Music Box Stairs Walk

Regular weekday morning traffic from Claremont to Silver Lake (a Los Angeles neighborhood just west of Dodger Stadium) takes a little over an hour. AirBnB describes the neighborhood as trendy and artsy with nightlife and celebrity status. It is also home to the famous staircase in the 1932 Laurel and Hardy short film, the Music Box. The walking tour of this staircase and others found here gives one a workout.

Music Box Stairs sign top

The first staircase on this tour is a clean, well- maintained set of stairs, with a handrail and a pair of overhead streetlamps, that falls 66 steps through a pair of backyard gardens (one with an impressive collection of garden gnomes and tchotchkes).

Not terribly clean, but certainly with gnomes and tchotchkes.

During this walk one goes both up and down the Music Box Steps. Going up you can read the plaque commemorating the movie.

In that 1932 classic short film, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were obliged to deliver a piano to the top of a steep, barren hillside, up a series of concrete stairs. Today, the hillside is covered with apartment buildings, but the stairs remain—133 steps across multiple landings, with a handrail and some overhead lights, often littered with debris, and very ill maintained for such a landmark.

It could definitely stand a little maintenance.

Music Box Stairs trash

The top of the stairs looks nothing like it does in the movie. We were hoping to see the fountain where the piano (spoiler alert) took a swim. Not to be.

At the top, you land on Descanso Drive. Continue directly across the street and take the eight rickety wooden steps to the other side of Descanso. Admiring the giant carobs (street-wrecking trees whose roots have turned the asphalt into a rippled, undulating wave), turn right and walk downhill.

Those giant carobs are now giant stumps, and the street is still wrecked.

 

There are a few other staircases on this particular walk, the most notable is this one on Micheltorena Street which could also use some love and care.

Other painted sidewalks in Silver Lake will have to wait for another day.

 

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