Redondo Beach is the focus of many who want to be in the sun and near the ocean. Although a vibrant community in its own right, much of the Redondo Beach lifestyle is a blend of the neighborhoods, activities and people of the three Beach Cities of Southern California's South Bay. Like its sister cities of Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, Redondo's key lifestyle draw is the vast beach that links these three cities.

Beach lifestyle

A wide sand beach starts below the bluffs of Palos Verdes in the south and carries north to the Redondo Pier. A paved path, called The Strand runs from South Redondo north to Santa Monica. A typical day on this path will see thousands of people on foot, bicycle, skateboard, rollerblade, wheelchair and stroller enjoying the sun and surf. The continuous path is broken only by the massive Redondo Beach King Harbor Marina and Pier complex, where it veers away from water and onto dedicated lanes of surface streets for about a mile before again turning to the ocean in Hermosa Beach. Continuing north from Manhattan Beach, this path stretches well into Marina Del Rey and beyond with few breaks.

Surfing is a key element of the South Bay lifestyle year-round; it is common to see locals catching waves on both Christmas and New Year's Day. Powerful winter storms in the Pacific ocean can turn typically placid and rolling South Bay waves into large and occasionally dangerous monsters, a natural draw for the local surfing population. Local wave heights in December 2005 were some of the largest on record and were reported to top 15 to 20 feet in some instances; at least one surfer required resuscitation when he was thrashed against the ocean bottom after trying a particularly large wave.

Beach Volleyball is another important aspect of Redondo Beach's lifestyle. The wide and flat sand beaches provide the perfect venue for the sport and permanent poles and nets are placed and maintained by the city year-round. Professional tournaments managed by the AVP take place in neighboring Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. Redondo Beach is home to Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh and AVP Pro Casey Jennings.

Currently Redondo Beach is growing in popularity to filming production. In 2006 "Medium" crews were seen shooting at a local coffee shop. Fox's "The OC" has also been seen filming at Redondo Union High School and local parks. Rob Schnider's The Hot Chick (2002) has a memorable scene when Rob falls down a long row of benches at Redondo High's football field.

Neighborhoods

Redondo Beach is often divided into two logical North/South areas with 190th, Anita, and Herondo streets forming its east-west boundary line. South Redondo plays host to the pier and marina/harbor complex and directly borders active Hermosa Beach; life on the ocean side of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) can be frenetic with restaurants and boating activities keeping people active and engaged at all times. Inland of PCH is largely residential.

Bordering North/South Redondo at the Marina is a massive power plant, which has been the source of substantial political debate in the city over the last decade, largely centered over what to do with the land once the plant becomes inactive over the next 25 years (subject to change and compromise). This power plant sports a 586ft. x 95ft. whale mural by world-famous artist Wyland titled "Gray Whale Migration".

The small business district near the pier and marina was revived in the 1990s by beachgoers and new residents wanted to sell beachwear and surfing accessories. But that district was once focused on fishing and canning when the pier was used to transport fish-based foodstuffs and canned fish to American and Asian consumers, but that industry had an economic downfall in the 1970s and 1980s.

South Redondo is a bit more on the gentrified, quiet side; its wide streets, wide sand beaches and laid-back feel make it a prime destination for those seeking a "bike to the grocery store" community. Several close-knit neighborhoods exist; South Broadway hosts street parties in the summer where children play on jumping gyms and the local Fire Department judges the best dessert contest while kids climb their pumper truck. South Redondo is also known as the cleanest part of Redondo and is considered to be "higher-class" by many of its citizens. The homes in South Redondo cost considerably more than homes in North Redondo.

North Redondo begins north of 190th Street. As a result of Redondo Beach's geography, North Redondo is primarily an inland experience as the beachfronts form most of Hermosa Beach and part of Manhattan Beach. While primarily residential, North Redondo contains some of the city's major industry and commercial space, including the inland aerospace and engineering firms that are part of Southern California's long space legacy. It is also home to the South Bay Galleria Shopping Center and a revitalized Artesia Boulevard. North Redondo is the home of the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, one of the South Bay's premier cultural facilities, and home to the Civic Light Opera of the South Bay Cities. North Redondo is home to nearly two-thirds of the children in Redondo Beach. Many original homes still stand in Redondo Beach neighborhoods, but these small Arts and Crafts style homes are quickly being bought, demolished and rebuilt to match the tastes of the modern, more affluent buyer that makes South Bay their home. Zoning allows properties within two to three blocks of the beach to be developed as large two to three-unit luxury townhomes; inland areas are more likely to have single-family homes. There is a citywide height limit of 32 ft. for new homes; unlike Manhattan Beach, Redondo allows rooftop living spaces and decks. There are a lot of one way streets in Redondo Beach.

