Got a Long List? Think Venice

As much as I’m trying to ignore it, we are closing in on the holidaze. And if your season includes gift-giving, you know what happens if you wait too long to get out there. One way to make shopping an adventure is to head to Venice Beach, which is on the Pacific Ocean outside Los Angeles.
If you don’t know Venice Beach, there are two distinct communities that parallel each other. One is the famous boardwalk that runs along the beach, with the outdoor body builders, roller bladers, sidewalk musicians and performers, street vendors and gaping tourists.

Photo by David A. Keeps for The L.A. Times
But if you cross a couple major streets and head inland a few blocks, you hit Abbot Kinney Boulevard, which is lined with hip shops and restaurants. Suddenly, you go from sketchy to the trendy land of rich hipsters, artists and more hipsters. The Los Angeles Times just ran a shopping guide on their Home blog, showcasing all the groovy stores and galleries along Abbot Kinney. 

My husband and I recently spent an afternoon in the more colorful side of Venice. Since we are experimenting with a “plant-based” diet (I didn’t say vegan), we wanted to try a restaurant we found on Yelp called Seed Kitchen. To our great relief, the food was delicious!
After we ate, we strolled along the boardwalk to wait for the sunset. This was before daylight savings, and the October light was spectacular.
Even the sides of the public bathrooms had gorgeous artwork with these mosaics.
I couldn’t figure out the artist, but coincidentally one of my favorite Los Angeles-based bloggers, Passage Paradis, recently posted some wonderful photos of the same place. Click HERE to see her images.
While strolling the boardwalk, we could hear the third-beat rhythms from a large drum circle gathered out by the water.

If you needed to find some hand-crafted jewelry, Tibetan handicrafts or lifesize portraits of Marilyn or Jimi, or have your fortune read, or re-fill your medical marijuana prescription, this was the place.

We shouldn’t have been surprised, but Harry Perry was still cruising the scene. He looks exactly the same as he looked when we first saw him more than 20-plus years ago! Maybe this is his son.
The 60-foot-high sculpture in the distance that towers among the palm trees is called “Declaration,” and is by Mark di Suvero. Can you see the guy trying to climb it?
Whether you prefer the hip scene along Abbot Kinney or the trippy time warp action along the boardwalk, Venice makes an exciting destination every time.
Anything to avoid the mall!

2 thoughts on “Got a Long List? Think Venice

  1. I've heard so much about Venice beach and everyone I know that's been to raves about it. Great photos, definitely on our cards to visit!

    Oh, and I'm not looking forward to the Christmas rush either!

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