yesterday was all about santa monica. first we headed out to the s.m. airport flea market. because if you don't know, southern california rules supreme in the flea market arena. it's such a huge phenomenon that they rotate markets each week of the month. the big three: pasadena city college 1st sunday, rose bowl 2nd sunday, long beach 3rd sunday. then there are minor ones like santa monica (1st and 4th sunday) that still blow away most cities' markets, and fairfax high school, which meets every sunday. the s.m. market is held at their tiny airport, which flies small, private planes. so much is changing in santa monica in the five years since I left. the extra space at the airport used to be a series of dingy hangars with an industrial feel. well, it looked like a small airport. now they've added landscaping, a dog run, a soccer field, a building that houses a s.m. college satellite campus, and the restaurant that opened several years ago is hopping. I found some great stuff at the market- mainly these enormous brass pendants that are horsey themed. I'm not sure what their original purpose was. but they're frickin cool and will make very blingy necklaces.
afterwards we headed downtown to get some tacos at wahoo's. mine were really good- two fish tacos served the real way on soft corn tortillas with cabbage. I had the platter with a side of spicy cajun white beans and brown rice. brown rice! only 25 cents extra. the whole plate was so yummy and healthy. wahoo's is a chain that started in orange county and has a surf-shack vibe. their food is always really fresh and cheap and the people that work there are super friendly. b had a salad b/c he chowed on chashu bao (steamed pork buns) that he picked up at a chinese bakery on the way out of gardena. but even his salad was good.
stuffed, we walked over to the 3rd street promenade. free meter parking on sundays. woo hoo! this area has been santa monica's pride and joy for some time now, an outdoor shopping mall that draws tons of tourists and locals. when I moved to the city in the late 90's the promenade still had plenty of locally-owned shops and restaurants. now it's mostly filled with big chains. but it does seem to have taken another upward turn (it was starting to look pretty crappy a few years ago, getting excessively mall-like) as has a lot of santa monica. the indoor mall at the broadway end, santa monica place, is being dismantled in favor of more outdoor shopping. after strolling through we walked down the stairs of the cliffs, along the footbridge over the pch (pacific coast highway) and down to the beach. it was pretty busy though the weather has been kind of cool, but once the sun came out around noon, it got pretty hot. we strolled south, walking under the pier, and emerging at the *adult playground* as I like to call it. there are several sets of traveling rings, (as I posted about last year) ropes, chin-up bars and gymnastic equipment made out of metal. we watched and i tried doing a few chin-ups. ha ha. then we noticed a big crowd on a patch of grass. there was a capoeira circle and people doing acrobatics and juggling.
after watching we headed back to the car, then drove east on wilshire blvd., through westwood and beverly hills. being a holiday weekend, the streets were amazingly empty of traffic. we went through korea town, by macarthur park in westlake. turning south onto union ave., we went through pico-union, then onto hoover st. and into west adams, passing usc, and exposition park. we took figueroa st. all the way south to gardena, stopping to visit b's friends the bouzas before dinner. as we walk in the door, david looks at us and comments "Lakers fans!" oh god. unintentially, we both had dressed in purple and gold and walked around all day without noticing. no one could care less about team sports than me and b. hilarious! finally we met my cousin and her husband for dinner in long beach.