The Wilshire Finger Points East

November 12, 2019, Santa Monica- 

There are any number of iconic streets across the country, and in the Los Angeles area, in particular.  U.S. Route 66 ends (or begins) here, a scant few blocks from where I stood just moments ago.  Several of the streets around this quadrant are enshrined in my childhood memory, albeit from TV ( Sunset Boulevard and Strip remain in the Long-Term Bank, thanks to Edd “Kookie” Byrnes, who was the king of smooth).  Route 66 itself was the province of George Maharis (“Buzz Murdock”, Kookie’s heir apparent).

It is Wilshire Boulevard, though, which has the most cachet- It starts here, overlooking the beach and hosts some of LA’s great museums. Wilshire leads the visitor to UCLA’s turnoff, to Hollywood and, eventually, to Koreatown.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

At its western terminus, St. Monica herself is the traffic icon, standing between Wilshire and the long drop down a steep cliff.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I chose to walk, from the far end of Third Avenue’s Promenade, to this overlook.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

So, the true glory of Santa Monica, these days, lies in how the city is making itself pedestrian-friendly.  Third Street Promenade, like other urban pioneering efforts, is a well-planned and relaxing venue for people, of all walks of life, to re-center themselves. My first order of business, after checking out of Rest Haven, was to find breakfast.  That matter was resolved by Santa Monica’s branch of LA’s Le Pain Quotidien.  Mini-pancakes and cafe au lait sufficed, as there will be a lunch meet-up with a family friend later on, in Hollywood. LPQ is my kind of spot, though, with a long communal table that goes against the “keep away from my turf” ethic that is so prevalent in many American establishments.  Strangers here are truly “friends you haven’t met.”

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

These are just a few of what LPQ offers.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The long row does have its share of kitsch, in the form of dinosauria.  At least, it’s imaginative kitsch.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Bella, another signature cafe, would have been my breakfast choice, had not LPQ stared me in the face, when I first left the parking garage.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Walking towards the beach overlook, I was captivated by a small boy, who was re-arranging these chess pieces, under his mother’s watchful eyes.  I sat a few rows away and pondered his “strategy”.  For a four-year-old, the little guy was doing quite well.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Such is life, in one of Los Angeles’ most eclectic satellite communities.  Now, it is time for me to head to yet another of those:  Hollywood.

10 thoughts on “The Wilshire Finger Points East

  1. Your posts recently have been like being a tourist in my own home. You have found some interesting things in Santa Monica that I’ve never seen — some so new that they weren’t there the last time I visited, but some that probably should have been there then! Thanks you for sharing your wanderings!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.