Tag Archives: Santa Monica Pier

L.A. Marathon This Sunday: Get Over It?

2010 L.A. Marathon finish line

The 2011 Los Angeles Marathon takes place this Sunday, largely repeating 2010’s “Stadium to the Sea” route.  Last year’s route successfully highlighted various Los Angeles area landmarks, including Dodgers Stadium, Rodeo Drive, and the Santa Monica Pier near the finish line.  However, I was at the finish line last year, and the popularity of the Marathon made things very tough on spectators there.  For example, it was nearly impossible to walk across Ocean Avenue even at points well beyond the finish line.  Additionally, the sidewalk on the East Side of Ocean Ave. was so jammed that it looked hazardous to be there.  I wondered whether it would be feasible to construct a temporary pedestrian foot bridge over Ocean using the same scaffolding materials that were used for the finish line itself (see photo at top).

The good news is that the Marathon planners apparently have taken a stab at trying to ameliorate some of the crowd congestion and pedestrian street access problems that occurred last year.  Specifically, in addition to better access for runners getting to the starting line, the finish line has been moved several blocks North down Ocean Ave.  Hopefully, this will allow for a real pedestrian crossing zone on Ocean well past the finish line, which would not interfere with the recuperating runners who have just finished the race.

If that’s the case, then I’m looking forward to an even more successful Marathon finish line party this year.

Think Locally, Act Aquatically

IMG_1574Jesus may have walked on water, but, during the next few days, you can walk — or ride — over it. First, the Marina Del Rey Water Bus ends its summer run on Labor Day, September 7.  I took the Bus across the Marina Harbor on July 4th, with an actual destination, but it’s a total and picturesque blast just to get on it and buzz around the Harbor.  We saw and waved (local hipsters, if such people exist in the Marina, flash the peace sign.  horizontal like.  from outside in) at a bunch of people partying on their docked boats.  We even saw seals basking on the docks!  And the Water Bus only costs a buck each way!  You can get on and off at a bunch of stops (see website).  In fact, you could even take the Water Bus on Sunday afternoon, and then walk down Abbott Kinney (about a mile) and meet up with the L.A. Metbloggers and friends for coffee at Intelligentsia! I may do just that.  So forget those pricey, snooty cruise boats that go to Catalina or into the Bay or whatever where you have to get dressed up and drink Chardonnay and listen to lite jazz.  The Water Bus is where it’s at baby!
Click for more wet fun

A Pier-fect Evening

IMG_0827Last Thursday, I caught Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women at the Santa Monica Pier Twilight Dance Series, and, yee-hah, it was a hootenany of a good time.  I went *under protest* because I’m not a country + western music fan (Lyle Lovett being an exception).  I parked in one of Santa Monica’s plentiful and cheap parking structures along 2nd and 4th streets, but, due to the huge crowds near the Pier, I picked the farthest one away (between Arizona and Wilshire) and traded congestion for more walking.

Sorry for the lack of camera, but I can report that the Pier was packed (although many people were no doubt taking advantage of the mild weather and were not necessarily there for the music), as was the Pier’s parking lot. I did not get up to the stage area on the Pier, but rather, went to the sand just below and South of the Pier.  There must have been thousands of people on the beach, spread out on blankets, with food, drinks (and, based on the smell, lots of pot), and candles.   It took a few text messages back and forth to locate my gang.  How did people at Woodstock find each other?
Continue reading A Pier-fect Evening

Patti Smith 2fer in Santa Monica

pattiPatti Smith sprang forth in that rush of NYC bands in the mid-’70s that included the Ramones, Talking Heads, Television and Blondie. All regular performers at CBGB in Manhattan’s Bowery, they were the cultural descendants of the Velvet Underground, the Stooges, the MC5 and Warhol, living in a broken city with a thriving underground art scene that is still relevant today. (See how long you can go while sifting through current culture without coming upon a direct reference to Andy. Go ahead, try it.)

And Lucky You has two opportunities one opportunity, in what remains of summer, to bask in the presence of what remains of that era’s royalty, namely one Ms. Smith, in Santa Monica, starting this weekend. The first one costs $30; the second is free.

On Saturday, August 1st, Santa Monica Museum of Art will be the setting for An Evening with Patti Smith, featuring an improvisational performance by PS and clips from Steve Sebring’s 2008 documentary, Patti Smith: Dream of Life. (7 PM; $30, Sold out, but the doc is now on DVD.)

Then, on Thursday, September 3rd, Patti Smith and her Band will perform at the closing night of the Santa Monica Pier Twilight Dance Series, a two-month program of free concerts that began in early July. (7 PM; free)

Maybe some of you were lucky enough to be at her season closer show at the pier  two years ago (I was) and need another shot (I do.)