Another "For Sale" sign, and no, not my house this time. It's my cousin Suzanne's place on Broad Beach. And while that sounds so very la-di-da what with the mansions and mega-mansions that have taken over that stretch of sand, it's actually the opposite.
Suzanne, who passed away in May, would have turned 101 next month. She moved into her '50s-era bungalow in 1971 and stayed for 40 years. She never changed a thing. (Seriously, check out the kitchen.)
She and her husband bought the place when Malibu was the boonies. She'd tell us stories about looking a quarter mile down the beach in either direction without seeing another light, as the houses were sparse and far apart.
Today, a quarter mile of darkness can still separate the houses at night, but that's because most of Broad Beach is second and third homes. As for Suzanne's lateral view, it pretty much vanished as the houses around her modest cottage were built up and out.
Suzanne was sharp and engaged until the very end, always one of the funniest people I knew. She'd sit at the head of the '60s patio table in her living room, read the news and manage her business investments,
A liberal and a populist, she was baffled by her neighbors' urge to barricade the beach and declined to donate to the dune buggy bullies who rode the sand, keeping the hoi polloi at bay.
So with the sale of this 1950s outpost on Broad Beach, perhaps the last original structure there, we're losing a beloved Broad Beach original.
And I don't just mean the house.
The effect of all that unexpected rain last spring is finally wearing off and the hills here at the coast are drying out, sere and a little cripsy.
We took the scenic route home from breakfast this morning (we were out for breakfast because there is currently NOTHING in the kitchen that resembles a kitchen, unless you count the switch that was once connected to the garbage disposal, except even that is an empty slot with a tangle of red and blue wires) when suddenly here was the view, and I just had to stop and take a photo, which got me to wondering, how many people realize that LA looks like this?
The Cove was lit up like an all-night market this weekend, with banks of flood lights hung from cranes and the pier strung with atmospheric twinklers. There, on that square of sand, you could kinda see forms cavorting.
Movie shoots have been a fact of life in the Cove for decades, yet it's always astonishing, the sheer volume of resources that go into shooting a moment or two of film.
We were fogged in this morning, completely covered in clouds. Then the sun rose and that was that -- no contest.
In Week Four of the Casa Mulholland remodel, about all I have the attention span for is a pretty magazine filled with pretty pictures of someone else's pretty and perfect life.
We began the work week with an ocean view so that's how we'll end it, cool blues and soothing greens spiced with a hint of wild sage.
Our morning walk. According to the hackles on the back of Jake's neck, there were coyotes nearby. So of course he and Maisie selflessly ran ahead to investigate.
We're completely fogged here at the beach right now, but above the cloud line, the moon set as the sun rose.
It's one of my favorite sights in the rear view mirror -- the tiny face of Maisie the Teacup Lab®, valiantly standing tall on the back seat.
Monday, with its fresh start and promise of possibilities, is really just a downsized version of January 1. And it happens 52 times a year.
Nothing, not the seagull tiles nor the cutesy mural could make the life-sized statue staring as you use the toilet in this Santa Monica tile store anything less than creepy.
This juvenile black-crowned night heron, one of several generations of the somewhat rare and utterly lovely shore birds who nest and raise their young in the Cross Creek parking lot, ignored the signs (and the humans) as he practiced his take-offs and landings.
A little hazy at the beach this morning, not unlike the photog.
Meanwhile, it's the series finale of "Friday Night Lights" tonight, the best little show on television. Clear eyes, full hearts, we all lose as the end credits roll.
BIG sigh, y'all.
As with everything else in her world, The Tiny Labrador gives 110 percent to the art of napping.
And yes, that's drywall dust on her ear.
The dogs love it when we come across horses on the way to the barn. They lean out the car window and stare and pant and breathe deep the horsey scent.
That's a full-sized horse on the left, and a mini on the right. And in case you were wondering about the tiny horse, yes, even her poop is a size extra-small.
So nice to hit the beach over the 4th and see, after several hut-less years, the 2011 version, as rough and creative and ephemeral as ever.
A (very brief) history of The Hut is here.
The thing about the oaks here in the Malibu, so large and old and, really, majestic, is the silence beneath their limbs. Stand still a moment and you feel it, a cool pressure on your skin, no matter how high the sun, how hot the afternoon.
The eternal quest to claim the California coastline goes on and on.
This sign, ignored by one and all, lasted about an hour.
Soon after I shot that photo of the lone chair in the oak grove, I came across this lone chair on a construction site...
And here, from a few years back, is one of my favorites, a plastic chair blown into place by powerful Santa Ana winds which, as I recall, roared for days.
When it comes to writing, I'm a minimalist. I've never met a sentence I couldn't shrink. Even for me, though, recent posts have morphed from brief to terse.
Look! A glorious hawk!
There -- I splurged and used an adjective.
The crew members for film and TV shoots at the Peter Strauss Ranch park right across the street from this little glade. How this chair got here -- a lunch break, maybe? -- is a mystery.