It’s been a long while since I last did a Secret Stairs walk. When I stumbled across this book two years ago it launched me into a season of pretty serious urban hiking. Now, my hikes are a bit fewer and farther between. I was able to get out for a walk recently, though, which took me into the Hollywood Hills. Just across the street from the Hollywood Bowl, Samsko and I meandered past residences which once belonged to silent film stars like Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson. Even William Faulkner once called these streets home.
Los Angeles is just so interesting. I know she’s often regarded as cold and unfeeling, but it is on walks like these that I see her in a completely different light. I see the generations of people she has carried up and down these pedestrian staircases–reminders of a time when cars were an added luxury rather than an essential commodity. I see the trees that have shaded her streets for decades. I see the artistic imprints left by past and current inhabitants, signs that “home” is not a word that defines a space, but rather a space that defines the word and has a different meaning for everyone.
Let’s hope I don’t go another 6 months or so before staircasing again. Let’s hope.