An Afternoon at Venice Beach

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Given a part of a day in the Greater L.A. area… what to do, what to do?  Studio tours, Griffith Observatory, La Brea Tar Pits, Getty Museum, Walk of Fame, Museum of Jurassic Technology…  Well, I wanted to put a toe in the Pacific.  So, then… which beach?  When I later told another employee where I went, he called it an “Old School beach.”  In other words, exactly what I was looking for. 

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84o, no particular breeze, “high” humidity in the 50% range.  Perfect.  So, if viewing from the ocean, there’s the beach, a biking path, and a Boardwalk lined with shops and barkers, we’ll politely call them.  Oh, and hordes of people from all walks of life.  The beach… may as well be play sand.  There were surfboarders and a lot of people lying around and talking like beach people do.  No Frisbees or footballs in evidence.  In any case, here’s a beefcake shot for the ladies out there or fans of Baywatch.

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The lifeguard shacks are placed about every 100 yards along the beach.  Moving inland, there’s a couple hundred yards of beach, then the path.  These are used by bicyclists, skateboarders, roller bladers, roller skaters, Razor scooters, and wheelchairs even.  There’s a steady flow.  And why not?  It’s flat, and there’s plenty to look at… including frequent curves in the path.

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This wasn’t the first person I saw looking at a phone while on a bike.  You might think she was texting, but I’m pretty sure she was taking a selfie.  California ought to pass a law about that…

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Along the main walkway, we have stores for about everything.  If you click on the pictures to expand them, you might be further amused.  There’s everything from T-shirts to vape shops to T-shirts to vape shops… yeah.

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They also have a freak show.  And people were lining up, so it must be really freaky.

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Why?  Because there’s plenty to see just walking around.

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That guy just wouldn’t cut the “I’ll kill you if you look at me” crowd back East.  There’s just all sorts, from race, gender, and individualized styling choices.  Unlike, say, in an Atlanta mall or a park, though, they don’t stick to like kinds.  It’s kind of neat that way.

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There’s also people selling stuff or some form of self-expression.  This guy keeps a fair beat and otherwise makes a noise through the tube.  What he has going for him is the whole “blocking of the walking path to gain attention” thing.  His tip basket was fuller than most.

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The guy below…well, pretty good, actually, as beachside artists go.  There were definitely some who were far worse.

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This guy… I’m not sure what he was about.  He got his pet out of the car, startled some people walking by, let a boy pose with Sally, we’ll call her, then stepped over to buy some lunch.  Go figure.  Just another day at Venice Beach.

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Further on down, we have a guy playing guitar on skates, with a battery powered amp on his back, looking for poses and tips.  Check out those wheels.

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The beach has areas designated for other activities as well, including basketball courts, paddle tennis (?) courts, volleyball, and a skating/skateboarder complex.  If you just want to groove, you don’t necessarily have to have skates.

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Oh, and there’s Muscle Beach.  The only iron in evidence was iron oxide, however.

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As might be gathered by the sky in the picture above, I happened to visit the area during a surprise Monsoon.  The 0.36” of rain the prior day exceeded the State record  for a July rainfall going all the way back to 1886.  Other parts of L.A. suffered flash floods while I was there.  Why?  Because it’s all concrete or packed sand which may as well be concrete.  If it rains and you’re standing next to a drain, watch out.  In any case, I never made it to their pier, instead quickly venturing to the faux Venice canals, which the original designer of the beach intended for the area.  They’re only a a couple blocks off the Boardwalk, which is no big deal unless, of course, you’re walking in the rain with a camera (how was I to know a bank of dark clouds only dropped a freaking quarter inch of rain?  In Atlanta, the same clouds would have dropped an inch before starting to really rain.  The houses and canals are actually pretty dang cool.  And photogenic.   There’s only four rows of canals, which are connected by a loop.  I saw… half of one of them.

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I found two listings for homes on the Canals for sale.  $2.5M and $3.5M.  Other tiny bungalows in the area are generally $1M plus.  An example?  2BR, 1BA, 960sq.ft…. $1.5M.  But it’s an original Craftsman bungalow, and remodeled.  So that’s actually cheap.  Right?

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Among many other things which humored me, this was worth a quick stop in my  hurry to the car… which kept me dry as I settled into the traffic jam of former beach goers.

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I took lots more pictures, and they can be seen at THIS LINK.  Go ahead.  You know you want to.

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