Friday, April 13, 2007

HB Memories - Part I

My route.

Talk about a creature of habit. For 4 years now I've taken the same route to the beach on my bike. And it wasn't randomly chosen either.

When we first moved here we noticed a couple of things.

1. The sidewalks are erratic, to say the least. When the houses started popping up in our neighborhood over a hundred years ago, there were no sidewalks at all. Think Carmel-By-The-Sea. But over the past 30 years or so, people have been tearing down houses, rebuilding, and adding sidewalks to the front of their homes. So now, we have this Winchester Mystery House of sidewalks that dead end, and even sometimes appear for 3 feet in between two lawns.

2. Some blocks are pretty, some are hideous. Most beach towns are weird that way, but "Old Town" Huntington is particularly bi-polar. You have brand new stucco mini-beach mansions sitting next to dilapidated 80 year-old bungalows sitting next to elegant plantation style homes sitting next to $300 a month 4-to-a-bedroom crack houses. Some blocks have more of one, some have more of another.

So after about a month of living here and taking our newborn on walks to the beach, we finally figured out a route that 1. had the most sidewalks and 2. was the nicest to look at.

Which means that for 4 years now the Colonel has exited his garage on his bike, turned right on Joliet, crossed Delaware like Frogger with a surfboard, turned left on Huntington, turned right on Franklin, smiled at the dirtbags buying Bud talls at Steve's Liquors at 11 AM, smiled at the firemen washing their trucks, smiled at the slightly more affluent dirtbags smoking upstairs on the patio of the Shorehouse, waited at the light on the corner of Main St. while people eating outside made comments to each other like, "Ooh, honey, look! He's got a rack on his bike for his surfboard" and "Now THAT'S the life," wrapped to the left on 6th St., smiled at the bocci ball players on the grass, summed up the wind conditions coming down 6th with the first glimpse of the ocean, weaved my way through a deadly cannonball run of people trying to find parking, smiled at the dirtbags at Java Beach (home of the worst coffee in America as well as the worst collection of used surfboards I've ever seen), waited at the corner of PCH, witnessing near crashes and pure unmitigated beach traffic confusion, coasted down the hill into the 6th St. parking lot, dodging people, dogs, kids on skateboards, and very very confused Dads driving massive Suburbans and trying to figure out whether to turn right or left, turned right onto the boardwalk amidst rollerbladers, bums, and retards squeezed into Lance Armstrong outfits trying to look less fat on $5,000 road bikes made for skinny people, and then FINALLY, skidded to a halt in front of my favorite bike racks, two rusted-to-shit poles, bent and drilled into the ground for God-knows-what original purpose.

And then, after all that, I'd go surfing. Which is a whole other story.

The Colonel says, "At ease."