Israel Levin Senior Center

Bourbon Street And Jewish Life In Santa Monica

03/17/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

When did Santa Monica, the laid-back hub of Los Angeles’ beach communities, turn into Bourbon Street?

I pondered this as Oggi and I spent an hour and a half inching our rented Nissan along jam-packed beachside lanes that reminded me less of California and more of Manhattan’s 14th Street at rush hour. Thousands of young people — many clad in green on St. Patrick’s Day, others draped in gaudy strings of beads — strolled in leisurely herds along Main Street and Broadway. In some spots, the sidewalks were as jammed with pedestrians as the roads were with cars.

A Jewish tableau decorates the Israel Levin Senior Center on the Venice boardwalk.  Hilary Larson/JW
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