Home > Adventures > Secret Stairs Walk #41 Castellammare, Thelma Todd sites, and Lake Shrine

Secret Stairs Walk #41 Castellammare, Thelma Todd sites, and Lake Shrine

On March 3, 2013, my friend Cristina and I went on Charles Fleming’s monthly stair walk. This month the stair walk was in the Castellammare neighborhood in Pacific Palisades and started in the parking lot of Gladstones Restaurant at the intersection of Sunset Blvd. & Pacific Coast Highway. As we trudged miserably over the sand, I heard more complaints than I’ve ever heard before, even on the longest, steepest stairs. If you want a good workout, skip the gym and head to the sand.

Along with the usual sighs and exclamations over the lovely 1930s and ’40s houses, this walk had a few shudders as we paused at Hollywood history crime scene: the garage where actress Thelma Todd‘s body was found in her Lincoln Phaeton touring car. Was it suicide, or was she killed by the Mafia because she wouldn’t agree to the illicit gambling operation they wanted to install in her restaurant, the Sidewalk Cafe? Or maybe her manager/business partner/alleged lover, Roland West did it? Read this book and decide for yourself.

After the stair walk, we went on our own to the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple. What a beautiful, peaceful place it is! There are benches tucked in the gardens that circle the natural, spring-fed lake. You can go there and meditate, read a book, or just sit and watch the ducks. If you want to experience the big, white temple on the hill, they have a Friendship Tea after the 11am service on the first Sunday of each month. Check the calendar.

Here are some pictures from our wonderful day! Click on them to read the captions.

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