During the first half of the 20th century, Venice Beach was considered the “Coney Island of the Pacific.” It didn’t take long for Venice Beach to become the backdrop for Hollywood film pioneers like Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, Cary Grant.
Venice Beach is also known as the “World Famous Mecca for Free Expression.”
The social vibe here is distinct from other beaches I’ve been to in SoCal. Obviously, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Ocean Front Walk now overwhelms with medical marijuana clinics offering passersby free physical exams to get legalized medical marijuana. Just follow an assistant in the green nurse outfit through some doors and you will be fixed.
I notice the smell of the ocean breeze, the soft ice cream, the cheap food, before my eyes can catch a glimpse of the new and improved Venice Beach. I feel excited and delighted about it; to my surprise, with that many medical marijuana clinics around, the smell of Mari Jane’s perfume isn’t as strong as it used to be ten years ago. Venice Beach isn’t a shithole anymore. It’s much cleaner and safer place although the weird factor is still at its max.
If Jim Morrison were alive, I don’t think he’d like Venice Beach as much as he did in the late 60’s when he was tripping on LSD on the rooftop of the now “The Morrison” apartments.
It is impossible to understand Venice Beach just by reading or looking at photos. The amount of insanely entertaining and demented hilarious is indescribable by words.
The Ocean Front Walk is also the stage of many artists, musicians, comedians, dancers, jugglers, preachers, skaters. Don’t be surprised with their in-your-face performing acts; they work in the world of guerrilla theater.
Venice Beach, CA. October 7th, 2012.
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