Malibu Summer 2018 – Traffic, Crowds and Short Tempers

June 18th, 2018

As a new summer begins in Malibu, the changes to the local scene are now more evident than ever. There’s very little in the way of positive improvement in the area unless you’re a real estate developer or someone who really likes sitting in traffic while waiting to get to the beach. In the 25 years I’ve lived here, there’s been a slow but steady increase in the flow of traffic along PCH. The highway has always been an alternate link between Ventura and Los Angeles counties and as the population of both continues to swell, commuters inevitably look to alternatives. My morning commute between the Point Dume area and Santa Monica, once a 30 minute breeze over the 21 mile drive, now takes a full hour, and that’s if I leave the house at 6:00 AM. I only expect it to get worse. Add in the near constant highway improvements and occasional complete closure of the highway and it’s often easier to just leave well before sunrise.

Another factor adding to the deterioration of the area is tourism. I’m not referring to visiting groups from distant lands wanting to check out the famous beaches, but what many call the “meet up” crowds: social media-led groups of like-minded individuals who gather for coffee, day hikes, or full day beach outings. Malibu has, for want of a better term, become a “destination resort.” While this may strike you as simple NIMBYism, it’s a legitimate complaint for residents who recall being able to shop at the local markets without fighting for a parking space. I have great sympathy for canyon dwellers who now must contend with small armies of hikers and mountain bikers charging through their properties and parking on their tiny one-lane roads.

I guess I’ve had a slow shift in my attitude towards crowds. While I was once a democratic altruist, lately I’ve come to resent the omnipresent density in my once sleepy little berg. The beaches are for everyone. (No one, not even the loftiest of millionaires, owns the beach in front of their homes.) Unfortunately, the infrastructure to support “everyone” is stressed to the point of breaking, so the cycle to improve, expand and extend traffic lanes, parking lots and public facilities continues but at a pace lagging far behind the growing need. There is a limit to how many lanes and parking spaces can be added to a finite coastal zone and Malibu has exceeded it.

But it’s a sunny warm and beautiful day here in mid June. I might as well go out and wade through the crowds to find my spot on the beach.

A Dog in Paradise

April 2nd, 2017

This is Bo. He’s a two year old rescue, part Labrador, part Terrier, I think. Everyone mistakes him for a puppy because he’s so little and is always cheerful. He really is the sweetest dog in the world. He looks best against a field of green with the Pacific ocean just off in the distance.

Sad News: RIP Lynne Seemayer

January 25th, 2017

Sad to report the passing of Lynne Westmore Bloom (nee Seemayer), the artist who painted the famous Pink Lady of Malibu over a Malibu Canyon Road tunnel back in 1966. (A previous post on this blog goes into more detail on my obsession with this famous piece of guerilla art.) I’ve been researching the Pink Lady story for years and always wanted to meet the brave, crazy woman who painted her, but alas.

Every time I drive Malibu canyon, I make sure to look up and check on the Lady. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but her outline seems to become more distinct as time goes by, seemingly reemerging from beneath the shroud of beige paint that was used to cover her up. It’s as if the spirit of the Lady is trying to say, “I’m still here!” If it was up to me, the Pink Lady would be completely restored and declared a state monument. Malibu’s own Mt. Rushmore! Rest in peace, Lynne Seemayer.

Here’s an obituary for Lynne from the Los Angeles Times:

Late Breaking: And some cool local news regarding a tribute that was paid to Lynne recently by projecting the image of the Lady on the original rock face! Sadly, I did not know it was happening and missed it:


The Last Good Day in America

January 19th, 2017

So the question, on the eve of the Presidential Inauguration of the least qualified individual to ever seek the office and who’s name shall not be mentioned here, is what to do to pass the time until he leaves office? For I’m certain he can’t make four full years. He doesn’t even really want the job. He just wants the attention. Now he can finally look down his nose at the Wall Street bullies who never accepted him into their little club and feel redeemed. But after that? Why stick around Washington? Such a dull, drab little place filled with gray, boring little people. But I digress. What to do to pass the time? Gotta ponder that some more.

Just another day in Paradise 

March 16th, 2015

I took this picture from the top of Point Dume last night while hiking with my wife. Let this just serve as a reminder that this planet is still achingly beautiful and that we have a duty to protect it. If it turns out that we’ve already done too much damage to this world I still want the creator to know that I am grateful for having been given the opportunity to live here.

Happy 2015 from Malibu

January 2nd, 2015

Farewell to the year 2014, you were a doozy! The new year does bring some hope for positive changes and I made myself one resolution that I might actually be able to keep: To post more on this blog.

So here’s the last sunset of 2014.


Here’s wishing you a safe, prosperous and happy 2015.


December 12th, 2014

The first really big storm to hit Malibu in years is subsiding a little tonight. While other parts of Southern California are under ten feet of mud (or under water for that matter), Malibu seems to have survived this one intact. I have the usual leaky windows on one side of the house but that’s about all I know for damage. The burn area to the north of Malibu has produced a few rock slides that closed PCH again today. All those poor commuters who usually drive through town have to go inland on the dreaded 101 freeway, but my drive into Santa Monica was a breeze today. Not even any good pics to post about this one. But we sure need the rain, and I’m thankful.

Jay Adams Tribute

August 21st, 2014

I’m not usually a fan of defacing landmarks, but this one just seems fitting somehow.


Panga Misses Topanga

April 7th, 2014

I didn’t know anyone bothered to smuggle weed into California anymore. How nice of them to think of sleepy little Malibu.


Leo Carrillo is not exactly a quiet, out-of-the-way spot either, especially on a warm summer-like day like today. They might have had better luck a few miles south at Little Dume. They might even have received a hero’s welcome.

Stormy Zuma

March 1st, 2014

12 foot waves during our first big storm in years.