Trekking staircases might not seem very hip, but with Silver Lake resident Dan Koeppel leading the way, you could get as skinny as a hipster while acquiring some actual street smarts. For years the writer has been seeking and mapping out public stairways across his neighborhood and beyond into hiking routes that are more cultural excursion than cardio exercise. Ranging between 2 and 26 miles long, the paths take people to iconic and understated landmarks revealing of the urban environment. You could find yourself beneath the Hollywood sign or uncover some anonymous yet amazing architecture. Koeppel ensures that you literally will never retrace your steps, so there is always something to look out for. The point, he says, is not to encourage walking but to experience the real L.A.: “If you think that nobody walks here, you’ve only been looking from the windshield of your car.” That’s one more thing the hipster unit would approve. —Noelle Loh

LA Weekly