Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Local's Perspective

I usually do a once a week Marina del Rey jaunt because there’s a certain neighborhood serenity that I don’t quite get from other areas in LA. Because everything is centrally located, I can do all my errands and get some shopping done in a few hours. Best of all, parking is easy and free in the Marina.

I usually start my morning by parking at Waterside (located off Admiralty between Fiji & Mindanao) and pop in Starbucks (which has the most user-friendly public restrooms) and enjoy my coffee and snack sitting by the water fountain observing the people. I always see the same locals, I believe they’re boaters, hanging out and enjoying the peaceful morning. The post office is also located here, making it easy for me to take care of any outgoing mail. My first errand done. I might window shop at M. Federic, BCBG and pick up a few items at the beauty supply before I’m off to the banks for my second errand of the day. Bank of America, Chase and US Bank are all located within a block of each other.

On the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Mindanao is a semi-new area with one of my banks (US Bank) located in it as well as a Nail Spa where I take care of my third errand, a pedicure. This nail spa has great massage chairs and gives each client chilled bottled water while you get your mani-pedi. And again, parking is easy and free.

Taking a break from errands, I drive over to Villa Marina Marketplace (off Maxella) and park in front of DSW. DSW is a huge store of discounted shoes and handbags (fyi, they also have a clean restroom). Love the selection and prices here. Across the street I like to pop into Petals-N-Wax for cool cards and gifts. This place has very unique and quirky items, great for occasions throughout the year. After Petals-N-Wax, I’ll walk down Maxella towards Lincoln and take a right on Glencoe to stop into Fedex to send a package off. Fourth errand accomplished. This is a main branch of Fedex which makes it convenient for those who don’t have an account from home or office.

All my encounters with people are very relaxed and conversational. The vibe and tone of the Marina is pleasant which is probably why I prefer to take a day to come here and enjoy the city while getting errands done.

Back in my car, I take Bali Way to Admiralty Way heading North. Just a few yards on the left is the library with a small parking lot. I like to pick up all the free local papers for the week there. They have them lying out in front. Errand number five off my list. Now that I’ve worked up my hunger, I’m craving either the tuna sashimi at Sugarfish, the Jer-Ne salad 
with green apple, crisp prosciutto, walnut brittle, point reyes bleu cheese mousse or a bowl of chowder soup and fried clams from Organic Panificio. I opt for Panificio because they have a great view of the harbor. Once again, parking is easy here too.

My last errand before heading back home is grocery shopping. Of course I save this for last because I want to get my food in the fridge as quickly as possible. There are two Ralphs markets within a half-mile of each other and a Gelson’s which is great for the more gourmet/exotic items.

I love how easily accessible many things are in Marina del Rey. I can get around without fighting traffic or worrying about parking. It’s convenient, quick, laid-back and fun.

By a local westside resident