On Sunday, November 28th, I joined Grace and the Secret Stairs meetup group, for Beachwood Canyon, stairwalk #34 from the book “Secret Stairs,” by Charles Fleming. It was a hot November day with record breaking temperatures in the 90’s, and it felt like summer.
We had some rain the week before and today the sky was clear. Everything was very green and some of the trees are changing colors.
Across from the Village Coffee Shop are the stone arches that were built as part of the development of Hollywoodland. This was intended to be a gated community with tennis courts, swimming pools and riding stables. Residents were to include Bugsy Siegel, Humphrey Bogart, and Bela Lugosi. As you walk north on Beachwood, you can get a great view of the Hollywood sign. This sign once spelled Hollywoodland and was built to advertise the proposed gated community. Once framed by thousands of light bulbs, the “land” part fell off and all that remains are the letters spelling “Hollywood” as we know it today.
This is one of my favorite walks from the book and has the most beautiful and well-maintained staircases of any in the book. The stairs are cut from the same granite stone the Hollywoodland arch is made from. The staircase located at N. Beachwood and Woodshire Drive, is a historical-cultural monument, and a plaque at the bottom dates its’ construction as 1928. It has 148 steps with planter boxes and benches down the middle. At one time, a stream ran down the middle. I love the neighborhood with the different architectural styles and views that stretch out to downtown Los Angeles. It is one of the most beautiful and expensive areas of all the walks from the book.
After one hour, 2.6 miles and 861 steps, I was looking forward to eating at the Village Coffee Shop.
The walk was in honor of the restaurant which is closing its doors on November 30th.
The plan was to do the walk and eat there afterwards. We finished our walk at 3 PM and the kitchen had already closed. No one knew the restaurant closed at 3 PM on Sundays.
There were some diners finishing up their meals and I was able to go inside and talk to the staff.