Hermosa Beach – The beach lifestyle without the bummers

In January 2008, the Jennifer Lisle of the Los Angeles Times wrote an article highlighting the lifestyle in Hermosa Beach.  From the stunning views to the peaceful neighborhood, Hermosa Beach offers more to its’ residents than just a beach-oriented culture!

Known as the “less expensive” section of Hermosa Beach, East Hermosa, the 12-block slice south of Artesia Boulevard and roughly north of Anita Street, offers peaceful streets and stunning views.

The beach is a 10-minute walk away, but East Hermosa feels more spacious than crammed beachfront sites. Instead of the chockablock condos built out to the sidewalk that are common near the beach, homes in East Hermosa include original 1920s cottages, artsy contemporaries and redone ’70s beach homes. There is a higher proportion of single-family homes with more square footage and larger lot sizes.

Since it’s hilly, many homes command stunning views of the ocean, and many have small frontyards with bird feeders, miniature rock gardens and basketball hoops.

Although the crowd is still beach- and surf-oriented, it’s a slower, quieter scene than the tourist-heavy Strand — the paved beachfront bike and pedestrian path — and Pier Avenue. Kids walk the streets with boogie boards slung over their shoulders, young moms push strollers up the hills and weekend mechanics tinker with vintage cars in their open garages.

Parents also appreciate the fact that their children can attend Manhattan Beach’s Mira Costa High School without paying Manhattan Beach housing prices.

Beginnings

Hermosa, which means “beautiful” in Spanish, is one of three beach cities (Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach are the other two) that were originally part of the Rancho Sausal Redondo, 10 miles of ocean frontage granted to Antonio Ygnacio Avila by the governor of Alta California in 1837.

In 1900, Gen. Moses Sherman and Eli Clark, who formed and ran the Los Angeles Consolidated Electric Railway in the late 1800s, bought 1,500 acres of ranchland in what’s now the Hermosa Beach area for $35 an acre. The first of three piers, the Strand and running water came about soon afterward, and in 1907, the city of Hermosa Beach was incorporated.

Although some of the properties in East Hermosa date back to the 1920s and ’30s, most of its homes were built from the 1950s onward.

Insider’s view

Since he migrated from the beach side of Hermosa to East Hermosa about 14 years ago, Randy Firestone has never looked back.

He said that although he doesn’t go to the beach or ride his bike on the Strand as often, he still enjoys the town’s free concerts and beachy lifestyle — just without the downsides.

“I don’t get people making noise outside my door at 2 a.m., I have a two-car garage and people can park on my street,” he said.

According to Firestone, “There’s always been a lot of partying down in West Hermosa, but ever since they closed Pier Avenue to cars and made it a walk-street, it’s a lot worse. It’s a pretty young crowd, and late at night when they come out of the bars, some of them are drunk and they make noise, throw stuff around. . . . It can get really bad.”

And from his current residence, he said, “I have a better view of the ocean than when I lived right next to it.”

Read the full article here.