One of the best ways to connect with a city is by taking to the streets, sidewalks, or staircases and using your own two feet to explore and breathe in your surroundings. This is a theme I researched extensively in relation to Paris and the mid-19th century changes enacted by Baron von Haussmann while writing my senior thesis last year. Practically, I definitely experienced this while living in Paris for 6 months during my junior year–the more I walked, the more I understood how the city worked by arrondissement and as a whole, and the more I fell in love with it. When I came home, I suppose I felt confined by the wide, pedestrian-unfriendly streets of Orange County (counter-intuitive, I know). I found myself venturing up to Los Angeles more and more frequently, and when I stumbled upon Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles by Charles Flemming these trips to the city of angels became pretty regular…I’m talking once-a-week regular.
The very first walk I experienced, back in June of last year. I’ve done about 10 since then out of 42 total walks.
I’m going to start documenting my staircasing on this blog just to highlight the fantastic job Flemming has done in writing this guide. It really feels like he’s walking along with me as I read and follow his instructions, soaking in the rich historial details of pockets of Los Angeles I would never otherwise have the occasion to visit.
Here are some highlights from the past 7 months of staircasing…
On one walk in Echo Park, the book took us to these beautiful and pristine Victorian houses. How on Earth would I have ever found these without this glorious book?!
Original hitching post and carriage step from the days when horse-drawn carriages actually existed in Los Angeles.
A very magical corner of Griffith Park.
The best part about all this staircasing is the amazing fun I have with the friends I drag along with me. And the quad workout.
Well, henceforth be expecting more detailed staircasing stories!