Do This Today: Halloween!


(photo taken from HERE)

There are about 1000 events going on around town tonight to celebrate Halloween (here are about 6). I hope everyone has a fun night trick or treating, giving out candy, and dressing up in costume. I’m a firm believer that Halloween is for all ages and dressing up should be mandatory (look for that prop on next years ballot). Be safe and have fun ūüôā

Event: Trick or Treating
Location: All over LA
Time: All day
Cost: FREE CANDY!

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Secret Stairs Walk #25: Swan’s Way (Silver Lake West)

— ¬†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! ¬†—

When I did Secret Stair Walk #24, I decided to lump it together with walk #25, Swan’s Way ¬†in the Silver Lake west hills. It was a beautiful day with clear skies. Nothing like a secret stair walk to put a smile on my face.

It was an excellent workout FILLED with stairs. Up I go.

You know how I love color and doors. This was pretty great.

So many hills..

This was an awesome find! I found a street artists heart stencil. I love finding street art on my walks, so finding he stencil was pretty cool.

Then I turned a corner and found street art (although ironically nothing with the heart from the stencil).

As I neared the end of the walk, I turned to see what I thought was a person watching me… nope, just a dummy. I had to share that. Do you think the person was throwing it away? Or was it’s always there for security? I enjoyed it either way. What an artsy community.

This last photo I included not just for the street art, but also for the volvo station wagon in the back of the shot. I learned to drive in a car that looks just like. Oh how I miss the old volvos. Boxy cars are the best.

Secret Stairs Walk #24: Silver Lake Terraces East

— ¬†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! ¬†—

It’s been a while since I shared a Secret Stair walk with you… and it’s been too long. So I bring to you my exploration of Silver Lake Terraces East (walk #24 from the book). I know I’ve been doing a lot of the Silver Lake walks (since I have so much fun in that hood), but there are plenty more from other neighborhoods, which I will tackle in the next few months. And so I begin at Silver Lake Wine. I love the shops all along Silver Lake Blvd. They are so adorable. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop into Yolk. It’s a great shop to find gifts for the person who has it all.

Come explore this outdoor space!

Higher and higher I go! The trade off for the intense stair climbing (and heavy gasping breath) are the incredible views. Can you imagine living up here and getting some sun and exercise in while climbing down to the Silver Lake Coffee Co to grab your morning brew?

The photo above shows the elevator that leads to this persons home. Isn’t that incredible? I love the color too. How fun- and very Silver Lake.

And what goes up, must go down. I actually went down the wrong set of “secret stairs” and ended up in someone’s back yard. Thankfully no police were called and we didn’t give anyone a fright. It was an honest mistake… which probably happens to them constantly. I hope you get out on this beautiful Saturday! Why not explore some secret stairs?

Weekend Guide July 20 + 21 + 22

Since the Weekend Guide is a “Do This Today” that covers the weekend, I’ll be back with that segment on Monday. Are you excited its the weekend? I’ve got so much to do this weekend and I’m grateful it’s here. I actually have a little art assignment I’ve given myself, which will help make the blog better, so check back for that in the next week or two. Alright, let’s get to it.

FRIDAY July 20:

Tonight at 6:30, Paul F Tompkins and Andy Daly will be performing in Dead Authors at UCB. Tickets are $5 and still available. Click HERE to make a reservation. Proceeds go to benefit 826LA, which is a great charity focused on helping students 6-18 with their creative writing skills. Come get your laugh-on!

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This next event is more of a special occasion event, but Mt. Baldy is offering Sunset Dinners. This is a great birthday present for a loved one and a great gift for someone who “has everything”. The reservation is $10 (you’ll have to pay additional fees for the food) and includes the cost of a lift ticket. How fun to have a romantic dinner at the top of the mountain followed by stargazing? Men, take note. Click HERE for all the details and conditions.

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Tonight from 7-7:30p, the MOCA Grand downtown is hosting L.A. Dance Project with ¬†Benjamin Millepied. He and Amanda Wells will dance through the galleries where The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Warhol is on view. ¬†Check out THIS Curve article about the event. Doesn’t that sound awesome? It reminds me of the rollerskating scene in LA Story, where they skate around the museum when the guards turn.

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SATURDAY July 21:

Bloomfest is happening downtown on Saturday from 2-10p. There will be live music, street art, food trucks, and vendors. Bring the family and come celebrate this community event. Check out their fun website for details and maps.

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I almost don’t want to tell you about this because the cost of the ticket is in my opinion, too much, but Los Angeles seems to be abuzz about it so I’ll talk about it here. The LA Street Food Fest is happening on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. A $45 ticket gets you unlimited food and drinks from a ton of LA food trucks from 5-9p. There will be a DJ, so bring a blanket and layout on the lawn. If you’re a high roller and this is the night for you, get tickets HERE. At least partial benefits go to charity.

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Pack up the blankets and picnic baskets to see The Winter’s Tale performed at 7pm on Saturday. It happens near the Old Zoo in Griffith, it’s free, and it’s put on by the Independent Shakespeare Co. Bring a jacket because it gets chilly when the sun sets.

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The Rookie Road Trip is coming to LA on Saturday from 7-10p at Space 15 Twenty. It’s an art installation/DIY event. Why not stop in and check out out.

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SUNDAY July 22:

Galco’s Soda Pop Stop is doing a soda tasting from 5-8pm. They are located in Highland Park, so maybe you could explore the secret stairs and then stop by for a soda refresher and some live music. What else is on York Blvd in Highland Park? The York! ¬†Remember when I went?¬†Why not stop there after the soda tasting?

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The W Hotel¬†in Westwood is doing movies in their backyard this summer. On Sunday at 7pm they are doing a FREE screening of Matchstick Men. Get there early to get a spot, because they aren’t taking reservations, unless you want to pay for a cabana.. but who wants to pay for a free movie? Check out¬†SHOW: Me The Movies¬†for all the details.

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Secret Stairs Walk #38: Universal City- Happy Trails

— ¬†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! ¬†—

Today I want to talk about my exploration of the Universal City hills. This walk begins along the busy street of Cahuenga Blvd. Once you walk a few blocks you loop up into the hills, where the sounds of traffic dissipate, the air feels fresher, and it becomes very calm.

I actually made a mistake, took a wrong turn and added a steep detour to my walk. It’s funny how this mistake was very enjoyable (despite the high heat and hill steepness). Spending time walking the hills and secret stairs is so relaxing. All the anxiety of the day just washes away and you feel in the moment. Personally I’m always looking for small details to take photos of and delight in. This means I’m constantly absorbing what I’m seeing, just taking it all in.

For example, if I hadn’t made the mistake of a wrong turn, I would have missed out on this awesome Star Wars windshield cover.

Speaking of secret stairs, how about secret houses? The only marker of this home is the bright red door, a glimpse of a chimney and the trash cans out front. I like to imagine who lives in there and what it looks like. Probably a troll… or some type of Disney character.

Higher and higher I go. The architecture got more unique as I headed up hill.

A friend joined me.

This house is where Kathy Griffith lived (or still lives?) and was featured on her reality show, My Life on the D-List.

The next unique home I came across was of a former wrestler turned designer. I was unable to fit it all the in frame because it was so monstrous and the road was narrow. The entire home is covered in decorative mosaic tile. Also, I think the home owner came home while I was taking photos. It was awkward.

This homes are so interesting and the book said these are where a famous novelist set his superhero’s home. I can’t remember the details, but I love the architecture! I can’t imagine being in one of these during an earthquake. I did enjoy that the glass walls made it so you could see how people decorated these homes (there were several along this hillside).

Per usual, this was another delightful Secret Stair walk.