I live in Manhattan. And for the most part, I love this Manhattan. But sometimes it’s hard. Like when it’s February. And rainy. And the 6 train is late every. single. day. And the wind is so wild that you think your air conditioner might fall right out of your 5th-floor-walkup living room window. And you have to keep that air conditioner in the window all year round because (1) you can’t control the raging temperature of your heaters and (2) you have no room to put the air conditioner if you take it out of the window because your apartment is the size of three office cubicles.
And then there’s the other Manhattan. Manhattan Beach, California. When I had the opportunity to be out in Los Angeles in December last year, I took it. I had some meetings scheduled but I only had three items on my personal agenda – and they were all sunsets. My normal sunset is nothing to sneeze at, as the view on the 22nd floor of an office building in NYC is pretty amazing, but nothing beats a beach sunset, especially for a girl who grew up on the Jersey Shore. My first sunset in LA was at Venice Beach, as I wrote about here. My second sunset was at Manhattan Beach.
I started out the afternoon at Brewco, which, as I understand it, used to be called Manhattan Beach Brewery. The bartender told me that the name was changed when they stopped brewing their own beers. I ordered a Belgian sampler because even if they sometimes make my tummy hurt, Belgian beers are my favorites. I was most impressed with the St. Louis Framboise. I knew from my Fluent City French lessons that “framboise” means “raspberry” and I was not disappointed with the flavor. I also ordered a soft pretzel because in college, Ashley taught me that you are always supposed to eat pretzels when you drink beer and I abide when I can.
After Brewco, I walked down to the pier, which at the time was decorated with lights for Christmas. I explored the adorable Manhattan Beach Aquarium, which might also be the size of three cubicles. I went down to the beach and walked under the pier and into the ocean. I took (1) lots of pictures and (2) it all in.
For dinner, I walked to Rock’N Fish for the Rock’N Surf’N Turf – a sirloin steak, lobster tail, garlic mashed potatoes, and a glass of a local red. In case I wasn’t feeling spoiled enough, I also bought a French Macaron ice cream at Manhattan Beach Creamery. I ordered it to-go because I’d requested an Uber and wanted to eat dessert in my hotel room, but my dude cancelled on me so it took a little longer. Another, way cooler, dude picked me up and we had a heart-to-heart about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. My ice cream was basically soup by the time I got back, but I have to say, it was the best French-macaron-soup I’d ever tasted. Happiness pursued.