Friday, April 6, 2012

Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase: New Book, "The Gentle Art Of Wandering"

Photo: Diane Edwardson, March 30, 2012.  The Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase connects Allesandro Elementary School, Riverside Terrace, Riverside Place, Silver Lake Ave, Lake View Ave and Silver Ridge with the Red Car Property.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

"The Gentle Art of Wandering" is a new book out by David Ryan.  Rather than another guide book, like Charles Flemming's "Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles," Ryan's book promotes taking whatever path catches your eye, in both cities and on hiking trails.  Ryan also promotes doing some homework before you set out, but not tying yourself to a map.    (I've always advocated just getting out and walking a neighborhood to learn more about it.)

Every weekend I see people walking our neighborhood in pairs or small groups, Flemming's book in hand.  They seem a bit panicked when they lose the trail.  Ryan advocates taking the path less travelled and training your eye to see things you might not notice if you're using a guide book.  You might just discover some new animal, plant, building or work of art that you might otherwise have missed.

A couple years ago, Ryan (from New Mexico) contacted me regarding the Red Car Property.  He'd found this blog and was fascinated by the public staircases and paths through the hills of Los Angeles.  He said he was writing a book about "wandering" and wanted to visit the Red Car Property as part of his walk in Los Angeles.

I warned Ryan, the Red Car Property was private property that people have trespassed on for more than 50 years, and if he was still interested, I gave him the address.

In addition to Flemming's book, Ryan cites (as inspiration for his Los Angeles tour) the Corralitas Red Car Property Blog; Bob Inman, author of "A Guide to the Public Staircases of Los Angeles;" Dan Koeppel, creator and leader of the 2-day, 100+ public staircase hike, "The Big Parade."   (This year's Big Parade is May 19 & 20, 2012.)