Santa Monica, California

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Santa Monica, California
City
City of Santa Monica
Downtown Santa Monica, as seen from the Santa Monica Pier.
Downtown Santa Monica, as seen from the Santa Monica Pier.
Official seal of Santa Monica, California
Seal
Nickname(s): "SaMo"
Motto: Populus felix in urbe felice (Latin)
(English: "Fortunate people in a fortunate land")
Location in Los Angeles County and the state of California
Location in Los Angeles County and the state of California
Coordinates: 34°01′19″N 118°28′53″W / 34.02194°N 118.48139°W / 34.02194; -118.48139Coordinates: 34°01′19″N 118°28′53″W / 34.02194°N 118.48139°W / 34.02194; -118.48139
Country  United States of America
State  California
County Los Angeles
Spanish encampment August 3, 1769
Incorporated November 30, 1886[1]
Government
 • Type Council–manager
 • Mayor Pam O'Connor[2]
Area[3]
 • Total 8.416 sq mi (21.80 km2)
 • Land 8.415 sq mi (21.79 km2)
 • Water 0.001 sq mi (0.003 km2)
Elevation[4] 105 ft (32 m)
Population (2010)[5]
 • Total 89,736
 • Density 10,663.8/sq mi (4,117.3/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code(s) 90401–90411
Area code(s) 310, 424
FIPS code 06-70000[5]
GNIS feature IDs 1652792, 2411825[6]
Website www.smgov.net

Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, United States. The city is named after the Christian saint, Monica. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles – Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, West Los Angeles and Mar Vista on the east, and Venice on the southeast. Santa Monica is home to many Hollywood celebrities and executives and is a mixture of affluent single-family neighborhoods, renters, surfers, professionals, and students. The Census Bureau 2010 population for Santa Monica is 89,736.

Partly because of its agreeable climate, Santa Monica had become a famed resort town by the early 20th century. The city has experienced a boom since the late 1980s through the revitalization of its downtown core and significant job growth and increased tourism.

History[edit]

Santa Monica was long inhabited by the Tongva people. Santa Monica was called Kecheek in the Tongva language.[7] The first non-indigenous group to set foot in the area was the party of explorer Gaspar de Portolà, who camped near the present day intersection of Barrington and Ohio Avenues on August 3, 1769. There are two different versions of the naming of the city. One says that it was named in honor of the feast day of Saint Monica (mother of Saint Augustine), but her feast day is actually May 4. Another version says that it was named by Father Juan Crespí on account of a pair of springs, the Kuruvungna Springs (Serra Springs), that were reminiscent of the tears that Saint Monica shed over her son's early impiety.[8]

An 1840 Santa Monica adobe home (photographed in 1890).

The Californios valiantly defended their territories against the Manifest Destiny expansion of the United States westward during the Mexican–American War. In Los Angeles, several battles were fought by the Californios. However in the end, the US came out victorious. Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which gave Mexicans and Californios living in state certain unalienable rights. US government sovereignty in California began on February 2, 1848.

A busy day on the beach, 1880

In the 1870s the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad, connected Santa Monica with Los Angeles, and a wharf out into the bay. The first town hall was a modest 1873 brick building, later a beer hall, and now part of the Santa Monica Hostel. It is Santa Monica's oldest extant structure. By 1885, the town's first hotel, the Santa Monica Hotel.

Amusement piers became enormously popular in the first decades of the 20th century and the extensive Pacific Electric Railroad brought people to the city's beaches from across the Greater Los Angeles Area.

