Pleasant Bike Ride Proves You Can Escape #TheBubble
Sometimes, “The Bubble” is about to burst for me.
It becomes too tight, too constricting and I’ve got to get out of it.
The easiest way to do that is to get on the bicycle and that’s exactly what I did on a sunny Saturday in June. And while there, I again said that there’s some really cool things and places in this vast city of Los Angeles, and sometimes you’ve got to get out of the South Bay to see and experience them.
And when I got to Fisherman’s Village, I didn’t realize there was so much to do on the water in MDR.
Marina del Rey is the top place to go stand-up paddleboarding in Los Angeles. It’s great because the harbor is so big and the water is flat. It’s also an ideal place for kayaking. And, unlike here in the South Bay, there’s also Jet Ski rentals and parasailing boats.
The entire marina is buzzing with activity – there are power boats, tour boats, sailboats, skiffs, water taxis and Duffys going back and forth. It’s a scene that brings to mind the busy lake scene in Caddyshack (“hey, you scratched my anchor!”).
What really caught my eye was a group of blondes suntanning on the deck of the Tiki Mermaid, one of two boats with the tiki name that can be chartered for party cruises.
There is nothing like this in the South Bay!
In fact, we have no tour boats. There’s a whale watching boat out of King Harbor but nothing else. Even for SUPs and kayaks, hat marina is tiny by comparison to MDR. In Marina del Rey, the water is a giant playground and people are on it all the time.
In the South Bay, the only time people are in the water is to go surfing, swimming or boogie boarding; there’s hardly any boating activity for those who don’t actually own a boat.
I spent a very happy hour and a half walking along the sidewalk at Fisherman’s Village just soaking in the scene. All the while, I kept saying to myself “this is right here in L.A., yet nobody from the South Bay ever leaves The Bubble to come up here and see it. It’s less than an hour bike ride right along the beach, and it’s like being in a different city.
“What a shame.”
I would have stayed longer if there was a decent place to grab a drink. This is the great shortcoming of Fisherman’s Village and Marina del Rey as a whole.
There’s Whiskey Red’s (formerly Shanghai Red’s) but that’s really just a restaurant. And a fully enclosed El Torito that had a sprinkling of silent diners. What I wanted was a bar – a happening, rockin’ and lively place serving cold draft beers, drinks with a lot of rum in them with a patio and perhaps a band.
It quickly occurred to me that what Fisherman’s Village needs is a tiki bar. Heck, there’s two tiki boats so why not a bar in the Polynesian theme serving tiki boat drinks? The ideal place for it is where that El Torito now sits, silent as the light breeze that was blowing that day.
On the way back to the South Bay, I was tempted to stop for a cold beer at the Harbor Room, which is the smallest bar in Los Angeles.
But I didn’t want to be drinking alone. And I was alone, of course, because I couldn’t get anyone out of the South Bay bubble to join me.