Do you remember back in the day, when your mom would fume because you didn’t wash the beans correctly, causing some relative to chip a tooth on a tiny overlooked pebble, and she’d get mad enough to yell “go play on the freeway”? No? Me neither. But I can assure you that if it happened to me today I’d most likely say “okay, nos vemos!” since I recently found an easy way to have some fun on the Pasadena Freeway! If you’re up for a bit of urban exploration in Lincoln Heights, let’s take a little walk. Siganme los buenos!
I’ve walked, biked, and driven under this bridge on San Fernando Rd. (near Figueroa) countless times yet I never noticed this staircase right in the middle. So it was strange to suddenly become aware of it, might as well see what’s up there.
Looks like lots of other people do know of this not-so-secret place!
There’s a long walkway on the northbound side of the freeway. You’re protected by a small concrete barrier and a fence, but the roaring of cars zooming by doesn’t make you feel at all safe.
This spot is quite intense as you have the Arroyo Seco meeting up with the LA River, the 110-5 interchange, trains running underneath, and hills all over the place. Lots of nice views all around.
Check out the nice wall. Porn for the architecture perverts.
Eventually you’ll come to this cool looking spiral staircase, right at the mouth where the cars exit the Elysian Park tunnel.
Climb it a bit, take a seat, and enjoy the natural sights and sounds of our urban environment. Take note of all the broken sand barriers, lots of crashy-crashy going on here.
If you go to the top of the stairs, you’ll get a great view from the center of the freeway, and be very, very, close to the Southbound lanes. Remember to keep your hands inside the ride. Here’s a short video clip of the scene, though it looks quite weak compared to actually being there.
If you so chose, you can go the rest of the way towards Elysian Park. I think next time I’ll pack a few brews, put on a contemplative face, and pretend to ponder the endless stream of steel: If I can’t be deep at least I can look it!