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Looking for Santa Monica: On Quiet Streets:

I live in Santa Monica.

How did you get to your starting point:

I walked.

Streets I walked on:

Wilshire to Montana, Yale to Princeton

Tell us what you liked/disliked about walking in this area:

I liked the peacefulness.  At 3 p.m, on a Sunday afternoon, this residential area was full of children playing in their yards, families laughing together and birds chirping in the trees.  I also enjoyed the nice breeze.  The only thing I disliked was the fact that none of the solo walkers I encountered were very friendly.  I smiled at them, or said a brief  “Hello” and they just continued on their little journey, full speed ahead.

What has been your impression about driving and parking in this area?

Wherever I walked, there was ample parking.  Similarly, most of the people driving were courteous to one another.  I didn’t see any road rage or reckless driving.  I was impressed.


Quality of Experience:

1. What did you like or dislike about your experience?

I’ve walked this neighborhood probably a dozen times before.  And what always excites me are the signs of life. There are so many children everywhere and big trees line the block, creating a canopy over the streets for the children to play under.  It’s just good to see families interacting with each other.  As I said before, I just wish the common strangers smiled more.  It wouldn’t kill them, it really wouldn’t.

2. What were people doing in this area and how did it impact your experience?

Lots of people were doing different things. I saw some women gardening in their front lawns, a group of children riding tricycles up and down the block and lots of families piling in and out of cars.  I got a huge sense of community among these people.  I really felt the impact of the family structure.

Neighborhood Activities:

1. Do you like the activities available in this neighborhood?

Yes.  I grew up here and I’ve always liked the different array of activities.  On Wilshire, a wide variety of stores seems to fit every taste.  I think that this neighborhood’s mainly for living in; it’s residential.  The atmosphere is good and it provides a safe place to raise your family.

2. Are there any other activities or services that you would like to see in this neighborhood?

No, it serves its purpose well.

Neighborhood Character:

What is your impression of the buildings in this area?

The houses differed in size and shape, but they all looked comfortable.  I could tell that the gardens were well-kept and that the houses made good homes.  I was also struck by the wide array of colors I saw.  From white and green to blue and beige, even pink and blue, I encountered a lot of interesting color combinations.  The shops and such on Wilshire were very business-like and professional.  A lot of the buildings were big business buildings.

What was unique about this area?

I think that all residential areas have their own unique flavor.  I found it interesting how, over the course of one block, you went from business to residential, from buildings to houses.

What did you like or dislike about this area?

I liked that there were lot of people living here.  It was nice to see people growing and working together.


Tell us how you imagine this area to be in 20 years.

I hope that this area doesn’t change too much in 20 years.  I think that we lose a lot when we lose our sense of neighborhood and community.  The worst mistake Santa Monica could make would be to overdevelop its residential neighborhoods and take away from the feelings of safety and comfort.  Already, not enough people know their neighbors or take walks in their own backyards.  We need to keep what’s left, though.  We need to give people a place to raise their kids.  Maybe we can even improve neighborly connections.  Who knows? If any city can do it, Santa Monica can.

Abbott, a sophomore at Santa Monica High School, is the second of several students to take the City’s survey, “What Is Your Vision of Santa Monica? Shape the Future 2025,” for the Mirror.

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