Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Beach Cities: Always Chic and Unique

One of my favorite people is Brian Brady . A few months ago he wrote a terrific piece You Can't Miss with this Real Estate(if you can afford it) about why some markets will always be high priced.

I think the South Bay Beach cities.... Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and the Palos Verdes Peninsula should be added to his list. The Donald has built a golf course on the hill and is selling luxury homes to his friends. Can the beautiful people be far behind? What's Malibu have that we don't? Las Vegas... oh come on Brian.. all they have is money and showgirls.. We'll match our beach beauties with the best of them!

Why should Brian add us to his list?

Well for starters real estate ... The beach cities are pricey.. this white sandy stuff next to the blue water is very expensive. Manhattan Beach is consistently one of the ten most expensive cities in California..Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo and the Palos Verdes Peninsula are not far behind in price.

Another thing we have that makes us cool is our own movie studio... Raleigh Studios. Now celebrities have always loved the beach and have owned homes all over the South Bay. In the 1930's MGM bought a home on Manhattan Ave for Ronald Coleman who was one of their big stars. Ron needed a place to relax and Mr Meyer thought Manhattan Beach was the spot. You never know who will be in line next to you at Von's or grabbing a latte at The Coffee Bean.

Then there's the beach itself. Some of the most beautiful beaches in Southern California are in the South Bay. The Strand runs through Manhattan Beach and Hermosa to the Redondo Pier and ends at the cliffs of Palos Verdes. Our beaches are wide and the sand is ideal. Think Waikiki.. all that white sand on the beach at Waikiki was shipped from Manhattan Beach in the 1920's. Ocean, white sand, warm weather... it doesn't get better.

Smog.. What's That?

Location... location... location.. Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo and El Segundo are close to everything. We are 30 minutes from downtown LA and the west side. You can be at a Lakers, Clippers or Dodgers game or a play or concert with time left over to get snacks. We are 4 miles from the LAX and 15 minutes from Hawthorne Airport if you have your own plane. While Palos Verdes has a longer commute time then the beach cities it's rural beauty makes it worth the trip. Unlike Malibu... a rainstorm will not wash out the road to town or destroy the homes on the water.

Community... each of our beach towns is a small and unique community. We have our own school districts which are among the best in California and the United States. We still have a wonderful downtown scene in the beach cities with restaurants ranging from special breakfast places, beach bars and fine dinning. We have lots of shops that cater to locals and tourists as well. Each city has great community get- togethers.. In Redondo Beach it's the annual Super Bowl 10K run, the Lobster Festival and an amazing fireworks display for July Fourth. Hermosa has a St Patricks Day parade and Fiesta Hermosa.. at the beginning and end of summer. If you missed it Memorial Day that's OK because it will be back Labor Day.. Manhattan Beach initiates the fall with a 10K and the Hometown Fair in October which is soon followed by the lighting of the Pier and fireworks at Christmas.

History.. these little beach towns have been around for a long time. Redondo became a city in 1892. Hermosa Beach celebrates it's 100th Birthday this year and Manhattan Beach was incorporated 95 years ago. Las Vegas didn't even have a casino when our cities were formed. Redondo Beach was the resort town of Southern California around the turn of the century. The Red Cars ran from downtown LA to the beach at Redondo. There was a fabulous hotel complete with golf course and ballrooms, The plunge was the largest indoor pool of its kind. In the 30's and 40's Redondo had the gambling ships... so we beat out Vegas there too.!

Hermosa had the Biltmore and surfing .. while Redondo had George Freeth who came to the South Bay in 1907 courtesy of Henry Huntington with his long redwood board to wow the crowds...Hermosa is where it all really came together... can you say Greg Noll, Hap Jacobs, Dewey Weber and Body Glove? Volleyball and Manhattan Beach.. they just go together.. most of the best professional volleyball players got their start on the nets in Manahttan Beach.

Entertainment... The Beach Cities are becoming quite the hot spot.. The Civic Light Opera is so good the theatres downtown are a little scared. If you didn't see Annie Get Your Gun you missed one of the best shows in town.. wouldn't be a bit surprised to see another Ovation award for that production! I think that would be three.. or is it four.. not bad Mr. Blackman!

We have some really great restaurants with more opening every day. We have national restaurants, but the best places in town are local favorites... Mangiamos on Manhattan Beach Blvd has a cellar where you can dine.. Petros is a wonderful Greek restaurant in the new Metlox Plaza.. In Hermosa The Bottle Inn Ristorante has been delighting everyone for over 30 years with an amazing wine list some bigger places envy. In Redondo it's Old Tony's on the Pier just across the pier from New Tony's Fish Market.. Between them they have been around for 50 years.. and if you want new then Kincaids is just the place.. There are so many really great places but sadly I don't have the space.. but fear not I'll be putting a restaurant guide of some of my favorite places together for each city in a month or so.

So Brian... Here's the tour... Manhattan Beach and the Beach Cities ...what do you say.. will you add us to your list of The New Chic Places?


Laurie Manny said...

Great article Kaye. You don't need Brian's approval. Manhattan Beach has always been Chic.

James said...

Thank you for the very supportive and sweet comments!


James A. Blackman
Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities
Hermosa Beach Playhouse


Kaye Thomas said...

Laurie.. It really is a wonderful place to live..

Kaye Thomas said...

You are an amazing man and have brought so much to our area.. I need to thank you..

Brian Brady said...

A mere oversight, South Bay...a mere oversight that's been corrected