The Day in Pictures

February 18, 2020

If you ask me to conjure a perfect couple of down days, I might describe a personal little retreat in the South Bay…. was born in Manhattan Beach, raised in Palos Verdes, and covered a lot of territory in between, including Torrance, Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach.  It’s a place I know well — its neighborhoods, its restaurants, shops and cafes, its roads, and most of all its AIR, its VISTAS and its SMELLS. I feel utterly at home here.

It’s funny.. I was only here (in the South Bay, where I’m presently writing and sipping coffee) for 18 years. I’ve lived elsewhere for far more of my life (like, 72% of it!) and of course home to me is with Jim, in the life we’ve built together, with a son we love more than anything on earth (quite literally), in a town we find comfort and refuge in, among our people. That’s home now. Happily and profoundly gratefully so.

But, oh, how I love my little nostalgia tours, and the speed with which I can take my corners (which I mean both literally and figuratively).

And just an aside before I dump a few photos from yesterday (and post date this entry accordingly): I’m sitting at Starbucks in Hollywood Riviera (which they now call Riviera Village). I wasn’t able to get a table inside, so plunked down at an outside table (nicer anyway). Over the past hour, a company of men (2) turned into a crowd of men (3) which has now become whatever they call 8 men (a true gaggle!). I’m now dead in the middle of them, trying not to listen to all their old man-ish conversation (which was funny, mostly).  So, I just moved over to the other side of a long bench.  Feeling a bit badly about crowding me out, one just showed me a photo of his granddaughter posing with the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Her name is Alexa. Just so you know.


And, well, one more side note, before I resume blogging…    I ran out of battery power while sitting outside at Starbucks. I’ve relocated and am now sitting in the Malaga Cove Library. Eeeeeeeyup… the Malaga Cover Library. I do not think I’ve walked through the main door here in 50 years! Several years ago, my graduating class at PVHS had its 45th reunion here, but it was in a downstairs community room, accessed through a totally different door on Via Campesina (fun fact for PV-ites, I think the library sits at the very spot where Via Campesina morphs into Via Del Monte).

Anyway, I parked on Campesina, easily I might add, and hiked up the stone steps, past the fountain, along the sloping green and through those familiar doors. I’m slammed with that Malaga Cove library smell (it’s fantastically rich, as you know — leather, books, old wood, old world) and greeted so sweetly by a man at the front desk. I tell him I’ve not been here in 50 years. This excites him. He gives me a brochure with a history of the library and shows me around. He clears a spot in the magazine room for me as it’s quiet, has power to the table, is well lit and comfortable…if I’m going to sit awhile to write, he says. Looks like this:


He also showed me to the bathroom, because, wow, service is great here. (It’s a great bathroom.)

Around the corner is a lovely hallway with large windows looking out onto a stone patio garden with begonias and blooming tulip trees. The hallway is lined with mission-style leather chairs (they all look like our just purchased Morris chair). I’d take a picture except there are men sitting in most of those chairs reading newspapers, looking very at home and like they’ll be there awhile…

The brochure says the Palos Verdes Library and Art Gallery was opened to the public on June 3, 1930. It was designed by architect Myron Hunt and is one of the oldest buildings on the peninsula. It’s situated on a 5-level, sloping lot surrounded by 27 different tree and shrub specimens. Its design reflects the Mediterranean Revival style found all over the hill — stucco, red-tile roofs — with an interior of high beamed ceilings and even a fireplace in the Young Reader’s area (!). The furniture–the brochure says–has been in use since the 30s, designed as replicas of Italian Renaissance tables, chairs and couches.

So… yeah… pretty cozy hereabouts. Can I live here?

Anyway… where this post was going…   My Day in Pictures (which was actually yesterday):

My misty morning walk looked like this… slight fog just on the verge of sun:


And gave way to this by the time of my second walk:

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Then to the plaza …


…where I ran into this fellow who was delighted to be asked if I could take his picture!


Had lunch here (a Chinese chicken salad.. not something I order very often):


And, after a failed nap (will I ever be able to nap?), took myself for another late afternoon –> sunset walk along the Esplanade…





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Then went to dinner with Betsy at Blue Water Grill to raise my glass to mom (the glass was full of Grey Goose and three olives). Ate a hot loaf of sourdough with butter, as she woulda wanted me to. My personal indulgence was the grilled swordfish which was exceptional.

Back to my earlier comment about the ideal personal retreat… this is surely one of them.







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