Street Performances and Public Expression

Street Performance, Third Street Promenade - Santa Monica, California

Street Performance, Third Street Promenade – Santa Monica, California

Wrapping up my Santa Monica coverage, we take to the street at the Third Street Promenade. As you can tell, these performers drew a large and enthusiastic crowd.

I commented recently about how this Promenade seemed like an extension of the Santa Monica Place Mall. But here is the evidence that it’s a genuine public street. You see, the new “lifestyle” centers — like The Domain in Austin, are not part of authentic city streets. Even if they are designed to look like one. Those malls are private property where you don’t see public performances and demonstrations.

Public places are messier but more real-world. Self-expression is permitted within reason. That’s what ultimately makes them real places compared to the modern, private, controlled developments.

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