Saturday, June 25, 2011

LA: Santa Monica is where it's at

I realised that I had totally false expectations of LA. It's not hard to have them from everything we've seen on the box and silver screen. People talk about Hollywood and Beverley Hills like they are the holy grail but trust me that is all hype.

Sure you can check out the Walk of Fame, see if you can spot a celeb shopping or lunching on Rodeo Drive, but if you fancy yourself as more a free and easy artisan type then Santa Monica is the place to be.
Starting off down at the ocean front, you can meander down with the fresh sea breeze blowing in your face (and boy was this a change from Singapore) as you pass people rollerblading, cycling, learning to salsa and playing chess.



take in the scenes

and of course jump on the adult swings where you can go super high!
Eventually you hit the celebrated Muscle Beach where I heard you could see the local talent flex their muscle.
I would have loved to fill this post full of pics of these muscle bound men but sadly there was not much talent or muscle flexing going on.  But it was pretty cool seeing the skills and agility some people had on the monkey hoops.

No visit to the beach would be complete without a stroll around Santa Monica pier with its rickity rides, old world charm and Zoltar machine - just like in the movie BIG. I didn't even know these things existed!


And then of course there is the REAL local talent. On the pier is where you begin to savour Santa Monica's artistic soul as you stumble upon performer after performer who will pretty much dumbfound you with their street performance skills, all the way down to Third Street Promenade. In fact so good were these performers that we basically spent the rest of our time retracing our footsteps so we could appreciate all the talent there.

And here are some videos of some of my favourites...check them out!

There's this awesome drummer on the pier making use of some nifty buckets....
video


This guy doing some awesome locking and popping on Third Street Promenade....
video

And finally I had to include this one because it was so random. Some ragga dude singing funked up Israeli songs then suddenly this random girl who is not even part of the performance starts spontaneously busting out some moves in support of his performance. Obviously because of my Israeli roots I found this totally brilliant!
video
And of course the food. If you're reading this because you're thinking of checking out Santa Monica, I'd strongly urge you to head down to a California French bistro called Jiraffe for some tastebud-tingling nosh. Mr C and I tucked into a roasted tomato tartlette, salmon and pork. One word. YUM!









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