Monday, December 13, 2010

This is Dogtown

Friday we were back on the coast, this time staying in Santa Monica. In the morning we grabbed a quick breakfast at Peet's (amazing how many Peet's there are in California), where we noticed the most amazing Christmas tree in the courtyard outside.

It's made of dozens of shopping carts stacked on top of one another, with giant silver balls dangling in the centers. This thing is brilliant. I would have liked to have seen it being assembled.

Afterward we walked along the beach toward the pier. We'd watched Dogtown and Z Boys a few days before we left and noted a few of the famous skating and surfing spots that were mentioned.

I'm pretty sure this is where they filmed some of the scenes in Desperate Teenage Lovedolls, which we'd seen just days earlier. (About 30 seconds in from

I feel like a lot of movies must have been filmed here. (I'm pretty sure Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead is one of them--the part where Christina Applegate and her boyfriend are under the pier--though I'm not sure why I remember that.)

Later that day we went to the Venice Canals. The area was originally planned as a resort town called Venice of America, with sixteen miles of canals comprising most of the thoroughfares. But in the 1920s with the rise of the automobile, this proved rather impractical, and the majority of them were filled in and converted to roads.

In the 90s the canals once again became a sought after locale, with fancy modern homes replacing vacant lots, and in 1994 the city refurbished the six remaining original canals.

These photos don't really do them justice. Here's one on flickr that shows the full extent of this place a little more. Walking around on the narrow sidewalks alongside the water, we decided that this was where we were going to live. We imagined waking up every morning and having coffee on a sunny patio overlooking the water. Then I saw that an average rental costs around $3,000 a month. So now we just have to win the lottery.

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