Thursday, August 28, 2014

Neighborhood Walks: To the Coffee Shop and Library

At least once a week, I like to walk to my favorite coffee shop to write. This time, on my way back, I swung by my local library to pick up a few items that I had on hold.

My walk starts with this, which I see across the street every time I walk out my front door. It's a Spanish-language immersion school:

A funny story: when were moving to Santa Monica, our time and resources were limited, so we were forced to rent an apartment while we were still in Texas, based only on the pictures we could see online. After sending in the deposit on our current place, we looked up the neighborhood on google maps. However, the picture was old, so instead of the lovely new blue and yellow building you see above, there was an older, smaller, more traditional-looking school building surrounded by a field and a boarded up house so decrepit that I wouldn't have been surprised to find a few dead bodies inside. After seeing this, I have to admit that I was extremely nervous about the apartment we'd just rented. Imagine my relief when we arrived to discover the above building there instead.

And it's growing! It's been under construction the whole time we've lived here. Also under construction a little farther down the street was some low-income housing, which was completed a couple of months ago. I'm always amused to walk by and see this bike rack being well used:

This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, one of the prettier walks I take, but across a major street and down a few blocks, I did admire this old window frame:

I hope they find this cute little doggie:

Turning north, I see the Santa Monica mountains ahead of me:

It's very difficult to see, and I probably shouldn't be taking pictures through peoples' windows, but I loved that this apartment (condo?) had swordfish on the wall that were visible from the street:

Really cool old iron work:

Crossing over the 10:

The very, very bright pink Lorna Jane building. They sell women's active wear:

I've always felt that the steeple on this church is a little on the small side, relative to the size of the rest of the building. When I think about it, though, I can't recall seeing very many grand steeples here. I wonder if there's some kind of city code about it:

I think it would be impossible for this street to look any more quintessentially Californian:

The Sha'arei Am synagogue assures me that real men cook, or at least they did last Sunday. I wonder if real men cook well though:

And I've arrived at my destination, the 18th Street Coffee House. I love their saloon doors. I will spend a couple of hours here writing:

My tabletop in the coffee shop:

I apologize for the bathroom shot, but it amuses me that, after the note on the very bottom of the sign that says "No Tampons Either," some joker penned in, "Or Armadillos":

On my way back, I passed by this cool topiary:

Then I fell in love with this building. Not only is it a beautiful example of art deco architecture (love), the address is made with amazing tile work (love), AND look at that door (love)! What an awesome building:

They're working on a train that will go from downtown LA to downtown Santa Monica. I believe it's due to be finished next year. Here is one of the stops, currently under construction:

One of LA's idiosyncrasies is that it sort of insists upon itself. I've never lived anywhere else where I've seen so many billboards about movies and TV shows. This one in particular always catches my eye because, if not for my Best Picture project, which forced me to watch "Around the World in Eighty Days," I would have absolutely no idea who Cantinflas was and would therefore be scratching my head over it:

Nice detail on a fence outside a schoolyard:

I'm pretty sure that this surfboard hasn't moved for the last seven months, haha:

I'm very fond of Spanish style homes. I think this one in particular is very cute. I wish I saw more of them than I do in SM because I think they fit really well with the climate here:

I like how daringly green this house is, especially when juxtaposed with the bright red brick fence:

I sort of get what this person was going for, and it even made me chuckle, but I don't think that implying that one is anti-tolerance is really the best way to win an argument:

To the right is another sign that says "Park," which means, as a whole, they say "Virginia Avenue Park," which is my neighborhood park. I couldn't get the other sign in the picture without including random people who I thought would rather not be included in a stranger's picture. My neighborhood library is in this park:

Love it:

This is the area in front of the library, which is sadly sort of ugly, but that's because it's set up to house a fantastic farmer's market every Saturday:

And finally, nearly back home again, I pass by my favorite bougainvillea. Unfortunately, it's not in full bloom right now but it's still looking pretty good:

Round trip, this is an approximately 2.6 mile walk. It's not the prettiest trip, but it allows me to get a little exercise while getting me out of the house & into an environment where I can write without distractions (namely, my cat and dog and the internet and the television).


Patricia said...

Wow, for someone who doesn't think your walk is pretty, you found a lot of really pretty things. I love the Spanish style houses and I'm surprised there aren't more. What do you have? Bungalows?

I love that Art Deco building too. If we ever become fabulously wealthy, we should throw Art Deco parties.

balyien said...

One of my other walks has a lot more Spanish style homes. Mostly I see a lot of stucco houses and some bungalows, with an occasional modern house thrown in. It's all fairly attractive. I'm looking forward to posting the other walks because then you'll see why they're much prettier. :)

An art deco party would be so fun!