Exterior view of the Bank Building at the corner of Third Street and Broadway, Santa Monica, ca.1900

Around the start of the 20th century, a growing population of Asian Americans lived in or near Santa Monica and Venice. A Japanese fishing village was located near the Long Wharf while small numbers of Chinese lived or worked in both Santa Monica and Venice. The two ethnic minorities were often viewed differently by White Americans who were often well-disposed towards the Japanese but condescending towards the Chinese.[9] The Japanese village fishermen were an integral economic part of the Santa Monica Bay community.[10]

Ocean Park Bathhouse

Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. built a plant in 1922 at Clover Field (Santa Monica Airport) for the Douglas Aircraft Company.[11] In 1924, four Douglas-built planes took off from Clover Field to attempt the first aerial circumnavigation of the world. Two planes made it back, after having covered 27,553 miles in 175 days, and were greeted on their return September 23, 1924, by a crowd of 200,000 (generously estimated). The Douglas Company (later McDonnell Douglas) kept facilities in the city until the 1960s.

The Great Depression hit Santa Monica deeply. One report gives citywide employment in 1933 of just 1,000. Hotels and office building owners went bankrupt. In the 1930s, corruption infected Santa Monica (along with neighboring Los Angeles).The federal Works Project Administration helped build several buildings in the city, most notably City Hall. The main Post Office and Barnum Hall (Santa Monica High School auditorium) were also among several other WPA projects.

Douglas's business grew astronomically with the onset of World War II, employing as many as 44,000 people in 1943. To defend against air attack set designers from the Warner Brothers Studios prepared elaborate camouflage that disguised the factory and airfield.[12][13] The RAND Corporation began as a project of the Douglas Company in 1945, and spun off into an independent think tank on May 14, 1948. RAND eventually acquired a 15 acre (61,000 m²) campus centrally located between the Civic Center and the pier entrance.

The completion of the Santa Monica Freeway in 1966 brought the promise of new prosperity, though at the cost of decimating the Pico neighborhood that had been a leading African American enclave on the Westside.

Beach volleyball is believed to have been developed by Duke Kahanamoku in Santa Monica during the 1920s.

Attractions and cultural resources[edit]

A busy day on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California; the south end is the entrance to Frank Gehry's Santa Monica Place.

The Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome (carousel) is a National Historic Landmark. It sits on the Santa Monica Pier, which was built in 1909. The La Monica Ballroom on the pier was once the largest ballroom in the US and the source for many New Year's Eve national network broadcasts. The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium was an important music venue for several decades and hosted the Academy Awards in the 1960s. McCabe's Guitar Shop is still a leading acoustic performance space as well as retail outlet. Bergamot Station is a city-owned art gallery compound that includes the Santa Monica Museum of Art. The city is also home to the California Heritage Museum and the Angels Attic dollhouse and toy museum.

Santa Monica has three main shopping districts, Montana Avenue on the north side of the city, the Downtown District in the city's core, and Main Street on the south end of the city. Each of these districts has its own unique feel and personality. Montana Avenue is a stretch of luxury boutique stores, restaurants, and small offices that generally features more upscale shopping. The Main Street district offers an eclectic mix of clothing, restaurants, and other specialty retail.

The Downtown District is the home of the Third Street Promenade, a major outdoor pedestrian-only shopping district that stretches for three blocks between Wilshire Blvd. and Broadway (not the same Broadway in downtown and south Los Angeles). Third Street is closed to vehicles for those three blocks to allow people to stroll, congregate, shop and enjoy street performers. Santa Monica Place, featuring Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom in a three-level outdoor environment, is located at the south end of the Promenade. After a period of redevelopment, the mall reopened in the fall of 2010 as a modern shopping-entertainment complex with more outdoor space.

Santa Monica hosts the annual Santa Monica Film Festival.

The oldest movie theater in the city is the Majestic. Also known as the Mayfair Theatre, the theater which opened in 1912 has been closed since the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The Aero Theater (now operated by the American Cinematheque) and Criterion Theater were built in the 1930s and still show movies. The Santa Monica Promenade alone supports more than a dozen movie screens.

Palisades Park stretches out along the crumbling bluffs overlooking the Pacific and is a favorite walking area to view the ocean. It includes a totem pole, camera obscura, artwork, benches, picnic areas, pétanque courts, and restrooms.

