Climbing Los Angeles One Step at a Time

Monday, December 27, 2010

Walk # 30: Franklin Hills East - Lyric Loop

Distance: 2.9 miles
Steps: 908
Difficulty: 4

"This is an energetic walk up, down, and around the hill separating East Hollywood form West Silver Lake, and includes some of the best hidden staircases in Los Angeles. Along the way are architectural peculiarities and fantastic views." Taken from Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming.

There is no better cure for overeating during the Christmas holiday than a good stair walk! In the picture above you see Charles and me rockin' our new t-shirts. I had them made using a scan of the Secret Stairs book cover and included my blog address on the bottom. He was really surprised and I'm glad he liked his Christmas gift. I don't know if he liked the shirt more than the blowtorch he got (for making creme brulee). This walk was the last one of the year (#29 of 42) and it was truly memorable. Was it the green hillsides freshened up after a series of rainstorms or the crisp, clear, and cool weather? I don't know what it was but we had a great time! Two of our new 'regulars' (the Interpreters - Ines and Enrique) joined us as did Julie Wolfson. Julie is a friend and writer for LAist. She has walked with us once before on the 4th of July and it was great to see her again. One of our old regulars (Willie) has missed several walks. I don't know when we'll see him again..

Enrique, Charles, Julie, Ines
We began our walk on Silver Lake Blvd in front of the Lyric Hyperion Theatre and Cafe. We walked downhill for a brief stretch before heading for the hills. Silver Lake is one of my favorite SoCal neighborhoods and this part of it was no exception. All of us were pleased with the vistas and architecture and the numerous pictures in this post can attest to that.
Casita del Campo - a popular local Mexican restaurant.
One thing that stood out was the variety in the architecture. We found so many styles yet they seemed to fit seamlessly together. Old wooden structures alongside modern ones.

Concrete block pillars used to form a fence.

Our first stairway consisted of 39 easy steps going down onto Udell Ct. This short stretch that we covered contained numerous charming wooden homes.

New and old together.
The next stairway contained 111 steps and ended on a hidden walkway.

We rarely come across others on these walkways but leave it to Julie to run into someone she knows! We ran into the owners of one of my favorite LA stores - Bar Keeper on Sunset Blvd. in the Sunset Junction part of Silver Lake. They were on their way to open their barware store. I actually received a clever bottle/can opener in my stocking and it came from this store. Thanks Charles!

At the end of the walkway we found a stairway and saw a pool under construction. There was no way to get a tractor in there and it looks like it took a lot of hard physical labor to complete the job.
As we climbed the 96 steps we saw a chute used to ferry supplies from the street down to the pool construction site. Gravity put to good use.

Not a peep from this rascal. The friendliest pooch on earth.

An easy 10 steps up.

We had views of the SGV, the Westside and points beyond.

On our way down to Clayton Ave.

You could see the ocean from here.

We have seen the Griffith Observatory and Hollywood sign on many walks but it's always impressive.

A view of KCET - our former local PBS station. Don't get me started..
43 steps to Sanborn Avenue.

The street is much steeper than it appears.

We kept ending up on Clayton Avenue but who cares? The neighborhood was especially lush given the recent rainstorms and it was great to see so few people and signs of city life on this hill walk on a cool LA morning.

I recognized the Prospect Walk stairs as they were included on a walk we did last July. 168 steps would lead us to Franklin Avenue.

Slowly making our way up.

Century City in the background.

Ines brought her own camera in hopes of getting some pictures of snow and she was not disappointed.

More snow-capped mountains.
Ines and Enrique checking out a Koi fish pond.
The Scotland staircase would lead us back down to Hyperion Avenue.

A former Safeway store repurposed.

We ended our walk where we started - at the Lyric Hyperion Theatre and Cafe - but not before taking lunch on the outdoor patio.
Feel free to join me as I discover hidden parts of Los Angeles and tackle the remaining 13 stair walks.

Steps walked to date: 15,431

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