“ A beach house isn’t just real estate. It’s a state of mind.” (Douglas Adams)
Ruth and I have frequently stopped to visit our friends Bobbi and John in the Northern California region of Santa Cruz since the 1980s. Serving now as a popular travel escape for the San Francisco Bay crowd as well a liberal minded college town-surfing cultural hub, Santa Cruz struggles to retain its “laidback” bohemian reputation of former times. It’s major road arteries are simply too congested now to drive amid growing urban sprawl surroundings. So on our road trip visit to Santa Cruz this past weekend, we seemed fortunate to witness glimpses of this historic town’s historic, pedestrian friendly past with a post 4th of July walk with John along the mansion lined corridor of West Cliff Drive.
Imagine then the direct conflict of public vs. private land use values that we observed along our hike today. On the inland side of West Cliff, one could imagine a multimillion dollar sales figure exclusively for the wealthy buyer to purchase one of these estates. While a casual glance to the adjacent beach side would reveal in direct opposition a sustained public commitment to provide free and open access to “Mother Nature” for all. So as you observe the following photograph set, ask yourself to what extent do you feel the need to protect and preserve America’s coastal beachfront lands for future public enjoyment?