Surfing Soapbox: View from the Bay Area

From outside my window here in San Francisco, a man stands high above the sidewalk changing the La Barca sign. It now reads “every Monday $5 dinner and $5 margaritas;” just above, it also reads “Mexican food since 1963.” I’m here staying across the street at the Chelsea Inn, working on a book that I have been working on since late 2003.

It’s a cold and dreary day outside, but it doesn’t seem too slow down the hustle and bustle of the outside traffic. Both in the street and the sidewalk, life carries on. The hand of time continues to march on. Woven in heavy jackets and scarves, everyone seems to have a rather sophisticated look. Maybe it’s just the cold weather or maybe it’s the style of the city? It’s funny because any time I wear a scarf, boy do people heckle me about it. But here it’s a staple of everyday dress in the wintertime. I always enjoy observing the differences to everyday life in Laguna Beach.

The other day I walked around for miles. I began my morning down by the marina, and the frigid wind blew off of the water and right through me. I was stunned by the cold, but all around me people carried on like the cold didn’t exist.

They were running, walking and playing Frisbee and this was at 8 a.m. Later I walked to the top of Fillmore Street, and the view overlooking the bay was unbelievable. As I played, tourists were taking pictures of the view.


While traveling — whether in a foreign country or otherwise — I love just watching and observing the subtle and vast differences from life in Laguna, and snapping pictures and writing about it in my journal. The traveling life is fun.

But my mind always remains in Laguna and what the day is like there.


JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarrior He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha