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Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles Paperback – April 1, 2010

80 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Santa Monica Press (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595800506
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595800503
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By P. W. Brock on April 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
What a nice book. I live in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles, and a friend suggested this book to me. I realized I had read a novel by the author a few years ago that I really enjoyed, "The Ivory Coast" a jazz/noir set in Vegas, so I picked up a copy. Now I'm planning to take the walks written about in the book. Wow. As a kid, one of my favorite "Three Stooges" was shot on a stair street. They had a job delivering ice, and Curly has a huge block of ice in tongs, and when he gets to the top, he's holding a little ice cube. What I love about L. A. is how much history and mystery exists here, particularly on the east side, and parts of Hollywood. Because it was run down over here for so long, large swaths of the east side weren't touched when all of the money moved in a little west, and few of those monstrous developments occurred; there are still little nuggets and gems you can find. My only quibble is that I would have loved pictures of the stair street, but on the other hand, the descriptions are great, and leaving the mystery makes me want to go there myself. Which I plan to.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vicente Castellanos on April 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
In a time when most of us are worried, or at least aware, of our physical health and gyms and various work-out methods (Pilates, Spinning, Bootcamp, etc) are sprouting everywhere, Charles Fleming brings us Secret Stairs. I have had the pleasure of taking several of these walks and I am here to say that is quite the Cardio work-out. However it is not just that, these walks are filled with secret paths, discovering new neighborhoods, stunning views and once you to read this book or take one of the walks with Mr. Fleming himself (treat!) you will then have tidbits of old (and new) Hollywood secrets. So order your book and get started today!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David L. Robb on April 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
Great book, even for non-walkers like myself. I've lived in Los Angeles nearly my entire life, and I didn't know about any of the places so delightfully described in Charles Fleming's book. It's like discovering a secret wilderness in the midst of city I thought I knew so well. This is a must-read for anyone who lives here or plans to visit.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Dane on April 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
We are always looking for unique and fun things to do with our children or just on our own and this book offers both. We get to mix some fun history, good ol' exercise and family time as we seek out the next great secret stairs. Nice job Mr. Fleming.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Barbee on May 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful book! Not only has it kick started my Springtime outdoor exercise routine, but in the three walks I've done so far, it's already taken me to parts of my very own neighborhood that I've never seen before. Many of the staircases featured in the book are historical landmarks, and feature some truly beautiful construction. But it's not just the stairs that make these described urban hikes enjoyable, it's also the writer's knack for pointing out the architectural and environmental curiosities on each walk. Strolling the quiet residential streets, I've found myself chatting and sharing portions of the hike with friendly neighborhood residents, a wayward group of German tourists, and some garrulous joggers. Walking for leisure, it seems, really makes LA seem like a community in a way it never will if only viewed rushing past your windshield. I can't wait to do the rest of the hikes in the book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Ahearn on April 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
A round of applause for this fine book. Really helpful in discovering (rediscovering?) how magical Los Angeles can be. Great exercise, great writing and fabulous history. A must-own for LA history lovers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hilary on January 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you live in Los Angeles and like to *hike*, this book is for you! While L.A. has much park land and hiking trails, it's fun to mix things up and enjoy an "urban" hike that is both a good work-out and good for sightseeing, especially if you're into architecture. I've lived in Los Angeles for most of my life and never even KNEW many of this hidden staircases even existed! The author has made all the stair walks into loops (easy return to your car or public transporation -- the author lists what bus routes each walk is on!) And the book explains what you're seeing along the way. The stairs can often be quite challenging! But the book takes you both up and down for a varied work-out. The author lists the times the walks will take, which I find to be generous (I can usually finish them in 10 minutes less than he estimates). My one criticism would be that sometimes the directions are a bit confusing, but then again, many of these stairs are in the hills and other twisty and turn-y parts of Los Angeles, and directions in general in these areas are confusing! This book would make a wonderful gift for any active Angeleno.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jerald Lazar on December 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a delightful gem for L.A. residents and tourists alike... I've lived in this city for decades and still found plenty of hidden treasures to be savored in these pages... Charles Fleming is not only an accomplished reporter and engaging writer, but also a tourguide extraordinaire... Let him lead you through previously undiscovered neighborhoods and provide fun facts along the way as you enjoy the scenic vistas... Forget about boring Stairmasters -- get this book and tackle the real deals... There's a lot more to see and experience... and it'll do wonders for your heart and soul!...
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