Day Two – 5th. April

I am up at the crack of dawn, yeah right, 11:30 was the time I managed to drag myself from bed.

I left a message for Cara to ring me. Then called my friend’s Cheryl and Peter who live close by. Cheryl will pick me up late afternoon for a quick local tour and dinner.

It is a beautiful day in down town Santa Monica. Main Street is teeming with young hipsters. There are many healthy eating and vego restaurants in this part of town. I kept on walking down to the beach promenade. There are so many people out exercising from the novices to the super fit looking. Dotted along the beach are training stations, beach volleyball courts. Seems to be that every second person is biking. As I was walking along I got hit in the head by a flying pigeon. Scared the shit out of me.

I decided to grab a bite to eat on the pier and finished up at Rusty’s Surf Ranch for a Crab Cake sandwich, the food was good and the music playing on the juke box was the Ramones. Now time for a bit of people watching, which is the best pastime for sitting and mulling.

Santa Monica is a beautiful looking place, no doubt, chalk and cheese compared to New Orleans. However New Orleans to me is beautiful in a different sort of way. Santa Monica to me feels like a holiday destination, whereas NOLA to me is, well you should know as I am always talking about it.

There are a lot of homeless people around. Most of which do not bother you. Although one guy told me I was a mother fucker! I don’t think he liked my alligator head walking cane. Got me to thinking. Is it more depressing to be homeless in such a rich, awesome looking part of the world. Do you feel even more destitute with so much wealth on show? I doubt it. If you are hungry, I guess you are hungry no matter what the place looks like.

I went for a walk through a very upmarket shopping mall, then back to Palisades Park on the beach front to chill. There is a book sitting on the park bench that someone has forgotten. ‘Hanna  Kowalewska’ author Julita I Hustawki, interesting looking cover – will have to learn Spanish if I am going to read it!

My vista is a wide expanse of beach as far as the eye can see, a clear blue sky with cris cross markings of airplane jet streams. The L.A. airport is only 15 minutes drive from here. The ocean is calm and a couple of yachts seek some much needed breeze to fill their  sails. There is a light on shore breeze which is very welcoming. I am sitting near and old Spanish era cannon which acts as a magnet for young kids to climb whilst their parents get the happy snap.

I wondered off to get a drink and came back to sit under a tree with a plaque stating that it was planted 22/4/83 as a children’s tree of life celebrating peace. Not that I am into trees as such but it is a New Zealand Christmas tree which I thought was kinda cool. I have noticed that many of the park benches have a small plaque beneath them. For instance the bench I am sitting on is in memorial to Zelman King 1941-2012. A nice way to be remembered.

I knew this would happen, I just checked Facebook and it is awash with comments about the article in the local paper regarding Way Out Wests new home at the Newport Bowls Club. The photo of me sitting at the drums has created some mirth. Someone even called me Ringo Star, no my friends I am more of a Ginger Baker. 

The question now on my mind is this ‘Is pot legal in California?’ There are three guys close by and one is holding a sign saying ‘I am a cannabis professional.’ The other side of the sign, ‘The need for weed $5.’ They seem to be smoking a joint and the sweet smell confirms that. I could not help myself and I went over for a chat. Yep, it is legal. The guy said he has some available for ‘medical reasons’ if I wanted to try. No Mr. Smith I did not partake. I then got talking to a guy from Iran. He has lived in the area for 15 years. Nice guy and we talked about politics. He is very free thinking and thinks religion is a load of shit.

The time is 3:30 and Cheryl is yet to call so I decided to go off for a walk. I passed another British style pub. The 3rd such one I have seen in the last two days. This one has a U.K. gift shop attached. Santa Monica must be a tourist destination for poms.

Cheryl called at 4:30 and her and her partner Peter are on their way to pick me up. We drove down to the Venice Canals and then parked at Marino Del Ray. Real nice time chatting and watching also sorts of water craft heading out of the marina to the open ocean. The homes around here are sensational and expensive. A couple of seals are cruising the marina. It was starting to get a little chilly now that the sun is setting. We headed back to Cheryl and Peter’s neighborhood for an Italian meal at a well know restaurant. One on the walls has photos of some of the past diners. Very impressive group of photos from Dean Martin, Alan Alda and many other Hollywood stars. Kate, there is even a photo of that Jenner person that once was a guy!

I knew that Cheryl has been very involved with the music industry, but wow, the people she told me she has worked with is mind blowing. Neil Young, David Bowie and Peter Gabriel to name just a few. She said that the three I have just mentioned have all been very nice and humble people. She has worked extensively in the U.K. for E.M.I. Cheryl and Peter will be heading down to New Orleans for Jazz Fest and will be staying in the apartment next to mine. I meet them some 4 years ago and they have been very kind to me. Even paid for  my dinner which was nice. The food by the way was excellent.

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