Climbing Los Angeles One Step at a Time

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Walk #3 : Glassell Park North - York and Beyond

Distance: 3 miles
Steps: 266
Difficulty: 2.5

"This is a long, lopsided loop through one of the city's least-known neighborhoods, featuring ancient wooden staircases and towering views of the San Gabriel Mountains, Occidental College, and the hidden back side of Forest Lawn Memorial Park." Taken form Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming.
I know, I always say these walks are 'memorable' or 'special' and they all are but this one was even more so. Not only did we pay a social visit to one of the locals but this walk marked #21 - of 42! I didn't realize we were halfway through the book until we started the walk. I am still really happy to be doing these walks even if it means getting up early on a Sunday (early for me) after getting up early every Saturday to attend a full day of classes. I am a bit behind in writing these entries but will try to be better. I want to finish all 42 walks within a year and we have until May, 2011.
This walk took place on a very hot September 26. I had to select the day carefully as my big sister Angela lives on one of the streets along this route and I wanted to be sure she was home so that I could bring my sweaty friends to her house and be fed! Angela is not a blood relative but she is my big sis. I met her and her family soon after we moved to Los Angeles in 1976. We lived next door to the Puertas (4 siblings on their side 2 on mine) for many years and our doors were literally always open to make one big apartment. It really was like one big Colombian telenovela! She is the oldest of the bunch but I'm not revealing any ages. I do remember that she was always dancing to the Bee Gees when we first met. She was/is a great dancer! All 3 sisters are.
It was also a special day because Willie FINALLY wore a hat. We constantly get on his case about this and he should know better than to walk around in the hot sun without protection from the elements. Our nagging paid off.

The Regulars (Willie, Vlad, Charles)

We began our walk at Eagle Rock Blvd. and Avenue 40 in the Glassell Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

My favorite tree: Washingtonia Robusta

As Charles Fleming explains in Secret Stairs, wooden stair cases in Los Angeles are rare as most were taken down and rebuilt using cement but a few survive. This walk had two of them.

The steps gave way to a steep paved walkway that led us to another set of 10 wooden steps.

I had to include at least one of these in the blog. I think I have already shown flamingoes.

As we climbed, the neighborhood became more architecturally interesting, and more green and steep.
I'm not a cat person but they are always there when we walk.

The next staircase was huge. It contained 132 solid steps with several landings but it was still a killer. The only good thing about it was the views it offered from the top.

From up here we could see the 2 Fwy, the San Gabriel Mountains, and Occidental College.

The second wooden stairway on this walk was also broken up by a walkway between the sections with the first containing 17.

The walkway between the two sections.

What a surprise to find a stand of Redwood trees.

My favorite street, of course!

The green on the hillside is the back side of Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale.

We usually end our walks with food and this was no exception. We finished the walk and drove up the hill we had just walked. Four hungry guys arrived to a smiling hostess (and host). My motive for the visit was to cheer up Angela and her husband Jose as their youngest one had left the week before for college (UC Davis). My other motive was to eat and they did not disappoint. They laid out the goodies from Porto's Bakery and we dived in. Not pictured are the potato balls which Willie took a shine to. She offered to send him home with the rest but he was too shy.
Fruit platter, guava cheese pastries, and pastelitos de carne.

Jose and Angela live in a beautiful house with a long massive deck and this is the view we were treated to. She is a freak for Thanksgiving and always hosts and the deck comes alive with dancing even before the turkey is out of the oven.

From left: Me, Angela, Jose.

It was a really festive way to celebrate our halfway point. I just wonder what kind of party she is going to throw for us when we finish! I always joke that she would join us on one of the walks and she kinda did. Thank you guys for making this one truly memorable!
Feel free to join me as I discover hidden parts of Los Angeles and tackle the remaining 21 stair walks.
Steps walked to date: 11,125
Follow me on Twitter: @ClimbingLA

1 comment:

  1. This was another difficult walk, hot and sweaty. So nice to have Angela and Jose's air-conditioned house with Porto's snacks awaiting us at the end. Muchas gracias! Here's to the next 21 walks (and to Robert for leading them and writing about them).