Tongva Park occupies 6 acres between Ocean Avenue and Main Street, just south of Colorado Avenue. The park includes an overlook, amphitheater, playground, garden, fountains, picnic areas, and restrooms.

The Santa Monica Stairs, a long, steep staircase that leads from north of San Vicente down into Santa Monica Canyon, is a popular spot for all-natural outdoor workouts. Some area residents have complained that the stairs have become too popular, and attract too many exercisers to the wealthy neighborhood of multimillion-dollar properties.[14]

Santa Monica

Natives and tourists alike have enjoyed the Santa Monica Rugby Club since 1972. The club has been very successful since its conception, most recently winning back-to-back national championships in 2005 and 2006. Santa Monica defeated the Boston Irish Wolfhounds 57-19 in the Division 1 final, convincingly claiming its second consecutive American title on June 4, 2006, in San Diego. They offer Men's, Women's and a thriving children's programs. The club recently joined the Rugby Super League.

Every fall the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce hosts The Taste of Santa Monica on the Santa Monica Pier. Visitors can sample food and drinks from Santa Monica restaurants. Other annual events include the Business and Consumer Expo, Sustainable Quality Awards, Santa Monica Cares Health and Wellness Festival, and the State of the City. The swanky Shutters on the Beach Hotel offers a trip to the famous Santa Monica Farmers Market to select and influence the materials that will become that evening's special "Market Dinner."[3]

Santa Monica is a mecca for skateboarding culture.[citation needed]

Santa Monica is also notable for its Dunkin' Donuts restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard, which was the first location of the Massachusetts-based chain to open in the Los Angeles area in its return to the state.[15] To celebrate, a special California-inspired donut featuring blue frosting was available for purchase.

Santa Monica has two hospitals: Saint John's Health Center and Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. Its cemetery is Woodlawn Memorial.

Santa Monica has several newspapers and magazines, including the Santa Monica Star, Santa Monica Daily Press, the Santa Monica Mirror, the Santa Monica Observer, Santa Monica Magazine, and the Santa Monica Sun.

Geography[edit]

Ocean Avenue at sunset.

The city of Santa Monica rests on a mostly flat slope that angles down towards Ocean Avenue and towards the south. High bluffs separate the north side of the city from the beaches.

Climate[edit]

Wilshire Boulevard in Downtown Santa Monica at twilight.

Classified as a moderate Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb), Santa Monica enjoys an average of 310 days of sunshine a year.[16] Because of its location, nestled on the vast and open Santa Monica Bay, morning fog is a common phenomenon in May, June and early July (caused by ocean temperature variations and currents). Locals have a particular terminology for this phenomenon: the "May Gray" and the "June Gloom". Overcast skies are common for June mornings, but usually the strong sun burns the fog off by noon. In the late winter/early summer, daily fog is a phenomenon too. It uses to happens suddenly and it may last some hours or past sunset time.[17] Nonetheless, it will sometimes stay cloudy and cool all day during June, even as other parts of the Los Angeles area enjoy sunny skies and warmer temperatures. At times, the sun can be shining east of 20th Street, while the beach area is overcast. As a general rule, the beach temperature is from 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 6 degrees Celsius) cooler than it is inland during summer days, and 5-10 degrees warmer during winter nights.

It is also in September that highest temperatures tend to be reached. It is winter, however, when the hot, dry winds of the Santa Anas are most common. In contrast, temperatures exceeding 10 degrees below average are rare.

The rainy season is from late October through late March. Winter storms usually approach from the northwest and pass quickly through the Southland. There is very little rain during the rest of the year. Yearly rainfall totals are unpredictable as rainy years are occasionally followed by droughts. There has never been any snow or frost, but there has been hail.

Santa Monica usually enjoys cool breezes blowing in from the ocean, which tend to keep the air fresh and clean. Therefore, smog is less of a problem for Santa Monica than elsewhere around Los Angeles. However, in the autumn months of September through November, the Santa Ana winds will sometimes blow from the east, bringing smoggy inland air to the beaches.

