Little Croatia

San Pedro Travel Blog

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Appropriately, this smokestack welcomes you to this industrial city
As the Port of Los Angeles developed in the 1930s, Croatians from the islands of Dalmatia immigrated to fish, and later work the port. You hear Croatian spoken on the street, which is unusual, since there are only a couple million Croatians in the world, but again, 30,000+ of them live in San Pedro! They were trying to tell me that San Pedro is the second largest Croatian city, outranked only by the capital Zagreb in Croatia.

How did I end up there? My friend invited me to Croatian independence day, then to her wedding party the next week. Two visits in a row! Independence day was interesting - a huge block party with food, dancing, and music on several blocked off blocks downtown.  It starts in the afternoon and runs late into the night. We ate no less than 3 lunches and two dinners, with a stream of snacks and wine between.
Clues to the Croatian-ness of the city...
   The big hits were roast lamb, cevapcici (Croatian spiced sausage), mostaccoli, sauerkraut, and endless sweets, cookies, and cakes.  Dancers in traditional costumes came from Croatian communities all over the US, singers, and musicians performed, and pretty much everyone danced, once sufficient red Dalmatian wine was consumed.   It's good to see several hundred smiling people eating, drinking and dancing the kolo in the streets at once!

I just had a few hours to look around, but I could tell it was the kind of place with plenty of things to be discovered. Check the pictures - after the wedding I climbed San Pedro Hill (amazing views of the harbor), stopped by the beach, headed out to the point and saw the Korean Friendship Bell, explored the Ft. McArthur abandoned missile site, and checked out the port operations.  Don't be scared away by all the petroleum tanks and cranes, it's actually not a bad place to spend the day.  One of the few spots in LA with much culture left.


cneoridium says:
Here, I'll try...
"Dear Croatian Americans, please return to Croatia immediately to slow the decline in population there."
Okay, I've done my part, get ready, they should be arriving any time now... : ) Actually, that's one of the things I like the most about Croatia - there isn't the overcrowding with people that we have here. It's nice to have a little bit of room to move about.
Posted on: May 25, 2009
Sajbernaut says:
interesting. knew there were some croats in san pedro but had no idea so many of them. oh well, we lack people over here so tell 'em to come back home ;) thanks for sharing
Posted on: May 25, 2009
poohstanggt says:
Hmmm, not sure how I missed this blog! I lived most of my childhood years in San Pedro. Went to school with mostly Italians, Croatians, and there's a good Greek population there too! Interesting place...a lot of hidden gems there!
Posted on: Aug 09, 2008
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Appropriately, this smokestack wel…
Appropriately, this smokestack we…
Clues to the Croatian-ness of the …
Clues to the Croatian-ness of the…
Theres a Croatian Hall, of course…
There's a Croatian Hall, of cours…
I think this was the 2nd lunch, ci…
I think this was the 2nd lunch, c…
The famous sweets table, women res…
The famous sweets table, women re…
Croatian-Americans from New York
Croatian-Americans from New York
...and visiting from Chicago
...and visiting from Chicago
Everyone danced in a kolo line, wi…
Everyone danced in a kolo line, w…
Tall cliffs and rocky shores line …
Tall cliffs and rocky shores line…
Catalina Island, 26 miles offshore…
Catalina Island, 26 miles offshor…
Antes, the long time Croatian fa…
Ante's, the long time Croatian "f…
The bridge in Gone in 60 Seconds
The bridge in Gone in 60 Seconds
A big chemical tank farm east of t…
A big chemical tank farm east of …
The harbor entrance and a big tank…
The harbor entrance and a big tan…
Cranes unloading shiploads of good…
Cranes unloading shiploads of goo…
The famous mushroom antennae on …
The famous "mushroom antennae" on…
One of many giant tugboats station…
One of many giant tugboats statio…
Ranks of giant cranes make short w…
Ranks of giant cranes make short …
The beach!  with the ever-present …
The beach! with the ever-present…
Windsurfers pass by the harbor lig…
Windsurfers pass by the harbor li…
Guardians of the Korean Friendship…
Guardians of the Korean Friendshi…
The Korean Friendship bell enclosu…
The Korean Friendship bell enclos…
The bell itself is massive, nearly…
The bell itself is massive, nearl…
A tanker leaves the port with a fe…
A tanker leaves the port with a f…
The point of Ft. McArthur is riddl…
The point of Ft. McArthur is ridd…
Battery Osgood houses a cold war m…
Battery Osgood houses a cold war …
The tunnels of Fort McAurthur once…
The tunnels of Fort McAurthur onc…
Thats a hostel overlooking the oc…
That's a hostel overlooking the o…
Low rider clubs cruise the street …
Low rider clubs cruise the street…
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San Pedro
photo by: Andy99