fountain with fishnet and text


The matted, black material at the base of this fountain merited closer inspection. Was it trash? Or perhaps something had gone terribly wrong with the water chemistry.


Not at all, just fishing net. A wonderful touch which brought a smile of recognition. This is Manhattan Beach, California, after all. Apart from utilitarian use made of this netting by the commercial fishing industry, it was a big part of the surf culture decor and once hung from the ceiling of many a shabby beach apartment, including the one I lived in not far from this plaza in the early ’80s. In this town’s determined evolution from funky to upscale, my old apartment building, where I made my first and only rooftop garden, was torn down. All vestiges of this beach town’s former fishnet decor seem to have been successfully obliterated — except for fugitive memories of shag carpet and macramed glass fishing floats snared by this fountain, which anchors a large, new plaza, sharing a wall with the parking structure built on the site of the old Metlox Potteries and bounded on another side by the new Shade Hotel. The shopping complex down the street is the work of Tolkin & Associates and Wade Graham Landscape Studio. I’m not sure if the fishnet fountain is their work as well.


Standing close enough to identify the fishnet in the fountain, I could now see the text running parallel in the paving along the front of the fountain, like the opening to a childhood story told by an old-timer like me:


All of us kids would walk barefoot through the wild areas covered with wildflowers, buttercups, daisies, lupines, brush, statice and other flowers

This entry was posted in design, The Hortorialist and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to fountain with fishnet and text

  1. ks says:

    I know MB would seem unrecognizable to me now; this was the preferred beach of my high school years,in spite of the uphill hike back to the car after a day in the ocean.Before we could drive we took the bus.The rumpus room of my childhood home had fishing nets embedded with with glass floats as wall decor, along with a large poster of Diamond Head.

  2. Denise says:

    Kathy, we must have been following each other’s footsteps all over the South Bay. I’ve got a couple glass floats reserved for a future water garden.

  3. hb says:

    Yeah, MB was where the people lived who could not afford Hawthorne. How it has changed!

    When I met my then future husband, his bachelor china consisted of one Metlox “Red Rooster” plate. Nice to finally know what it is.

  4. Denise says:

    Hoov, if a bachelor is going to have a single plate, it might as well be of a rooster. I can’t imagine a time when Hawthorne was more expensive than beach real estate!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *