Yesterday I spent the day in a place I frequent in my head, except this time I was there in person.
The wonderfully quirky world of Venice, California quickly became my favorite part of Los Angeles once I peeled back the sticky layer of sweat, sand, liquor and God knows what else that covers the town and saw what lies below the surface.
Venice has not changed a bit since I left four years ago. The only exception is now there is a medicinal marijuana store everywhere you turn. The employees wear green scrubs with marijuana leaves on them and scream at you, “The doctor is in!” It’s only $40 to get your medical marijuana card.
I even saw many of the same street performers who have been performing tricks on the boardwalk for years.
This street performer jumped onto a pile of broken glass
It’s as if Venice has been pickled in time.
I hope it always stays that way.
One of my favorite boardwalk homes designed by Frank Gehry
I relived my regular routine of parking near Washington Pier and walking down to the boardwalk to take in the sights and sounds as if it was my first time ever.
I spoke with the friendly cast of characters that hang in the area, watched kids and adults skate at the new skate park and looked at the ocean as if it were our last rendezvous together. There weren’t a lot of people on the beach because the temperature has been considered cold (low 70s). Already experiencing high 90s in Austin, the ocean breeze felt like an IV straight to the soul.
Sitting next to the sea forces you to be present and for the first time in awhile, my head and body felt clear and free. God, that sounded new-agey, but it’s true. As much as I absolutely love living in Austin, I dislike being land-locked immensely.
Happy camper on Venice Beach
The highlight of my day was meeting one of my favorite writers and bloggers Laurenne Sala from Humans Are Funny. Like a dumbass, I forgot to take a picture of her. If you’re not familiar with Laurenne’s work, start here. Here she writes with equal parts heartbreak and humor about her father coming out of the closet and subsquently committing suicide. She’s a fantastic writer and a fantastic girl. She just completed her first novel and I have no doubt it will be wonderful!
Intelligentsia Cafe on Abbot Kinney. Felt like I walked into a Dwell Magazine layout. Seats are made out of concrete, there are no plugs and iced tea is $5. I don’t miss LA.
Today I will be catching up with old friends in Hollywood and tomorrow is Californication!
The view from where I’m staying in Redondo Beach