4th of July Weekend on the Westside

This is not me...in case you were wondering
But this photo does remind me that for many years I spent every 4th of July weekend on the beach in Santa Monica where there were beach volleyball tournaments, paddle tennis games, barbecues, fireworks set off from boats offshore and mai-tai cocktails.
The 4th of July has always seemed somewhat forced for me, and not at all a true Southern California holiday.
Having spent some of my childhood and early teenage years in New England, I've always felt that Independence Day was more genuine in place of historical importance like Marblehead Massachusetts
Marblehead across the bay from Salem Massachusetts, was founded as a fishing village in the early 1600's.  In the 1700's it was the home of many men who fought in the War of Independence including the famous General Glover who fought under General George Washington.  It was General Glover's regiment who rowed George Washington across the icy Delaware River to the Battle of Trenton.
Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emmauel Leutze
Marblehead today is a charming town with houses and other structures that date back to the 18th Century.  It also has bragging rights as the Birthplace of the American Navy, the Birthplace of Marine Aviation, and the Yachting Capital of America.
While these titles may be disputable, what is true is that it is picturesque New England town that can boast a beautiful coastline, a historic city center, stunning estates, plenty of yacht clubs
and this famous painting.
The Spirit of 76 by Archibald Willard
At any rate, nostalgia aside, there is a world of difference in spending the 4th of July in a historic town that looks like this
and spending it at a Santa Monica beach club that looks like this
It's been a busy weekend.
Friday night I had dinner at The Tavern Restaurant in Brentwood
where the beautiful Brentwoodians come to savor the cuisine of LA super chef, Suzanne Goin.
The menu is limited but everything on it is delicious.
I had the albacore crudo with ruby grapefruit, avocado, lime and chilis followed the the chicken with braised leeks, onions and mustard breadcrumbs,
but the watermelon and heirloom tomato salad with ricotta salata and mint and the Niman ranch rib-eye with baked potato and blue cheese butter looked really good too.
But the food was the afterthought given that we were celebrating my son's 28th birthday.
As a budding art collector with his recent acquisition of an Alec Monopoly print I decided to give him a couple of paintings by Swiss pop artist ZanRe.
Here they are
I hope that he liked them.
The rest of the weekend has been busy.
Saturday night I went to a dinner party at a friend's house in the hills
and last night I saw Midnight in Paris
I thought it was a charming movie and that Owen Wilson nailed it.
What did you think?
OK, I was hoping to sit in the sun and read today since the last couple of weeks have been crazy busy for me but I have to go the office for an hour or so.
Holiday or not, the internet never sleeps. 
Then I'm off to a casual barbecue this afternoon.
How are you spending your holiday weekend?