One of life's great liberating pleasures is to unveil something you see every day but that you're usually too busy to pursue like that flight of stairs at the side of the road, which you see every time you drive by and wonder where they go. To this end, urban archaeologist Charles Fleming presents Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles
(Santa Monica Press, $16.95). No postmodern razzle-dazzle here just a fascinating triptych of more than 200 L.A. staircases in all their calf-crushing glory, as well as guides to more than 40 walks, complete with detailed maps so you don't get lost. Each stairway invariably passes something interesting within any half-dozen steps where artists created their finest works, or, in a sordid vein, where an actress was murdered. This morning is the perfect chance to see what you're missing even if it's only a few feet to either side of you as you barrel down the path to your inevitable future. Village Books, 1049 Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades, Sun., Sept. 25, 11 a.m., free. (310) 454-4063, palivillagebooks.com.
Sat., Sept. 25, 11 a.m., 2010