Thursday, November 21, 2013

On The Beach

Dear Native Angeleno,
I'm embarrassed to admit this, but here goes: I haven't been to the beach in four years! Should I feel guilty?
Landlocked in Lincoln Heights
Are you effing kidding? We only go at night, or overcast weekdays. Too much UV, too many ham & eggers, sometimes both.

Not to mention:
The story of Santa Monica's Inkwell beach sounds like something out of the Jim Crow South. During the 1920's, the 200-foot-long strip was one of the only beaches in the county—save for a sliver of Manhattan Beach—where African-Americans were allowed to enjoy the ocean.
Guess it was better here than in the states of the former Confederacy.
More pix & links about beach racism at the link.

Classism on top of the racism:
This set of vintage photos comes from the Los Angeles Public Library's "Shades of L.A." project, which celebrates the diversity of our city. The snapshots are from Verna Deckard's personal collection, coupled with a four-hour interview she did with the organization.

"All the rest of the beach ... you couldn't go there unless you belonged to a club, and we couldn't belong to a club," she said.
Before the beaches belonged to the people. We'll guess "club" membership wasn't cheap.

Plus which, the beach is for idiot teenie-boppers:

4 comments:

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

You mean to tell me that my image of you dancing in the surf is inaccurate?

M. Bouffant said...

Disappointing Editor:
If it's during the day, it's nah-gunna happen.

Stayed w/ friends at the beach when we moved here forty yrs. ago. One day on the beach w/o sunscreen & we were peeling 1x3 inch pieces of skin off our hot pink legs. Never again!!

Aunt Snow said...

Well, to be truthful, the best the beaches were inaccessible to white people who were too poor to join a club, too.

But, yeah.

Me, I drive past the beach everyday. Never go there. I should change that, huh?

M. Bouffant said...

Erosion Editor:
Yeah, what we meant. Tried to find something specific on when beaches became public but we're lazy. And we excised a "not just racism, classism" line because even the editor gets tired of the commie rhetoric.

At night it's much easier to hear the waves. Fewer distractions. That's when the hep go.

Popularity. Like Junior High. This is mostly because I'm curious. You should all be ashamed.