Ahh, ocean air! After over 20 years of living in the Hollywood Hills, I’m taking a break for the summer and living (most of the time) on the beach in Venice. Both My Fabulous Man Dan and I are working on the Westside, so we rented a little seaside casita to cut the commute down to 4 minutes instead of 45.
I resisted at first. (Why do humans resist change so much when it is the ONE constant?) I love my favorite haunts in Hollywood: Caffe, Etc. for coffee and snacks, The Arclight, my hikes in the hills, my garden. But change is good. I’m finding new places to discover and adore and I must say, everyday is a new adventure!
One cool thing… I’m on my bike more. As in everyday. Venice and Santa Monica have a bike culture that just doesn’t seem to exist in the rest of the city. Yes, people ride their bikes in Hollywood, but not like on the Westside. In Hollywood, truthfully, I am hesitant to get on my two wheels. Drivers don’t seem as conscious of riders and the roads and side-walks just don’t seem inviting.
In Venice and Santa Monica, I start the day on the bike path that parallels the ocean and it’s a glorious ride no matter what. And when I have to run an errand, I hop on the bike to zip over to Abbot Kinney and it just feels easier to navigate. There’s actually parts of the streets designated for bikes and when their aren’t, the side-walks are wide and ample so I can traverse them easily.
Just using my bike every day has made me a million times more aware of how important planning the city with bikes and pedestrians in mind is the way to go. It would be so wonderful if it were actually easy to ride your bike around the city without the fear of being wiped out by a car. If the roads ALL had lanes for bikes.
The intimacy of the city experience I am discovering by getting out of my car is astounding. And I’m definitely more chill after I’ve had a spin on the bike, so I might have to keep it up when I’m back in Hollywood full time….. but oh! those hills!