Environment[edit]

The city has made many efforts to be a more sustainable city. Three of every four of the city's public works vehicles run on alternative fuel, making it among the largest such fleets in the country. All public buildings use renewable energy. In the last 15 years, the city has cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10%. City officials and residents have made the ongoing cleanup of the Santa Monica Bay a priority – an urban runoff facility catches 3.5 million US gallons (13,000 m3) of water each week that would otherwise flow into the bay. Other environmentally friendly features include extensive curbside recycling, farmers' markets, community gardens, and the city's bus system.[19][20]

Cityscape[edit]

Santa Monica beach and pier viewed from the end of Santa Monica Pier. Note that the bluff is highest at the north end, to the left of the image
Santa Monica

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 417
1890 1,580 278.9%
1900 3,057 93.5%
1910 7,847 156.7%
1920 15,252 94.4%
1930 37,146 143.5%
1940 53,500 44.0%
1950 71,595 33.8%
1960 83,249 16.3%
1970 88,289 6.1%
1980 88,314 0.0%
1990 86,905 −1.6%
2000 84,084 −3.2%
2010 89,736 6.7%
* U.S. Decennial Census
Santa Monica City Hall, designed by Donald Parkinson, with terrazo mosaics by Stanton MacDonald-Wright

Santa Monica's population has grown from 417 in 1880 to 89,736 in 2010.[21] For population statistics by decade, see History of Santa Monica, California.

2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[22] reported that Santa Monica had a population of 89,736. The population density was 10,662.6 people per square mile (4,116.9/km²). The racial makeup of Santa Monica was 69,663 (77.6%) White (70.1% Non-Hispanic White),[23] 3,526 (3.9%) African American, 338 (0.4%) Native American, 8,053 (9.0%) Asian, 124 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 4,047 (4.5%) from other races, and 3,985 (4.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11,716 persons (13.1%).

The Census reported that 87,610 people (97.6% of the population) lived in households, 1,299 (1.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 827 (0.9%) were institutionalized.

There were 46,917 households, out of which 7,835 (16.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 13,092 (27.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3,510 (7.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,327 (2.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,867 (6.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 416 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 22,716 households (48.4%) were made up of individuals and 5,551 (11.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.87. There were 17,929 families (38.2% of all households); the average family size was 2.79.

The population was spread out with 12,580 people (14.0%) under the age of 18, 6,442 people (7.2%) aged 18 to 24, 32,552 people (36.3%) aged 25 to 44, 24,746 people (27.6%) aged 45 to 64, and 13,416 people (15.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.4 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.

There were 50,912 housing units at an average density of 6,049.5 per square mile (2,335.7/km²), of which 13,315 (28.4%) were owner-occupied, and 33,602 (71.6%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.1%. 30,067 people (33.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 57,543 people (64.1%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Santa Monica had a median household income of $72,271, with 11.3% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[23]

2000[edit]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there are 84,084 people, 44,497 households, and 16,775 families in the city. The population density is 10,178.7 inhabitants per square mile (3,930.4/km²). There are 47,863 housing units at an average density of 5,794.0 per square mile (2,237.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 78.29% White, 7.25% Asian, 3.78% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 5.97% from other races, and 4.13% from two or more races. 13.44% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. There are 44,497 households, out of which 15.8% have children under the age of 18, 27.5% are married couples living together, 7.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 62.3% are non-families. 51.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 1.83 and the average family size is 2.80.

The city of Santa Monica is consistently among the most educated cities in the United States, with 23.8 percent of all residents holding graduate degrees.[24]

The population is diverse in age, with 14.6% under 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 40.1% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% 65 years or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females, there are 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.3 males.

