I found a super cool stairway covered in snakes!
I’ll get out of the way, so you can see the full mural in its full glory.
I love stairs, and I love snakes, so yup – I absolutely love this. The mural is called “Sky Crawlers,” and it’s by artist John Cuevas. The stairs are in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles, near the corner of South Santa Fe Avenue and Mateo Street, and they connect South Santa Fe with the Fourth Street bridge, above. The stairs have likely been there since 1930, but Cuevas did the mural in early 2017.
They’ve been on my to-do list for a while, but they got bumped to the top of the list once I started seeing the new FIJI Water commercial that they’re featured in. Check it out!
That’s track star (and six-time Olympic gold medalist) Allyson Felix in the commercial, which means I’ve now worked out on the same stairs as an Olympian. Twice! (I’ve also run the Baxter stairs many times, where Apolo Anton Ohno filmed a chocolate milk commercial.)
I had to do a side-by-side comparison, so check this out. Allyson is (obviously) on the left!
In fact, this is the latest in my ongoing list of workouts on stairs that were featured on television. Check out my posts about stairs featured on “American Ninja Warrior,” “This Is Us,” “Splitting Up Together,” “Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian,” a TJ Maxx commercial, and the quickly-cancelled sitcom “Welcome to the Family.”
The “Sky Crawlers” stairs have 51 steps, distributed between three flights. Not super tall. My friend Madeleine and I climbed them three times, with the last one being a sprint. That’s not much of a workout, but the “Sky Crawlers” stairs were only one stop on our downtown stair tour!
Our workout began in Chinatown, where there’s a relatively new stairway, finished in the past couple years, that goes up a hill along the side of the Lotus Gardens apartment building at 715 Yale Street. It doesn’t seem like an impressive stairway from the sidewalk…
…but once you turn that corner, they just go on and on and on.
There’s 152 stairs total, and Madeleine and I climbed these three times as well, with the last climb being a sprint. The view from the top:
After Chinatown and “Sky Crawlers,” we parked downtown to hit up a few stairways in a row. The first one was the Bunker Hill Steps, which ascend the hill next to the US Bank Tower, and have a lovely water feature running down the center.
There’s 101 steps, and these are a little shallower than the others, so they lend themselves well to doing drills, like side-stepping, box jumps, and a killer bear crawl/push-up combo. We climbed three times, with the third time being, you guessed it, a sprint.
From there we headed to Cal Plaza, a complex with two office towers and a big public plaza. There’s an 85-step stairway connecting the plaza to Olive Street.
Guess what? We climbed it three times, and the last time was a sprint.
There’s a second giant stairway to that same plaza, the Angel’s Flight stairs, but they were closed. They’re gated at the top and bottom, but we did this workout on Labor Day, and the city workers that would normally unlock the gates had the day off.
So instead, we did a few final climbs at the small amphitheater at Cal Plaza. We did drills on these, too, because they were double-height.
Add it all up, and we climbed over 1,200 steps. Went down 1,200 steps, too! We had some extra time, so when we were done with our workout, we rode Angel’s Flight, a historic funicular, down to the bottom of the hill.
We explored Grand Central Market, a food hall filled with all sorts of restaurants and shops and a giant neon mural.
And on our way back to the car, Madeleine took my photo through a decorative waterfall at Cal Plaza.
What a great way to spend a couple hours. A challenging workout, with a great friend, exploring a wonderful city.
Keep it up, David!
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