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Secret Stairs - by Charles Fleming (Paperback)

Secret Stairs - by  Charles Fleming (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
Secret Stairs - by  Charles Fleming (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
$12.99 sale price when purchased online
$16.95 list price

About this item


  • Revised and Updated in September 2020!
  • About the Author: Charles Fleming is the author of the national bestseller High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess, and co-author of the New York Times bestsellers Three Weeks in October: The Manhunt for the Serial Sniper, A Goomba's Guide to Life, and My Lobotomy.
  • 240 Pages
  • Sports + Recreation, Walking


Book Synopsis

Revised and Updated in September 2020!

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 of the neighborhoods in which the steps are located.

From strolling through the classic La Loma neighborhood in Pasadena to walking the Sunset Junction Loop in Silver Lake, to taking the Beachwood Canyon hike through "Hollywoodland" to enjoying the magnificent ocean views from the Castellammare district in Pacific Palisades, Secret Stairs takes you on a tour of the staircases all across the City of Angels.

The circular walks, rated for duration and difficulty, deliver tales of historic homes and their fascinating inhabitants, bits of unusual local trivia, and stories of the neighborhoods surrounding the stairs. That's where William Faulkner was living when he wrote the screenplay for To Have and Have Not; that house was designed by Neutra; over there is a Schindler; that's where Woody Guthrie lived, where Anais Nin died, and where Thelma Todd was murdered . . .

Despite the fact that one of these staircases starred in an Oscar-winning short film--Laurel and Hardy's The Music Box, from 1932--these civic treasures have been virtually unknown to most of the city's residents and visitors. Now, Secret Stairs puts these hidden stairways back on the map, while introducing urban hikers to exciting new "trails" all around the city of Los Angeles.

Review Quotes

"There's something magical about the stair walks. You leave the known city behind and visit a quiet place built for an entirely different kind of living. Bungalows, some of them 100 years old, sit amid towering oaks and wildflowers, no roads or cars in sight. Fleming can point out the house where Anais Nin died, the house where William Faulkner wrote To Have and Have Not, the cabin-hotel where Ernest Hemingway once hung his hat, the place where Tom Mix's saloon used to be and where his horse might be buried (in the vicinity of a Ralphs supermarket). Walking the stairs is like time travel, and you can picture schoolchildren, homemakers and bricklayers huffing up and down the flights on their way to school, to market and to work."--Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times

"Soon, I started noticing friends posting from their stair walks on Instagram. We got a second copy of the book for Christmas. The friend I was going to regift it to already had one. On a walk near the Silver Lake Reservoir one recent weekend, I spotted an older man with a dog-eared copy of the book and a younger couple with a fresh volume. It seemed that the "secret" stairways in Los Angeles, and in the East Bay, as detailed in the sequel, were, well, not so secret."--New York Times

"Charles Fleming, author of Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles (Santa Monica Press), is helping Angelenos discover their communities' historic and architectural treasures."--Wall Street Journal

"The self-guided, roughly one-hour "Secret Stairs" walks, largely around Echo Park, Silver Lake and the Hollywood Hills, were just the tonic I needed: a change of scene, outdoor exercise, a challenge, a goal."--Los Angeles Daily News

"Each walk feels like a scavenger hunt, eliciting a sense of discovery as you learn when the stairs were constructed (many are 1920s era), admire the architectural landmarks (from modern and Moorish to Neutra and Craftsman), and uncover other neighborhood curiosities (vintage cars, murals, and more)."--Pasadena Magazine

About the Author

Charles Fleming is the author of the national bestseller High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess, and co-author of the New York Times bestsellers Three Weeks in October: The Manhunt for the Serial Sniper, A Goomba's Guide to Life, and My Lobotomy. A former staff writer for Newsweek, Variety, and the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and a frequent contributor to Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles magazine, and LA Weekly, Fleming teaches journalism at USC. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Silver Lake, California.
Dimensions (Overall): 8.98 Inches (H) x 6.02 Inches (W) x .49 Inches (D)
Weight: .73 Pounds
Suggested Age: 22 Years and Up
Number of Pages: 240
Genre: Sports + Recreation
Sub-Genre: Walking
Publisher: Santa Monica Press
Format: Paperback
Author: Charles Fleming
Language: English
Street Date: April 1, 2010
TCIN: 12200647
UPC: 9781595800503
Item Number (DPCI): 248-41-1136
Origin: Made in the USA or Imported
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Shipping details

Estimated ship dimensions: 0.49 inches length x 6.02 inches width x 8.98 inches height
Estimated ship weight: 0.73 pounds
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