It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

SMC Malubu

Santa Monica College, County of Los Angeles, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and the City of Malibu celebrate the groundbreaking of SMC's new Malibu Campus. The three-acre campus, SMC’s first in Malibu, will include dedicated labs for science and art; a multipurpose physical activity space; a 100-seat lecture hall with raked seating; a computer lab; and two general education classrooms. Designed by QDG Architecture with numerous sustainability features, a one-story wing will also house the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department substation. The campus is expected to open in 2022.

Posted on Friday, September 21, 2018 at 07:31PM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

California Surfing Day

Congressman Ted Lieu visits local surfers during the inaugural California Surfing Day at Santa Monica Beach on Thursday, September 20, 2018. #CaliforniaSurfingDay!

Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 04:47PM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

The Experiment

Check out this new public piano installed at the Third Street Promenade, Downtown Santa Monica. As the Third Street Promenade approaches its 30th anniversary next year, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) is conducting an experiment to determine how it can best serve the next generation of residents and visitors amid the changing retail environment. While the Promenade was initially designed to be Santa Monica’s living room, its linear orientation and reputation as an outdoor mall have, over time, eroded its original intention. With “The Experiment,” DTSM is breathing new life into the northern (1200) block by adding moveable street furniture, elevated grass patches and colorful decorations.

“It’s a placemaking project,” said DTSM, Inc. Deputy Chief Executive Steven Welliver. “We want people to continue to choose the Promenade as a place not just to shop and dine, but to hang out and enjoy the ocean breezes and abundant sunshine. We hope people will choose to spend time on the Promenade not because of a particular store, but because it’s a cool, welcoming place to connect with others.”

The Experiment is a key component of the Promenade 3.0 process, a joint effort funded by the City of Santa Monica and DTSM, Inc. to assess the Promenade’s infrastructure needs and learn how people use the space to better inform possible changes to how it is designed. Two firms were selected to work on the Promenade 3.0 project: Rios Clementi Hale and Gehl Architects. Together, they will develop an overall plan for the future of the Promenade.

One step in the refresh of the Promenade has already been completed and unveiled: the iconic dinosaur fountains. The water fountains, which are topped with dinosaur topiary sculptures, have been refurbished and are now brighter, with colorful and more plentiful landscaping, new tile work, and LED lighting. DTSM, Inc. worked with Suisman Urban Designs on the project.

Those who visit The Experiment will be able to play a piano, lounge on moveable platforms featuring Astroturf, challenge friends to a game of bean-bag toss, or relax with a book from the Reading Lab, featuring titles supplied by the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library. Colorful rugs, light poles, and sun shades will help make the space fun and comfortable.

DTSM, Inc. will gather feedback to inform investment into the Promenade; guests will be asked to provide their feedback using an online survey tool and “Happy or Not” kiosks. Businesses will also be consulted to learn how the changes have impacted sales.
The pilot project incorporates proven practices in urban placemaking that have been used in New York’s Times Square and in downtown Denver to help make areas more inviting for people. By adding moveable furniture, public art or other decoration, and programming like live music, spaces that are designed for shopping can be transformed into lively public spaces where people can convene and interact, thereby creating a new community gathering space.

Posted on Monday, September 17, 2018 at 10:49AM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Coastal Cleanup Day

Volunteers get ready to pick up trash during Heal the Bay's Coastal Cleanup Day at Santa Monica Beach on Saturday, September 15, 2018. More than 60 nations participated making this the largest volunteer day on the planet! Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) began in 1985 and has grown into a huge annual event. Every state with a coastline participates, including the Great Lakes states, and even some inland states clean river and lake shores. Heal the Bay and the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors are the Los Angeles County coordinators for the state of California's Coastal Cleanup Day. They bring out over 10,000 volunteers to clean up sites each year in L.A. County to over 50 sites along Santa Monica Bay and along inland creeks and waterways. Last year, over 12,000 volunteers from Los Angeles County joined together to pick up over 180,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from our beaches and waterway. Coastal Cleanup Day involves individuals, schools, community, and company volunteer groups. Volunteers in Los Angeles County typically collect tens of thousands of pounds of trash and recyclables during a three-hour period. By filling out the trash "data cards" during the cleanup, volunteers are helping to identify and stop polluters in the future. Most people clean at the beach and on foot, but there are also special cleanups for inland creeks, boaters, kayakers, and divers. By far the most common item picked up are cigarette butts. Some of the more unusual items found in recent years were a chandelier, a briefcase full of graham crackers, and a bridal gown.

Posted on Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 09:46AM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

911 Remembrance Ceremony 

Santa Monica Fire Firefighter salute the flag during the 911 Remembrance Ceremony at SMFD headquarters on Tuesday, September 11, 2018. The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. and in Shanksville, Pa. resulted in the deaths of 2,977 people. Those killed included 343 Firefighters, 60 Police Officers and 8 private EMT/Paramedics totaling 411 emergency personnel. Also included in the civilian deaths were 5 people with connections to Santa Monica. In recognition of those who perished on that tragic day, the Santa Monica Fire Department annually conducts a brief and solemn remembrance ceremony consistent with the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommended protocols. All four community Fire Stations participated. ‪#‎WeWillNeverForget‬

Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Sezer Yılmaz

Sezer Yılmaz plays the Kanun at the Santa Monica Pier on Friday, September 7, 2018. SEZER YILMAZ 

Posted on Friday, September 7, 2018 at 08:24PM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint


They are roasting chiles at the Virginia Avenue Park Santa Monica Farmers Market. 1 pound cost $3 and 2 pounds for $5. The chiles are from Tutti Fruitti Farms. Anahiem, Pablo and Jalapenos are being roasted from 9 to 1pm every Saturday in September. Get them while they last!

Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 11:26AM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Marimba Institute

Marimba Institute performs at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market on Sunday, September 2, 2018.

Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 11:24AM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint