Philip Marlowe on Santa Monica Pier

Outside the narrow street fumed, the sidewalks swarmed with fat stomachs. Across the street a bingo parlor was going full blast and beside it a couple of sailors with girls were coming out of a photographer’s shop where they had probably been having their photos taken riding on camels. The voice of the hot dogs merchant slit the dusk like an axe. A big blue bus blared down the street to the little circle where the street cars used to turn on a turntable? I walked that way. 

After a while there was a faint smell of ocean. Not very much, but as if they had kept this much just to remind people this once had been a clean open beach where the waves came in and creamed down and the wind blew and you could smell something besides hot fat and cold sweat.

(Raymond Chandler – Farewell, my Lovely)

 

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