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HIWAY AMERICA SANTA MONICA CA. THE END OF ROUTE 66 PART 12

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END OF THE LINE SANTA MONICA CALIFORNIA-ROUTE 66

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The Quick 10: Santa Monica Pier

                  

One of the things I really loved about L.A. is how easy it is to transport yourself to a totally different environment.  One day I was hanging out at the same hotel Marilyn Monroe once lived in and thinking about how I wasn’t cool enough to be enjoying a super overpriced drink at the Tropicana; the next day I was eating a hot dog and going barefoot in the sand at the Santa Monica Pier.  Maybe that’s not that impressive to most of you, but when you come from the midwest, you don’t transition scenery that fast. If you want a beach, you have to hop on a plane and travel several hours.  Unless you count lake beaches, which totally aren’t the same thing.  Um.  All of this rambling is my longwinded way of saying that today’s Quick 10 L.A. Week post is about the historic Santa Monica Pier (and area).

sign1. Open since September 9, 1909, the Santa Monica Pier was originally anything but fun and carefree. It actually served the very practical purpose of carrying sewage out past the breakers.  So when they advertise that they’re celebrating 100 years of the Santa Monica Pier this year, what they are really saluting is 93 years of fun and entertainment and seven years of poo disposal.  I kid… sort of.  It was made for sewage, but even so, people were flocking to it even since 1909.

2. The second, adjoining pier was built in 1916 and has been known by three different names, which I’ll probably use interchangeably. When it was first built by amusement park magnate Charles Looff – he built the first Coney Island Carousel in 1876 – it was known as the Looff Pier.  At some point people started calling it Newcomb Pier and then the Pleasure Pier (as opposed to the municipal poo pier).  I’m not sure that anyone actually designates between the two piers these days; at least from a non-Californian’s perspective, the whole kit and caboodle is just referred to as Santa Monica Pier.

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