On Saturdays, we like to mark the weekend by "getting away" somewhere -- which these days, is sometimes around the block. This weekend, though, we were picking something up at a friend's house in Santa Monica, and so we decided to take advantage of the change of scenery, and go to the park that overlooks the ocean near the Santa Monica pier.
It was a lovely destination, and we had a tasty picnic -- even though it was a little windy. The funny thing is though, when Robert and I were first married, we lived on 20th Street in Santa Monica, and we could have gone to this little gem of a park every weekend if we wanted! But we never did!!!
We lived in Santa Monica for 3 years before we moved to the San Fernando Valley where we could afford a house, and in all those three years, we never once walked on those paths, or strolled across the bridge from PCH to the beach, or even went to the Santa Monica Pier. What?
I think maybe the problem was that our jobs were pretty stressful. Robert was a new lawyer, and I was working full time for Bullock's retail, in the corporate personnel department. (Ugh. I hated that job.) But other than that, I can't think why we never ventured to Palisades Park to enjoy the scenery! Life is funny. And then when we moved to the Valley (or rather moved back to the Valley - since we were both born there) going to the beach became a very rare thing indeed, especially with infants in tow.
We'll definitely be back to visit that little park. It was a great people watching place, with just stunning views.
I did want to mention one other thing about our weekend getaway, though. On the way there, we drove down Wilshre Boulevard. Wilshire Boulevard is a major artery in Los Angeles that traverses the city, and ends at the ocean. So when we got off the 405 freeway, we drove straight to the ocean on Wilshire Boulevard. It's a jaunt of about 13 miles.
There are many, many shops, and businesses along Wilshire. There's hospitals, markets, restaurants, fast food, and every kind of small business that you can imagine. And, as is my wont, I began to narrate what I was seeing as we drove down the Boulevard. But the thing that struck me so deeply, was the number of small shops that had gone out of business.
I began to count them, and by the time that we had gotten to the ocean, I had counted over 40 storefronts that were vacant, or closed for good, some small, some not so small. And those were just the ones that I could see as we quickly drove by -- and I could't really count all the ones on both sides properly, because I couldn't see both at once.
All to say, it was an alarming number of businesses that did not survive the pandemic. So disheartening. I'm looking forward to supporting new entrepreneurs after the pandemic subsides, even when Amazon is easier. There's just something about going into a little shop where you know the shopkeeper is the owner, and where you know your purchase will make a difference to a person you know.
Please let that be soon.