Sunday, December 17, 2006

LA on My Mind - Continued

Lunada Bay

I always thought that we had done great by our kids raising them in a beautiful semi-rural ocean-side enclave in the great LA megalopolis. What I have learned about parenting is that, in my case at least, it was all about me. I wanted my kids to grow up in a tony neighborhood with college prep schools so different from my Missouri farmboy childhood. If I had thought more about my sons, we might never have come to LA.

Our old house, newly rejuvenated, stands naked and defenseless with only one small, newly planted palm tree. I would love to see the renovations inside, although I am sure that they are not to my taste. I can just see the plantings in the back yard around the side of the house and recognize that some of them survive. I drive on an notice that one by one the oldest of the houses in my neighborhood are replaced by ‘tuscan’ wedding cakes. When we moved to Lunada Bay, there was an interesting mix of ordinary middle class and wealthy housing. Now that land values have risen, only the very wealthy can afford even the ordinary houses which are disappearing. The vacant lot where the old Shell gas station used to be is now a park but the core of Lunada Bay retail remains. In addition to the walkable neighborhood schools, the hardware store, grocery store and drugstore were very persuasive in selecting our house. The drug store is now a bank but the market and hardware stores are still there. Over the last five years, the neighborhood schools have reopened bringing back the appeal we originally saw in the neighborhood.
It is a delightful community, still unpretentious and accessible (none of the gates which are so fashionable these days), even with million dollar home prices and tuscan wedding cakes sprouting like mushrooms. It's the only place on the hill with neighborhood shopping. I alwlays said that if you have to live in LA, Palos Verdes is the place to choose and Lunada Bay is the best of PV.

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