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Santa Monica Wants Your Thoughts About Making Ocean Avenue More Welcoming

Rendering of Palisades Park and large see-through letters
This rendering by design firm Here LA shows large see-through letters spelling out, "We are a drop, we are the ocean."
Courtesy Here LA and city of Santa Monica)
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Listen: Santa Monica Wants Your Thoughts On Making Ocean Avenue More Welcoming

Pandemic restrictions hurt tourism in Santa Monica, but people still flock to its outdoor spaces. On Saturday, the city will ask the public to weigh in on ideas to make one of its most scenic streets even more welcoming.

Here is the challenge: Santa Monica's Palisades Park, on the beach side of Ocean Avenue, has broad lawns, flower gardens and popular winding paths overlooking the ocean. The street has a new two-way bicycle lane.

But the city is looking for feedback on its ideas for how to make both sides of Ocean Avenue more visitor-friendly.

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To get feedback on its Ocean Avenue Project, the city is hosting an art installation and pop-up play space in Palisades Park on Saturday north of the pier between Broadway and Colorado Ave. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that features some giant wooden blocks to play on.

The blocks can rock back and forth, or fit together like a cube, or be taken apart, said city cultural affairs supervisor Allison Ostrovsky. She calls them furniture.

Kids and adults alike will find the furniture very compelling and you just want to sit on it or try it or stack them together, play with them.”

A rendering of children playing with large wooden blocks
Large wooden blocks are part of the play space at Palisades Park on Saturday Dec. 4.
(Here LA
Courtesy Santa Monica city )

Visitors to the play space can vote on the streetscape designs they prefer by throwing balls of colored powder (inspired by a practice during India’s spring festival known as Holi) at their choice.

This all takes place against a backdrop of an arts installation that went up this week and remains in place through January. It is a series of transparent letters mounted above the park’s bluff wall that spell out, “We are a drop, we are the ocean.”

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