Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Neighborhood Walks: Across Town to the Bluffs

I hate driving. I've hated driving from the very first moment I got behind the wheel of a car. Conversely, I love to walk. Living in car-oriented places over the last several years has been hard on me, and LA is no different. There's a lot of driving to be done here. Fortunately, there's also a lot of walking to be had. Sometimes, when the spirit moves me, I take a long walk across town.

We begin this walk at the apartment complex across the street, which just xeriscaped last week. I think they did a wonderful job. It's vastly improved from before:

I'm seeing a lot more xeriscaping in SM these days, especially since the new water restrictions were announced (they're not in effect for another month or so). The state offers rebates for putting in drought-resistent landscaping, a move that I wholeheartedly approve.

The low-income housing that was built just down the street from us last year put in artificial grass from the start. I think it looks great. I didn't even realize it wasn't real at first:

I think this is some type of Iris? I liked the colors:

Across the highway is a business area. There's a branch of Universal. I believe it's their music division. Here's their iconic logo:

A story. I don't normally like to cross the highway on this street because there's an on-ramp there. As a pedestrian, crossing can be dangerous. Many drivers are too desperate to get onto the highway to pay much attention to anyone's safety. Also, this intersection is ugly. However, there's some amazing wall art that went up a few months ago and I thought it would be cool to take pictures.

As I was waiting for the crosswalk light to change, I heard a rustle behind me. A man emerged from the bushes. He began to tell me that I couldn't put my hand on his thigh, nor could I "have" him. Then he stood too close to me and loudly sang a Beatles song. I never turned around, and never engaged, but the whole thing was rather unsettling. Let's just say I plan to follow my gut about that intersection in the future.

Anyway, here's one of my favorite parts of the mural:

I have no idea what's in this building, or why, a few months ago, they suddenly covered the whole entire length of it with awesome art. My other favorite part (an angel reminiscent of the "weeping angels" from Doctor Who) was too large for me to photograph, so I took this photo instead:

I thought my friend P would like this neon sign. I can't tell if it's actually old timey, or if it was made to look that way:

I liked the mix of brick and ivy on the exterior of this building:

More great xeriscaping:

I have no idea what's going on here, but I kind of like it:

I think The Little Chapel of the Dawn is cute as a button. However, since it's attached to a funeral home, I assume that its sole purpose is to host funerals:

This is the front porch of a modern-style house that sort of stuck out like a sore thumb in the neighborhood, although, as modern houses go, I thought it was kind of nice. I liked the look of the tree on the porch. I couldn't tell if it was real or not, but I enjoyed that it had wind chimes hanging from one branch, and a bird feeder from another:

Nice stained glass work at a Lutheran church:

Although I much prefer their excellent bell tower:

This is the front of the Mercedes-Benz dealership. In my opinion, it's one of the prettiest buildings in Santa Monica:

I appreciated the lone rebel orange flower in amongst the purple ones here:

I wandered over through a neighbored I don't visit often, and was surprised to discover a lot of mid-century modern details. I took this picture for the interesting, school bell-like detail next to the address, and ended up liking how monochromatic the photo turned out:

I was amused to find a car that fit the theme:

This was my favorite of the buildings with mid-century modern details. I like the pop of color:

Loved the enormity of this outdoor light fixture, which only had two bulbs that I could see:

Always a sucker for decorative tilework, I had to take a picture of these balconies. I can only imagine how much time/effort this took:

Through the open front doors of an apartment building, I caught sight of a rather contemplative-looking statue in the atrium:

There was something about the sight of this picnic table that made me think, "If I saw a picture of that without any context whatsoever - let's say it didn't have the American flag - I would still be able to recognize that as an American picnic table."

The front stoops of this building were all this small, but everyone managed to fit regular sized furniture on theirs, except for these people. I had a bit of a chuckle over these miniature chairs, although I do wonder if they were set up for children:

I don't know what these plants that look like cabbages are called, but I think they're lovely:

Finally, I arrived at the bluffs overlooking the ocean, where I was able to read for about half an hour before heading to an appointment nearby:

This was a walk of about 3.5 miles that I took at a leisurely pace on a rather gloomy day. I took the bus home. By the time I did, the sun was finally out.


Patricia said...

Fabulous walk! And your gloomy day made for some good photos.

I liked all the xeriscaping photos. When I grew up in Boise we all had very green lawns, because if you didn't water regularly, the grass died. The were so bright and lush I remember my then-boyfriend being kind of in awe of the green of the desert. Chris tells me that more and more people in Boise are planting more responsible landscaping choices.

I did indeed like the old-timey sign. My vote is that it's modern.

The Mercedes-Benz dealership is incredibly beautiful and I loved your mid-century modern details.

I also love your beach photo at the end.

balyien said...

I agree that the old timey sign is most likely modern. "June gloom" was a lot worse this year than it was last year. While it made for some good pictures, it left me feeling very dispirited. I'm not used to cloudy days anymore!