Along the PCH

It is amazing how popular Solstice Canyon and Escondido Falls have become to hikers.

Just two years ago, both were still quiet secrets. Now, the widespread parking logjam along the PCH and in Corral Canyon, respectively, is alarming.

For about 20 years, the back of Corral Canyon, called the Malibu Bowl, was witness to a massive land slide across the canyon from the homes up there. The huge, brownish dirt slide was visible fora full generation. Finally, vegetation has begun to grow on the exposed dirt and the slide evidence slowly disappears into the hillside tapestry, as nature paints the side of the canyon all one color shade again.

The commercial strip where Thai Dishes anchors was originally a two-story motel.

It is my guess (and only a guess) that, in a competition of trendy new establishments to hit Malibu in the past 15 years, wineries might now outnumber rehab facilities.

The original Malibu railroad passed through the middle of Point Dume. It crossed over the lower part of Selfridge, then the middle section of Boniface. The tracks continued across the gulch to Grayfox to where the basketball courts sit at the school and along the backyards of present-day Fernhill on the north side. At Cliffside, it curved right along the bluffs and around Birdview. That was circa 1925.

In the horrible real estate market of the early mid-nineties, about 360 homes were once on the market in Malibu. By the time the market was at its red-hot best in 2004-2005, only about 100 houses were listed at one time. Then, things turned difficult again. A couple years ago, amidst the latest dreadful market, about 300 homes were on the market. Now it is a little below 200 and dropping when adjusted for seasonal changes.

The late Elizabeth Taylor and her horse, The Pie, practiced their riding at the Merz ranch in Malibu before starring in the blockbuster movie of 1944, National Velvet. (info courtesy Marian Hall in her book, “Malibu.”)

As you drive east, Catalina Island to the south appears to move closer to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The space between the two land masses appears to end at about Bicknell Street in Santa Monica where they appear to connect, albeit the island is about 20 miles farther in distance than the peninsula.

Speaking of popular visitor parks, the Headlands park on Pt. Dume is wonderful to visit, but only nine parties can do so at any one time. That is all the parking spots available. There is, otherwise, “no parking” all around. It amazes me that a small parking lot has never been built at the edge of the Headlands to allow 15-20 more cars to visit the area. Why not? Hopefully, the near-bankrupt state will give up the park and the next owner will make such improvements.

Anybody remember the pink naked lady? (1966).

I don’t know. This trend to raise rents so high that restaurants shut down seems a bit quizzical when you consider that the Granita site has stayed empty for about nine years and, oh, more than a million dollars in rent was lost for absolutely nothing.

And while on THAT subject, the people that want to coerce our local government to pick and choose what businesses the rest of us have to support to satisfy your selfish, contrived vision of a utopian village should realize you already got what you wanted: Severe governmental restrictions on commercialism has created your problem in the first place, that only those that can afford such limited commercial space can stay in business here (whether chains stores or not). Now to place evermore restrictive standards on the commercial market will lead to even more empty spaces, landlords abandoning Malibu rather than going broke to satisfying your whims, and less choice for the rest of us. Let free enterprise determine what businesses the people want in Malibu!

Isn’t it bad enough that half the stories in the local papers are about projects that take many, many years to complete in our system that is already thoroughly suffocated by regulation and bureaucracy? Malibu may look like Beverly Hills, but it operates like a third-world country. Projects get completed in Africa a lot faster than here.

And one more thing, darn it! The idea to trade Charmlee Park for the extra acreage at Bluffs Park is fantastic! Congratulations to those at the city considering such a trade. Not only will hundreds of current local children benefit from the additional sports fields, but thousands in the future. Even more so, the Bluffs area is far more alluring to locals and visitors alike for general strolling and enjoyment. What a sensational, enlarged park it will be, (particularly across the street from Pepperdine’s big lawn). I hope the City Council continues the tradition of establishing city-owned real estate that best serves the citizens, as they did in purchasing Legacy Park and the city hall office building. Those opposing the swap? They oppose everything, no matter how good it is! Lets get that land at Bluffs Park! For the kids! And for the future!

Be good out there.