Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Santa Monica

Santa Monica is an interesting place. A mix of money, poverty, young trend setters, and old time Angelinos. This is largely reflective of the Los Angeles Basin with it’s some 13 million people. Extraordinary wealth, extraordinary poverty, extraordinary diversity. There is more money in LA than then the whole of many countries. Yet it is a city of immigrants. 70% of the population is latino, many driven here by difficult circumstances in their home lands, only to find it not much better here. Yet here there is hope. The American economy and system has always had room for those who had passion and a dream. So they come.

I like Santa Monica. People not from California have the idea that it is a land of beautiful beaches and palm trees, where celebrities are often spotted amongst the lowly commoners. The weather is always perfect, always summer. This is in fact all true, for the most part. The beaches are beautiful, there are tons of palm trees, the weather is almost perfect all year, and yes, celebrities do walk amongst us. Why, just two days ago I saw none other than Rick Schroder at the deli I was eating at. Doesn’t ring a bell? He is that child actor who was on NYPD Blue. He also looks like real life Richie Rich. I guess I also recently missed Angela Lansbury, excitement I wrote! Did I mention the weather is perfect here too? Just today though a guy passed me as I was strolling around during lunch. “Finally summer huh?” “Yeah”, I said with a bit of a laugh. But then I thought to myself, “What on earth is he talking about, it’s always like this here”! Seriously, google the average temperature of Santa Monica (like you did for Rich Schroder, common, you know you did). Heck, google the average temperature for just about any city on the south coast of California. When isn’t it summer?

Mostly I like the diversity here. The graffiti artists mixed with beautiful architecture, the massive buildings and the beautiful beaches. Bums, Lawyers, Celebrities, Doctors, Surfers, they are all present. If there is something you are craving to eat, it’s here. Want a Japanese only market and food court? No problem. Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern? No problem. That’s what Southern California is about, making everyone else’s stuff our stuff too.

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