May 12, 2014

I grew up in what is known as the Valmonte area of Palos Verdes. My mom’s still in the house on Via La Selva, about a mile from Valmonte school. A friend who lived on the hill once said, “you’re so lucky; you live in the trees.” Definitely the trees… we are deep into the thick, miles-long eucalyptus forest (our street translates as “by way of the jungle”) interspersed with pepper trees. I think most would agree that the larger, flashier houses are those perched on cliffs or along the sides of hills, with terraced yards and multiple balconies with jaw dropping ocean views.  But, we have shade.

As a kid, I didn’t much appreciate the area, at least not in an adult way. I liked it plenty, but not because of its relaxed, peaceful beauty. Now, because I’m down here so often visiting my mom, I see the neighborhood very differently, and, yeah, I totally appreciate it.  Streets don’t lay out in any kind of order… they’re all curvy and undulating, and dark with shade. And quiet.

I’ve got a walk I like to do when here (one of many). It’s about an hour long and takes me down and around by the PV Golf Club …. took this shot this morning just beyond the intersection of Paseo del Campo and Via Campesina.


An interesting thing about this particular spot: My parents first moved to PV from Manhattan Beach in 1957 when I was one. A teeny house on Via La Selva. They then had my brother Jay and within another couple years my mom was pregnant with Chris (3rd of 4). They realized they needed a bigger house. They found one on Paseo del Campo that they really, really wanted but lost it to another bidder… heh.. it was probably about $50k… pricy!  So instead, they found a larger house just a block up La Selva, and my mom’s now been there for 55 years!

Had they bought the house on Paseo del Campo, this would have been the view (the above photo).  The mountains just visible over the trees are the Malibu mountains on the other side of the Santa Monica Bay. The “hill” is just to the left, out of this picture.

I found this aerial shot. The narrow strip part of that dark spot is the Valmonte area of PV. The point at which that dark strip nearly touches the coast is the end of my mom’s street. The highest elevation on the peninsula is about 1500. Good sized hill.


On a map, it looks like this. The big red dot is, more or less, the end of my mom’s street.


Anyway.  The hood.