My last run-in?


I walked down to the end of 39th Street (just below Gaffey) with the intent of taking a picture of this secret staircase that leads down to Bluff Place. I first discovered it on my walk with Coco. We were going to walk up the stairs but as we turned the corner, we were faced with a gang of six boys perched on the steps looking up to no good. Anyway, so I took a picture of the stairs, then this really cool bullet shaped window.

I was just about to take a picture of these numbers…

…(don’t ask me why, the heart wants what it wants) when I heard someone call to me from across the culdesac.
“Hello, do you need some help?”
Me: No, just taking pictures, thanks.
Lady: For what?
Me: I have a website called San Pedro Block by Block where I walk every street in town and I take pictures of things that are interesting.
Lady: What if people don’t want pictures of their house on a website?
Me: If I post the picture, they can ask me to take it down and I will remove it.
Lady: I hope you didn’t take a picture of my house.
Me: Oh, I didn’t.

So that must’ve made her feel better that I hadn’t taken a picture of her house…but when I was on the bus back home I thought about it and kind of chuckled at the unintentional back handed compliment type exchange that happened. I hadn’t taken a picture of her house because it wasn’t interesting.

The Secret Gate


OK, it may not be secret to you, but it was secret to me. I had never been south of Paseo Del Mar before so it was my first time seeing this gate and thanks to my inquisitive nature I poked my nose in to see if it was a gate I could walk through. The posting of the hours was an obvious green light for my entry into the mysteries it held for me.

Ok, so far so good. It’s a path between a house and the gated community. This is cool…

Hey guys…where did the earth go? Is this what the old timey explorers meant when they said the world was flat? But seriously…why is there sky looking back at me like that?

OK, THIS IS NOT A DRILL! YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DEATH RIGHT NOW, BACK UP SLOWLY!

“Turn back Romee! Run for your life! Stop taking pictures with your cell phone and sending it to your friends and family. Stop tweeting this instant! A lizard is telling you to turn back!”

I had to listen to the lizard, I didn’t even know if people were supposed to be walking here and all I could think about was an earthquake sending me into the ocean with a street I didn’t even get to walk, burying me for all eternity.

Hidden Passages Everywhere

Peck and Carolina chop the numbered streets off at the ankles and separate the fun loving bungalows below from their cousins on the hill. They do allow for people to come and go through a bunch of little hidden passages. This one is through an undeveloped piece of land that actually lets you out into the alley, but you can still get out.

Some of these passages are more formal like this double staircase at 27th Street.

Fort Mac Connections

It was easy to see how the marina used to be part of Ft. MacArthur. There’s even a little hidden entrance to the fort up on the Vizcaino Vista path.


Robalo and Anabas from 25th

Robalo and Anabas are the two streets off of Perch. They have little passages from that go out onto 25th Street. Perch, Robalo and Anabas are all types of fish.

Shortcut to McRae

I was walking to the end of Baleria when I noticed a set of makeshift stairs leading down to the McRae culdesac below. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try out a neighbor’s handywork.

Using the stairs to go down to the next level was like walking down a secret.

The Vandal's Palette & The Secret Entrance


This manhole can be found at Meyler and 14th right at the border between SPHS and Dana. It’s almost like the tagger’s test out their spray paint on it and the city scrapes it off in vain. This manhole cover is right next to an opening where these vandals most likely get on school grounds.