Saturday, February 02, 2008

Run to Venice Beach

Just about two miles from my mom's house is Venice Beach. So here's the halfway point of my run down Rose to the beach. It's early Friday morning so all the hustle and bustle of Venice Beach - the booths, the bikes and skaters, not yet there. The rest are pictures as I complete the return trip.

This funky old neighborhood right up against one of the world great beaches - lots of sand, good surf - is still a mix of all kinds of income groups. The buildings are still mostly old. I think this neighborhood shows the positive effects of Prop 13 which froze property taxes back in 1977. While the freeze seems to have hurt infrastructure, the University, and other public programs and caused real disparity issues between people who have lived in their homes a long time and newer buyers, here it seems to have allowed people of modest means to stay in their homes while the value of their coastal property soared. If they hadn't had the freeze, many of the people here would not have been able to afford the proerty taxes as land values so close to the beach went way up.

The values have tempted a lot of people to sell and there are lots of fixed up places and totally torn down and rebuilt places. And Main Street has become a pricy shopping spot.

But the people I pass are not wealthy people by a long shot. But they do live near the beach which is a spiritual wealth. Many beach communities have no place for the people who live here and that, I think, is a positive by product of Prop. 13. I was running and I didn't feel right taking pictures of the many colorful looking folks, so you'll just have to imagine.

This new condo sign caught my eye. I'm 90% sure this is where the Pioneer Bakery used to be. There was agreat little shop that sold wonderful bread here at reasonable prices, but it was a small part of the bakery that used baked bread for the whole Pioneer Bread Company and it always smelled good here. This should be called the Pioneer Condos and they should have a little bakery - including the aroma of fresh bread - on the grounds.

[UPDATE Feb. 2012:  Here are the condos, four years later, finally getting built.

 Not sure what happened to these photos, I'll have to see if I can find them.  If not I'll delete them.]

A lot of places have just been spiffed up like this one, but the building is still relatively modest by Southern California beach standards.

Now I'm passed Lincoln and nod to this lady caring for her garden as I did the last two days and whenever I'm visiting my mom.

This whole area was swamp when I was growing up here. Just small dirt hills, among wetlands with opportunities limited only by our imaginations. In fact, Rose didn't go through then. Now it's a public golf course - certainly much better than more houses - and relatively ordinary people play golf here.

And now I'm close to Walgrove and almost home. I love the smell of the eucalyptus trees here. I've got a little bowl of leaves at home that I can sniff whenever I need a quick trip to LA.

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