Monday, September 1, 2008

My idea for Tamarindo's Sister City: Laguna Beach, California

The first-of-the-month Daily Photo Theme Day is to show the Sister City for each community, except for cities that do not have one, in which case the Daily Photo bloggers can recommend one. My recommendation for a sister city for Tamarindo is Laguna Beach, California, shown above.

Here are the reasons for my recommendation. My criteria were to find a community that shares many of Tamarindo's features, such as places that are:

  • A beach resort
  • Known for excellent surfing
  • Great restaurants
  • Upscale, but still a little "funky"
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Not too large a town
  • Natural beauty of its location
Laguna Beach fills all of the above criteria. It is a beach resort in Orange County, California, 80 km (50 mi.) south of Los Angeles, between Newport Beach and San Juan Capistrano. It has excellent surfing and picturesque coves and beaches. It has superb restaurants and quaint shops. It is known as an arts community, as it has many art galleries and each summer is the site of several major art exhibitions and the Pageant of the Masters.

I mentioned that I felt that to be a sister city to Tamarindo a resort town should have a funky side. After all, Tamarindo is in the process of transitioning from a modest fishing and surfing town into an international resort.

The Laguna Beach area also has remnants from an earlier day. Just north of town is Crystal Cove. Many years ago farm workers and others built little beach cottages from scrap lumber and were allowed to live there even after the State acquired the land. At the end of the 1990's, they lost an 18-year legal battle by the State of California to evict them from their houses. The State Park Service has renovated and makes available for rent, at very reasonable prices, some of the cottages that remain on the beach, which can be seen in my photo below.

Laguna Beach has a much greater reputation for the arts, but the arts are also present in Tamarindo, as I will show and explain and in some photos and posts during the coming days and weeks. (In fact, tomorrow I will show you an extraordinary and famous masterpiece of art that can be seen in Tamarindo in a way unique to all of the Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America.)

Laguna Beach's Pageant of the Masters is hard to explain. It is a nightly show in an outdoor amphitheater that seats more than 2,000 people, and on several stages models (who are community volunteers) recreate famous works of art. For example, every year the finale is to have 13 people sitting at a table dressed exactly like Leonardo da Vinci's painting of the Last Supper, with the table, background, costumes and makeup exactly like the painting. They show a different work of art (paintings and sculpture) every 90 seconds, accompanied by a live orchestra.

I know Laguna Beach well, as my parents lived nearby before they passed away a few years ago. My wife and I spend time there each summer. Laguna Beach would be a splendid "sister city" for Tamarindo. I should add a qualification, however. Tamarindo is not incorporated as its own town. It is governed by the city government of Santa Cruz, which is about 20 minutes away.


Ineke said...

send the mayor of Laguna Beach your post of today; he cannot but agree!

angela said...

You make an excellent case for the liason. Cultural exchanges would be very pleasant..

pace15 said...

Laguna Beach has lots of people, whereas Langosta and Tamarindo are a bit more private :) Surfing is excellent in both Tamarindo and Langosta and the Pacific in Tamarindo is WARM. No wet suits needed. Californians would love this surfing connection.

glenda said...

Having visited both of these lovely places, I would have to agree. However, I do prefer the less crowded beach in Tamarindo.

PJ said...

It sounds like you've found your twin. Pensacola has six sister cities and one of them is EscazĂș, Costa Rica. I don't know if it's anywhere near you, David, but two artists there gave our city some wood sculptures that are permanently installed in one of our parks.

David -- said...

I am pleased to learn of the sister city relationship between Escazu and Pensacola, Florida. Escazu is a very upscale suburb of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. It is about 4 hours away. It has fine shops, restaurants, embassies, etc.

Escazu has something in common with Tamarindo/Langosta. Both are extremely popular with people from the U.S., Canada and Europe who have second homes or who have moved or retired there.

You comment about the wood sculptures raises something that I have not yet mentioned on this blog. Costa Rica has extremely skilled artisans who work with tropical woods. Many wood products, including bowls and vases, are popular in gift shops, ranging from souvenirs to fine art quality wood sculptures.

Jilly said...

David, it's great to see Laguna Beach - I've put a link to your post on Menton DP today (being one of Menton's sister cities). Thanks so much for that. Lovely photo and commentary on what looks to be a beautiful place.

re Monte Carlo - well in theory, MC is the city/town and Monaco is the country but I do take your point. It's a Principality really.

Sharon said...

What a great choice for a sister city for Tamarindo. As you well know, Laguna Beach is another favorite of mine. However, I do have to say that the traffic in Tamarindo is a lot less complicated.

Sarah A said...

What a great choice, except maybe Rancho Palos Verdes should be your sister city. We're a bit smaller than Laguna Beach. Our beach isn't as nice, though.
I think that I have to put Costa Rica higher on my travel list. I think that you're the third person I've "met" who's gone there for a visit and bought property. Thanks for visiting my dailyphotofromranchopalosverdes blog


babooshka said...

It is interesting to see the choices some pople have chosen for their sister city. Really indepth post explaining culturally why.

Tash said...

Great pictures and very nice write-up on Laguna Beach. I saw your note to Sarah of RPV - I'm the other PVDP. I went the Pagent of the Masters in 2007 & really thought it an amazing, interesting show. Greetings & I look forward to looking at your posts.

CreditScoreExpert said...

the 2nd photo looks more like Crystal Cove.

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