Left Coast Life
Headed off to San Fran and Vancouver Island, BC for ten days — an awesome escape in two very different but equally marvelous locations.
This photo is of a magnificent coastal site about an hour or so up the western shores of Vancouver Island from Victoria. It's called " Point No Point" — gotta love that name, right?!! Not far from Sook Harbor where we had an incredible dinner at the Sook Harbor Inn. Oh, Canada!!
How a day like this one could end so beautifully is one of the delightful mysteries of life! The young son of close friends was having a blast at a summer skateboarding camp when he took a tumble and ended up in UCLA Med Center Emergency Room with a very broken leg! We ran over to scoop up his 9 year old sister and take her home with us while doctors attended to the boy and his traumatized, freaked-out dad! Her non-stop patter about concerns for her little brother and worries as to how he would get along with a huge cast on his leg and how he would get up the stairs to his room in his mom's house and a litany of other stream-of-consciousness items made Debbie and I realize that we needed a diversion — and quick! Part of that diversion was a big, fat, juicy burrito from Whole Foods! The other part was to take her down to the waters edge as the sun was slowly sinking in the early evening and let the waves, sky and sand do its magic. As always, I brought my camera — and captured this sublime view of our wonderful beach just past sundown. Life is crazy. Life is good . . .
If you're seeing horses on Main Street it can only mean one thing: it's July 4th and time for the Santa Monica Independence Day Parade! Every year the City does its not-quite-ready-for-prime-time parade and it is a total hoot! Where else can you find beautifully restored vintage autos next to City officials riding Segways and solar-powered mini-vehicles? Or a diverse cast of locals from Orthodox Jewish synagogue members to Heal the Bay Supporters, Girl Scouts to Afghani immigrants, SaMoHigh band kids to aging classic rockers on top of a double-decker bus? And horses!! All dancing, loping, riding, skating, hoofing and striding down Main Street. One of the unique joys of living here on the Left Coast!
Summer in Santa Monica is SO different from the summers of my youth back in suburban Pittsburgh!
Remember the old Nat King Cole hit "Lazy, Hazy Crazy Days of Summer?" "Lazy and Hazy" were the operative descriptors of the season in between the last and first days of school. Nasty humidity, 90º heat for what seemed like weeks on end, sleeping in the bedroom I had in our damp basement level — and, back then, no AC. And I worked in the local Catholic cemetery for which one of our neighbors was the superintendent. I planted things: grass, trees and people. Two of the tree hopefully grew but not because of any serious efforts on my part! I spent most of my days trying to hide under a shade tree somewhere instead of mowing/trimming around markers in vast acres of grassy expanse. Hated every minute of it. And did I mention that there was no ocean? Not even a swimming hole in the woods.
Which makes my current locale — and our home for the last 25 years — here at the eastern edge of the big blue body of water called the Pacific Ocean so tremendously special. Debbie and I are extremely fortunate to have found our way to this place and we remind ourselves every day that this cannot be taken for granted. It is, most assuredly, a gift.
Welcome, Summer! Thank you, Santa Monica!!
"(S) E A R S is gone . . . "
The Santa Monica Sears Store
Every day I try to get out for a 4 or 5 mile walk through my local Venice and Santa Monica 'hoods and I ALWAYS take my Fuji x100f #minibeast of a camera with me — never know what you'll see on a walk!
Yesterday I found myself in front of an icon from the last century: a very cool 1947 Sears store, designed in Late Moderne style by architect Rowland Crawford. Not your usual boxy-box of a suburban Sears but rather the cool face of an optimistic, forward-looking, growth-oriented company. Sadly, that optimism and bright future is gone for Sears and, increasingly, a number of other retailers. Not sure what Santa Monica's developers have in mind for this location but it would be amazing if they would find a way to use this charming structure in their plans.