Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Venice Beach

I have a love/hate relationship with Venice. Today's visit was all love!

See, I lived there for more than six years. In fact, my first night in my first Venice apartment was January 16, 1994. Why is that important? The massive 6.6 magnitude Northridge earthquake hit in the early morning hours of January 17, 1994. Welcome to the neighborhood!

The love part revolved around the cool ocean breezes, running on the beach, rollerblading and riding on the bike path, and the freakshow being in town 24/7. The hate part included all the people coming to my neighborhood for the aforementioned breezes, beach, bike path and freakshow. Many a time my garage was blocked by some "outsider" thinking it was okay to park there. ARGH!!

As a visitor, it was great to shop for sunglasses, check out both henna and ink tattoos, give a shout out to rollerblading/guitar playing street performer Harry Perry, watch the enormous weight lifters and the "White Men Can't Jump" basketball players, and not scoff at the Jody Maroni Sausage Kingdom. As Jody started his conglomerate on the Venice boardwalk, here it doesn't feel like "airport" food. They served me the breakfast burrito - stuffed with andouille chicken sausage and french fries instead of hash browns - even though it was 2:30P. Awesome! The love was back, so I went home. Venice and I have agreed to be long-distance friends, and neither of us will push our luck.

For the record, after more than nine years, South Pasadena hasn't thrown any huge earthquakes at me yet. I'm knocking on wood with my other hand while I hen-peck this post...

Click here for a Venice Beach Web site.

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