Tag Archives: Manhattan Beach

Halloween Weekend Hot In The Los Angeles Beach Cities

Hermosa, Manhattan & Redondo Beach To Reach Into 80s

Hermosa-Beach Halloween Spider House
This house along The Strand in Hermosa Beach is fully decorated for Halloween.

Is this Halloween or a summertime weekend party?

From a weather standpoint it’s more of the latter in the Los Angeles Beach Cities of Hermosa, Manhattan and Redondo Beach. In fact, t’s that way all up and down the California coast, from San Diego to Santa Monica to Santa Barbara.

The area is under what locally is known as Santa Ana conditions, which means warm winds from the deserts are blowing westward toward Los Angeles.

Inland in places like Fontana, this means raging winds hitting 70+ mph. This makes for dangerous driving conditions on “the Grapevine,” the section of the 1:15 freeway headed to Las Vegas.

But at the beach, the Santa Ana winds bring temperatures in the 80s, little to no breeze and, because it pushes all the smog out over the ocean, spectacular sunsets.

The high in Hermosa Beach is to hit 85 on Halloween afternoon.  And there’s not a cloud in the sky.

So those wanting Halloween-type weather of rain, howling winds, even a little lightening, this is not the place to be for it. However if your costume involves bathing suits, surfboards or anything you wear in the summertime, then you’ll be in the right spirit(s).

Manhattan Beach Honors Volleyball Stars With Pier Walk Of Fame

The Birthplace Of Beach Volleyball Serves Up Winners

Manhattan-Open-2015-Walk-Of-Fame-Crowd
Phil Dalhausser, Sean Rosenthal, April Ross and Kerri Walsh-Jennings get their plaque on the Walk of Fame.

 

Some cities erect statues or monuments to honor their heroes.

Manhattan Beach, CA, has something else to recognize those who have served – quite literally – this city.

The Walk of Fame on the pier is a series of plaques of players who have won the Manhattan Open, a sporting event that is so revered to those in the sport that it’s known as “the Wimbledon of Beach Volleyball.”

That is because the sport was born in Manhattan Beach and the city recognizes the winners of its more recognized event with a series of plaques on the pier.

It’s Manhattan Beach’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame some 30 miles to the northeast.

Manhattan-Open-Walk-Of-Fame-Pier
The Walk of Fame is a series of plaques with the names of the Manhattan Open winners.

 

The Manhattan Beach Open has been going on for 56 years and there’s a lot of plaques. They are  lined up side-by-side and it’s a good thing Manhattan Beach has a long pier.

The tournament, put on by the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) is held each August (usually the second weekend) and it starts with a ceremony on the pier to honor the previous year’s winners.

In 2015 that involved two Olympic gold medal winners, Phil Dalhausser and Kerri Walsh-Jennings.

Among others on the pier are the stars from the beginning of the sports: Sinjin Smith, Randy Stoklos, Mike Dodd, Karch Kiraly…

Hit the link to learn more about the Manhattan Beach Open and its colorful history and importance to this Los Angeles area community.

Hermosa Beach Bicycle Tour From Beach Cities Bike Tours

Sightseeing The South Bay On A Bicycle

Hermosa Beach Bike Tour Beach Cities Bike Tours
Enjoy a memorable ride through scenic Hermosa Beach with your experienced tour guide.

 

Rolling down not the road or highway – and not stuck in L.A. traffic – in the South Bay means one thing: riding along the beach on a bicycle.

There’s a path that runs from the foot of Palos Verdes through Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach (and, indeed, all the way to Santa Monica) known as The Strand.

And, as featured on the KCBS 6 o’clock news recently, there’s a tour guide that will show you all the highlights.

It’s Beach Cities Bike Tours and it’s a ride that showcases TV show and film locations, the birthplace of beach volleyball, a top Southern California surf spot (remember the Beach Boys line, “all over Manhattan”) and points out top restaurants, bars and Happy Hours.

There’s even a wine tasting tour on Thursdays!

Tours are seven days a week, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. The cost is $25/hr for up to four people and slightly more for larger groups.

The Tour is ideal for tourists, people who have recently moved to the South Bay, flight attendands and plots, people on conventions and, well, everyone!

Here’s how to contact Beach Cities Bike Tours:
• E-mail: kwilkersn@aol.com
• Facebook: Beach Cities Bike Tours
• Twitter: @CABikeTours
• Phone: (310) 990-4020

Litter On The South Bay Beaches Needs Cleanup & Policing

Time To Trash The Trashers On Hermosa, Manhattan And Redondo Beach

Hermosa Beach litter
This is just a small sample of what litter the blogger picked up in Hermosa Beach.

 

After playing beach volleyball the other night, I went for a walk on the sand.

I did not do it to walk on the beach, I did it to pick up all the litter on the beach.

I picked up beer bottles – one was stuck upside down in the sand – water bottles, potato chip bags, napkins and a bunch of other garbage, all within about a five-yard radius. And it was right by the trash cans.

