Sitting on a bench outside Pumphouse Creamery with a scoop of strawberry sorbet, I watched a class of fencing students spill out from the neighboring Chicago Avenue storefront, a gaggle of awkward teens who might one day fill our ranks of theater directors, video game programmers, and morticians. As one of the dads escorted his boy, a bespectacled redhead with a frame as thin as his fencer's foil, through the doors of the scoop shop, it struck me that this was a scene I'd always taken for granted. That the rest of the country wasn't necessarily like this. That somewhere on a Santa Monica sidewalk, a teenage girl in thick black eye makeup, miniskirt, and moose hide mukluks was waiting in line outside the local Pinkberry, listening to her iPod and texting her boyfriend as she tried to decide whether she wanted to top her 98-calorie cup with the Fruity Pebbles... More >>>