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.

Secret Stair Walk #4: Glassell Park South- Taylor Yard

–  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 time for more Secret Stairs! Are you ready? This time I made my way to walk #4: Glassell Park South (near the Mt. Washington hills). That is such a up and coming area with some great properties and even better, secret stairs.

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You can see I picked a great day for a walk. The sky is blue and we had a rainfall the day before so the sky was very clear.

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I love when secret stairs have their own street marker.

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Such a cutie. This dog was super sweet.

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Higher I go!! This was a beautiful set of stairs. The ivy creeps out on to the path, and sunlight marks the top tier of steps.

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What a fancy scarecrow.

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Steps become roads, which become paths.

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LA architecture can be awesome. You would never see a house like this in CT.

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Mural/graffiti fun.

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Pretty colors and flowers as a reach the “down” portion of the climb.

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The shadows get long as I get closer to the end.

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But it doesn’t finish without stumbling upon a pasture of cows. Mooooo.

Secret Stair Walk# 3: Glassell Park North- York and Beyond

–  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 love these secret stair walks. Just love them. This walk led me to Glassell Park North. This walk I actually met a young hipster couple also climbing the secret stairs at the same time! They were doing the loop in reverse, so we crossed paths twice. They warned me of large dogs up ahead “You’ll know it when you see it” and they were VERY right. I spent the walk wondering when I would stumble on them. Sure enough it was a narrow stretch of walkway between two houses and I saw the three dogs. One of them looked like the size of a pony. Thankfully they didn’t jump the fence and instead barked loudly at me as I ran (very fast) by.

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You know how I love finding unique trash treasures along the way.

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I did this walk on a free weekend with a mix of clouds and sun in the sky. So the photos really range in contrast.

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(Above) Winner for most artistic mailbox on this walk!

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Other than that couple (and scary dogs) it was a very quiet walk. Not many neighborhood sounds which made the walk very contemplative.

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(Above) Rooster in jail.

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Plenty of beautiful views from the hilltops.

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Above is a driveway that leads off the cliff. This made me laugh when I stumbled upon it. It’s like the house just vanished and left the driveway.

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I don’t quite understand why hanging knitted blankets outside is a good idea… but I’m no green thumb.

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Steep rickety steps lead me up the next hillside. It looks like one of those old wooden roller coasters where you have to take your life into your own hands.

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I really love the orange retaining wall overflowing with greenery.

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Don’t be fooled! These steps are not public stairs and also seem to cut short in the middle of the hill.

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Watchful guardians.

Secret Stair Walk #41: Pacific Palisades- Castellammare

It’s about time I shared another Secret Stair Walk with you! This time I ventured over to the west side of town, specifically Pacific Palisades- Castellammare. The great thing about this neighborhood is its steep slope which gives you amazing views of the ocean the entire walk. It also means you get a workout. Get ready to sweat!

–  In 2012 my goal is to do all 42 walks from the book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy! UPDATE: Due to unforeseen issues, I’ll be completing the last handful of walks I have left in 2013. –

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Get ready for a beautiful walk. I’m so jealous of the people who live in these homes, and look out at this all day. If I lived here, I’d be a shut-in.

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These homes are beautiful and obviously very expensive, but it’s refreshing to see they aren’t cookie-cutter and there was a lot of creativity on display in this neighborhood. You know how I love doors…

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A good tip to this neighborhood: there’s a walking path that takes you over the PCH and down to the beach, so if you are having a tough time dealing with parking drive up into the neighborhood where it’s not restricted and just walk across the bridge to get to the beach.

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I love texture.

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The beach!

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There’s a very colorful giant garden along this walk that you can’t miss.

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Up the stairs, down the stairs.

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I said hello to a nice older man making this beauty (above) out in his driveway.

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Every view on this walk is breathtaking. This is the only way to exercise. Doesn’t this make the gym seem like a prison? You can even see Catalina!

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One of the best parts of this walk was when it took us by Villa de Leon. This Italianate mansion overlooking the Pacific is like something out of a movie. Such beautiful architecture, still being renovated (see photo below) and grounds covered in statues. The sad thing was that the only person we saw walking the grounds was a home nurse on her break. It made me sad to think whoever has the money to afford this home is probably very old and has ailing health. But if I needed to pick a place to be bed ridden, it would be here.

