Laying Down on the Job

Laying Down on the Job
The Santa Monica Easy

Friday, March 11, 2011

Birthday in Santa Monica

My birthday snuck up on me again.  It always does.  One minute it's all "Happy New Year!  Who brought the champaign" and the next it's early morning Facebook chirps from my iPhone, delivering birthday greetings  to my FB wall. I have to say thank you to Facebook -- I had friends from all over the U.S. leaving delightful and appreciated birthday greetings.  And not one of them ask my age.  Good people.

I worked half a day opening trouble tickets for DSL behaving badly, answering questions about billing, and incorrectly answering questions about email behaving badly.  I love email but I still can't quite get a grip on all the variations and configuration algorithms (see previous post). I've been doing this for nearly 11 years.  It's pathetic -- inexcusable really -- that I still tell customers email is based wizardry and fairy dust.  Thank the internet Krakens for web email -- I don't have to deal with that.

Around noonish, I tidied up my little office, donned my Asics, wobbled off with my baseball cap and camera to take pics of what ever I saw.  My self-imposed mission: create a picture essay of my birthday. 

No many how many times I walk to the beach, I never tire of photographing the sparkling water, the track-stained sand and rippling waves and everything along the way.
What the?
Just beyond the barrier along Pacific Palisades park, I noticed more of he cliff had collapsed or eroded and now revealed what appears to be stone stairs.  In the early Twentieth Century, there was a long, steep wooden stairway leading from the cliff top to the beach.  However, that stairway was further north (where a high rise luxury condo building now stands guard) near Adelaide Drive and they're long gone, victim, as I recall, to a harsh storm.  These may not be steps -- they may be reinforcement from some earlier decade.  This is much further south, closer to Broadway Street.
The pathway between the white wooden fence (above) and the cliff drop-off, used to be part of the original walkway along Pacific Palisades. 
Ocean Blvd. circa 1950s (?)

I've seen a number of postcards circa early 1900's depicting Pacific Palisades near Broadway and it's astonishing how much of the cliff has fallen away. Some members of City Hall blame the erosion squarely on squirrels (I kid you not), but I'm not convinced.  I think it's just cliffside giving up its battle with gravity.

Lazy Wednesday day on Santa Monica's beach
On Sunday's this part of the beach, just north of the Santa Monica Pier, is where Veteran's for Peace create a vivid reminder of the cost of war, with Arlington West.
End of the Road
This is at the end of the Santa Monica Pier, a display of Route 66 maps and trinkets. 

Santa Monica Feathered Sentinal
Penguin or Photographer's Shadow?
Making Friends.
On Second Street with a Downtown Ambassador
 On the way home, I saw a member of Santa Monica's "Downtown Ambassador" team wheeling along alone on a Segway on Second Street.  I asked if I could take a photo of him but was told he was not allowed to have his photo taken unless he was posing with someone.  Just then an obliging young man exited the adjacent building and cheerfully allowed himself to be photographed with the Ambassador.  Unfortunately, I did not ask either man for his name!  What's the matter with me?  Anyway, they're a fine example of the pleasant and helpful people in Santa Monica.  Despite the traffic, we know we live in paradise.
Groovy Wheels
I love this bike.  It was locked to a parking meeter in front of Real Food Daily on Santa Monica Blvd., a casual restaurant with a vegetarian menu.  Hallalujah!
End of a Beautiful Day
The final delight was to meet Steve and Taylor for dinner and a long awaited get together at Bistro of Santa Monica -- which accommodates the vegan in me and my friend's taste for wild salmon.  The other attractive thing about Bistro of Santa Monica, is that they don't pump loud music at the dinners.  I love me some rock and roll but not when I'm trying to hear my friends talk.  Instead they have a pianist who tinkled quiet arrangements of pop music with an easy listening twist.  Sean was our delightful and handsome young waiter who tended to our every need flawlessly although we constantly teased him.  At one point we all were laughing so loud the gentle and pleasant owner ambled back to our table.  He was smiling but I had the sneaking suspicion he was about to make us eat at separate tables.  We must have quieted down enough so he didn't make us move. I had Insalata Contadina (tomatoes, roasted bell pepper, baby onion, grilled eggplant, celery heart and fresh basil) that was huge and perfectly delicious.  For dessert I had a luscious Raspberry sorbet, Taylor had the warm bread pudding and Steve had an sinful chocolate item. I don't know about them but my food was great.

It was a beautiful day. 

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