I was off of school for a couple of weeks and needed to get out of the city. I drove up to Bolinas, a northern California town that is difficult to get to, all windey roads on cliffs overlooking the Pacific. Gorgeous, but stomachache producing. And that's the only way to get there.
The beauty of the town and beach is matched by the pride of the people who live there and have prevented it from becoming a tourist attraction. The downtown has about 6 buildings: restaurant, bar, grocery, surf shop, gift shop, art gallery. When signs are put up on the highway indicating where the city is, residents take it down, so the state has stopped putting them up.
Oona and I were there on a glorious afternoon. It's a large, long beach, and there were about 15 people on it. It was sunny and somewhat warm, but the wind was whipping off the ocean. Oona and I were throwing rocks into the water and listening to the resonance of their kerplunks. As I was standing behind her, watching her throw, I glanced to my right and saw Francis McDormand and John Turturro walking toward me, looking very relaxed and simply chatting. Francis looked at me, gave me a very warm smile, and said, "hi." John did not look. I like Francis, but I really love John's acting. Behind them were Joel Coen and a very pretty woman who I now know is Turturro's wife. Their children were tagging along behind. As an aside, I looked on IMDB and Francis has nothing listed in production. She did two things in 2008 and that is it. Now, how much of a shame is that?
It is the perfect place for people like them. People barely noticed them, I saw no one stop them. They were allowed to be people walking on the beach. I was happy for them.
Here's the beach: