March 2011 home page


Rich Simons courtesy of Rich Simons
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Rich Simons | 11th Street

Every month,
Rich Simons answers
most perplexing questions.





Q: Why do the railroad tracks run along the ocean bluffs, which are crumbling? Can nothing be done about this? – s.p.
This is a frequently asked question and I am pleased to tell you all I know about the matter. To understand where the tracks are, we need to go back in time to when the Atcheson, Topeka and the Santa Fe (woo-woo, baby!) Railroad was setting out the route it would take coming from Los Angeles. When they got to the San Dieguito lagoon, they noticed there was a hill in their way, which we now know as the “Del Mar North Residential Area with Some Really Awesome Views.”

With their legendary sensitivity, the Railroad people refrained from ripping down the hill and screwing up what we now know are “great property values.” Instead, they looked to the left and then the right. They foresaw that going left would land them eventually in the concrete nightmare we know now as the “@#$%^! I-5 corridor ,” but going right, along the ocean, would avail their passengers of some really gonzo vistas, so they could double the price of the tickets. It was what we now know as a “no brainer.”

Unfortunately, the Railroad’s crystal ball did not anticipate the phenomenon called Climate Change, which according to some scientists (never, never ignore your local scientists) is causing the bluffs to collapse more rapidly than they otherwise would.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution to this problem: just jab a few pilings into the sand and drop the tracks down to beach level . . . and then double the ticket prices. The abandoned right-of-way up on the bluffs can be developed into a walking-biking-skateboarding path with lots of warning signs (“stay back – don’t get bluffed”? ha-ha) and of course the occasional wine bar from which you can look for the Green Flash. (See last month’s article – please.)

Q: Why do so many people paint the curbs in front of their houses red? - b.s.
This is what we call the “Del Mar Passover.” It is named after the Biblical narrative of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites marked the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb so that, seeing this, the Lord would pass over these homes on his way to inflict a really nasty plague on the Egyptians. The plague our citizens are trying to duck is that of the tree barbers retained by SDG&E, who are known to restyle the finest arboreal pompadours into buzz cuts. (No, no, you ninny, that’s just latex paint! I mean – have you checked out the price of lamb lately?)

Q: Why are houses in Del Mar so expensive? – r.s.
If you have to ask this question, you clearly haven’t been watching the Weather Channel recently.


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