Climbing Los Angeles One Step at a Time

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Walk #18: Music Box Loop

Distance: 2.5 miles
Steps: 705
Difficulty: 3

"This is a vigorous walk built around the only officially designated stairs in Silver Lake, the famous location where Laurel and Hardy made their 1932 Academy Award-winning short The Music Box for producer Hal Roach. The two comedians had to carry a piano up the steep flight of steps between Vendome Street and Descanso Drive. All you have to do is walk it - once up, once down - and conquer the surrounding hills." Taken from Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming

I recently read a Los Angeles Times article about the author of the book Secret Stairs - A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles by Charles Fleming and ordered the book. In it he lists 42 walks which all include stairs and some background history. From Charles Fleming's book: "Containing walks and detailed maps from throughout the city, Secret Stairs highlights the charms and quirks of a unique feature of the Los Angeles landscape, and chronicles the geographical, architectural, and historical aspects of the city's staircases, as well as the neighborhoods in which the steps are located."

The Music Box steps where the Laurel and Hardy film was shot

Charles near the top of the Music Box steps

The entries cover the following neighborhoods: Pasadena and the East; Echo Park; Silver Lake; Hollywood and Los Feliz; and Santa Monica and the West.

Charles and I decided to do one walk today which turned into 2 walks and my writing a blog about ALL 42 of them! I love to explore and learn and since Charles is a food blogger (please visit his blog at '100 Miles') and I love to eat too, this will get us outdoors and help us burn a few calories along the way.

This part of Los Angeles (Silver Lake) is close to Downtown L.A. and is a mix of urban and charming hilly neighborhoods. If you look closely in the picture below you will see a Silver Lake icon - The Silver Lake Walker. As anyone who lives in the area knows, he is EVERYWHERE EVERY DAY. Seriously, the man walks this part of Los Angeles 24/7/365 usually reading a newspaper and shirtless. I understand he is a retired doctor and from what I can see he's in excellent shape! (More of an incentive to continue walking).

The Silver Lake Walker

This walk started and ended at Cafe Tropical at Sunset Blvd. and Parkman (I recommend the Cuban Sandwich). Most of the walks start/end near a cafe/restaurant along the way and we will be sure to hit those places as a reward. Instead of going home we decided to do another walk which I will write about in another post.

A charming, pedestrian-only street - Garcia Walk

Feel free to join me as I discover hidden parts of Los Angeles and tackle the remaining 41 stair walks.

Steps walked to date: 705

Follow me on Twitter: @ClimbingLA


  1. This was so much FUN! I can't wait for the next one or two. I love the book and our little project of climbing all 42! Bring on the next one!

  2. I need new shoes! Thanks for your blogging idea. Can't wait for our next one.

  3. I came across your blog after first learning of these staircases through the LA Times' Classic Hollywood blog. I've ordered a copy of the book, and am looking forward to reading through your blog while waiting on it to arrive!