Thursday, February 01, 2007
Here on California’s Monterey Peninsula, I find myself once again making unfortunate comparisons with our own little piece of Kentish coastline.
Monterey's Cannery Row was the setting for Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck’s 1945 novel of the same name, although he’s probably better known for his documentation of a lifelong medical complaint, The Arsegrapes Of Wrath.
Since I was last here in the early 90s, regeneration has transformed the place. There’s now a world class aquarium, which includes a petting pool for those who fancy a spot of fish fondling, along with hundreds of charming boutiques and restaurants. And, er, a couple of British pubs. For some reason, the locals seem to think British pubs are a bit chi-chi. Clearly they’ve never been in one of Frank’s.
Just down the road is the artists’ colony of Carmel, where the streets have no names, the houses no numbers, and Clint Eastwood was once mayor. The most famous artist in residence at the moment appears to be, um, Tony Curtis.
Anyway, the point is that with connections to famous artists and novelists, the place is thriving, just as Thanet should be. To my way of thinking there can only be one reason why we're lagging behind in the race to have the biggest peninsula. ‘Thanet’. Hasn’t got much of a ring to it, has it? I mean, really.
So from now on I’ll be running a campaign to re-brand the place ‘Kent’s Ramsgate Peninsula’. Much better.
Now all we have to do is wait for the tourists to flock!