When I posted last week’s CURIOUS CITY column, about the need to speak up when outrageous, immoral, illegal, even treasonous things are said and done by our con man in the Oval Office, his evil crew and his GOP lackeys — yes, straight talk is what’s called for, not tiptoeing around with weak wishy-washy wondering — I added, “Soon a column about the insanity in Santa Monica…. now is the time to stop walking on eggshells and call BS, call insanity. This is not normal, not acceptable, and must not stand.”


Our Santa Monica Conservancy is having their holiday party this Saturday, 3 – 5 p.m., at 401 25th Street, with wine, hors d’oeuvres and live music, and the opportunity to mingle with your neighbors who also care about preserving the character of our historic city, and that is not an easy task these days.

I don’t always agree with everything the Conservancy does, or fails to do, but they do an awful lot of good to preserve the best, historic parts of Santa Monica, and deserve our thanks. The party is free to Conservancy members, or $20 for guests, which can be applied to membership.

The star of the party is always the home that hosts it, in this case the 106-year-old landmarked American Colonial Revival residence of real estate magnate Tom Bundy and tennis champion May Sutton Bundy, the first American player to win the singles title at Wimbledon. See? You’ve already learned something cool about SM from the Conservancy and you haven’t even joined yet.


The other good news is that one of my very favorite beers in the entire world is being featured at a sampling tomorrow night (Thurs). Goose Island’s BOURBON COUNTY STOUT is released only around Thanksgiving, it’s pretty dang expensive and it sells out within a few days. But Craft Beer & Whiskey Overlord Phil McGovern of the Daily Pint, across from Virginia Avenue Park, has some, even from 2015, ‘17 and ‘18.

The stouts are aged up to two years in 35-year-old Heaven Hill whiskey barrels, which loads it with thick flavor. You get a very small glass and you savor it by sips. There are very few things I’ve enjoyed having in my mouth more than Bourbon County Stout.

Where else can you get such useful information about Santa Monica? (And no, Goose Island doesn’t send me samples. Dammit.)

While you’re there, ask Phil if he’s chosen the date yet of the January celebration bash he hosts in memory of the great Scottish poet, lyricist (“Auld Lang Syne”) and farmer Robbie Burns. Bagpipes, men in kilts and the procession and address to the haggis, free buffet of Scotch Eggs, Orkney Clapshot, Courageous Cock A Leekie soup — best party in town.


I’ve written about these icky, persistent problems here so many times in the last seven years I can’t stand it. “Neither can we!” — the chorus rises, I know.

But here’s my point. We all know about what’s gone wrong here. We’ve addressed it. Met about it. Organized. Complained. Protested. But our City government seems deaf, and immune. Nothing changes and the perpetrators keep getting reelected.

What I’m asking for now, just for the moment, is that we all stop and consider these things again, as if they just happened, from the aspect of how outrageous they are, and how wrong it is that we have to endure it.


Appealing a lost court decision, for no compelling reason, and continuing to appeal, spending literally tens of millions of our taxpayer dollars, AND REFUSING TO TELL US HOW MUCH YOU’VE SPENT! The height of arrogance and privilege.

Insanity is letting a commercial company drop their product all over our streets and sidewalks, with many residents seriously injured and one killed, not enforcing existing laws, not forcing them to be permitted, and spending a couple of years studying the situation, when many other cities simply said, Are you kidding?– no!

Insanity is easing regulations for developers and large chain luxury retail, forcing longtime residents out of their apartments and mom and pop businesses to fold their tents, leaving the citizenry that’s left to drive to West LA or Culver City to get the services and goods we need. Who are you working for, anyway?

Insanity is letting SMRR, despite their long-ago good founding principles and accomplishments, continue to pick and run our government with the number one objective being staying in power, intent on bringing more and more renters here to that purpose, who will be ill informed voters choosing all incumbents. Look around you! Do you like what SMRR operatives have turned SM into the last 15 years? Do you love that Wall of Lincoln that’s going up? How about the huge developments just announced?

Insanity is doing nothing to try to alleviate traffic, because the unspoken planning philosophy is that cars are bad and everyone should walk, bike or scooter, yes, you too, Grandma. Just think about all this development and see if that doesn’t make sense.

Insanity is letting a handful of inner circle folks with an agenda make stealth moves for six years to paint over a beloved environmental mural that’s been on Lincoln more than 40 years. To put the Obamas name up instead? The City recently touched up our famous murals under the overpass, but let the Muir Woods mural go untouched for all that time. Don’t forget similar neglect for Chain Reaction, and both were gifts to the city.

The list is long and insane, pick your favorites. Insane-aMonica.

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 33 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at therealmrmusic@gmail.com

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