Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
A Los Angeles blog
from Echo Park

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Hidden stairways

Got my paws on a copy of Secret Stairs, Charles Fleming's "Walking Guide To the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles" today. The reporter and author makes a solid argument that Los Angeles -- of all places! -- "secretly is a wonderful place to walk -- if you know where to go." That, of course, is The Big If in pedestrian L.A. With Secret Stairs, Fleming starts in Pasadena and zigzags his way west, through Montecito Heights, Highland Park ... to Santa Monica. In Echo Park, he maps six stairway loops (that's public stair street to regular street to stairs...). He counts the number of steps in each flight, and he knows his history, making this a nice reconfiguration of a landscape that is human-historical as well as altitudinous. The book contains maps and details for 42 excursions.

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