Just Above Sunset
Volume 5, Number 10
March 11, 2007

Dark Beach

 The world as seen from Just Above Sunset -

"Notes on how things seem from out here in Hollywood..."

Santa Monica, Thursday, January 4 - and who imagined the place could seem a scene of alienation? Below, a street down to the beach, as Edward Hopper might have seen it, had he not been a New Yorker.

Street to the beach, Santa Monica

Hopper had his famous Nighthawks place. Here's the California equivalent on Ocean Avenue, Chez Jay, right next to the Rand Corporation, the think-tank that plans our wars for us.

Chez Jay, Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica

Trivia from Bob Patterson - "Chez Jay has another claim to fame.  The bar offers peanuts in a shell.  The floor is usually littered with the old shells.  One unbroken shell is insured for $1 million and is in a bank vault.  Neil Armstrong took that particular example to the moon and brought it back and gave it to the owner of Chez Jay's.  (The steaks are great at that place.)"

Even the pier looks a bit like something from Hopper. But the only famous Hopper in these parts is the actor Dennis Hooper, who lives a few miles south in Venice Beach.

Santa Monica Peir, from below

It's not all Hopper alienation. It's sometimes just mildly surreal - the bronze surfer with the briefcase at the Lowe's hotel, across from Chez Jay.

bronze surfer with the briefcase at the Lowe's hotel, across from Chez Jay, Ocean Avenue, Santa Moinca

Ah, the kids still play at the beach, in the long winter light at noon.

Kids at play, Santa Monica, the beach in winter

But all is not well here, at least on Lincoln Boulevard.

Manikin at Supply Sergeant, Lincoln Boulevard, Santa Monica
[Dark Beach]

Last updated Saturday, March 10, 2007, 10:30 pm Pacific Time

All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 - Alan M. Pavlik