Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Santa Monica Beach...then and now.

I have done a lot of gigs at Typhoon lately. Typhoon is one of the few clubs in the Los Angeles area that will host a big band. It is pretty tight onstage. The place wasn't built for it. The pay hardly bares mentioning, but we get fed. Its an Asian-fusion kitchen. This is not the restaurant that was busted because two of the chefs were serving whale meat on the sly. That was "The Hump," but they are owned by the same parent company, "Typhoon Restaurant, Inc.," which is how the confusion comes in. They do serve crickets. I ordered the crickets once, because I just had to. They were very tasty. They were deep fried and served mixed in with shoe-string potatoes, so everything was very crispy and salty. You could almost pretend that you weren't eating insects. Unless you looked at what you were eating, then there was no doubt, you were eatin' bugs! 

Getting to Typhoon is one of those traffic-challenged excursions; it is in Santa Monica, located just off the runway of the airport. For a recent performance with the Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra, I got out there early enough to take a walk on the pier and along the beachfront.

A Stroll In Santa Monica
(Click "here" to see route on Google Maps)

Tongva Park. This park is new to me. If I had more time, I would have explored it a little.

Break dancers providing entertainment on a hot summer afternoon.

A view of the pier from the east.

The was a snake charmer on the streets who charmed this woman into interacting with the constrictors. I think the woman is crazy.

Looking to the north, toward Malibu, from the pier.

He is going to have some protein for dinner tonight.

The Ferris wheel from the "wet" end of the pier.

Up close to the excitement.
Back in the old days, Los Angeles was segregated like pretty much every place else in this country. Below is a shot of what was known as "The Inkwell," the portion of Santa Monica Beach that Black folks could go to. Click "here" to link to an article on "The Inkwell." Click "here" to link to some vintage photos of "The Inkwell." I have included some vintage photos of my own. Yes, this is the part of the beach we went to when I was a kid. I didn't know until recently that it was a segregated part of the beach. Officially, I don't think it was segregated when we went there, but you know things can be "officially," and how they are often different in reality.
Picnic area at "The Inkwell," in 2014.

My grandmother at "The Inkwell," picnic area in the early 1950's.

My Uncle Norman, at "The Inkwell," in the early 1950's. Is that a stylish look or what?

Me (holding some relative's hand), my sister (next to me), various cousins and Aunt Net, on the beach in the early 1950's.

View from the parking lot at the beginning and end of the walk.

Plane taking off from Santa Monica Airport, viewed from Typhoon's patio.

The crickets. Very tasty! Yes, they were. I've never ordered them again. Once was enough.

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