Part of my recent move to Manhattan Beach has included familiarizing myself with my new surroundings. Unlike the corner of Olympic and Beverly Glen that I lived on for the past 9 years, Manhattan Beach is a quiet little community. It’s miles from Hollywood both geographically and aesthetically. It’s odd to live in an actual neighborhood again and not some transient apartment complex mixture of actors, old people, writers, failures, has-beens, hopefuls and newbies.
What’s also odd is the silence.
There are no fire trucks screaming down Olympic at 3am. There are no accidents outside our building once a week. There are no kids with ten thousand dollar car stereos anxious to kill their ears, pumping the bass. There are no parties on the floor below us either, nor distant rumblings of up to three dryers tumbling in unison. I no longer depend upon an elevator to get me to and from where I live. No more buzzing people in. No more telling visitors to “take the elevator to the third floor, make a left, go through the door at the end of the hall and then make a right. I’ll meet you in the hallway.” There are no more packages in the office which must be picked up during business hours. There are no more Century City skyscrapers visible from our back window, and no more 9’x3′ balcony to serve as our “outdoors.”
Our back window in Manhattan Beach looks out onto a yard. I had forgotten how nice it is to have a yard. I missed it. I thought I’d miss Los Angeles and Hollywood and I thought moving out of the city would make me feel like I was removed from the action. As it turns out, I AM removed from the action and so far, it’s pretty nice.
If you’re in the South Bay or feel like making the 20 minute trek down the 405 to get here, Manhattan Beach has it’s annual “Holiday Fireworks Festival” on the pier today, Sunday Dec. 12, from 4-7:30pm. According to the local paper, the festivities include a “snow park for kids,” a Santa float, and two bands playing, including a band called the “Hyperion Outfall Serenaders.” Weird name. I don’t know anything about them, but a quick googling tells me that they are a local Dixieland jazz band.
I must really be getting older and blander because taking my family to see fireworks on the beach pier with some local dixieland band playing songs I’ve heard at a hundred parades sounds like a perfect Sunday evening.