Venice the Menace

Trip Start Jan 08, 2009
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Trip End Jan 11, 2009


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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On Saturday morning, I woke up to the blasting of the wind against the window. This made getting out of bed much easier than the morning before. We had planned on getting an early start to the day and heading up to the Venice and Hollywood area for the good weather. I struggled to move even at 9 a.m., after all, the dog was quite the cuddle buddy. Since she was kind enough to give me company throughout the night, I repaid her with an early morning walk. After a few minutes outside, I thought we were on the set of a remake of The Wizard of Oz. It was so incredibly windy that I felt the need to walk a certain way so as not to fly away with the dog. The picture in the previous entry helps capture the intensity of what I was experiencing.

Venice is one of those towns that just has a certain mystique to it. You might not have ever been to Venice, but you still respect its awesomeness from afar. Immediately, I had to get my Pinkberry fix, a frozen yogurt store that seems to have swept SoCal yet hasn't migrated to Colorado. Walking the streets of Venice is a unique kind of sightseeing. You see signs for "smog test here", and of course, that's a sad thing I associate with the Los Angeles area. In the window of a shop, I saw a male model in the window wearing something that gave him a striking resemblance to one of my fraternity brothers. "Is that you, Daniel?" I asked, as I photographed his plastic twin. I was amazed at the amount of advertising gone towards the legality of Marijuana. You could just be walking down the street and trip over a sign exclaiming, "Medi-Mar... do it legally, DO IT NOW!" At that point, I was wondering if it was illegal not to be high in Venice. The craziest of sights was perhaps the dog driving. "No wonder they call this place Dog Town."

Hitting the beach side boardwalk, I noticed the likes of many others like me, just taking everything in. It's always a little sad to see people who actually live on the boardwalk...literally. Then I started thinking about the code of conduct and the territory agreements street vendors and performers have with their neighbors and with the town. This is one of the few boardwalks where I felt that the street vendors' products were not only interesting, but tempting to purchase! I was really appreciating all the arts and crafts for sale until we got to the sword thrower. Talk about a waste of one and a half minutes. We sat there awaiting this guy's "wondrous" trick, when, just at the moment you'd expect him to begin, he'd come back and say more stuff like "Please folks, pay me money. If you don't, that's not cool." Let this be a lesson to the street bangers who might be reading this: DON'T FORCE PEOPLE TO GIVE YOU MONEY! We stopped off for some drinks on the boardwalk to conclude the evening. The sunset gave off such a comforting orange hue, capable of wiping anyone's stress clean.

At the close of the afternoon, we ventured off to one of Tiffany's friend's apartments. A nightclub promoter, he was able to afford some expensive real estate, with a very trendy apartment that gave me a little green eyes. One thing I particularly liked was that he replaced his TV with a ceiling-mounted projector that showed HD quality movies all along the living room wall. Hmmm...light bulb. The plan was to head into Hollywood to go to a nightclub he worked for on the strip. I was informed that my flip flops would not make the dress code, and at which point he handed over a pair of worn skater sneakers that seemed to be from 1999. The club, Mood, was fun, including the wild dancing. It was nice to be on the strip hanging out and enjoying the nightlife rather than as a tourist with your parents. Starving and full of liquor, we left the club at close and found our hero, the neighboring hot dog vendor who conveniently wrapped the delight in bacon. "You read my mind", I told him. As we walked back to the sober driver's car, I really admired all the murals along the wall and the craziness that is Hollywood. A truly unique place, and not always the glam and glitz it is made out to be.
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