I used to go to Santa Monica a lot. In fact, it was the first place I visited in California, way back in 1991. Then it was filled with bookstores, all along the 3rd St. Promenade. Now? There’s only a couple. The giant Barnes & Noble is gone, all the smaller ones like Midnight Special and the art and photography oriented ones—including the great Hennessey + Ingalls, which still exists in Los Angeles but you pretty much have to drive through Skid Row to get there–are all gone. I’ve stopped going to Santa Monica, another lost city as far as I’m concerned, but I do have fond memories of visiting there, once upon a time. The Santa Monica Pier was the end—or beginning, depending on your point of view—for the storied Route 66, something else that doesn’t really exist anymore.
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