This is driving me crazy. Our beaches are beautiful – a golden color and as wide as city blocks before dropping off into the blue Pacific Ocean – but all this litter is making them look like a ghetto.

The location I walked was between 1st and 2nd Streets in Hermosa Beach but it could have been anywhere in the South Bay – here, Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach.

I took a friend for a bike ride through Hermosa to El Porto in Manhattan Beach and pointed out more than a dozen places where I saw trash on or along the beach.

It’s everywhere, it’s a mess and something needs to be done about it.

This spot I walked that evening happens to be just a block from the popular Mickey’s Deli. People go there for food drinks and snacks and many of them leave their discarded crap on the beach.

I spoke to a lifeguard about this and he said, “I agree but it’s not locals like you and I, and there’s nothing we can do about it,” but that was a response I cannot accept. Yes we CAN do something about it!

For starters, if you see anyone leaving or dropping trash then you have my full and complete support to whack them on the behind with one of their discarded water or beer bottles, or to put the empty potato chip bag on their head.

Secondly, warning signs should be put up stating there’s a $300 fine for littering (I don’t know if there is nor not, but there should be) and the Hermosa Beach Police Department should start foot patrols to enforce it.

In fact, have them go undercover to lay out and walk the beaches. I would think this would be a prime assignment that everyone in the department would be begging to get for the day.

Perhaps they don’t actually fine them – initially – but instead give them a frightening financial warning, then make them pick up the trash and all the trash in their vicinity.

There are beach cleanup days and that’s good, but it does nothing to solve the problem. The problem is the people leaving the litter and they need to be dealt with in a firm and stern manner.

When I was in Australia during my “Swagman” days, in one month I saw exactly three pieces of trash. That’s so few I could count the items.

Here I was carrying an armload of garbage within a few yards.

Perhaps it spoiled me but that’s the way it should be – beautiful places should remain beautiful and they are not beautiful when people leave litter all over the place.

It’s past time to deal with it in our (mostly) beautiful South Bay Beach Cities.

Chasing The Beautiful Blonde Runner On The Manhattan Beach Strand

Tall, Gorgeous, Athletic Anna Kournikova Look-Alike Quickens The Pulse, And The Pace

Manhattan Beach 10K Strand
The Strand is a popular place for runners in Manhattan Beach, CA.

 

She came into view as we passed going opposite ways on the Strand, the concrete running/walking/rollerblading/biking path that runs along the beach in LA’s South Bay Beach Cities.

She was an Anna Kournikova look-alike, a tall and tanned blonde with a body fit enough to be a professional tennis player.

She was attractive, had long flowing hair nearly down to her waist and her black shorts and striped shirt fit so perfectly they appeared not to have a single wrinkle in them.

Like Kournikova, she seemed to be on a photo shoot and working out at the same time.

We were both running, getting in a little late-morning exercise on a typical beautiful sunny day in Manhattan Beach, CA. The Strand, after all, is one of the Best Things About Living in Manhattan Beach.

And, seeing a nice-looking girl on a run, or just walking, on a quiet weekday is not exactly unusual. In fact, it’s quite common.

But this good-looking blonde really got my attention. She was going north and approaching the end of the MB Strand at 45th Street in what is known as El Porto.

My run was just beginning. She was likely to be turning around soon to head back south.

I was going south, warming up and just catching my stride when suddenly WHOOSH! Miss Kournikova went by me as if she were shot out of a cannon.

It happened so suddenly, I felt a slight breeze as she passed. I barely had time to look to the side when quickly she was a block ahead of me. Just as quickly, she was two blocks ahead of me.

Well now was as good a time as any to pick up my pace, I figured, and while I had no chance to catch her – the pace she was running had to be in the upper 7-minute miles – I managed to keep her in sight.

And what a stirring sight it was, her long blonde ponytail swaying from side to side with each stride, being tossed around like a loose spinnaker in a heavy wind.

She also possessed a very smooth stride, as if running came naturally to her, and seemed to be barely breaking a sweat. She was smoother than a Charlie Sheen pickup line.

As she approached the “90210” house (this is the beach house used in the TV show) at the Manhattan/Hermosa Beach border, I thought this was a chance to close the gap on her a bit. The Strand ends and requires a hard right turn and going down 7-8 steps to pick it up again in Hermosa.

At first she hesitated, almost appearing to pause for a second like someone having a second thought about jumping off a steep ski run. I quickened my pace.

But then, suddenly, she glided down the steps, as graceful as a deer jumping over a fence.

I quickly raced down the steps behind her – they are kind of narrow and I certainly risked slipping or tripping and looking like a cartoon character – and prepared to point myself south again with momentum gained from going down the stairs.

As I rounded the corner, I nearly plowed into two people who were casually strolling by the 90210 house. One was an “earthy” girl, the kind who looks as if she spends a lot of time camping out in our national parks.

