Okay, I’ve been meaning to ask this question since the beginning of summer but work, parties, conferences and all sorts of other life events have gotten in the way of posting. And although summer is sort of almost over (at least for the academic crowd), Los Angeles summers really don’t start kicking in until mid-August and sometimes into September. There have been 100 plus degrees days in October too.
When I head to the beach it’s usually Hermosa, Manhattan or Redondo. Getting there is not too bad, 110 south to 105 west and then a short drive down the coast. There’s also a freeway bus that heads in that direction from Downtown Los Angeles. When we were kids, my dad always took us to Manhattan Beach. Lots of sand, fairly clean, nice vistas. And I admit, I’ve always appreciated the many bathrooms and showers. I prefer Hermosa for the ability to park quite close to the sand but the bathrooms are far and few between. In fact, are there any restrooms at Hermosa? Redondo is also nice, easy parking, lots of restrooms, lots of sand but the walk down the ramps can be hard for older folks (sorry, mom!) This area also has lots of places to eat but I’d stay away from the bars. Once I went with a group of Eastsiders to a Hermosa Beach bar and I thought we were gonna get lynched on the way out… I’m only sort of kidding.
I recently tried a beach in Malibu on one of my weekdays off. I stopped there because I noticed only other women on the beach and they were all reading like I intended to do. It was quite peaceful and soon other women, some with children, joined us, all with hats, umbrellas and books, minding our own business, enjoying a quiet day and then…The construction worker dudes got off work around 3pm and suddenly behind me there was an audience of men, just gawking and staring. One by one, the women got in their cars and drove away. It was very strange.
Then of course, there is the infamous Marrano Beach, a small bit of sand on the Rio Hondo River (or is it the San Gabriel?) where Eastsiders have been known to frequent when unable to make it to the coast. My dad claims he only took us there ONCE, he always makes sure to tell us that as if it was something to be ashamed of. I do have childhood photos of us frolicking in the murky waters of Azusa Canyon, another Chicano water destination. I guess I should appreciate they took us somewhere.
So LA Eastsiders, what are your favorite beaches and why? Also, what kind of food do you take? (My friend always has these funny stories about eating hardboiled eggs with sand.) And I have to ask, just cause, do you wear bathing suits or old clothes?