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.

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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!

*** UPDATE ***

I recently received a sweet email from the owners of “Giardino di Stretto” (aka the beautiful, colorful garden in the photos above). They’ve been working on their garden and wanted to share some photos of its updated look. I had high hopes of going out there myself and snapping some shots, but my weekends have been too packed to make it over there. Below are the garden-owners photos. Very impressive!

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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#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!

Secret Stair Walk#27: Silver Lake Court

Since I’m lacking Comedy Wednesday material, I thought I would share a Secret Stair walk with you. I know I haven’t shared many walks with you recently, but there are more coming. There’s nothing more calming than pushing stressful thoughts from my head, grabbing my camera and hopping in the car off to a clear-your-head walk. I find these walks force me to live in the moment and focus on what’s around me. You should try it, if you haven’t already. This time around I explored walk #27: Silver Lake Court.

—  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 was a lovely quiet walk, which took me along the familiar Silver Lake Court, which is a dirt patch where the Pacific Electric Red Car trolley used to run.

Only this time we didn’t take my typical route up the stairs, but instead turned to the left, and headed in a new direction. Excitement!

I passed an adorable bunny guarding the gate to the Rose Sharlin Co-op Nursery School, and continued along the brush path.

Eventually I was spit out into another side of the neighborhood, where I noticed this spray painted on a trailer parked on the street.

Stairs, stairs, and more stairs.

Log cabin?? In LA??

Fun with color. I love the creativity in the Silver Lake neighborhood.

“Warning: People Before Profits”

An odd museum.

Architecture fun! I love this home above.

Above: The wide shot

Above: The close-up of the John Lautner’s Silvertop residence.

Assuming I got the address right, the home above is designed by Eric Lloyd Wright for Rupert Pole and where Anais Nin lived and died in 1977.

Secret Stair Walk #36: Whitley Heights

Did you like all the Chicago posts? I had SUCH a great time in that city. If you haven’t been, GO! There was plenty of stuff to do on a tight budget, and I can’t wait to go back and see more. Before I jump right into the next leg of my trip, Cape Cod, I thought I’d take a breather and tell you about another Los Angeles Secret Stair walk.

—  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!  —

I parked near the Gelson’s off Franklin Ave in Hollywood (great free parking in that hood, with few limitations). I included photos from my walk-to-the-walk. For example this photo below was taken under the 101 overpass.

This was also taken there:

Now I’m at my starting point across from the Bowl. I spotted this dumpster behind a fence and had to take a photo. Even the dumpsters are classy here.

Just beyond the designer dumpster, I was greeted by a cat at my first set of stairs along walk #36: Whitley Heights.

This immediately puts you high above the noise and traffic of Hollywood. This whole neighborhood had an old Hollywood charm about it. You can tell there’s lots of history here.

This is also a steep hillside, so many of the homes sit on stilts like the photo shows below. Eek, I would be nervous in that house during an earthquake.

Color fun.

As this looped back down the hill, I enjoyed this sculpture of a man and his dog. I was purposeful with my leaf placement.

This was a very delightful late afternoon trek through Hollywood. It was nice to not be in the traffic I could see far below.

I just love the colors and textures in the photo below, I HAD to include it in the bunch. You can see by the reflection, it’s across from the big vertical “Hollywood” sign along Cahuenga.