THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS: RANGE ON THE EDGE by Matthew Jaffe and Tom Gamache (Angel City Press, December 2006)


Topanga's spirt of back-to-the-land Bohemia endures, although it is increasingly vulnerable to change. Novelist T. C. Boyle's "The Tortilla Curtain" portrayed the social tensions of the 1990s as Topanga evolved more fully into a bedroom community of increasing affluence. And one of the last vestiges of Topanga bohemia, a loose community of artists and surfers living in shacks in the lower Canyon, was evicted after the state parks department acquired the land. In an attempt to capture the Lower Topanga culture and rally support, in 2002 the artists here published a small book of poetry and essays titled "Idlers of the Bamboo Grove: Poetry from Lower Topanga Canyon." Plans call for a restoration of native vegetation and the wetlands near the canyon mouth and a trail that will lead from the Valley to the Pacific.

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