According to a 2009 estimate, the median income for a household in the city is $71,095, and the median income for a family is $109,410 .[25] Males have a median income of $55,689 versus $42,948 for females. The per capita income for the city is $42,874. 10.4% of the population and 5.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 9.9% of those under the age of 18 and 10.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Education[edit]

Elementary and secondary schools[edit]

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District provides public education at the elementary and secondary levels. In addition to the traditional model of early education school houses, SMASH (Santa Monica Alternative School House) is "a K-8 public school of choice with team teachers and multi-aged classrooms".[26]

Elementary schools[edit]

The district maintains eight public elementary schools in Santa Monica:[27]

  • Edison Language Academy
  • Franklin Elementary School
  • Grant Elementary School
  • John Muir Elementary School
  • McKinley Elementary School
  • Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Will Rogers Learning Community

Middle schools[edit]

The district maintains two public middle schools in Santa Monica: John Adams Middle School and Lincoln Middle School.[27]

High schools[edit]

The district maintains two high schools in Santa Monica: Olympic High School and Santa Monica High School.[27]

Private schools[edit]

Private schools in the city include:

Miscellaneous education[edit]

Asahi Gakuen, a weekend Japanese supplementary school system, operates its Santa Monica campus (サンタモニカ校・高等部 Santamonika-kō kōtōbu) at Webster Middle in the Sawtelle neighborhood of Los Angeles. All high school classes in the Asahi Gakuen system are held at the Santa Monica campus.[29][30] As of 1986 students take buses from as far away as Orange County to go to the high school classes of the Santa Monica campus.[31]

Post-secondary[edit]

Santa Monica College is a junior college originally founded in 1929. Many SMC graduates transfer to the University of California system. It occupies 35 acres (14 hectares) and enrolls 30,000 students annually. The Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School, associated with the RAND Corporation, is the U.S.'s largest producer of public policy PhDs. The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles is also located in Santa Monica near the Santa Monica Airport. L.A. Leadership College, an online institution, for underprivileged young adults, is located in Santa Monica.[32]

Universities and colleges within a 22-mile (35 km) radius from Santa Monica include Santa Monica College, Antioch University Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, Mount St. Mary's College, Pepperdine University, California State University, Northridge, California State University, Los Angeles, UCLA, USC, West Los Angeles College, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Southwest College, Los Angeles Valley College, and Emperor's College of Traditional Oriental Medicine.

Public library system[edit]

The Santa Monica Public Library consists of a Main Library in the downtown area, plus four neighborhood branches: Fairview, Montana Avenue, Ocean Park, and Pico Boulevard.

Transportation[edit]

Bicycles[edit]

Santa Monica has received the Bicycle Friendly Community Award (Bronze) by the League of American Bicyclists in 2009. The distinction was mostly based on the local bicycle valet program. Local bicycle advocacy organizations include Bikerowave (moved to Mar Vista in 2009) and Santa Monica Spoke. Local police cracked down on Santa Monica Critical Mass rides in 2008 and effectively discontinued this flourishing tradition. Despite or perhaps as a result of Santa Monica's friendliness towards bicycles, Santa Monica ranks #3 for most bicycle accidents among California cities according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. In 2013 it received the Bicycle Friendly Community Award (Silver). Santa Monica is probably currently the leader for bicycle infrastructure and programming in Los Angeles County.

Pacific Coast Highway running through Santa Monica

Motorized vehicles[edit]

The Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10) begins in Santa Monica near the Pacific Ocean and heads east. The Santa Monica Freeway between Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles has the distinction of being one of the busiest highways in all of North America. After traversing Los Angeles County, I-10 crosses seven more states, terminating at Jacksonville, Florida. In Santa Monica, there is a road sign designating this route as the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway. State Route 2 (Santa Monica Boulevard) begins in Santa Monica, barely grazing State Route 1 at Lincoln Boulevard, and continues northeast across Los Angeles County, through the Angeles National Forest, crossing the San Gabriel Mountains as the Angeles Crest Highway, ending in Wrightwood. Santa Monica is also the western (Pacific) terminus of historic U.S. Route 66. Close to the eastern boundary of Santa Monica, Sepulveda Boulevard reaches from Long Beach at the south, to the northern end of the San Fernando Valley. Just east of Santa Monica is Interstate 405, the "San Diego Freeway", a major north-south route in Los Angeles County and Orange County, California.

The City of Santa Monica has purchased the first ZeroTruck all-electric medium-duty truck. The vehicle will be equipped with a Scelzi utility body, it is based on the Isuzu N series chassis, a UQM PowerPhase 100 advanced electric motor and is the only US built electric truck offered for sale in the United States in 2009.[33]

Bus[edit]

The city of Santa Monica runs its own bus service, the Big Blue Bus, which also serves much of West Los Angeles and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). A Big Blue Bus was featured prominently in the action movie Speed.

The city of Santa Monica is also served by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's bus lines. Metro also complements Big Blue service, as when Big Blue routes are not operational overnight, Metro buses make many Big Blue Bus stops, in addition to MTA stops. It currently has no rail service but Metro is working on bringing light rail service to Santa Monica in the form of Phase 2 of the Exposition Line which is set to begin in early 2016. Since the mid-1980s, various proposals have been made to extend the Purple Line subway to Santa Monica under Wilshire Boulevard. However, to this day, no plans to complete the "subway to the sea" are imminent, owing to the difficulty of funding the estimated $5 billion project. In the past, Santa Monica had rail service operated by the Pacific Electric Railway, until it was dismantled in the 1960s.

Airport and ports[edit]

The city owns and operates a general aviation airport, Santa Monica Airport, which has been the site of several important aviation achievements. Commercial flights are available for residents at Los Angeles International Airport, a few miles south of Santa Monica.

Like other cities in Los Angeles County, Santa Monica is dependent upon the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles for international ship cargo. In the 1890s, Santa Monica was once in competition with Wilmington, California, and San Pedro for recognition as the "Port of Los Angeles" (see History of Santa Monica, California).

Emergency services[edit]

Two major hospitals are within the Santa Monica city limits, UCLA Santa Monica Hospital and St. John's Hospital. There are four fire stations providing medical and fire response within the city staffed with 6 Paramedic Engines, 1 Truck company, 1 Hazardous Materials team and 1 Urban Search & Rescue team. Santa Monica Fire Department has its own Dispatch Center. Ambulance transportation is provided by AmeriCare Ambulance Services.[34]

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center in Santa Monica.[35] The Department's West Area Health Office is in the Simms/Mann Center.[36]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Santa Monica is governed by the Santa Monica City Council, a Council-Manager governing body with seven members elected at-large. The current mayor is Pam O'Connor.

In the state legislature, Santa Monica is located in the 26th California State Senate District, represented by Democrat Ted Lieu, and in the 50th California State Assembly district, represented by Democrat Richard Bloom.[37] Federally, Santa Monica is in California's 33rd congressional district, represented by Democrat Henry Waxman.[38]

Economy[edit]

Headquarters of Activision
Headquarters of Universal Music Group

Santa Monica is home to the headquarters of many notable businesses, including Universal Music Group, Lionsgate Films,[39] the RAND Corporation, Beachbody, Macerich, Supermarine, now Atlantic Aviation,[40] is at the Santa Monica Airport. National Public Radio member station KCRW is located at the Santa Monica College campus.

A number of game development studios are based in Santa Monica, making it a major location for the industry. These include:

Fatburger's headquarters are in Santa Monica.[42] TOMS Shoes has its headquarters in Santa Monica.[43]

Former Santa Monica businesses include Douglas Aircraft (now merged with Boeing), MySpace (now headquartered in Beverly Hills),[citation needed] and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[44] In December 1996, GeoCities was headquartered on the third floor of 1918 Main Street in Santa Monica.[45]

Top employers[edit]

According to the City's 2012-2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[46] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 City of Santa Monica 2,528
2 Santa Monica - UCLA Medical Center 2,079
3 Santa Monica College 1,953
4 Saint John's Health Center 1,676
5 Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District 1,457
6 RAND Corporation 842
7 Universal Music Group 743
8 Activision Blizzard 692
9 ET Whitehall (Shutters and Casa del Mar) 568
10 Lionsgate Entertainment 555