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Above is a photo of Thema Todd’s garage (her home is higher up on the hillside). This is where she lived when she died of asphyxiation (suspiciously).

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Keep a good watch on this walk and not only will you see a cow, but you’ll see a giraffe!

Secret Stair Walk #19: Silver Lake Circles

It’s time to share another secret stair walk! This is one of my favorite neighborhoods, Silver Lake. In case you didn’t know…

–  In 2012 I have to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!  –

One of my favorite things around Silver Lake is the graffiti/murals. I love the guy in the green shorts on the left side of the painting. He seems… a little out of place. And yet in Silver Lake, nothing is out of the ordinary.

Graffiti-sticker fun. I love the texture above.

Oh, Silver Lake.

So much graffiti. A photographers paradise.

As all my stair walks take me high into the hills, this was no exception.

I love the lime greens, corals, and blue-purples of the photo above. And the mix of textures and some sunlight, and you have yourself a delightful afternoon.

Higher, lower, higher, lower.

Los Angeles’ shortest public staircase. It deserved to be photographed.

“United We Stand” and Dorothy’s slippers.

This home used to be owned by Lily Tomlin is called Elevado de Castillo.

Just around the corner I found this golden shoe resting on a homes front stairway. I think I found my next pair of running shoes.

Adorable. If anyone finds Gigi, let me know!

This last photo is for my friend and past co-worker Bob. He told me to check out the public space Bloom provided by Materials & Applications, and it’s an experience. Bring a book, grab a coffee at LaMill, and come sit in this little oasis.

Secret Stair Walk#18: Music Box Loop

Did you know I love Secret Stair walks? This is Secret Stair Walk #18: Music Box Loop.

–  In 2012 I have to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!  –

This walk is one of my last from the Silver Lake chapter in my book. This was a very colorful walk filled with fun graffiti and the infamous Music Box stairs made famous by the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. This walk starts by a cafe along Sunset.

These are the famous steps (although there are many other staircases along this walk).

Keep climbing! Higher, higher, higher!

You can tell from my photos this was a very colorful walk, a photographers dream.

Textures and colors.

I love this door. They could have bought a boring metal gate and instead they bought this gem. These neighborhoods really respect architecture and I love it!

One house had a fence covered in brick-a-brac. If I were a neighbor, I’d hate it, but as a visitor, I loved it.

Not all the stairs on this walk were as clean and angelic looking as the photo above, but this walk had an excellent mix of nature and architecture.

Myra lives above.

Get outside and explore the Secret Stairs! I had such a fun afternoon getting some vitamin d, exercise and excellent photos all for FREE. What a city we live in.

Secret Stair Walk#20: Sunset Junction Loop

It seems like I’ve been talking a lot about the Secret Stair Walks with friends lately, so I figure it’s about time I share another walk with you. This is Secret Stair Walk #20: Sunset Junction Loop.

–  In 2012 I have to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!  –

Oh, Sunset Blvd. You are a fun fun street.

The street art along Sunset is truly original. I love looking for these small creative details. Who takes the time to make this art? Who does it for creativity/humanity (because LA certainly didn’t commission these artists)?

The colors and texture of Sunset (above). When you do this walk, be sure to park far away, so you can add a Sunset walk to the loop.

Mascots of Silver Lake.

This neighborhood has excellent brunch spots/cafes to visit, so plan the walk around a meal.

A fresh bloom.

Like all of these walks, after a stint on a busy road the stairs take you to a quiet landing overlooking Los Angeles. The hustle+bustle becomes so tranquil.

Even high up in the hills, there is still creativity to observe.

The above photo was taken on a landing many flights of stairs above the road. This is the path these 5-10 home owners have to walk every time they arrive/leave in order to reach their cars. You wouldn’t want to lug groceries up here.

Then I came across the freakiest “free” sale. Yes, you are seeing a bong and 5 identical doll heads. So weird, but an awesome find for a Secret Stair Walk.

I heart doors. The bright color is so daring for this traditional colonial. It’s a great contrast compared to the bright white trim and green of the nature surrounding it.

Doors <3.

Then I came across a teepee. This is the second one I’ve seen in Silver Lake.

 

Color, color, color!

This last photo was taken on the car ride home from the walk (and not actually on the walk). I just had to share this large mural. This is located across from the Lyric Cafe. Keep an eye out for it!