Strand walls? They make great places for sittin’ and watchin’ and thinkin’ if folks have a mind to do that. ‘Tain’t a bad way to spend a day because much of what exists in this world has no guarantee of staying where it is into the future. To wit: over 100 years ago, gilded “influencers” said of the RMS Titanic “God himself couldn’t sink this ship!” And it’s safe to assume that both the World Trade Center and Notre Dame cathedral were never expected to meet similar fates but, for the workings of kismet… they did.
I lived in Hermosa Beach in the mid-70s thru 80s, which was then a great experience. By the 1990s, property development paddled in and began its nefarious dance toward “profit above all” stratagems… and Surf City would never be the same. But this has happened in most every “desirable” hamlet in the USA, so why should anyone be surprised that it happened here too?
The biggest loss is when cultures lose their histories. Walls will never save them. They are only a part of that history themselves, and history will decide how those walls were built and how they were used. That said, 2018 saw the release of two different studies of South Bay “culture that was:”
1— Adam Malovani’s “Hermosa Beach Tour”—a walking gps experience that covers a lot of what made the town the cultural gem it was. The narrator is Joe Nolte of The Last, a rather undervalued band that made a serious difference in the musical development of LA punk rock.
2— Julie Nunis’s “Jazz vs Punk”—a short but richly conceived documentary on the connection between two iconic styles of music that are usually considered to be opposing mentalities. Nope, they never were. Very few types of art live up to such constricted perceptions. It will be screened April 25 at Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg, FL.
Essential projects for those interested in untold American history. And good indications that building anti-cultural walls is a really suckass idea. Trust me on this.