San Pedro: A Different Kind of Burgeoning Art Scene by Evelyn McDonnell

Editor's Note: The LA Weekly has noticed San Pedro's artistic sensibilities!

"Artists, collectors, families and college students stroll Sixth and Seventh streets, clutching plastic tumblers of Two-Buck Chuck and buttery seafood rolls from the Lobster Truck. A live band rehashes oldies near Senfuku, the locals' favorite sushi restaurant, where you might see Linda Bukowski — widow of poet Charles, who made this port city his final home. A petite teen in a zoot suit demonstrates parkour moves, while a dark-skinned transvestite with a tousled, electric blue wig stumbles by in platform heels — like characters in a Bukowski poem. "The place comes alive," Marylyn Ginsburg, one of San Pedro's leading art patrons, says.

"Seventh Street feels more like an eclectic Main Street than trendy Sunset Junction. For an emerging artists' mecca, San Pedro offers a refreshingly hipster-free zone.

"The people here are very nice and friendly. They say hello to you. It doesn't seem like there's that attitude that you might experience in some other part north of here that I have been privy to," says Laurie Steelink, who last year opened an exhibit space called Cornelius Projects on Pacific Avenue. By day, the painter works for Track 16, the respected Culver City gallery. "There's something very small-town, very quiet. When I get off the freeway, even though this is part of the city of L.A., I feel like I'm in a different town."

The welcoming embrace of a credentialed curator such as Steelink shows that Pedro (pronounced Pee-drow by locals who cling to the town's European-immigrant accent) is having a change in 'tude and rep.

More than $38 million is being pumped into redevelopment of the waterfront. Abandoned wooden warehouses have been refurbished into a crafts market, and opening next summer is Brouwerij West, a brewery and restaurant.

Read all about it, and your neighborhood artists, at


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