It’s easy to take pictures of Southern California beaches. Lots of sand, blue sky and big ocean waves but that’s just too predictable and a little boring for me. We recently made a trip down to Los Angeles and stayed a few nights in Venice Beach. I can’t wait to get back. I have been coming to Los Angeles for more than 30 years but this was my first time walking the famous Venice boardwalk.
I have heard a lot about Venice over the years. Mostly, “don’t go there”. The 1980’s were full of a gang war and once the sun went down, tourists left and riff raff came out. You would never know that today. Venice has a lot to offer today:
1) Venice is full of eclectic artists and performers and the people who just want to be around them.
2) Venice has a great beach so, yes, spend time soaking in the southern California sun and catching a wave or two. But you have to take the time to walk the Venice boardwalk. The area is full of color – figuratively and literally.
3) It is an Artists Paradise with building sized murals and brightly colored bungalows and shops everywhere.
4) Street performers pump out everything from poetry to music, magic and well, some things just can’t be explained. You’ll know what I mean if you go there.
5) The restaurants and shops are just as interesting culminating in a 19th century freak show.
6) My favorite part is all of the other people there. Yes, there are tourists but the locals bring the vibrant life to Venice. One such character was a 70ish year old man, long white hair and equally long beard, riding a bicycle down the sidewalk with a Chihuahua in the front basket wearing nothing but a red thong and a smile. One might think that is over the top, but I think I admire him for his confidence…and he could care less what I think.
Every city has neighborhoods like Venice, but none are quite like Venice. In other words, Venice sets the pace for eclectic places. The weather. The Beach. The people. The vibe. I recommend finding your favorite café, sit outside, order a drink and watch the people for a while. Then, go catch a wave. One thing is for certain: the folks here have already figured out that Life is All About the Journey and they are living it!
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