42 Things I Love About Santa Monica


Almost three months ago I was on a very rough flight from Boston to LA. There was turbulence, there was horrid pain in my ears and there was fear that this time the plane may not make it to LA. To my big surprise we landed. I saw my friend but couldn’t hear her. She picked me up and drove me to her home in Santa Monica. I instantly felt warmth both of her presence and warm air of LA. No more cold of Boston winter. I saw light-minded palm trees instead of trees with no leaves. It felt as if I died and wend to paradise. I was still sick but I knew I was going to get better. I stayed on my friend’s couch, wrote and looked through the bay windows at the lush tropical vegetation that was curiously looking back at me as if saying: “Who is new here?”

On the second day I walked to the beach and sat on the bench, it was all I could do, as I had no energy to exercise yet. I just wanted to absorb ocean breeze and see the beach. It felt familiar, just like back home in Sochi. People mainly with dogs were passing by and we didn’t know each other’s stories. But I wanted them to know that I was happy just to be here. Everything may pass you by unless you choose to take a note and appreciated every moment of it. I’ve been looking around me and noticing all. I made a big step into improving my life. I’m so glad I came and explored Santa Monica, but it is time to leave. How familiar can you get with something in just over 2 months? Familiar enough to love it:

  1. Wind-bended rows of Palm trees on the 4th Street
  2. Strangers on the beach walk asking you to try their products or validate their business ideas
  3. Captive chess pieces waiting to be released in the chess park cells
  4. Homeless people sleeping in the Palisades Park in the morning with child-like peaceful faces
  5. The bucket of Shrimper’s Net Catch with Secret Recipe Cajun spice at Bubba Gump
  6. Dragon Roll at Hara sushi, always packed and serving only fresh, tasty and half-priced sushi
  7. Jazz nights at Casa del Mar with older than your average crowd
  8. Quantified Self events, where people and numbers meet at Coloft
  9. Writing from Inner Self Class with Rachelle at Santa Monica Community College
  10. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Herbs at Yo San University Clinic
  11. Chocolate croissant at the Coffee Bean with fire pit on Wilshire Street
  12. One Dollar Oyster specials at Enterprise Fish Company on Main Street
  13. Church bells ringing at The First United Methodist Church on 11th street at 11AM
  14. Socializing with drinks in the garden by the pool at Viceroy
  15. Urth café on Main street, where I organized my first CA happiness formula testing
  16. The drills of beach volleyball with Thao Pham at 106 Entrada Drive
  17. Pet center on 826 Wilshire Blvd, where you can volunteer to walk the dog, who is unfortunate
  18. Handsome men working as cashiers in the Whole Foods store
  19. Tall grown up man walking an elderly woman on Washington street every day
  20. Lounge at Sonoma wine country in Santa Monica Place
  21. Drivers’ and pedestrians’ agitation during Farmer’s market on Wednesdays
  22. Monthly Philosophy Club with Brian at Yahoo center
  23. Beautiful courtyard of the Main Library and its themed events
  24. No plastic bag policy in the stores
  25. Lean LA events with panel discussions in the Civic Center
  26. Post office as a remainder of the old era: while you can hardly find a post office box on the street, some people still use snail mail
  27. One week free pass to work at the Coworksla sharing space
  28. Muscle gym puzzle because you never know if those who practice there are normal people or Circle de Soleil gymnasts
  29. Napoleon cake at the Ukrainian Deli on Wilshire
  30. Vons smart-phone friendly sophisticated coupon system
  31. 24 hour Fedex on Wilshire with its ivy-covered wall
  32. Eclectic plays like “Why we have a body” at Edgemar center for the arts
  33. The Aquamarine color of the Lady, The Georgian Hotel
  34. The feel of the Callahan’s diner reminds me of New York
  35. Montana Street’s Fathers Office, where noone under 21 is admitted
  36. Fog and rain, and you are in a completely different place altogether
  37. Tourists off sightseeing buses eating Krispy Kreme donuts as part of their tour in the Palisades Park
  38. Architectural feats of different ages, shapes and colors
  39. Group joggers, boot campers and serious cyclists in full gear in action by the beach
  40. Exotic trees and flawless flower beds in very unexpected places
  41. The challenge of the big stairs from the beach to the bluffs
  42. Wide white beach, the ultimate answer to Santa Monica’s heart
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