Originally published May 9, 2014 at The Los Angeles Beat
Ghosts of a former hillside housing community that slid into the sparkling Pacific way back in 1929 still haunt the sunny cliffs of San Pedro. Now known as Sunken City, the broken foundations and shards of concrete have been covered and recovered with technicolor graffiti. It has been a teenage playground for decades; the perfect dangerously romantic make out and underage drinking destination. Mysterious and secluded, it waits with its spectacular views for adventure seekers and those who dare to ignore the clearly posted No Trespassing signs and slip under the pre-carved hole beneath the fence. Every good adventure seeker knows that when there is a will there is always a way.
When the earth started sliding back in 1929, it was quick and relentless. Two homes on the 600 block of Paseo del Mar were completely lost, plunging into the hungry sea, while the rest were swiftly relocated. The earth stretched its weary bones, moving sometimes as much as 11 inches a day. This continued into the mid-1930s. Over 70 years later it is exciting and beautiful, although technically illegal and off limits, and functions as an urban climbing mecca where danger lurks close with a misplaced footstep. It is a perfect reminder of how fragile our time is on this planet. Nature can act with capricious whim and destroy even as it creates. Nothing is truly solid.
Sunken City: 500 W Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731. Located next to Point Fermin Park.
Explore at your own risk.