Saturday, April 2, 2011

I'm an Oom-Pah-Pah Papa!!!

Is it ever too soon for second helpings of schnitzel?  I think nicht.  Not so very long ago we explored the wacky tacky wunderbar-ness of Old World Village in Huntington Beach.  We determined that it was high time to discuss her older sister - Alpine Village in Torrance.

This is about as artsy as I get...
you can see my reflection in the automatic doors.

As with Old World Village, Alpine Village was started by German immigrants looking to bring a bit of Bavaria to the California coast.  Opened in 1968, the history on this place is difficult to determine as none is provided on the website and my research abilities are weak.  Much like Old World, Alpine Village is host to a market, restaurants, a chapel, and various businesses and shops.  There are, however, several differences between the two locations.  Alike in spirit, the villages actually have no connection beyond being havens to all things German.  Because Alpine Village is home to a daily swap meet, it is much more populated and therefore possesses none of the creepy-cool factor that is so prevalent at Old World.  In fact, every storefront that we passed was open for business and beckoning for us to enter with their air conditioning (yep, no joke, it was April 1st and the temperature was 90 degrees!!)

The market is much more expansive than its Huntington Beach counterpart and the aisles were filled with hungry shoppers.

The signs were very cool.

The bakery looks impressive but really, bleh...

The fleische counter puts Old World's to shame just by sheer volume.

I thought McDonald's invented the fish/cheese combo with the Filet-O-Fish.
Boy, was I wrong!

Just horsin' around.

Alpine Village's chapel doesn't hold a prayer candle
to the chapel at Old World, but it is quaint.

A few of the store shingles

The Alpine Inn is home to a weekly dance that we have yet to attend.
Sounds fun!

Mary found a pebble-mosaic art piece at the swap of which she was very proud.
Actually, we have found some killer deals there in the past.

Overall, Alpine Village is a must-see but it is much more engaged in reality than Old World and is therefore, not as much fun.  Because we didn't find as much mystery or excitement as we had hoped for at Alpine Village, we needed to get our adventure fix elsewhere.  I had heard tales of a "sunken city" in San Pedro and determined that it had to be our next destination.  Truthfully, Mary had been there before and made it sound so exciting that I just wanted to be "in the know."  I was expecting a Goonies-level adventure - ORV's, Baby Ruths, Truffle Shuffle, the whole bit.

The "No Trespassing" sign quickened my pulse and
kept me on the lookout for Data, Sloth and One-Eyed Willy.
To reach the "sunken city," one must climb over a short wall and wriggle underneath a fence.  Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a picture of said fence.  Needless to say, Mary was wrong and I could fit under the fence!

Truth be told, the "sunken city" (I continue to use quotation marks advisedly), is really just a small number of homes that once stood on the cliffs above the ocean but could no longer be supported by the terrain.  All that is left of the homes is cracked foundations.  The area is really a beautiful place and provides lovely views of the ocean and Catalina Island.

Remnants of the homes

No treasure, no pirates, nothin'...

The large, flat slabs of concrete are an obvious canvas for graffiti artists

The foundations also provide a great place to climb and play.

We were about to leave San Pedro when we noticed a trolley car and without a second thought, we hopped aboard.  The beautiful trolleys are careful replicas of the original 1909 Pacific Electric railcars that once covered a vast area of Los Angeles County.  We were thrilled to be riding a "Red Car" but soon found out that the trolley was really just a leisurely ride to nowhere.

Cool sign of the day!

Alpine Village
833 West Torrance Blvd.
Torrance, CA

The Port of Los Angeles Waterfront Red Car Line
Harbor Blvd. @ The Port of Los Angeles
San Pedro, CA
Operates Friday-Sunday 12-9:30 p.m.


Mr. Tiny

1 comment:

  1. LOVE the trolley car, I never knew those existed when I lived in L.A. Ditto for Old World and Alpine Village, I'm sad I didn't know about these places when I lived in SoCal. :( Perhaps on a future visit!

    I've definitely climbed over the fence in San Pedro too, it was actually on a field trip for my geology class at USC, hehe.