Crime[edit]

In 2006, crime in Santa Monica affected 4.41% of the population, slightly lower than the national average crime rate that year of 4.48%.[47] The majority of this was property crime, which affected 3.74% of Santa Monica's population in 2006; this was higher than the rates for Los Angeles County (2.76%) and California (3.17%),[48] but lower than the national average (3.91%). These per-capita crime rates are computed based on Santa Monica's full-time population of about 85,000. However, the Santa Monica Police Department has suggested the actual per-capita crime rate is much lower, as tourists, workers, and beachgoers can increase the city's daytime population to between 250,000 and 450,000 people.[49]

Violent crimes affected 0.67% of the population in Santa Monica in 2006, in line with Los Angeles County (0.65%), but higher than the averages for California (0.53%) and the nation (0.55%).[47][48]

Hate crime has typically been minimal in Santa Monica, with only one reported incident in 2007. However, the city experienced a spike of anti-Islamic hate crime in 2001, following the attacks of September 11. Hate crime levels returned to their minimal 2000 levels by 2002.[50]

In 2006, Santa Monica voters passed "Measure Y" with a 65% majority,[51] which moved the issuance of citations for marijuana smoking to the bottom of the police priority list. A 2009 study by the Santa Monica Daily Press showed that since the law took effect in 2007, the Santa Monica Police had "not issued any citations for offenses involving the adult, personal use of marijuana inside private residences."[52]

In June 2011, the infamous Boston gangster Whitey Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica after being a fugitive for 16 years. He had been living in the area for 15 years.

A shooting in Santa Monica in 2013 left six (including the perpetrator) dead and five more injured.

Gang activity[edit]

The Pico neighborhood of Santa Monica (south of the Santa Monica Freeway) experiences some gang activity. The city estimates that there are about 50 gang members based in Santa Monica, although some community organizers dispute this claim.[53] Gang activity has been prevalent for decades in the Pico neighborhood.

In October 1998, alleged Culver City 13 gang member Omar Sevilla, 21, of Culver City was killed.[54] A couple of hours after the shooting of Sevilla, German tourist Horst Fietze was killed.[55] Several days later Juan Martin Campos, age 23, a Santa Monica City employer and former gang member was shot and killed. Police believe this was a retaliatory killing in response to the death of Omar Sevilla.[56] Less than twenty-four hours later, Javier Cruz was wounded in a drive-by shooting outside his home on 17th and Michigan.[57][58]

In 1999, there was a double homicide in the Westside Clothing store on Lincoln Boulevard. During the incident, Culver City gang members David "Puppet" Robles and Jesse "Psycho" Garcia entered the store masked and began opening fire, killing Anthony and Michael Juarez. They then ran outside to a getaway vehicle driven by a third Culver City gang member, who is now also in custody.[59] The clothing store was believed to be a local hang out for Santa Monica gang members. The dead included two men from Northern California who had merely been visiting the store's owner, their cousin, to see if they could open a similar store in their area. Police say the incident was in retaliation for a shooting committed by the Santa Monica 13 gang days before the Juarez brothers were gunned down.[60]

Aside from the rivalry with the Culver City gang, gang members also feud with the Venice and West Los Angeles gangs. The main rivals in these regions include Venice 13, Graveyard Gangster Crips, and Venice Shoreline Crips gangs located in the Oakwood area of Venice, California.

Sport[edit]

The men's and women's marathon run through parts of Santa Monica during the 1984 Summer Olympics.[61] The Santa Monica Track Club has many prominent track athletes, including many Olympic gold medalists. Santa Monica is also home to the Santa Monica Rugby Club, a semi-professional team that competes in the Pacific Rugby Premiership, the highest-level rugby club competition in the United States.

