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"I'm Outta Here"

By Bob Barnett

I moved to Santa Monica in 1969. The mall was worthless, and Main St looked like the bigger "homeless" Main St of downtown LA. But there was character, and still great waves under the remnants of POP. And TOPS on Pico and Lincoln. And Zuckys. And the streets were driveable.

Then came Rent Control and Renters Rights, and we thought the crazy development that started around Wilshire Blvd was over.

Thirty three years later and this town has gone to hell. Development out of control.
Traffic calming-speed bumps-traffic circles... Lincoln Blvd doesn't move -- too many weakass caffeine Starbucks and not enough coffee shops -- no shortcuts left anywhere -- a roller coaster that wouldn't scare anyone -- and polluted water still pouring into the ocean at Pico Blvd.

And the Mall/Promenade is now just another corporate tourist trap that holds no relevance to residents. Benites Frites for a Bebe. I don't think so.

And how bout 'dem homeless?

The same lanky bum has been smoking crack 50 feet south of the main lifeguard headquarters, on the wooden steps, since May 2001. Right out in the open. The drunks around the bathrooms at the parking lot entrance south of Pico are legendary for putting their money buckets right in the center of the walking path, and calling you names if you don't cough up. One flipped me off when I told him no way. The mob scene at the cliff end of Arizona looks like a parolees convention.

The murder on Bay St, the corpse picked up (and thrown in a yellow body bag) in front of the lifeguard headquarters on May 7, and the crazy old man running around naked on second and SM Blvd add color to SM -- isn't that how the PR flacks from the Bayside District spin it.

I give up -- Santa Monica is over.

I'm not waiting for the Playa Vista gridlock on Lincoln Blvd. Somebody call me when those traffic circles on 4th St make someone think France has invaded.

The movers come next Monday.

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