Malibu celebrated Earth Day over the weekend, both with the annual Chumash Day observance and, this being the New Malibu, the gala opening of a shopping mall.
Like so many of my neighbors, I still can't believe that Malibu Lumber is gone. In its place, we're stuck with another chichi shopping district. Considering that close to half the storefronts in the Cross Creek center just across the street now stand empty, upscale retail seems like a fool's errand. You can't buy sand paper or a socket wrench here in Malibu, but if you're in need of a $200 t-shirt, no problem.
The shopping center crowd started forming early on Saturday. Crumbs, a bakery, put out trays of tiny cupcakes for visitors to sample. Sound people tinkered with the audio set up. Malibu's mayor, Andy Stern, did a bit of shmoozing. Cylindrical aquariums, sparkling clean and stocked with garibaldi, the California state fish (these were imported from Florida) drew plenty of admirers. It'll be interesting to see how things progress.
Meanwhile, one of my favorite writers, Bob Poole, has a piece in today's LAT about a Malibu veteran who's trying to keep a battlefield from turning into a garbage dump. (Hi Bob!) And here's Martha Groves' piece about Malibu's retail frenzy. If you go looking for the Zuma General Store in Trancas, though, which is mentioned in the piece, you'll be disappointed. It's gone.