Along the PCH

Remember when Malibu Canyon did not go directly through to PCH? The original canyon road wound past Hughes Research and made a sharp left turn at the present-day Pepperdine entrance. It followed Civic Center road down the hill and met PCH at Webb Way. The original frontage road can still be seen parallel to PCH at Webb Way. Only when Pepperdine was built in 1971-72 did the canyon road get cut straight through to PCH.

Maybe that freeway from Cross Creek through the hills to Santa Monica wasn’t such a bad idea, after all?

The new shopping plaza at Trancas, long the site of Trancas Restaurant and other names, was originally a 1940s stop on the way to Oxnard. It went by the initial name of Malibu Trading Post. A big cup of coffee was less than $3.85 and there was no option for caramel.

Check out the Malibu Bay Company proposal for the Civic Center at Ed Niles’ office near Zuma Beach in the plaza that includes Zuma Sushi and Coral Beach Cantina. The buildout of the Civic Center area is inevitable. The primary questions are when will it get built out and what will it look like. It is likely that the longer the city resists the development, the more inconsistent the area will appear, whereas the more accommodating the city, the more cohesive the final result.

I set a goal each year to patronize all 50 or so of Malibu’s restaurants and eateries during the course of the year. Even over two years, I fall short.

Catalina Island is visible only about 75 days a year. Fortunately, almost all of those days will occur in the next six months.

The sheriff’s department is holding free classes on Thursday nights, titled: “Strategic and Legal Darting onto PCH from the Hughes Market to the Left Turn Lane at Webb Way.” A follow-up course, “Malibu Road to Cross Creek Left, Without Slowing,” is planned.

Paradise Cove was once known as Whiskey Gulch. Rumrunners used it as a favorite dropping-off point well before the famous Dume Room was established.

Poor Moonshadows has been in the middle of dozens of road closures over its 25-plus years in business. The longest was in 1979 for about a month. At that time, half the parking lot was declared unusable. Even now, with parking primarily along the PCH, it is still considered one of the most romantic restaurants in all of LA.

The very first coastal road in Malibu did not cross the lagoon where the present bridge is located. Rather, the road passed the pier and turned right into present-day Serra Retreat. The early-century road crossed the creek near where the theater is now, and followed a path that ran straight to the entrance of Malibu Road, crossing through the Colony Plaza site.

Want to go on a terrific seven-mile hike that is almost all downhill and passes a massive landslide? Meet a friend near PCH and Puerco Canyon and leave one car there. Go together to the top of nearby Corral Canyon. At the summit, high in the hills, there is a parking lot that serves as an entry point to the Santa Monica Mountains Backbone Trail. Head east, up the hill, to the left of Corral Canyon. You will see many massive boulders and an arch rock. The views are 360 degrees. Proceed down the mountain across the canyon from the Malibu Bowl collection of hillside homes. Most of the trail is a fire road. You will come to the massive landslide, visible (and once audible) to the homes across the canyon. Detour around it and stay to the right heading down the mountain. You will see stunning Point Dume views before you finish at Puerco Canyon. With stops for rest and photos, it will take about 2-1/2 hours to get down the mountain.

Virtually all of the nursery schools, preschools and daycares in Malibu are full.

This month’s winner of the “Flowers and Landscaping Along the PCH Award” are the Shell station, McDonalds next door and the Colony Plaza. Nothing beautifies the highway as much as flowers, whether it be on residential or commercial property. It is my opinion as a Realtor that every $100 spent on flowers for a home’s landscaping brings back $500 in increased property value. And, you cannot have too many flowers.

I wonder how many cumulative Oscars are owned by the residents on Broad Beach.

Who is Albert Gersh?

The Malibu Museum and Adamson House Tour is a terrific place to learn about some of Malibu’s history. (Some of the gems in this piece were discovered there.) It is open Wednesdays through Fridays from 10-3. Even if you go when it is closed, it is time well spent to walk the beautiful ground between the lagoon and Surfrider Beach.

It takes about a half-hour to drive up Latigo Canyon to where it meets with Kanan. Yes, you can get from PCH to Agoura, using Latigo Canyon Road. You’ll see houses the first 3.5 miles. The last eight miles are pretty darn remote.

A May 1962 special feature in the Los Angeles Times concluded: “Malibu, with 10,000 residents, is as lovely a place to live as you’ll find in the world. When growing pains expressed today through purely local battles are finished and done with, Malibu may have a population of 40,000 or more. And one thing is certain: It will still be a lovely place to live.” (Within the entire postal area, we are only up to about 18,000 in 1998.)

For many of us, living in Malibu is not only a personal choice, it is a personal accomplishment. Malibu residency for thousands of people symbolizes personal success, achievement and dreams come true.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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