Venice Beach

The Saturday morning routine of one of Lance’s LA coworkers is to walk from Santa Monica pier to Venice Beach. It is about an hour walk from pier to pier and after spending time in both locations, I coveted such an experience.

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Though I recently gave you a bird’s eye view of Venice Pier, there is still so much more to do in Venice Beach.

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We knew we wanted to reach the pier, so instead of starting at the pier, we had our cab drop us off at the complete opposite end where we were greeted by one of the most iconic things that spells Venice Beach: skaters.

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In fact, while chatting recently with an older friend about our time in Venice Beach, his first question was whether or not there are really so many people on roller skates, skateboards, bicycles, etc.

The answer: yes, so much so that walking on two feet actually feels a little out of place in some areas.

The Venice Beach Skate Park was packed with skaters, novice and experienced, and spectators. After a few minutes of watching and saying a few times, “I would never ever ever ever be able to do that!”, my eye was drawn to the Venice Beach Graffiti Art Walls.

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Graffiti…no, let me rephrase that…talented graffiti has always impressed me. Especially when the work represents more than merely paint on a wall.*

*I’m looking at you, Banksy!

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The graffiti in Venice, for the most part, did not disappoint. What I especially loved was that while trash bins played the role of a few canvasses, nature was canvas and framework for the entire scene.

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The ocean appeared just as grimy as a Jersey ocean and after our days in Anguilla I should have expected no less.

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However, because Venice is a year-round attraction (unlike Jersey beaches) the vibe of the area is so much better than a Jersey beach. For starters, the beach isn’t crowded at all and there is just as much happening behind the beach as on it.

After spending a few hours soaking in rays, we decided to walk a few blocks away and find Kogi BBQ a food truck that not only helped to start the Korean taco movement, but also sparked the idea that yummy food doesn’t have to break the bank.

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I was so hungry I couldn’t even tell you what I ate. You’re lucky I even managed to snap a picture.

On our walk back to the beach, I ran into a sign made for me:

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Yikes.

I think I need to print that out and post it around every corner of my house.

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Though there were a few skeevy things about Venice Beach such as ‘medical’ marijuana shops, side show acts of all sorts and grimy public restrooms, the good definitely outweighed the bad.*

*I mean, if you’ve been to Seaside Heights and actually enjoyed it, Venice Beach will be like Disneyland for you.

As we walked down Venice Beach ‘Boardwalk’* we took in buildings turned into works of art.

*Dear Jersey Natives–I had to write boardwalk in quotes because there were no boards on Venice Beach Boardwalk. I mean, how can you call something a boardwalk if you aren’t walking on top of wooden boards? Am I right?

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Though I know I have yet to see my fair share of California beaches, Venice Beach was a pretty good place to start. It not only gave me the expected LA beach experience hoped for, but it also strangely made me feel at home.

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