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Friday Slide Show: Pacifica's Palmetto District Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

20 May 2016

It was Sunday afternoon and the weekend needed propping up. So we shot down the big hill on the Cabrillo Highway to Pacifica, taking the first off ramp we could. We rumbled slowly south on two-lane roads until we came to the Palmetto district where the famous L-shaped Pacifica Pier reaches boldly into the ocean. We parked the car and got out.

Painted Lady. Made it easy to remember where we parked.

There was nothing special about the spot where we stopped, a block from the ocean. But it promised a little walk, protected from the gusty wind off the Pacific, by some small businesses. So we strolled.

We had the feeling Edward Hopper had been the house painter and chief architect of the back streets we walked down. We looked at buildings and saw lives. We looked at businesses and saw stories.

The small buildings laid out on large lots aren't postcards. Their asphalt parking places seem not so much ambitious as overly welcoming with empty spot next to empty spot. We were surprised to find many lots remain just grassy fields.

We looked at buildings and saw lives. We looked at businesses and saw stories.

The peeling paint has a charm the way a little lipstick goes a long way. And the colorful new paint amuses the way a lot of lipstick goes astray.

The bait shop, closed on Sunday, advertised the late opening of crab season. Florey's Book Co., next door, was open, though.

As we walked by the beauty salons and skin care places welcoming walk-ins but closed on Sunday, it was easy to find some humor.

The bathtub highlighting John's Garden, for example. Or the surfboard menu at Cafe Pacifica.

And then we came to the ocean.

That's where all the action is. The strollers. The fishermen on the long concrete pier. The dog walkers.

And here and there someone with a stick and a bucket keeping the place clean.

The wind made it tough to shoot the Nikon D300 with a polarizer on its 18-200mm Nikkor zoom. But we kept at it.

Then we got back in the car, having made the full circuit. In a few minutes we had merged into the traffic on Highway 1 on our way home, the weekend nearly over but the charm of a small neighborhood by the ocean lingering a little longer.

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