A Santa Monica Day
I am early for a screening so I park and walk. I'm on Ocean Blvd. in Santa Monica, an area I don't particularly like to be in on a sunny fall weekend morning. Though I love the beach, it's way more crowded than I would like.
A bit to insulate myself from the masses I plug into my iTunes and am imbued by the melodic sounds and wonderful lyrics of a songwriter friend, Dan Navarro. Remember "We Belong"? He wrote it. I cross the street and the first sight is one that pains me, a homeless, middle-aged woman with all her belongings alongside her; a beautiful day - a sad situation.
I approach the fence and enjoy the view. I walk on to the path that reminds me how nature is so inspiring... and twisted.
I continue and the palm trees remind me what city I'm in. The tourists are out en masse. And as I go on, another reminder that life isn't good for all. I go towards the pier. I love piers but enjoy them more when they allow my nostalgia to flourish by being enveloped with fog and as empty as possible, when the squawking of the seagulls and the crashing of the waves are the predominant sounds.
It's a bit too busy for me. If I was in doubt of what next, the sign reminds me of what to do. I disregard it and turn towards the beach where there is an installation that brings me to reality once again and tugs at my heart. The statistics are mind-boggling and depressing. I turn around and head back.
Another sign reminds me of how much I need another road trip. This is where the almost 2,500 miles of historic Route 66 ends. Another reminder, this time of my childhood and of another friend.
The AFM (American Film Market) and Santa Monica is excited to welcome the participants. Later in the day I am meeting a friend that has traveled for it.
I go to see Eye in the Sky. I know nothing about it and, my goodness, am I floored by it. Intense. I love that it's a small room and you can almost hear what the others are thinking. There's dead silence at the end, no one breathing much until the credits ended. Gavin Hood, the director, then proceeds to grace us with a long chat and commentary, and I am even more impressed by the research and care that went into its making. I leave the screening uplifted that the art of filmmaking is still very much alive.
There's still some time before I meet my friend. Am lucky to find a corner table on the porch of the Georgian Hotel. Food never has been good here so while I wait I have a prosecco, feeling that I really should be having a martini instead. It's a perfect place to people watch.
I catch up on how his life is, he how mine is, as we head towards the pier. We both are discouraged by the existing volume of people, so we part ways without enjoying the magical hour on the beach. I do so in the car on the way back home... so LA to enjoy things from the car.