If you've seen Santa Monica, you already know it is a jewel of a community along the Pacific Ocean, a vacation paradise and the pride of its locals. But if you want to see an entirely different view, take a peek through the Santa Monica Camera Obscura, which gives the town an offbeat angle.
Santa Monica's cadre of mobile notaries already know the many enchantments of the community, but they'll gladly share. They would joyfully direct you to any of the dozens of local attractions, even meet you there if you choose, to put their seal of approval on documents ranging from deeds to wills to special papers authorizing someone other than a parent to travel with an under-aged child. It's what they do.
In the 1930s, the wonderful climate, the availability of the best beaches in the world and proximity to Hollywood and its glitzy culture gave birth to the original Muscle Beach. It was the gathering place for those who had outstanding physiques to show off, including Hollywood stunt specialists, gymnasts, circus folk -- anyone who wanted to be admired. And plenty of admirers were there to accommodate them. Ultimately, it became too hard to maintain the and city shut it down. The Venice Beach Recreation Center preserves the name, but today it is primarily used by gymnasts, acrobats and youth.
A piece of off-beat art is preserved in Santa Monica Beach's singing beach chairs. A set of steel and aluminum sculptures created by Doug Hollis, they catch the wind passing through and make oboe-like music. Two people at a time can sit on each chair and enjoy the incessant "people-watching" joys of the teeming beach.
Bergamot Station, a re-purposed railway center, is a look back to Santa Monica's role as a commuter hub and distribution center for local produce. It has become a site to honor the arts. More than 600,000 visitors per year attest to the effectiveness of the change from transportation to culture review.
California's agricultural past is tastefully preserved in four farmer's markets that serve Santa Monica daily. Call up one of Santa Monica's mobile notaries and meet him or her at one of the markets. You can attend to the meat of your business, having important papers notarized, while stocking up on the fresh produce that is available, not in the trainloads that once traveled through the area, but in attractive stalls where customer satisfaction is the watchword.
Willliam Randolph Hearst, millionaire publisher known for his business acumen and high living, contributed a local attraction in the Annenberg Beach House. He built it for actress Marion Davies in the 1920s and used it to entertained his many friends among the American elite. It had 100 rooms and a marble swimming pool. Today, it is open to the public and features swim classes, open pool hours, volleyball facilities, cultural tours and much more.
If you have important papers that need a notary's seal and signature to become official, meet one of the Santa Monica mobile notaries at the Museum of Flying. Opened in 1979 by Donald Douglas Jr., second president of Douglas Aircraft Co., the museum, and updated in 1989, the museum displays a variety of exhibits, aviation art and aircraft, highlighting one of the most important industries espoused by California in the mid-20th century.
The list of things to do and see in Santa Monica fills pages with an eclectic collection of choices that could keep you going for weeks. Just a sampling: the end of Route 66, noted by a sign at the end of Santa Monica Pier; The Galley, the city's oldest restaurant, decorated with set pieces from "Mutiny on the Bounty"; the Typhoon Restaurant which offers bugs-ala-Asia on its menus; Third Street Promenade with endless shopping, street performers, dining and beach views; Pacific Park on the Pier, for carnival rides, a roller coaster over a portion of the ocean and the world's only solar-powered Ferris wheel. And the list goes on. Save plenty of time to see them all.
The Mobile Notaries in Santa Monica are in 90401, 90402, 90403, 90404, 90405, 90406, 90407, 90408, 90409, 90410 and 90411 can quickly come to your location day and night!