had the goal to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. I was 10 walks shy of meeting my goal, but thats means I get to enjoy the Secret Stair walks in 2013! These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!  –

Finally it’s time to share a Secret Stair walk that I’ve been waiting a long time to do: walk #13 Echo Park Lake Victorians. Echo Park Lake has been through a lengthy renovation and in June it finally reopened all clean, shiny and new. It was the perfect time to complete that walk from my book.

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Ooh a fancy head. I can’t remember who this was… but now you should come check it out for yourself.

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When they cleaned out the lake they kept this flowers which are symbolic to the history of the lake. On we walk…

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Stair time! I’ll admit, there aren’t a whole lot of stairs in this walk, but it was hilly and that should count for something.

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We did pass some homeless people packing up and starting their day, and I would recommend only doing this walk during daylight hours. The trash residue tells you what happens here at night.

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But the view from the walk way if awesome.

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We looped back down by the lake.

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It’s so clean and pretty now!

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See, we climbed some stairs.

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These stairs lead us into the Victorian neighborhood which is nestled in Echo Park in the shadow of downtown.

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There was a cute dog running around proudly in front of one of the Victorians.

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This section of LA is often seen in movies and tv. For example, these tourists are taking their picture in front of the old Charmed house on Carroll Ave. Also on this street is the house recently seen on Mad Men (Don Drapers childhood home). It’s a beautiful block and I highly recommend exploring this area.

Happy Secret Stair Walking!

Secret Stair Walk #13: Laveta Terrace (Echo Park)

–  In 2012 I had the goal to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. I was 10 walks shy of meeting my goal, but thats means I get to enjoy the Secret Stair walks in 2013! These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!  –

I haven’t posted a Secret Stair walk in a while mainly because I don’t want them to end, so I’ve been savoring them. The Laveta Terrace walk #13 takes us through Echo Park. I parked up Echo Park Ave, which added a little bit to my trek.

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There’s nothing like walking along Sunset on a Sunday. The textures, colors, and fonts are fun to explore.

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This is where the stair walk begins. Up, up, up!

 

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Pattern!

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The next set of stairs was really fun and with a line of palms at the top, it felt like a scene in a movie.

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Don’t mess with this guy.

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Hills. Up, up, up.

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Gates are just a suggestion, right?

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From across the valley I saw this guy. I wonder what it is? A fancy jungle gym? Someones house?

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This was my favorite part of this hike. It was hidden amongst the trees, but by exploring I got to see this awesome religious space in the Echo Park hills.

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Look at how nice this space is?! And with the views… it feels so European.

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What a pretty dumpster. Love the color.

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Steep steps.

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Flamingos on parade.

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These steps lead to a little oasis above Sunset. What a nice surprise to take you out of the hustle and bustle of Echo Park.

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On the way back to the car Siquica Sara guides you.

Secret Stair Walk #16: Allesandro Loop

–  In 2012 I had the goal to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. I was 10 walks shy of meeting my goal, but thats means I get to enjoy the Secret Stair walks in 2013! These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!  –

My most resect secret stair walk was in Echo Park, #16: Allesandro Loop. I did it in conjunction with walk #17 to really make an afternoon of it.

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In quiet sunny Echo Park, you really get a great view of the city.

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STAIRS!

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The road might end, but the path continues. I got to meet several nice people along this trek.

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Down, down, down.

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Graffiti fun. Local flavor.

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Echo Park is colorful creative hillside. You never know what you’ll find.

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The dogs above were adorable. When I stumbled upon them the little dog was curled laying on the larger dogs arms… dog spooning. It was the cutest thing. Of course when I paused to take a photo, they jumped up and ran to the fence barking. Their friendship is really sweet.

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This was in the window above someones front door. Like a guard dinosaur.

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More roaming through the hills.

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The above home (and below, mailbox) are Paul Landacre‘s. He was a famous artist/printmaker/woodworker. It’s unfortunate this property is boarded up. I’m so curious to know what’s inside (signs everywhere say “do not trespass”).

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Above is a fun/tacky gardenscape that’s taken over an Echo Park property. The gnomes and their castle.

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I finished this walk passing by this home with a cat staring me down. Only after a few snap shots did I see there was another cat further back watching me, and then another cat on the stairs. They blended in so well, that before I knew it I was in front of MANY cats… all quietly watching me.

