The Arts Feed

The Coast


Abstract artist Pat Aveni of San Francisco says her painting The Coast (above) was inspired by the ocean at Rockaway Beach. "I've been to Pacifica many times in the past few years. I have read Pacifica Riptide online today and I like your publication!"


Happy 99th Birthday, Mary Harris!

Mary Harris - Self Portrait

Riptide friend Mitch Reid writes: "Mary Harris (self-portrait above) of Shelter Cove turns 99 later this week. She is an inspiration to us all, an awesome artist and lifelong peace activist, a living example and essence of exceptional good karma. I look forward to celebrating her 100th. As I always tell her, she is an inspiration to us all. June 29 (via proclamation of the City of Pacifica) is Mary Harris Day. Pictures (posted below) are from a pre-birthday celebration in Shelter Cove, where Mary has lived for the past 40+ years. She is an incredible artist, and has been an advocate for world peace most of her life, and is still involved with the World Federalist movement. Big Cheers for to Mary Harris. She continues to inspire at age 99." Lizelle writes: "Mitch, we're getting close. Happy 99th, Mary!"
Marys 99th group pic 

Marys 99th Mary and Forest 1






Scott Anthony Painting Wins Plein Air Award

2004-002_Castle_Lake_EveningCastle Lake Evening (acrylic on hardboard, 20" x 30")

I was very surprised and honored to receive a notice that, for the fourth time in a row, one of my paintings has won "Best Overall Acrylic" in the bimonthly PleinAir Salon competition hosted by PleinAir magazine. It and the three previous winning paintings will be automatically entered as semifinalists in the annual PleinAir cash award competition in April. I will have my fingers crossed and keep you posted! If you are interested in this painting, it is available on my website S. Anthony Studios under "Recent Paintings" along with many others, both new and old (some very old).

Scott Anthony

Pacifica's First Halloween: Trinkets & Treats

On October 31, 1769, Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola and his mounted troops and livestock trudged down Montara Mountain into San Pedro Valley. The uniformed soldiers and vaqueros on horseback, followed by cattle and pack mules, must have made quite a sight for the Ohlone Indian residents of the valley. One can imagine their curiosity, fear, and awe. Accounts of the event say that some Indians hid, some ran, while others confronted the strangers. Portola's men and their Indian scouts offered the natives "treats" of shiny, colorful glass beads, commonly used to initiate rapport with Indians. The beads were well received. The Indians used them like money in trading as well as ornamentation on clothing and baskets. Today, these beads still can be seen in museum collections housing California Indian artifacts. The Cantor Museum in Palo Alto displays fine examples of baskets decorated with the shiny trinkets. At the time the Portola expedition entered Pacifica, native people made up 100 percent of the ethnic demographic. Today it is approximately 0.6 percent. That, sadly, is another story.

Ron Maykel

Nostalgia Alert: Dan's Motel of Moss Beach

By Jerry Ross Barrish, Special to Riptide

This is for folks who either remember or are curious about Dan's Motel in Moss Beach. The picturesque motel, torn down in the 1980s, is the setting of my film by the same name, which screened recently at the Roxie cinema in San Francisco. Below, see Sam Whiting’s 2001 essay on beach motels, including Dan's Motel.
Vintage Views: Beachfront motels offer a slice of Americana, by Sam Whiting, Sunday, June 3, 2001

Motorists discover a tinge of seedy romance in driving the Bay Area coast, looking for the word MOTEL on the side of a weathered old building. Pull in, bang a bell and the owner or manager comes out of the back room, where he lives, maybe with a yapper dog for security. Price is negotiable, depending on availability, time of night and how much the manager likes the customer. Throw some 20s on the counter and get a key on a plastic tag for return by mail, along with directions to a wheezing ice machine.

People in road novels stay at motels and the ones at the beach add the drama of breaking surf. A beach motel is different from your typical roadside inn: An authentic beach motel means no chains, lodges or resorts, and the only conference center is the car, trying to close the deal. Bed yes, breakfast no. A true motel wouldn't want to encourage morning mingling among its guests. A communal hot tub is acceptable but you won't get a plush terry cloth robe to wear to it. A thin gym towel is more likely, along with a too-thin blanket beneath a too-thick bedspread.

A room with at least a sliver of a view of the beach is ideal, but this criterion is waived if the windows are crusted in salt, or if the beach motel was there before the condo that blocks its view. Beach motels never had the expensive real estate. They tend to be bunched together against the wind and dirty sand blowing across the highway into the ice plant. 

The standard was Dan's Motel in Moss Beach. "It was all stucco, painted white with turquoise window trim. The rooms had really bad paneling and pea-green carpeting," recalls bail bondsman and artist Jerry Barrish, who made a film called Dan's Motel.

"It was a set-designer's dream. You couldn't make it any sleazier if you tried," says Barrish, who lived next to Dan's for 10 years, until it was torn down in the 1980s, breaking the filmmaker's heart.

 Beachfront Motels