The contrast between her and Miss Kournikova could not have been more pronounced.

At first I cursed her a bit under my breath for having squashed my momentum and ruining my view, but in the end it mattered little. Miss Kournikova was now five blocks ahead of me and I soon lost sight of her.

But I sure to hope to see her running on the Strand again. Just to be sure, I’m going out at the exactly the same time tomorrow. And the next day.

And the following day…

Beach Cities Bike Tours Gives Guided Tours Of The South Bay Strand

Highlights Include Hermosa, Manhattan & Redondo Beach Landmark, TV & Movie Locations And Lifestyle

Bikes On The Strand Hermosa Beach
In Southern California, a bike path runs parallel to the beach.

 

In a true reflection of the Southern California lifestyle, a new company is providing guided tours along the Los Angeles coastline in true Southern California style: on bicycles.

Beach Cities Bike Tours provides the types of guided tours you get in Hollywood and other parts of Los Angeles, except along the beach on the bike path known as The Strand.

It is based in the Beach Cities and focuses on Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, although the tours can also include Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey, Venice Beach and Santa Monica.

Led by Kevin Wilkerson, a 20-year resident of the Beach Cities, it points out movie and TV shoot locations (including what locals refer to as “the 90210 house” from the TV show, as well as locations for the movies “2012,” “Blow” and “Tequila Sunrise”), the birthplace of beach volleyball, one of the top surfing spots in Southern California and the colorful local culture.

Additionally, Wilkerson recommends his favorite restaurants and bars, the spot that makes the best burger in Los Angeles to the best Taco Tuesday location to a bar that’s like stepping into an old episode of “Magnum p.i.”

Wilkerson meets customers at their hotel or a bike shop in the South Bay, which means the tour can start from Hemosa, Manhattan or Redondo Beach.

Redondo Beach bike path
The bike path goes along Harbor Drive from Hermosa to the RB Pier.

The cost is $25/hour for up to four persons, plus the rental of the bikes (this the customers must do on their own; two bike rental places are Marina Bike Rentals in King Harbor and Hermosa Cyclery on the Hermosa Beach Pier).

So a two-hour tour will cost a family of four just $50, plus the bike rentals. Tips, of course, are gladly accepted.

BEACH CITIES BIKE TOURS INFORMATION

• Hours: 7 days a week, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Call, text or e-mail for appointments
• Cost: $25/hr. for up to 4 people. Bigger groups slightly more per hour charge
• Tour Highlights: TV & film locations; Hermosa Beach the “true Southern California lifestyle beach city; Manhattan Beach, the birthplace of beach volleyball and a big surfing community; Redondo Beach with its King Harbor Marina.
• Tour Details: Tours last 1-3 hours, depending on what areas customers want to see on it. Can include Playa del Rey, Venice Beach & Santa Monica (3 hours).
• Phone: (310) 990-4020
• E-mail: Kwilkerson@aol.com
• Twitter: CABikeTours

 

The Story Of The Manhattan Beach El Porto Building & Missing Clock Hands

It Was Never A Local Landmark

El Porto Building Manhattan Beach, CA
Missing the hands of time at the corner of Rosecrans & Highland.

 

Ever since I moved to the South Bay and first discovered the northern section of Manhattan Beach, I have been curious about a place on the corner of Rosecrans and Highland.

It’s the El Porto Building and it’s signature feature is a clock tower (of sorts, it’s only two stories tall) that forever has been missing the hands on the clock.

For years I had wondered what the story behind it was, if this was some faded relic of a great location faded with time.

The fact that the hands have been missing off the clock for at least two decades has always perplexed me; after all, this is not exactly a run-down neighborhood. Just across the street a newly-opened upscale restaurant is serving Mexican food for $25.

Me, I’ll always opt for El Tarasco, which is just up from the mysterious El Porto Building.

Finally, curiosity got the best of me – as well as a few cocktails, I freely admit – and I asked three El Porto veterans who have been in El Porto since the time it was actually, well, El Porto.

I ran into them during Happy Hour at FishBar and asked about the building.

Turns out it was once a hardware store and was something of an eyesore.

Sometime in the early to mid-80s, it was purchased (ironically, by the person who just sold the house I had rented for years on 44th Street for some $6 million) when the clock tower was installed.

The building itself never really amounted to anything – it contains a  small sushi restaurant on the corner and has an upstairs tho I’m not sure what’s in it – and after about six months the clock stopped working.

Eventually, the owners just took off the hands because the clock was stopped. At 5 o’clock, I wondered, considering with the El Porto mentality, it’s always 5 o’clock.

I had always presumed that someone had gotten drunk coming out of Pancho’s and on their way to a late-night burrito at El Tarasco has somehow managed to get up there and removed the hands of time.

It sure would make for a better story than the danged thing just quit working!

When I asked if the building was ever a local landmark, all three veterans said the same thing all at once: “Oh NO, not at all.”

‘It was just a building,” one said.

And so it remains today.