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Veronique de Turenne

The California Incline is now closed

the California Incline

Be Excited! Be Prepared -- that's Santa Monica's official motto for the year-long closure of the California Incline. As if. The point is to retrofit the 1,400-foot structure, which joins PCH below with Ocean Avenue above, and make it seismically safe. From the city's web site:

The project entails demolition of the existing bridge and construction of a new bridge at the same location. The new structure will include a wider sidewalk and bicycle lanes. The north and south ends of the incline will remain a three-lane roadway that terminates at a signalized intersection. The new bridge will consist of a pile supported reinforced concrete slab structure with a width of 52-feet, an increase of 5-feet 8-inches over the existing structure.

Unlike other projects in high-traffic areas, work will stick to banker's hours. From The Malibu Times:

Despite pleas from commuters and locals, the construction company hired by the City of Santa Monica will only work a daytime shift Mondays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association. Many had hoped work would be done around-the-clock in order to speed up the project.

Martha Groves' story in the LA Times says to expect some lane closures on PCH.

Caltrans will allow the contractor, as needed, to close one northbound lane of PCH from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. between Labor Day and Memorial Day. No PCH lane closures will be allowed during the summer.

Lots more great vintage images and shots of the Incline over the years here, and from Curbed LA.

Close to 90 percent of the cost for retrofit, a joint project between Santa Monica and CalTrans, comes from federal funds. They're saying a year to 13 months for completion. We'll see. Meanwhile, the 13,000 vehicles that use the incline each day are going to have to find alternate routes. And just in time for summer.

May the odds be ever in your favor.


Before I forget...

walter got a buzz cut.

Check out Walt with just one foot on the ground. It's the day after he got his new buzz cut so he still has that tiny white bow on his collar. (In a photo as soft and fuzzy as Walt himself.)


Some of you asked for more coyotes. Some of you wanted more Walter.

Done and done.

wild thing

coyote pair

sleepy boy

Coyote spring

It's been hard work keeping tabs on the non-stop parade of coyotes through the open space in back of our little cottage these last few weeks...


And Walter...

my work here is done

who's coming?


good morning

a coyote?

looking right at us

omg yes, a coyote. woof. exhausted.


Lone oak

california live oak

If you've driven Kanan Road to the beach you've seen this oak on a small plot of open space just south of the 101. Cops park in the rutted dirt lot in front of it, day laborers wait for work in its sparse shade, and with development crowding in all around, I feel compelled to photograph it in all kinds of weather and every change of light because really, the way things go around here when commerce comes up against conservation, one day it'll be gone.

Morning hawk

Headed for the beach this morning when suddenly, this hawk, diving and landing and catching...something. Breakfast.

breakfast for a hawk

For a second he didn't see me and then suddenly he did, and not wanting to spook him, cost him that hard-won meal, I put away the camera, walked on.

hawk just caught something

The view from here this morning

We had a teensy bit of that storm here on our part of the coast, maybe an hour of actual rain, which turned out to be just enough to soak the ground and ensure that dogs and humans could track mud all through the house.

Meanwhile, here's the view this morning, that crystalline blue that means a weather system has just moved through.

post-rain paradise cove

Paradise Cove Pier, 1971; Columbo

One of the best things about "The Rockford Files" and "Columbo" streaming on Netflix is the gold mine of second unit footage. Want to see 1970s Malibu and Los Angeles? It's all there. Shot on location in LA County (and sometimes beyond) the pacing of the shows is looser than today's TV, so there's plenty of time for drives through town and across the county.

Sure, there's retro clothes and vintage cars and embarrassing hair to marvel over, but for anyone who knows this place, it's the landscape that really grabs you. Our city, with a real estate market that now ranks as the costliest in the nation, looks geeky and gawky, lined with mom 'n' pop businesses and, even more shocking, empty lots.

Check out Paradise Cove in 1971. The 1983 El Nino has since transformed the pier, and Bob Morris erased the Sand Castle's sleepy vibe, but that stretch of beach in the final photo? Still the same. For a while longer, anyway.

The Sand Caslte, 1971; Columbo

Paradise Cove in 1971; Columbo

The five-minute lunar eclipse this morning

The shortest full lunar eclipse of the century had the coyotes howling this morning, so I grabbed the point-and-shoot, tried to be very, very still and got a few (fuzzy) photos.

goodbye, moon

lunar eclipse this morning

lunar eclipse

omg a horned toad!

In the back country of the Santa Monica mountains I've seen coyotes and deer, quail and rattlers, hawks and tarantulas and roadrunners and bobcats and now, for the first time, a horned toad sunning himself (herself?) on a rock.

Forgive me as I go total nature geek -- he's so adorable!

swath of poppies

adorable toad

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