This fall marks my one year anniversary as a resident of picturesque Santa Monica, which means I have started to become a creature of Santa Monica habit. I am a coffee shop regular at the place that makes the best cappuccinos. I feel shame when I forget to carry my re-usable grocery bags. I take pictures for tourists along my jogs on the bike path. When I notice couples, or parent and child duos, split up and awkwardly posing for one another-- I can't help but intervene.
"Can you get the sunset in?" they plea. "Sorry to interrupt your jog."
Power cyclists swerve around them (dangerously), as they review my photography. I delay my workout for one more moment as they confirm they have appropriately captured the memory of basking in the California sunlight. I tell them to have fun and am almost certain they will end up eating at someplace like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. on the pier later that night. A moment of remorse makes me consider whether I should have devoted more time volunteering local suggestions about the farmer's markets or my favorite nearby taco shop-- but then reason that if I prolonged my stops endlessly, I might never break a sweat. If only they knew I paused a mile before to aid the couple from France, the family from Mexico.
Aside from my spontaneous ambassadorship, the truest joy of the Santa Monica local life is the bustling farmer's market culture we are able to enjoy. When I have a Sunday off from work, I always attend the Main Street Farmer's Market. Perhaps the sweetest treat, among all of the food vendors, is the chocolate and almond paste croissant from Culver City's Cafe Laurent. I know I have shouted out to Cafe Laurent before, but I thought it worth mentioning that they will start serving dinner on October 3rd as a part of "Cafe Laurent LaNuit." Word on the street is that entrees are half-priced for the big opening night, and there will be French music-- according to the folks at their farmer's market stand. Bubba Gump could imagine no finer a setting!
And if you're in the mood, there's a comic book store just a few minutes walk away on Overland (because nothing goes together like French food and graphic novels?). I suggest nibbling on your dessert while glancing at the pages of Craig Thompson's "Carnet de Voyage", a travelogue diary for all you wanderlusting types.