Times and Places: Ah… Carmel-by-the-Sea

Art is everywhere in this gorgeous little California town — a sumptuous feast of paintings, sculpture, crafts, or pastries that adorn every window as you walk the four or five streets off the ocean.

We were there for the day, Paola Martin, my Cuban daughter, who recently immigrated to Florida; Molly, my California daughter who lives in Sunnyvale, near Google and Apple; and me, visiting for the week.

We immersed ourselves in the many art galleries, choosing our favourites should we ever afford to become collectors and we availed ourselves of the wonderful salads and sweets along the main street.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking and include some facts about Carmel.

Carmel-by-the-Sea stats

Location: Monterey County, California, Monterey Peninsula, Pacific coast, about 330 miles (530 km) north of Los Angeles and 120 miles (190 km) south of San Francisco.

Population as of 2010: 3,722

Beginnings: Founded in 1902 and incorporated in 1916. In 1906, the San Francisco Call devoted a full page to the “artists, writers and poets at Carmel-by-the-Sea” and in 1910 it reported that 60 percent of Carmel’s houses were built by citizens who were “devoting their lives to work connected to the aesthetic arts.”

Early city councils were dominated by artists.

Several mayors were poets or actors including Herbert Heron, founder of the Forest Theater, writer
and actor Perry Newberry, and actor-director Clint Eastwood.

Dog-friendly: most restaurants, hotels and boutiques allowing dogs.

Known for unusual laws: including a prohibition on wearing high-heel shoes without a permit, enacted to prevent lawsuits arising from tripping accidents caused by irregular pavement.

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