Do This Today: Inverting Neutra


Architect lovers head to Silver Lake to learn about Richard Neutra’s architecture in the VDL House. This will  run through Sept 7, so go while you can. Bring $10 cash for the tour. It’s a fun walking neighborhood, so why not pack sneakers and do a loop around the lake or at lest head over to LAMill for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Event: The Super Serious Show (tour info)
Location: 2300 Silver Lake Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039
Time: Thursday August 22, last tour @ 3-7pm
Cost: $10 donation


Secret Stairs #26: Cove-Loma Vista Loop

This past Saturday, after I finished walk #23, Astro Loop, I stopped into Starbucks for a passion iced tea and continued walking on to walk #26, Cove Loma Vista Loop. Buy the book my walks are based off, Secret Stairs LA and you can also experience these gorgeous walks. This loop was similar to walk #28 East Silver Lake from Erin Mahoney Harris’s book Walking L.A..

This walking tour shows a great variety of Silver Lake. It begins along a busy street with cute independent shops and fun bars like Cha Cha’s Lounge and The Red Lion.

This walk also includes an architecture tour exploring Richard Neutra’s work.

It was so beautiful out on Saturday. A perfect walking day.

The photo above I took when I did Erin Mahoney Harris’s walk through the neighborhood. I use it for the website banner, so I thought I would share the full picture here.

The above photo is a great example of Richard Neutra‘s work. In fact this neighborhood is packed with great Neutra buildings and you even pass his headquarters (now run by his son Dion) along the Secret Stair walk.

Such great views.

The above photo is of the Burrows Residence built in 1921 and designed by Charles Whittlesey. It’s clearly inspired by Antoni Gaudi and stands out in this neighborhood.

The other cool thing is that this walk takes you up by houses that are only accessible from these secret stairs. The roads are so steep that roads don’t even go to some of these places. Can you imagine every morning and night you have to go down several flights of exterior stairs to get to your car? Or move-in day? I have no clue how you could get a mattress up so many flights of steep exterior stairs that in some cases, are covered with low hanging branches.

The graffiti along this walk is pretty awesome. I found the above little sticker on a sign in Silver Lake. This Andre the Giant Has A Posse is a campaign by Shepard Fairey (fellow RISD alum). He’s most known for his Obama posters.

This staircase above was seen in An Ache in Every Stake, where the Three Stooges fell down these steps.

A pretty wild garden along the Silver Lake stairs. This picture sums up this walk. I highly recommend it on a beautiful day.

Secret Stair Walk #23: Astro Loop (Silver Lake)

This weekend I took advantage of Saturday’s crazy beautiful weather and decided to do 2 Secret Stair walks form my book. The first walk I went on is called the Astro Loop because of the Astro Family Restaurant you pass at the start of this walk.

Per usual, this is a photo essay of my experiences on the walk. This isn’t meant to be a replacement for the the book and I strongly suggest buying the Secret Stair book so you can have your own adventures. Okay, back to the walk.

It was such a beautiful day out, I couldn’t pass up the chance to do a secret stair walk. I chose Silver Lake for the challenge of the hills (as they are steep and rolling) as well as the view of the lake (glistening on Saturday).

Most of these stairways were well maintained and smelled of freesia. You can tell the neighborhood takes pride in their secret stairs.

The guide book said the house above used to belong to Judy Garland and now Eric Roberts (although I can’t confirm either of those claims, I have to trust the book). As you do the stair walk, you can see into the cascading backyard and begin to feel for how this house would’ve looked in its heyday. There are stone remnants of landscaping from long ago.

Graphics fun with house numbers.

Artsy fun, on this delightfully smelling walk.

Eventually, the walk loops up with the new Silver Lake Library and to quote Richard Neutra “Our environment is a form of education.”

It was around when I took this photo when a neighbor saw me and said I was the 2nd person within the hour that he’s seen walk by with the walk book. It made me happy, and curious to see who the other walker was. I added some speed to my step, and took off to find my mystery walking companion.

Street art. I love the cleverness of the stickers people post along these walks. I see all sorts of stickers everywhere and yet in all my walks I’ve never seen anyone with stickers tagging signs. The sticker people must come out at night.

This photo above was taken along the dirt road where the old Pacific Electric Railway used to operate its “red cars” that ran from downtown to Edendale. The line no longer exists, but there is a great dirt walk hidden amongst the homes in this neighborhood. Even some locals don’t know about it.

The colors were so beautiful and plants thriving. It’s hard to believe it’s winter. The above photo shows concrete remains of where the train would have stopped. Now it’s covered in graffiti with plant life surrounding it. A modern day ruins. It was just past this spot where a stranger walking along the street smiled at me and said, “Welcome to LA!” I said thank you and continued on my walk.

The last part of the loop led me into a neighborhood where the first house I saw had this giant sign, “Eat the 1%”, which I think has to do with the zombie craze happening right now? Correct me if I’m wrong, I only gleaned that from some quick googling. A little down the road I saw a small sign that said “99%”, it made me laugh.

At this time, I finished walk #23, ordered a Starbucks passion ice tea and continued on to begin walk #26. Walk #26 coming up later this week!