Charles Fleming led his monthly walk, Stairwalk #20 in his book, “Secret Stairs” followed by a gathering at his home to celebrate the release of his new book “Secret Stairs East Bay–A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Berkeley and Oakland.”
It was a short 30 minute walk and afterward people gathered around his pool and patio for refreshments. Charles lives with his wife and children on the stairwalk route in a charming Tudor style home in Silver Lake.
From his street you can get great views of Century City, West Hollywood, Westwood, and the Hollywood sign. Charles gave a short talk and explained how his “Secret Stairs” book came to be. He was scheduled to have his third back surgery and was in a lot of pain, barely able to walk, unable to drive or work, etc…
He started walking in his neighborhood and discovered a lot of staircases that connected the neighborhoods to the trolley stops back in the days before there were a lot of cars. He did some research which later turned into “Secret Stairs of Los Angeles.”
He related that a lot of people who have lived in the areas where the stairs are located did not even know about the stairs. However, thanks to his book, people are not only discovering the stairs, but some have cured their back pain by doing the walks.
Needless to say, his book has helped a lot of people. He credits his wife for encouraging him to walk the stairs and write the book. He said everything he did was for his wife and acknowledged that behind every great man is a woman. He then took the opportunity to introduce two men who came up with the idea for a smartphone app. The men talked about the app and answered questions.
At first Charles thought the phone app wasn’t a good idea but he was open to it. Now you can purchase the app for $1.99. The first five stairwalks in “Secret Stairs of Los Angeles” are available on the app and more will be added later.
After leaving Charles’s home, my friends and I passed by a house at 1647 Maltman Ave, which has a lot of paintings and artwork in the yard by garden designer Alberto Hernandez.
A very interesting and colorful yard to say the least. I have been on this walk before and never noticed the house. His business cards are on the gate and I took one. We made our way back to Pazza Gelato, our starting point, where I had the white chocolate lavender gelato. I have had lavender ice cream before but this is to die for. I will definitely go back there for more.