Redondo Breakwall is a well known surf spot in the south bay.

Other Activities

A revitalized downtown area affectionately termed "Riviera Village" (named so after the Hollywood Riviera, which is the area it is in) provides locals an opportunity to eat, shop and commune in a quiet atmosphere. Since 2004 several new or newly renovated restaurants have made a positive impact on local options for an on-the-town experience. Downtown also supports a number of independent boutiques and shops specializing in clothing and fashion, as well as at least three wine-tasting galleries. This downtown area is in South Redondo west of PCH between Avenue I and Palos Verde Blvd.

The Marina, Harbor and Pier complexes are large, planned centers of activity that host restaurants, bars, smaller shops and an arcade. The pier is a common spot for anglers to cast for a local catch; many residents of inland Los Angeles drive to Redondo Beach to take advantage of the long and unique shape of this pier. The large, monolithic concrete structures that make up the pier and harbor area stand in stark contrast to the venerable cozy feel of the rest of the South Bay's neighborhood-style street front architecture; the city continues to consider options for the area as new entertainment and dining chooses to locate in other areas of the Beach Cities.

Cost of Living

The beach lifestyle comes at a price: according to public data from the LA Times, Real Estate prices increased almost 20% per year between 1999 and 2005. Properties within short walking distance of the ocean routinely sell for well over $1 Million USD. Those with direct, unhindered views routinely ask in excess of $2 Million. Money Magazine ranks communities in the area as some of the most expensive places to live in America. The average 3-bed 2-bath home costs about $1,000,000 in South Redondo as of 2006 and $875,000 in North Redondo. The 2007 "credit meltdown" has affected home values in the area to a lesser extent than the rest of Southern California.

Geography

Redondo Beach is located at 33°51′23″N, 118°22′37″W (33.856514, -118.377081).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.7 km² (6.4 mi²). 16.3 km² (6.3 mi²) of it is land and 0.4 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (2.18%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 63,261 people, 28,566 households, and 15,254 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,889.4/km² (10,065.4/mi²). There were 29,543 housing units at an average density of 1,816.3/km² (4,700.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.62% White, 2.52% African American, 0.47% Native American, 9.10% Asian, 0.35% Pacific Islander, 4.37% from other races, and 4.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.47% of the population.

There were 28,566 households out of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.6% were non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.8% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 43.1% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 101.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.8 males.

According to a 2006 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $82,744, and the median income for a family was $103,463.[1] Males had a median income of $56,796 versus $45,204 for females. The per capita income for the city was $38,305. About 4.0% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.2% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.

Politics

In the state legislature Redondo Beach is located in the 28th Senate District, represented by Democrat Jenny Oropeza, and in the 53rd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Ted Lieu. Federally, Redondo Beach is located in California's 36th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +11 and is represented by Democrat Jane Harman. The current mayor of the city is Mike Gin, a Chinese-American moderate Republican.

Diversity

Before the beach city housing boom in the 1990s, Redondo Beach's population mirrored much of older communities around Los Angeles. Redondo Beach had generally large numbers of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (esp. Hawaiians and Samoans) for cities with an excess of 50,000 residents. The city has a sizable Native American community, due to the fact that numerous participants in the Bureau of Indian Affairs' relocation programs chose the South Bay area of Los Angeles.

In the early 1900s, the developing community attracted immigrants, often fishermen and maritime workers of Dutch, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish descent, whom used to have neighborhoods on the city's southern end known as "Clifton" (the county area was incorporated into Redondo Beach in 1976). The community also had its share of Asian American and Latino residents. African Americans encountered few problems on moving into the mixed-race community, especially after the 1950s.

Historically, Redondo Beach was home to a large population of Chinese-, Japanese- and Filipino-Americans (about 15 percent of the city population in the 1960 and 1970 US census reports). The city's business district adjacent to the pier was a thriving enclave of Asian and ethnic European family-owned shops that depended on the oceanic fishing and canning industries from the late 1940s to the 1970s.

Trivia

  • Vince Neil of the rock band Mötley Crüe was involved in a drunk driving accident on the Esplanade on December 1984, that killed Razzle (Nicholas Dingley), the drummer of Hanoi Rocks.
  • Chuck Norris opened a Martial Arts studio in Redondo Beach before his career in acting.
  • Several UFOs have been reported in the area near the Redondo Harbor. (Note that the Goodyear blimp flies over South Redondo frequently on a route from its Carson base to the ocean.)

External links

  • Redondo Beach, California is at coordinates 33°51′24″N 118°22′38″W / 33.856514, -118.377081Coordinates: 33°51′24″N 118°22′38″W / 33.856514, -118.377081
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