I think all I can tell you about Venice doesn’t describe the ambiance and eccentricity that invades this unique neighborhood in Los Angeles.
Last June, I’ve visited the city for the second time. I knew for sure what I wanted to visit and where I wanted to walk. Venice was definitely on the top of my list.
The breeze on my face, the beach on both sides of the bike lane, hundreds of people skating, walking, juggling; dogs playing in the grass and an aspiring female surfer, training on the sand, caught my attention. I’m from a big city that has no beach so here I felt so good that I wished I could live here for a while.
In 20 minutes, I was in Venice. And as you approach to the neighborhood along the Ocean Front Walk, you realize that the environment has changed: music, the smell of paint, costumed characters, fortune tellers, dancing homeless. I didn’t speak with anyone but once I was inside that ambiance, I felt a little bit crazy and wanted to be part of it!
It may seem that its name is not appropriate, but Venice has a history that no one would imagine when you walk through its streets. Abbot Kinney was the founder of the district. He had a dream and in the 1890’s, he fulfilled it. Kinney purchased a land at Ocean Park and in 1905, he built famous “Venice of America”.
His intention was to reflect the bohemian atmosphere mixed with music centers and art galleries. Also, he wanted to recreate the Italian Venice inCalifornia. In fact, if you move away from the busy promenade, you will discover a different Venice. Look for the street that gave its name to its founder and take a slow walk along its colorful modern delis and small gourmet food restaurants. Somehow, I felt the “Venetian Renaissance”.
If you go to the beach, you will see the sporty side of Venice. On one side of the beach, several basketball courts inhabit the landscape between the beach and the most famous outdoor Muscle Beach. There were trained celebrity bodybuilders, including Chester Yorton and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
And on the other side of the beach, there is a skate park with many ramps and holes for jumping with various degrees of difficulty. To my surprise, two 7-year children handled his skateboard as if they were born with it. Many people watched and cheered whereas I was speechless. I couldn’t stop taking photos!