It's a fact of geography that many cities of this world happen to be pier-less.
No, not peerless, though that can be true, too. We're talking about municipalities that happen to lack a pier. Nine times out of ten this is caused by a lack of ocean or lake, so we're not holding it against the place. (The flip side? If you are a city, and do about an ocean or lake, you should definitely have some sort of pier situation going on, or at least a boardwalk.)
Santa Monica Pier is not simply one of SoCal's best known piers, it is a star well beyond our shores. Major movies? Major guidebooks? Major events? The pier's there, piering it up.
Which makes the fact that the Twilight Concert Series, the annual free music series from KCRW and the pier people, returns each year very satisfying. Because that's the second part of the pier deal: Be fun and be, when you can, free.
Of course, our pier is always free to visit, but it'll get freer on Thursday, July 11 when the 29th year of the Twilight Concert Series opens. The upshot? Live shows every Thursday night through Sept. 12; Surfer Blood opens the proceedings, and No Age, English Beat, and Jimmy Cliff follow on various Thursday nights (Mr. Cliff will close the series).
KCRW DJs and beer gardens round out the summery experience.
The only question is if other piers in other places are inspired by this (we think they should be). After all, what symbolizes summer more than free tunes at a pier? Easy times? Santa Monica Pier, you just may be indeed pier-less.