In popular culture[edit]

Film and television[edit]

End of Route 66

Hundreds of movies have been shot or set in part within the city of Santa Monica.[62] One of the oldest exterior shots in Santa Monica is Buster Keaton's Spite Marriage (1929) which shows much of 2nd Street. The comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) included several scenes shot in Santa Monica, including those along the California Incline, which led to the movie's treasure spot, "The Big W". The Sylvester Stallone film Rocky III (1982) shows Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed training to fight Clubber Lang by running on the Santa Monica Beach, and Stallone's Demolition Man (1993) includes Santa Monica settings. Henry Jaglom's indie Someone to Love (1987), the last film in which Orson Welles appeared, takes place in Santa Monica's venerable Mayfair Theatre. Heathers (1989) used Santa Monica's John Adams Middle School for many exterior shots. The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996) is set entirely in Santa Monica, particularly the Palisades Park area, and features a radio station that resembles KCRW at Santa Monica College. 17 Again (2009) was shot at Samohi. Other films that show significant exterior shots Santa Monica include Fletch (1985), Species (1995),Get Shorty (1995), and Ocean's Eleven (2001). Richard Rossi's biopic Aimee Semple McPherson opens and closes at the beach in Santa Monica.

The documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001) and the related dramatic film Lords of Dogtown (2005) are both about the influential skateboarding culture of Santa Monica's Ocean Park neighborhood in the 1970s.

The Santa Monica Pier is shown in many movies, including They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969), The Sting (1973), Ruthless People (1986), Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), Clean Slate (1994), Forrest Gump (1994), The Net (1995), Love Stinks (1999), Cellular (2004), Iron Man (2008) and Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009).

A number of television series have been set in Santa Monica, including Baywatch, Three's Company, Pacific Blue, and Private Practice. The Santa Monica pier is shown in the main theme of CBS series NCIS: Los Angeles. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the main exterior set of the town of Sunnydale, including the infamous "sun sign", was located in Santa Monica in a lot on Olympic Boulevard.[63]

The film The Doors (1991) and Speed (1994) featured vehicles from Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus line, relative to the eras depicted in the films.

The city of Santa Monica (and in particular the Santa Monica Airport) was featured in Roland Emmerich's disaster film 2012 (2009). A magnitude 10.9 earthquake destroys the airport and the surrounding area as a group of survivors escape in a personal plane. The Santa Monica Pier and the whole city sinks into the Pacific Ocean after the earthquake.

Literature[edit]

Raymond Chandler's most famous character, private detective Philip Marlowe, frequently has a portion of his adventures in a place called "Bay City", which is modeled on depression-era Santa Monica.[64] In Marlowe's world, Bay City is "a wide-open town", where gambling and other crimes thrive due to a massively corrupt and ineffective police force.

The setting on a certain portion of Mitch Albom's book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, has similarities to the Pacific Pier located along the Santa Monica beach. In the book, it is named Ruby Pier. Mitch Albom even acknowledged the Pacific Pier for its cooperation.

The main character from Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Land That Time Forgot (novel) was a shipbuilder from Santa Monica.

In Al Capone Does My Shirts, the Flanagans move to Alcatraz from Santa Monica.

Tennessee Williams lived (while working at MGM Studios) in a hotel on Ocean Avenue in the 1940s. At that location he wrote The Glass Menagerie. His short story titled The mattress by the Tomato Patch was set near Santa Monica Beach, and mentions the clock visible in much of the city, high up on The Broadway Building, on Broadway near 2nd Street.

Also featured in Rick Riordains "Percy Jackson" Novels, specifically the Santa Monica pier.

Music[edit]

Video games[edit]

Santa Monica is featured in the video games True Crime: Streets of LA (2003), Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (2004), Grand Theft Auto San Andreas (2004), Destroy All Humans! (2004), Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (2005), Midnight Club: Los Angeles (2008), Cars Race-O-Rama (2009), Grand Theft Auto V (2013) as a fictional district - Del Perro and Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013) as a fictional U.S. military base - Fort Santa Monica

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]