Blog by Lori Spada

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Things that Caught My Eye in Carmel

 

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA

 
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I recently attended a real estate conference in San Francisco and combined it with a few days in Carmel-by-the-Sea beforehand.  It’s got a whole different feel to it than anywhere else I’ve ever been.  The homes are beyond charming and most have been built in the early to mid-1900’s.  Aside from seeing a pod of dolphins playing in the Bay, I was taken with the buildings, the homes and the trees.

 

In town, this architecture is commonplace.  

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Carmel Firestation                                            Lots of slate roofing - moss and all

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Shops, art galleries, restaurants - all had this kind of architecture - look at the wavy roofing



Most homes, don’t have actual addresses…..they name their properties instead.   For example, this “Walker House”, is a Frank Lloyd Wright original.  It’s right at the tip of the Bay and as per his style, it was designed to blend into its surroundings while taking full advantage of the breathtaking views.  Too bad it's not open to the public- I would have loved to have seen inside - but unlike others, it's privately owned.   

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 Walker house - Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture 


I can only imagine what the square footage of this house would be - it seemed to go on and on.  A note on the dog - I've never seen a more dog friendly town - seems locals have anywhere from 2 to 4 on average and the number of shops and spas that cater to them almost outnumber those for people! 


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I couldn’t get over how trees are preserved (actually I couldn't get over the trees in general - I was totally in awe of them).....rather than cutting them down to build a sidewalk, the sidewalk is designed to incorporate the tree.  If only more cities took their cue from Carmel.


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Did you notice the sidewalks?  Carmel is not meant for high heels that's for sure....mine stayed in my suitcase, which it turns out is a good thing....it seems there's a law against wearing them!  It's an original law that's never been withdrawn and, of course, they don't actually enforce it but I thought it was an amusing bit of history.  I noticed that when women did wear heels though, they were driven right to the door of their destination and dropped off.   It's no wonder...it takes some skill to manage the terrain....even in flats!    

A trip to Carmel, wouldn’t be complete without a drive along the Big Sur coastline.  Stunning.  My favorite part was the Bixby Bridge which was constructed in 1932 – you’ve probably seen it in a movie or two.


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Bixby Bridge built in 1932


Another thing that I couldn’t get over was the occasional vibrant pop of color in sections of shrubbery – we only saw it in specific spots where the ocean, sun and ground exposure were a certain combination.  It clearly wasn’t interesting to anyone else as I was the only one stopping to take photos!  Must be the artist in me…..I find it very inspiring……I sense a new piece coming on. 

 

 
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Although too cold to swim (you need a wetsuit) it was ideal walk on the beach weather and we spent hours doing just that! 

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Hope you enjoy Carmel through my eyes.  Have anything to add?  Feel free to comment.  Planning a visit yourself?  There’s so much more to tell….I’d be happy to share.   Next stop....San Francisco.