Billie Silvey
August 2007
Malibu--The city of Malibu is a 27-mile strip of south-facing
beaches along Pacific Coast Highway.  Blessed with a
Mediterranean climate, it is under frequent attack from fires,
floods and mudslides.
Malibu is the beach city our family
spent the most time in.  While the new
Pepperdine University campus was
under construction there, Norvel and
Helen Young lived in the Adamson
family beach house, which is now a
museum.  Often, when they were
away, we were able to spend a few
days at the house, which was lavishly
decorated with tiles (see faux tile rug)
from Malibu Potteries.  The tiles are a
distinctive hybrid of Moorish
and Arts and Crafts designs.  The
beach house was the site of some of
children’s most memorable times.
Another Malibu site which figured
greatly in our children’s lives was
the Pepperdine campus.  For many
years, we’d move onto campus for
five days so I could staff a booth at the
Lectureship.  We’d move into a
dorm or apartment and share the space
with Christians from all over.

For a time, I taught public relations
writing classes on the Malibu campus,
and our daughter Kathy graduated
We loved to visit the Getty Villa
(actually located just outside
Malibu in Pacific Palisades), which
recently reopened after having
been closed for eight years for
remodeling and to settle litigation.  
J. Paul Getty, who conceived and
financed the reconstruction of the
1st century Roman country villa,
spent most of his time in England
and never visited the completed
The reconstruction, by architects Rodolfo Machado and Jorge
Silvetti, features Greek, Etruscan and Roman artifacts (some
still in dispute) in a lavish setting of marble, terrazzo, mosaics
and paintings. The villa has four gardens, the inner and outer
peristyle gardens arranged around reflecting pools, an herb
garden and the walled east garden with a colorful mosaic
Santa Monica--As you head along the coast from
Malibu toward Los Angeles, one of the first landmarks
you see is the ferris wheel on the Santa Monica pier,
which was built in 1909.  It’s located near the Looff
Hippodrome (carousel), a National Historic Landmark.

Santa Monica is the largest and most urban of the beach
cities.  Known for its healthful lifestyle, environmental
emphasis and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, Santa
Monica boasts an excellent public transportation system
with its ubiquitous Big Blue Bus system.
Hermosa Beach--Hermosa Beach
was a funky beach town until it
became gentrified recently.  Important
sites included Either/Or Bookstore,
which spilled in steps down Pier
Avenue, and the 80-year-old Bijou
art theater, which recently became a
contemporary art gallery.

Next door to the Bijou on the left was
the goth store, where Robert liked to
shop and his friend K.C. worked.
Kathy and Robert shared an
apartment in Hermosa for a time, on a
street just off Pier and in walking
distance of the beach.
Redondo Beach--Much of the
of the novel occurs in and around
King Harbor, especially near the
Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club.  I
enjoyed a pleasant day with my
writing friend Melissa Moore as we
scouted locations.

When my animal-lover sister
visited, we took her to the
Portofino to see-- and hear the
barks of--the colony of sea lions,
as well as the pelicans which
frequent the ship channel between
the hotel and the breakwater.
Manhattan Beach--Manhattan
Village was the mall nearest our house
when we lived in the South Bay.  Kathy
and Andy married in the garden of the
lovely Belamar Hotel in Manhattan
When my sister Barbara visited
recently, we stopped for dinner on our
way home from Getty Villa at Lobster
at the entrance to the pier.  It was one
of the highlights of her trip.  Frank met
us there, taking the bus from his office
in downtown Los Angeles.
Two blocks inland, on 2nd Street, is
Tudor House, a British tearoom where I
love to lunch. Santa Monica has a large
population of British and Irish expatriates,
as well as a number of pubs.  In the shop
at the entrance to the tearoom, they sell
tea accessories, British groceries, baked
goods and gift boxes.  It’s where I
bought my teapot and supplies for a tea I
hosted for single women at Culver Palms
just after we returned from our trip to
England.  One of Kathy’s friends
hosted a bridal shower for her there.
Another block away is Third Street
Promenade, the outdoor pedestrian
district between Wilshire and
Broadway.  It boasts shops from
high-end to the funky.  One of the
largest Farmers Markets in California
is located on Arizona between 2nd and
4th Streets on Wednesday and
Saturday mornings.
Across 4th Street is St. Augustine’s by-the-Sea, the
Episcopal Church where Frank’s chorus, the Mansfield
Chamber Singers, often performs.  Santa Monica High
School has an excellent music program, and several of our
friends have sung or played in concerts there.
Hermosa Beach was where I located the office of the seedy
detective in my novel,
The Lady and the Gumshoe, which
was set in Hermosa, Redondo Beach and Catalina Island.
Kathy, Andy, and Katyana now
live in Redondo.  Once again,
she's in walking distance of the
beach.  In addition to visiting the
kids, for the past two years, we've
gone down for the fireworks
display over the ocean on the 4th
of July.
Santa Monica Bay is the section of the Pacific Ocean that lies
inside a line that stretches from Malibu to Palos Verdes
Peninsula.  It lies west of Los Angeles and north of Long
Beach, with a series of beach cities strung, like pearls, along its
Memories of
Beach Cities
Pacific Shore Animals
Mighty Ocean