On first impression, Martinez, CA strikes me as a small town trying to stay a small town against encroaching urbanization. Or maybe suburbanization.

Martinez strives to maintain it's historical artifacts. It tries to build monuments to its famous people, like small towns do. The small town redneck types in their pickup trucks, ball caps, or cowboy hats drive down the main street, as does the occasional low rider. But the urban problems creep in.

Swingin' BumTwo people approached me for money, neither of them looking in desperate straights. A woman in a house dress asked for spare change. An obviously middle class boy, sitting in front of Starbucks, was bolder, asking me for a dollar. I refused them both.

A grizzled old coot, wearing a pleather or vinyl jacket and leopard print hot pants, dug through the garbage looking for heaven knows what. He pulled out a styrofoam to-go container and some paper trash and staggered off with it.

Outside the Subway sandwich shop a young woman was speaking to an older fat man with a walrus mustache. "Oh yeah, I used to work here but the owner was using bad tomatoes." said the woman to the man. I had eaten a sandwich from that shop the day before.

The main street of Martinez is nice enough with its antique shops and little restaurants but this is the county seat which means the county courthouse and jail, along with dozens of offices for bail bondsmen, occupy the center of town. Naturally, a certain element is going to end up strolling through before they can get a ride out.

As in most towns, the rich live up in the hills. It looks like there may be some architecturally interesting houses up there and I'll photograph them soon, along with the refineries.

View From My Apartment
The view from my balcony

My Swingin' 60's Bachelor Pad
My swingin' 60's style bachelor pad, right above the carport

Martinez Marina 1
The marina, parts of which are not in very good shape

Martinez Marina 2
As one can see

First Congregational Church
The architecture is varied, some Spanish, some other
  • Current Mood: satisfied
these are great photos. i have never lived in california, but i've been curious about the er, lifestyle, so i look forward to the next installments. :)

sweet bachelor pad.
It looks like a beach house. Do you have to rinse off your flip-flops every time you go up the stairs? ;)
For what it's worth, there used to be many more antique shops in downtown Martinez. At least four of them have lost their leases in the last six months.

*Everyone* has a horror story about the subway. The one I heard was that flies were baked in the bread. It's just part of the charm of downtown Martinez.

Great shot of guy at Starbucks! And yep, that's the Marina.
I wonder if the hostility towards Subway is because of the threat the encroachment of bland, corporate America represents to the local business people.
Well, there was a local movement to just patronize Legal Grounds instead of Starbucks. The only difficulty is that their coffee really, really sucks.

There are many, many things I wish would be in downtown Martinez. Have been fantasizing about a good taqueria. And a Jamba Juice.
Good to know! Thanks for reintroducing me to my town!

There was a newer Mexican resturant on main street . . . getting another one would be really good.

There's also, down one of the streets off main (I'm terrible with directions) the fabulous magic cafe where they do magic tricks at your table. The sandwich are mediocre, but they all come with chocolate dipped strawberries, and of course, table side magic.
Ah, thanks for that tip. I love local color like that.

I just saw one Mexican restaurant. It was yellow. Probably the newer one you already know.

I eat out a lot so I like to know where the good restaurants are. I want some hot dogs from that joint out near the Marina.
I mostly know the stuff that's downtown, accessible by feet, and not requiring me to have to fight for another parking spot.

But that said, I'll ask around.

I've been to Mange Bene (it's by the KFC near Arnold and Morello) and it's really good.
What kind of food do you prefer? Do you have a preference? Vegetarian, that kind of thing? Or does it just have to be edible?
Hi. It's me. I am new again. I'm glad you made it there safely and I'm pretty sure dude with the leopard shorts and collared shirt is my old math teacher.

Please come and visit me and don't scold me for my latest entry because he's a dick.

I also will try and catch you on YM because flikr is impossible for me to figure out and I wish you would hold my hand.

Flickr can be a struggle sometimes, especially the contacts section.

Well heck, you've certainly started a new LJ, alright, and what an opening entry. I am so sorry to read of these events. I hope things can work out.

I'll keep a lookout on YM.
A Slug hanging on your wall!! You're a big game hunter! Admit it! Slug hunter, with your big giant rifle and your big giant red hunting hat and your Elmer Fudd wiles! Oh boo hoo... :: run away ::