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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Main Street, Santa Monica (Part II)

This past summer before a breakfast meeting I took some time to walk along Main Street in Santa Monica. As I shared last week in Part I, it's an enjoyable, and very easy, urban hike.

Above is near the intersection of Bicknell & Main - just some mixed use development: businesses down below, apartments up above. This configuration, very common in cities around the world, was virtually zoned out of existence here in metro Los Angeles, and is only now making a comeback as a viable city scape. I really liked the bright colors.

The intersection of Main & Bicknell looking towards the Pacific Ocean, two blocks away. Bicknell has a small hill overlooking the ocean and gained notoriety as a popular skateboard spot by the Zephyr Skateboard Team.

More mixed use with a variety of colors and styles. Great living arrangement if you're single or married without children - a lot trickier once kids are part of the mix.

Corner of Main and Pico - looking towards the Pacific Ocean. I took a long walk from Pico at the Pacific Ocean all the way up to Westwood Blvd a month or so earlier. Here's a link to that early morning hike.

The changing face of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles was recently voted the "least friendly" city in the United States. by Travel & Leisure Magazine. I've been to Chicago several times and, this past March, finally made it to New York. I would agree with that assessment.

Two reason why might be:

1) the car culture: the use of individual automobiles to get around which keeps a majority of people - including yours truly - isolated from one another (Travel and Leisure also voted Los Angeles as the worst city in terms of public transportation and pedestrian-friendliness).

2) the inability to communicate with one another in a common language.

I was surprised to hear English much more widely spoken in both Chicago and New York.

I don't have any hard statistics (I'd appreciate any feedback here) but I can't think of many other cities where a large national chain like The Home Depot announces products for sale over their P.A. system in Spanish.

I like to think that I'm only expecting that immigrants today do what my immigrant grandparents (3 of 4 of whom were foreign born) did a couple of generations ago.

Main and Pico with Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, location of the Academy Awards ceremony from 1961-1967, in the background.

Crossing the street and back up Main Street. This is looking southeast down Main.

A dog waiting outside yet another coffee shop at 200 Main Street.

Our kids are really bugging us to get a dog. It's probably not going to happen, but if we do, I want a bulldog.

If you're looking for "raw, organic, vegan cuisine" - then brother Euphoria Loves Rawvolution is the place for you.

Their tag line is "Conscious Food for Conscious People."

Not sure what that implies if you like your food, um, cooked, but this probably isn't the place to go if you're looking for a nice, juicy steak (or even, heaven forbid, a cookie).

The Santa Monica Community Garden. There are 69 individual 10X10 or 10X20 plots that residents can rent to plant vegetables, flowers, or whatever. In that over half of Santa Monica residents live in apartments or condos, it's a great idea - in theory.

Unfortunately, there's up to a five year wait until a plot becomes available. The cost is only $60 a year - which is honestly ridiculously low. What does that work out to? $5 a month? Are they kidding? That's half of what it costs to park your car at the beach for a few hours. No wonder there's a five year wait.

More Vegan. Must be popular.

The Edgemar mixed use development, which opened in 1988. Despite being designed by Frank Gehry, a Santa Monica resident and perhaps the best know architect in the world, I think it's well . . . kind of ugly.

Mural at Ocean Park Blvd. & Main Street. Not sure if the lower half is a "work in progress" or simply trying to repair tagging and vandalism.

One of the greatest threats to the 1000+ plus murals throughout greater Los Angeles is, unfortunately, vandalism.

The California History Museum at the corner of Ocean Park & Main.

Last summer they featured a exhibit on the develpment of Skateboarding in California, which a particular focus on the Zephyr Team which developed in this immediate area (known by local surfers and skaters as Dogtown).

What can I say? I stopped by previously, but was too cheap to plop down the cash to walk through. I suppose I've gotten spoiled by the free admission to the Getty Center, Getty Villa, California Science Center, Griffith Observatory, and the once a month "free days" that the dozen or so other area museums have. I guess I was pretty pressed for time, too.

More on Main Street, Santa Monica in the third and final installment next week.

© 2011


1 comment:

scratcher said...

good blog - I like the photos and your comments