City stairways have been the source of literary inspiration over the years. Here is a sampling of references, admonishments, and enjoyable readings on public paths—in Oakland and beyond. If we missed something, let us know!

On TV
Check out the great piece about stairs from Eye on the Bay, featuring Oakland Urban Paths and the Berkeley Path Wanderers. Thanks to Charles Fleming, author of Secret Stairs: East Bay, for sending the TV crew our way!


In the news

On the shelf

  • Secret Stairs: East Bay
    By Charles Fleming (Santa Monica Press, 2011)
  • Hidden Walks in the East Bay & Marin: Pathways, Essays & Yesterdays
    by Stephen Altschuler (Great West Books, 2001)
  • Stairway Walks in San Francisco
    by Adah Bakalinsky (Wilderness Press, 4th Ed., 2001)
  • Stairways—Los Angeles
    by Virginia Comer (Balcony Press, 2000)
  • The Steps of Pittsburgh: Portrait of a City
    by Bob Regan, with photos by Tim Fabian (Local History Company, 2004)
  • Wanderlust: A History of Walking
    by Rebecca Solnit (Penguin, 2000)

And while we’re at it…

The references below are not Oakland-based, but imagine what a few good afternoons on the stairways and paths with a video camera might yield.

On Video

Who is ready to do this in Oakland?

And taking some inspiration from…Pittsburgh?! Oh yea!

On Film

Ready for your suggestions

3 Responses to “ Media Library ”

  1. Hey urban walkers! I was recently tipped to your existence by the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association, whose members are helping me prepare a walking guide to your part of the world based on my Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles. I’ve been walking Oakland for the last few months and am amazed by what I’ve seen. I’ll be back in the East Bay in early December. I’d love to meet up with some OUP folks and catch up on your impressive efforts to improve stair and path walking in Oakland.

  2. Mariah says:

    I recently moved to Montclair and discovered the public stairway leading from Merriewood across Valley View to the intersection of Thornhill and Merriewood. This lead me to ponder. I would like to patronize the Montclair Village without my car, biking is scary on this hill!! I have seen other stairs, but don’t know where to pick them up and how the system connects. Is there a map of the public stairs of Montclair around Broadway Terrace and Mountain? If not, can I help create one? Thanks

    • Andy says:

      There is a map here on this site that lists stairs and paths all over Oakland. Look on the right side of the page. There are a few in my neighborhood I hadn’t seen before. I live right next to the stairs you mentioned. The stairs in the map have numbers next to them that would seem to indicate there is a key somewhere that will give more info on the paths. Does anyone know where the key to the map is?

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