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Photography

Thursday, March 13, 2008 Surfer Purgatory

Gidget actually Kathy Kohner Zuckerman is in her late sixties now (see this). The 1957 novel by her father, the Czech-born Hollywood screenwriter, spawned the Gidget movies and the television series, and then we got the Annette and Frankie beach movies.  The Beach Boys, initially the Pendleton's, roared out of Hawthorne and had their decades of fame, and were still singing California Girls in 1980.  This week the masters of surf guitar, the Ventures, were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, but that's in Cleveland.  No one told the folks in Playa Del Rey that it's over the surfer thing is all ancient history, now quaint, or just kitsch.  And Playa Del Rey is in transition.

The old California Bar & Grill, Playa Del Rey

The Woodie at "The Shack" 185 Culver Boulevard at Esplanade Street, Playa Del Rey

The Woodie at "The Shack" - 185 Culver Boulevard at Esplanade Street, Playa Del Rey
The Woodie at "The Shack" - 185 Culver Boulevard at Esplanade Street, Playa Del Rey

What you need to know about The Shack, from Charles Perry of the Los Angeles Times

    The Shack can stand for a substantial school of beach-town divedom. Located in a cozy isolated pocket of Playa del Rey, it has all the beachy paraphernalia and in-group jokes on the wall you could want, and all the surfer dudes bellying up to the bar, for that matter. Challenging a basic dive principle, the Shack has branches in Hawaii and Santa Monica, but the landlocked one in Santa Monica, at least, has nowhere near as much raunchy, rowdy beach vibe as the one down where Culver Boulevard dead-ends into Pacific Coast Highway.

    Its specialty is the Shack burger, which contains a beef patty, a split and grilled Polish sausage, mayo, lettuce and tomato, plus American cheese and even fried onions too, if you want. Grab some napkins - it slips and slides and falls apart in your hands, but it's a memorable sort of mess, largely because of the good, garlicky sausage.

That's not recommended, of course, although the Woodie does match that Nash Metropolitan lodged in the wall.

Stickers on the window mixed messages

Stickers in window at "The Shack" - 185 Culver Boulevard at Esplanade Street, Playa Del Rey

Old surfers have prostate problems

Sticker in window at "The Shack" - 185 Culver Boulevard at Esplanade Street, Playa Del Rey - Pee Fr

The nearest phone booth

Abandoned phone booth with elephant sticker, Playa Del Rey

The old beach town is being torn down. Condos coming

Beach apartment house being torn town, Thursday, March 13, 2008 - Esplanade at Argonaut, Playa Del Rey
Beach apartment house being torn town, Thursday, March 13, 2008 - Esplanade at Argonaut, Playa Del Rey
Beach apartment house being torn town, Thursday, March 13, 2008 - Esplanade at Argonaut, Playa Del Rey

If you wish to use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me. And should you choose to download any of these images and use them invoking the "fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, please provide credit, and, on the web, a link back this site.

Technical Note:

Photographs after March 3, 2008, were taken with a Nikon D200 or a Nikon D70 when noted. All previous photographs were taken with the D70. The lenses used are (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300 mm telephoto, or (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. Photography here is modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0.  The earliest photography in the archives was done with a Sony Mavica digital still camera (MVC-FD-88) with built-in digital zoom.

[Surfer Purgatory]

All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 - Alan M. Pavlik