This is it.

The West Side of Los Angeles is a magical, mystical bubble, a place where reality seldom intrudes, but when it does, it does so with full the force of nature or humanity.

Santa Monica is a place of privilege and fear. CEOs and celebrities congregate in the pricier neighborhoods of this relatively small city, but even the middle class residents need to have a few million in spare cash laying around in order to afford living here.

That is, unless you’ve opted for a burned out van or a tent. There are plenty of those around as well.

There’s a lot going on in Santa Monica that meets the eye; and a lot more that doesn’t meet the eye.

We’re talking about a place where per square foot residential prices hover at around $1,200 per. That puts an 800 square foot apartment in the neighborhood of a million bucks. That’s bottom-of-the-barrel. And there are plenty of families that try to squeeze into places that small or even smaller in order to take advantage of the city’s school system, its proximity to the ocean, and its ostensible quality of life, although that has diminished radically over the past five years.

Santa Monica is now among the highest crime cities in the State of California. But that’s primarily owing to one or two specific pockets, such as the downtown/pier district which has a train station funneling undesirables into the area where they commit a range of atrocities that makes those particular areas off limits to the local gentry folk.