Silly Topanga, love at first sight and seemingly unaffected by time.
Topanga is bounded on three sides by State Park or Conservancy Lands, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean. The population is small and spread out with around 7,000 residents. Greater Los Angeles is a rock throw away with over 20 Million residents.
This is Bohemia, a spiritual community long affected by natural disaster of fire, landslide and earthquake. Community come together with fierce intention and transparency, binding together, as community, constantly fighting big corporations and land developers to preserve the unique culture and natural beauty.
Artist of all types, yogis, surfers, spiritualist, wealthy, famous, homeless, poor, it does not matter in Topanga; the overwhelming outpouring of peace just screams: “Mean People Suck.”
Year-round festivals, like the 53 year Banjo/Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival, Topanga Days , Swap Meet and Chili Cook-off and Earth Day complete with tepees and singing bowl therapy to name a few. Hula hooping, free form dance, Frisbee and hacky sack are alive and well, as are pet birds and dogs welcome in most diners. Farmer’s markets are hopping with local, organic seafood, meats and a plethora of vegetables and some of the best fruits in the world.
Live music abounds. Random pop-up jam sessions and the occasional self-made instruments like a box, flute or washboard are played with local musicians made famous from the 40’s – today.
The beauty at first glance is aesthetics, where the mountains meet the Pacific Ocean just a few miles above Malibu; with population density non-existent and wildlife co-exist. Many visit and leave with a smile, often saying, “Topanga changed me,” but this isn’t the beauty. If a person is immersed in the culture of Topanga, you will not be the same. Your thought process will differ, priorities will change and the eyes you look through will soon see something much different.
Hitchhiking is a way of transportation and respected, picketing is local expression and the “great wall of Topanga” is art. Hummingbirds migrate by the millions, Owl Falls is perfect beauty and the views from Tuna Canyon will leave you speechless. The community center is free and fun, old men are called “sages” and children enjoy Theatricum Botanicum, entertainment and interactive theater in an outdoor terraced amphitheatre second to none.
So, if you visit, don’t tell a local you read it here. Take your time; life in Topanga is lived in the moment. Prepare to be overindulged with aesthetics where the mountains meet the sea.