Secret Stair Walk #17: Fellowship Park

–  In 2012 I had the goal to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. I was 10 walks shy of meeting my goal, but thats means I get to enjoy the Secret Stair walks in 2013! These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!  –

A couple weeks ago I ventured out on Secret Stair walk #17: Fellowship Park, up in Echo Park’s hills. I really enjoyed this walk, as it really felt like I stumbled on a hidden gem in Los Angeles.

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Plants!

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Echo Park feels so quiet up in the hills, it’s easy to forget how close to downtown it is. But occasionally you’ll reach a hilltop and catch a glimpse (like above) of city life.

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This was a fun diagonal set of stairs connecting two residential streets.

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Hills and hills and hills…

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Such a beautiful day for a secret stair climb. The flowers are blooming and spring is coming!

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The above photo shows you my favorite part of this walk. That staircase to the right of the garage seems like it’s private and leading to someones residence, but really it’s a little hidden pathway. Like the wardrobe that leads to Narnia, these steps lead to Fellowship Park.

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This seemingly private staircase changes from rough steps to a well manicured pathway, with it’s own babling brooks following alongside.

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This land was formally a religious compound but now is shared land with several little homes along it’s path. There are also several gates you have to pass through, making it feel like you’re trespassing but it’s technically public land. Isn’t the cute house perched on this land adorable? The hammock is right along the path and allows for excellent views of downtown.

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The path topography keeps changing! See the mailboxes? There are signs of life along this secret path.

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It’s a two seater at the perfect sunset spot.
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I liked this area so much that mid-walk I had to give it a thumbs up! Notice the path change again. On to dirt!

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Eventually, the path ends at a gate leading to a main road. The signs say “no trespassing” but that must have been put up by neighbors hoping to hide their LA gem. And I was back on the road hunting for more secret stairs.

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You know how I love doors, and here are some gates! I just love the texture and colors (which were more vibrant in person).

And that concludes another Echo Park Secret Stair weekend expedition.

Secret Stair Walk #15: Avon Baxter Loop

–  In 2012 I had the goal to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. I was 10 walks shy of meeting my goal, but thats means I get to enjoy the Secret Stair walks in 2013! These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!  –

It’s always a delight to take a Sunday morning Secret Stair walk in Echo Park, and even more fun when a few friends join in. We met up at Chango to explore walk #15: Avon Baxter Loop.

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Haha the photo above still makes me laugh. People in this town are so creative. This Missing/Wanted poster is an ad for the play Terminator Too Judgement Play at the Dragonfly in Hollywood. It stars the original cast of Point Break Live (for those who got to check that out). Anywho.. the walk continues..

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Graffiti fun!

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Up, up up!

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The above photo is to illustrate the steepness.

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We walk down the hill to catch these massive stairs, up we go!

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The views make it all worth it and distract from the stair climbing pain.

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Toward the end of the loop, we made a friend!

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Color fun.

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Windows, doors and texture. I love it all.

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We stopped into this shop, The Dog Show, to try on some clothes. It really felt like a Portlandia skit. One wall was completely covered in wig hair. I just couldn’t resist stopping in here.

Secret Stair Walk #14: Magic Gas

–  In 2012 I had the goal to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. I was 10 walks shy of meeting my goal, but thats means I get to enjoy the Secret Stair walks in 2013! These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!  –

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This walk begins by one of my favorite Echo Park spots, Chango Coffee. That strip of shops are very independent, local, hipstery spots. It’s adorable and a fun location that also feels like a set from Portlandia. The name of the walk, “Magic Gas”, comes from the gas station on the corner of Echo Park Ave and Morton Ave.

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The stickers and graffiti in this neighborhood are a lot of fun. It makes me feel like I should be slapping Life Absorbed stickers on all the posts.

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Door and texture fun.

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Up, up up!

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I feel like such an old person, as I have no clue what the above square barcode thing is called, nor do I know how to use it. Frankly, I’m okay being left in the dark on this.

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I think I’m being watched.

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Sculpture graveyard? Or sculpture maternity ward?

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Knock at your own risk.

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Sometimes public roads start to look like driveways…

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… and then become steep dirt paths.

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I love the Echo Park hills and the views that accompany them.

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Graffiti fun by the recycling center.

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Another great day of getting out there, getting exercise + vitamin D, getting to know the neighborhood, and getting to do it for the big price of zero dollars. Sometimes frugal activities can be awesome.