The Hills Have Stairs

stairs.jpgEvery morning, as I sit on the couch with a 3rd cup of coffee, I look at my window and see motivated exercisers heading up the very long, steep flight of stairs just a few houses down from me. Every morning I think I really should get out there and walk those stairs—along with some of the dozens of other ones that are hidden all through Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Echo Park. And every morning I find something better to do….Not so for Dan Koeppel, another local who makes much better use of his day than I do by hiking a 16.2 mile loop of these steps, as the LAT reports.

The “Music Box” staircase, which shoots straight up from Vendome Street to Descanso Drive, is one of 52 stairways in 46-year-old writer Dan Koeppel’s personal 16.2-mile stair hike — comprising 4,182 steps, with a 7,445-foot elevation gain.

The walk hopscotches up and down a matrix of city-owned steps around Silver Lake and Echo Park, just north of downtown Los Angeles, and offers up dazzling overlooks of East Los Angeles, Griffith Park Observatory, the Hollywood sign, the Silver Lake Reservoir and downtown Los Angeles. The overall effect is a little like taking a local historical garden tour while going full throttle on a StairMaster.

Here’s a map to many of the staircases created by a LAT reader. For the tough-of-calf among you, here are a few home listings that are nearby the various staircases, in case you feel like creating your own walking tour. First up is a 4/6.5 for $1.449 on Lucile. It looks a little crazy, but it is big, with more than 4,000 square feet. Next up is this odd but cute “log cabin” 2/2 on Landa—one of my favorite streets—for $449,000 (reduced from $499,00). Lastly, here’s a very charming little Victorian on Udell, a hidden street with an enclave of unexpected Victorian homes and a staircase at the end of the cul-de-sac. This one was reduced from $749,000 to $729,500 after 41 days on the market.