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An Englishman in Monterey

Another enforced absence from regular blogging can be explained (if not necessarily forgiven) by my currently being in Northern California on business.

Yes, here I am in downtown Monterey, seated at a table in ‘Bay Books’ internet cafe on the corner of Alvarado and Franklin.

While the climate is most agreeable, I must just say that this is not at all what I was expecting to find in ‘George Bush’s Amerikkka’. I have been here for very nearly a week now and I have not stumbled across a single Gulag. Perhaps they are all very well hidden. And if there are any Fascist Death Squads operating in the area, then the report of their rifles are being drowned out by the barking of the seals in Monterey Bay.

In fact, the only visibly disturbing characteristics of this place are a few too many ageing hippies and a zealous crusade against smokers. There are, however, compensations. It is mid-November and I can walk about in shirtsleeves during the day.

I cannot honestly say that I am enjoying myself but that is only because I have such a busy work schedule. I can say that I look forward to coming back here again.

I will be returning to Blighty early next week whereupon normal service will resume.

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7 comments to An Englishman in Monterey

  • David Hecht

    Had I known you were going to be in Monterey, I’d have strongly urged you to stop by the Navy Postgraduate School which is there. No aging hippies there, I assure you! 🙂

  • Daveon

    But, you’re not in George Bush’s Amerikka – you’re in California. Hence the attitude to smoking and a lot of other things – you can also get some funny looks for wanting to drink alcohol too.

    The Montery Aquarium is well worth a visit.

  • Anointiata Delenda Est

    Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
    He star’d at the Pacific – and all his men
    Look’d at each other with a wild surmise –
    Silent, upon a peak in SnowDEN.

    Or maybe not…

  • You’re in an interesting cultural enclave — hippiedom on parade, Demo-plutocrats in Carmel, and a big military presence. I love the area. In addition to the aquarium, if you have wheels, try to fit in the 17-mile drive at Pebble Beach, at least the half that runs along the water. Worthwhile, and right next to where you are.

  • Daveon

    I’m sorry I really can’t agree on 17 mile drive, unless you want to play golf, in which case it’s meant to be excellent, I thought the drive was a complete rip off.

    “And here is Pirate’s Beach, named for where the pirates might have come ashore, although it is believed they actually landed about 6 miles away…”

    “Here is the ghost tree, named for being, umm… kind of white…”

    There were loads of other “points of interest” which looked like somebody had made it up. The “lone cyprus” fell into that category with spades.

    The stuff around Carmel was lovely, some of the beach houses there are fantastic.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    David, you are in a wonderful town. Try to go eat some chowder and enjoy a cold beer down near the old fisherman’s wharf. The Cannery museum is worth a look. Carmell down the road is nice, if a bit twee. (Sorry Clint).

    I love the place. If you have some spare millions, you can of course play the course at Pebble Beach and hang out with Tiger and Ernie Els.

    (green with envy)

  • Welcome to the Left Coast. You will get looks for smoking, but I’m not aware of any anti-alcohol animus around here: it’s wine country. In fact, come back in a few years, and you’ll be able to sample Redwood Dragon Syrah!

    Too far for this trip, perhaps, is Big Basin State Park, up here in Boulder Creek. 2000-year old redwood trees so tall that when you stand at the base of one, you cannot see the top.