Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Sands of time
I went out to visit a good friend of mine in Marina del Rey yesterday. I left 3 hours before I needed to meet him because of the "lovely" traffic that consumes our freeways on any given day. Although it didn't take me 3 hours to get there, it did take me a good hour (when, without traffic it should have taken about 25 minutes) to get to that side of the city.
I breathed a sigh of relief as I got off the freeway and saw a big billboard for In-N-Out Burger, just around the corner. I haven't been to one of those since before I left on my trip and it sounded really good...so it was my first stop. If you ever get to LA, you must make an effort to visit one. Their burgers are among the best, their fries are cut daily from real potatoes (no frozen fries here), and they don't have any other food options. Just burgers and fries and good shakes, if you want something other than a soda.
After filling my pie-hole with food, I drove to my friend's neighborhood, parked my car and headed to the beach to walk around. It was a beautiful day to just wander about and revisit an area that I used to see a bit more frequently before the other three billion people moved here and hopped on the freeways. The heinous traffic really does prevent people from visiting each other as often as they may like. You have to plan such a window of time just to motivate yourself to go that, often-times, it's just not worth it.
This part of the beach also runs into Venice Beach...the Melrose Avenue and freak show of the coast. It's filled with tourists, locals walking their dogs, police officers, gang members and has that "Night of a 100 Homeless People" vibe, many of which are selling jewelry, or playing an instrument while "fragrantly" rolling around on rollerskates or a bicycle. It really is a feast for the eyes and senses. There are also the usual shops and vendors all around selling their wares to anyone still holding their own wallet.
There were even a few "vendors" (and I use that term loosely, since many of them appeared to also be living under the umbrellas where they had set up shop) who wanted to charge me just for taking a picture of anything they sold. So, I just shot them, took what I wanted and headed on down the boulevard.
I kid...I didn't steal anything. That would just be wrong...
I also enjoy the variety of beachfront homes that line the area. So many different styles and designs....many in need of a major make-over, while others look like Barbie-Dream-Homes.
I'm sure this statue...
Is meditating on a new color for the house behind her.
This house would be the one that I would buy (in the fantasy world where I had unlimited money and decorating skills)...
It is the only house like it along the strip and, in my mind, the current residents are just watching it for me until I decide to finally move in.
I finally met up with my friend, we chatted a bit, then headed to the beach for sunset...a daily ritual for the locals.
I can see why my friend has always lived here at the beach. With all of the daily stresses and noise, you really can't beat walking out to the sand, listening to the crashing waves and witnessing the close of another day on this planet.
As the sun finally set and the sound of the first police helicopter filled the air...we knew it was time to get off the dark beach, step over a few homeless people, and make our way into a well-lit public space to have dinner.