I joined the Secret Stairs meetup group and did the Temple Hill walk #35, from the book “Secret Stairs—a Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles” by Charles Fleming. This area has church buildings, a temple, monasteries, a meditation center, and was once home to number of spiritual centers. I have done this walk before and thought perhaps I might see something new, or something that I had missed before. A woman joined us on the walk with her parrot on her shoulder. I have never seen Susan or her parrot, Solomon, on any of the walks, so that was something new. In fact, I have never seen anyone with a pet bird on any of the stairwalks. The bird was friendly and not skittish at all. He was wearing a white bird sweater. I never knew there were sweaters for birds. People were coming up to the bird and he seemed to take it all in stride. I asked Susan if she was going to do the next stairwalk, which immediately followed this one, and she said it depends on how Solomon feels. I don’t know if they did the second walk, since my friend and I opted to eat breakfast instead.
Barbara Stanwycks former estate is located at 6215 Holly Mont. Known as Hollymont Castle, it is said to be haunted. Charles Fleming says in his book that it is now the home of Dexter Grey, a pianist and table tennis ace. I must have missed Holly Mont street the first time I took the walk because I don’t recall seeing this. I also don’t recall seeing the fairytale like house with the wavy roof. I do remember getting turned around and missing a street the first time I did this walk back in November of 2010.
Other Hollywood notables used to live in the area–Charlie Chaplin, Jeanette MacDonald and Hopalong Cassidy. The former residence of Charlie Chaplin is now the Monastery Gardens Apartments. The craftsman style Bungalows de Primos, built during the silent film era, housed Hollywoods most prominent hopefuls.
After the walk, my friend and I joined another person from the walk for breakfast at the Best Western Hotel coffee shop. Located next to the 101 freeway, the east facing side of the building says “Last Cappuccino before the 101—park here.” I have noticed that wall many times before and wondered if they make a great cappuccino. I should have ordered a cappuccino but I didn’t. I guess I wasn’t thinking about it. Maybe next time.