Monday, October 1, 2012

A Malamute in Malibu

 It's another scorcher today. Jack and I were hanging out at home, and he needed a walk. But it was 103 degrees outside our house! A short trot up to the street for a pee, and we were both ready to go back inside the house, which was relatively cool.

No, what we needed was some cool ocean breezes. Some salt air. The beach. What we needed was the 'Bu - Malibu.

Sadly, Los Angeles County has only two beaches that allow dogs - even on leash. One beach is in Long Beach, and the other is Leo Carillo State Beach, way up near the Ventura County line. But - the little State Park trailhead at Malibu Seafood allows leashed dogs, so Jack and I hopped in the car and headed out.

It's $5 to park, and you feel virtuous because you know you're supporting the state parks. It was at least 20 degrees cooler down here. The trail led down into a dry shady creek bed, and though you could hear the traffic thundering past on nearby Pacific Coast Highway, we spent a nice time hiking through the chaparral.

Jack did his business and I didn't feel much like carrying a bag of pooh further into the wilderness, so that was my signal to turn back to the parking lot and a trash bin. It was a good enough walk for a hot summer day.

What next?

We drove out to Point Dume, hoping to walk the bluffs and look out over the ocean. Ah, but once again - no dogs allowed!  Poor Jack!

I turned around and headed back into Malibu, and lucked out to find a parking place in the shade at the Malibu Country Mart. The mart is a loosely connected collection of buildings - one stately Spanish-tiled, and the others low and modest shacks - clustered about a courtyard with outdoor umbrella tables and a central play structure. There are health food restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques where you can buy board shorts, designer chocolates, and simple, stylish clothing costing hundreds of dollars.

Jack and I took a leisurely stroll around the courtyard, window shopping and checking out the various toy poodles, Boston terriers, and Lhasa Apsos that hung out here, along with Malibu mommies and kids in the play structure, assorted starlets and screenwriters.

I got an iced coffee at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, where Jack was much admired for his good manners. While we waited for my drink, a trio opened the door and came in to order drinks. Two young women and an older man. Both of the women strode into the coffee shop in 5 inch platform heels - one strappy lavender and the other leopard print and magenta. Ms. Leopard Print also wore leopard print leggings. She wore a long, slinky black jersey shift emblazoned with a print skull, picked out in rhinestones. She reached down her scarlet-taloned hand for Jack to sniff.

Aside from her lavender sandals, her companion was dressed all in black - a pair of black stockings, with artistically arranged runs, were hiked up by garters that disappeared into a pair of black sateen short-shorts. She had dyed chestnut-colored hair that flowed down her back to her waist - the bottom 12 inches of it was dyed sea-foam green.

Their escort was an older man, slender, with a greying beard and longish brown hair. He wore jeans and a tee shirt, and his arms were blue with tattoos.

I settled down with my iced coffee; then the trio came out of the coffee shop and settled down at an umbrella table, too.  Beyond them, a white-blond-haired ingenue in a tie-dyed maxi-dress scrolled on her I-phone.

"If they offer me the contract, I know I want to work with him," said Ms Lavender Sandals. I tried to guess what industry they were in. Music? Porn? Fashion?

On the path beyond, a blonde woman in yoga pants led an entourage, a double-wide deluxe stroller bearing two blonde toddlers, pushed by a squat Latina woman, toward the inner courtyard and the play structure. At an adjoining table, a slender dark-haired man spoke excitedly in Italian into a smart phone.

"Of course I'd sing - that's what I want to do!" said the young chestnut haired woman earnestly. She gathered her long hair together in her hands and flipped it over her shoulder onto her chest, then wrapped it in her hands like a rope, and flung it back over her shoulder. 

Beyond the hedges, four Latino men wearing wide-brimmed straw hats to shield them from the blazing sun, toiled atop the roof of a low boutique, above the umbrella-shaded glades of the courtyard, their hammers pounding roofing nails into the soft and molten tarpaper.

The powerful blatting of motorcycle engines roared; then on the narrow roadway from the parking lot, two Harley motorcycles with impossibly long extended forks curved past the boutiques and headed out towards Pacific Coast Highway.

Ms Leopard Print rose shakily to her feet and picked her knock-kneed way through the tables to the rest room, patting Jack on the head as she went. How can anyone wear leggings and stockings in this heat?

I sipped my gritty, icy coffee, and Jack and I watched. In the brick-paved parking lot, the Land Rovers, Escalades and Porches glittered beneath the chamois caresses of the hand carwash.

Things are cool down here in the 'Bu.


Sheila said...

I have a relative who lives in Malibu. When I go there I feel very uncomfortable. So many of the people there act like they are so very hip. Yeah, yeah, yeah, there are nice people there. But there are so many pretentious jerks,more so than just about anywhere else I've ever been. Malibu didn't used to be like that.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Jack is cooler than everybody else.


Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I'm glad you had a nice place to take Jack for a walk. Malibu sounds like another planet compared to my own town.
Jack would love it here -- there are plenty of cool (literally!) places for walks!

smalltownme said...

I mentally heard Thurl Ravenscroft singing "No Dogs Allowed."

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

It's a rough time of year to be wearing a thick fur coat. I've been walking my neighbor's huge German shepherd the past couple of weeks and its way too hot for him if I don't get going before 8 am. Hope cooler weather is headed your way soon!

Gilly said...

My, you do see life down there! The first walk looked lovely, pity Jack couldn't run off the lead!

I had to giggle at your descriptions of the two young women. Looks like they will suffer anything for ?fashion!!

claudiagiulia said...

One of my favourite cheer me up activities is to bundle Ottie in the car and drive to the Country Mart. I will sit at the Coffee Bean, pretend to read and eavesdrop on the usually hilarious patrons while he checks out other canines. The crowd can always be relied upon for interesting stories, like yours. And yes, Malibu has its share of pretentious jerks but so does everywhere else. It's also filled with people saddened and annoyed the Country Mart is no longer a service oriented place for the community but an upscale tourist attraction. Is anyone really shopping at Lanvin or Missoni???