Three summers ago, our work took us to Chicago for six weeks (topic for another post), the starting point of historic "Route 66". Back in Los Angeles, I decided it'd be interesting to walk along the last final section of Route 66 that goes through Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
I got started about 6:30am and parked on the corner of Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica Blvd. Free parking on the street until 9am: great. I walked across the street to the cliffs, and got this early morning photo of the Santa Monica Pier (above).
Looking across Ocean Avenue up Santa Monica Blvd. This is the official end of Route 66, and the beginning of my walk.
Crossing the street, Santa Monica Blvd street sign with the palm trees of Palisades Park in the background.
The tall buildings office buildings near the Third Street Promenade drop off quickly. Santa Monica Blvd has lots of older, interesting one story commercial buildings.
Staring around 10th Street, or so, are a dozen small car dealerships on Santa Monica Blvd, a couple of which are in beautiful, historic buildings (above). Years ago, my dad helped me negotiate the price for a used car in one of these places (man, he was good).
This old brick building on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and 15th Street really caught my eye. I really like the mixture of architecture styles found up and down the street.
You won't find any "big box" stores (Home Depot, Target, WalMart, etc) anywhere in Santa Monica. Here's the local Busy Bee hardware store. Looks like it's been around since the early days of Route 66.
Looking west from Santa Monica Blvd around 20th Street, or so. Mostly two and three story apartment buildings and condos ... with the Santa Monica Mountains in the background.
Walking up Santa Monica Blvd. from the ocean had me crossing over from the city of Santa Monica to the city of Los Angeles at Centinela. This part of L.A. is called "West Los Angeles" (not to be confused with "the westside" of Los Angeles - technically a much bigger area).
Crossing over into West L.A. I noticed a plethoria of "mini-malls" - most of which sprang up in the 1980's. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
These are just a few of the many I saw in a one mile stretch through West L.A. On one hand, they're considered fairly ugly in terms of architecture and overall athestics. Many of them are on the sites of former gas stations.
Yet another mini mall. Little did I know that this one at Santa Monica Blvd and Brockton would make the news in less than a week - stay tuned.
View Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica in a larger map
I walked to Barrington Drive - a little over three miles, then took a MTA bus back to my car. Nice walk ... wonder if I could go further next time?
More next week in Part II.
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originally posted 8/15/09
West L.A isn't bad - it's just that Santa Monica is nicer.
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