Climbing Los Angeles One Step at a Time

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Walk #22 : Coffee Table Loop

Distance: 3.5 miles
Steps: 268
Difficulty: 3

"This is a gentle, flat walk interrupted by hidden staircases and towering views of Downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountains, as well as up-close snapshots of the Silver Lake Reservoir and some of the community's most treasured architectural gems." Taken from Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming.

There are times when Charles and I wake up and just feel like doing one of the Stair Walks and this day was one of those. I have received some feedback on this but hey, sometimes you just want to go for a walk without announcing it and on this day we walked in one of my favorite neighborhoods - Silver Lake. There are many different facets to this LA neighborhood but if I had the money I'd live anywhere along this walk. You get beautiful Downtown, hillside, water vistas, and a central location plus it's where the Silver Lake Walker lurks. You may remember that in my very first post I included a picture of him. I don't know his name but I do know that he is a retired physician and that he lives in the area. He almost always walks shirtless and with a magazine/newspaper in hand as he was on this day. The guy is in great shape and rocks a mean tan. I have seen him ALL OVER Silver Lake (Sunset Blvd/Hyperion/Silverlake Blvd.) and I had barely parked the car when Charles said "look who's crossing the street!" I quickly jumped out of the car and my journalistic instincts kicked in. I stalked him like prey for a block in order to get a good snapshot. By coincidence, the author of Secret Stairs mentions him in his overview of this same walk! I just love moments like these and they keep me inspired to do all 42 walks. We have done 12 to date and only 30 more to go so if you plan on joining in, don't hesitate. The only rules are that you have to allow your picture to be included in the blog and that you be on time.

The Silver Lake Walker

We walk this area at least once per week during the spring/summer and lately there has been much interruption in the area due to a massive public works project. Our walk in this area is usually a roughly 3-mile walk around the Silver Lake Reservoir but we never ventured into the hillside on this side until this walk. Recently we did a walk which offered vistas from the top of the hill on the other side from where we were. This neighborhood is graced with old-growth trees and unique street lighting.

Angelenos will do anything for a deck!Built in 1926, 111 steps with several landings in between.

One of the reasons I love this area is that it's hillside living but not so congested (like the Hollywood Hills) and it is not pretentious like Beverly Hills. So here is my dream house in my dream neighborhood.

As I've said before, our walks are long because we try to take in the little details.

Now that's a sundeck!

George C. Page is a leading figure in Los Angeles and there is a museum named after him at the La Brea Tarpits. The house pictured below was the hunting lodge back in the day! This is all that remains of the estate.

Are these Chardonnay grapes? Sauvignon blanc?

We encountered this street with a sharp slope going down and a corresponding slope up. Included were amazing views of Downtown Los Angeles.

At the top of the hill we came upon a dead end only to find a breathtaking view of the Silver Lake Reservoir. We had this same view from across the lake a few weeks ago.

Silver Lake Reservoir

It took us a while to get down these 84 steps as at every landing we would stop to take in the views.

Once at the bottom we started to walk along the reservoir; a walk we have done numerous times. On the walk around the lake I have had at least 3 intimate coyote sightings.

Countless joggers and walkers use this path every day.
A 1957 John Lautner house (with the rounded roof).
My friend Andrew lived on this street and I always think of him when we pass by.

We have walked along the path across the street (on W. Silver Lake Blvd.) dozens of times and never noticed this stairway! Because of the guide we are being forced to slow down and observe our surroundings thereby making each walk a new adventure.

73 steps with a sloping walkway.

I am the photographer/blog writer and Charles is the guide on these walks. On every single walk there is a point where we get 'lost' so I have to do double duty as the following picture illustrates!

Charles, you got us lost- again!

Obligatory kitty picture.

We ended our walk on Rowena Avenue near Hyperion. I celebrated a birthday at Blair's and MJ's Bar is nearby!

Of course, it ends with food, this time it was brunch at The Coffee Table. They have a casual menu and a great patio in the back.

Feel free to join me as I discover hidden parts of Los Angeles and tackle the remaining 30 stair walks.

Steps walked to date: 5,133

Follow me on Twitter: @ClimbingLA


  1. That's it! I resign as co-leader. Someone else can take over. This was a another amazing walk. As Robert wrote we saw streets and houses we'd never seen before. Can't wait for the next one. Hopefully I won't get us lost (again). :-(

  2. Robert, you really put your heart and soul into these posts. I don't know anyone who shoots as many photos as you do on your walks. It's almost exhausting just to look at the stairs - let alone walk up them. I love that you're doing this, and that it's becoming such a healthy exercise for you - not only the walks themselves, but in your writing too.

    Keep 'em coming! It's very unique.

  3. Thanks Phil! It takes a while to get through the walks because we are always looking for something unique or special. Glad you are enjoying this blog.

  4. I loved seeing some of the streets and hills that we normally see from down below when we do our reservoir walks. Such a great neighborhood up on high!

  5. What a beautiful neighborhood. My favorite house in all the world is the Lautner on Balboa Island. If I ever win the lottery ...