Friday, 11 March 2016

Life at the beach (48 hours in Venice Beach, CA)

Wednesday morning. I'm up at 5 am. It's dawning outside and there is a sunrise that I MUST NOT miss!

Beaches during the day are boring, kind of. It's before sunrise that they reveal their true character.

That was the first beach walk. As soon as I see the sun's rays hitting the beach, it's time for the second walk.

Neil Young: "Sometimes I feel like a leaf floating down a stream. But I want to walk like a Giant on the land" 


I finally take a shower and at 10:30 leave for a 3 mile beach and road walk to East Wind Thai Restaurant, a place I fell in love with last April.   Of course, I take more pictures along the beach.
Close to the beginning of the walk, I see one of the many homeless people (they don't have writing on their forehead, but something gives them away, even if it's only their good tan) doing something along the waterline.  Somewhere (LOL) he obtained one of those freestanding Jaguar hood ornaments. He places it in the sand with the Jaguar facing the ocean and still within reach of the approaching surf. Then he commences taking pictures.  Welcome to Venice Beach, where the planet would actually stand a chance ;-)

I get to the restaurant by 11:30 am (they open at 11 am) and order the same as last year. Green Curry with Chicken and a glass of white wine.  I sit at the same table as last year and the food is just as good (the curry could be spicier but the salad with peanut dressing is amazing).

I'm just glad it's not Adult Colouring Books  ;-)

Decadence and Ignance in action: between US$ 12 & US$ 17! I buy sea salt for $1.99.

I buy all the ingredients for marinated tomato salad, a bottle of wine for $4 or 5, and a few other little things. $55. I miss Vietnam!

I slog the stuff back home and nap for almost 2 hours.   When I wake up around 5, I'm still tired, but there is a sunset to attend to

But I only go down for a short while, buy some artwork from one of the homeless (?) artists along the promenade (after seeing a police SUV with flashing lights race over the BEACH with  at least 60 km/h it seemed even more fitting)

want to follow the artist? Look for @kasim613 !

He asks to take a picture of me when I walk off with his piece and a day later I find out why. I have been published on Instagram. And my pictures got 31 Likes, whatever that means in this world ;-)

Today Grandma answers the phone on the second ring.  However, the conversation seems to consist of her trying to guilt-trip me for trying to be helpful yesterday, so it doesn't last long. I start to understand why my mother doesn't call her mother anymore.

Dinner consists of marinated tomato salad with toast, cheese, and salami.  The marode BC infrastructure apparently can't handle even a moderate storm anymore since H & D on the Sunshine Coast have to resort to texting instead of e-mailing because their power cut out.

Even though I'm asleep very early, I don't wake up until sunrise at 6 am.  I've missed the dawn!!!

But I'm out there for sunrise and the long shadow I cast at that time. I didn't bring a camera; this one is just for myself ;-)
Getting back to the room, I feel like sleeping more!!!

I walk to CVS before showing and buy a BIC shaver with 12 blades for less than half of what the cheapest Gilette or Schick shaver with 1 blade costs.  Of course I am worried what the shaving will feel like, but it's SMOOTH.  Haven't you figured out yet that Gilette & Duracell gouge their customers???

Freshly shaven I head East on Rose to try another Thai place (by way of the beach, of course)

Writing in the sky? God speaks Spanish???

  The food at Star of Siam is actually better, but the seating is too industrial for my taste, I prefer the rustic garden view of East Wind.

I check out a few unlisted hotels on the way back (I have to check out of my lovely apartment on Friday) but either they're booked solid or are depressing dumps. has a 2 bedroom apartment in Marina del Rey for a bearable price but the US$120 cleaning surcharge per stay makes it unbearable.  Anything close to the beach is booked over the weekend (smart LAers) but I finally find a cheap and nice deal 6 km inland from Venice Beach's Boardwalk. Hey, I'll just rent a bike over the weekend.

2 pm. The sink laundry is drying nicely hanging in the west facing windows and I'm at a temporary loss what to do next. Is it too early or late for the beach?  Should I have a nap instead (YES, YES, YES)?

Through the open window I hear no cars but only the ocean's waves and a woman playing guitar and singing.

I wake up at 3 pm.  OMG  I need a place where I can see and hear the ocean.

The beach walk ends up being much longer than I had planned.  

OK, I changed my mind and I'll follow you

A telephoto shot, so not as bad as Hook van Holland, where people in their lawn chairs admired industrial installations

This can be U for $5 (Another time)

Lest we forget

I'm back in the hotel at 4:45. As soon as I'm done eating my tomato salad, the woman down on the boardwalk starts playing and singing again.  OK, that's enough. I walk down and buy her CD. Her name is Crosby Morgan and here she and Venice beach star in  a YouTube Clip.

I see my receptionist and get a great cash deal for my stay from Sunday to Monday (Yes, these things still exist ;-). The ocean view and sound, the music playing outside, the 1 block walk to get sand between my toes is something I have to experience again before I leave.

It feels like Apocalypse Now for a moment


At least I'm not the only one wondering what the SUV, the sand wheelers, and the chopper are chasing. They all come together at some point on the beach and then disperse again

The content of my bottle of cheap wine strangely diminished during the day, so that now room evaporation is finishing the last drops.

 I head out to Whole Foods to get another one but along the way remember that I bought their last one today. 
  Ah well, I spot Davey Jones's Liquor Locker and buy a bottle there.
STOOPID car drivers along the way
 Good thing too because my booze-procurement walk has been shortened by at least half an hour and walking along the beach I see someone that looks like Peter Demian packing up band equipment and one of the amp boxes reveals the word SMART. So I ask him whether the whole writing would read Street Smart and when he says Yes, I ask Peter whether I can have another one of his Street Smart buttons.

The one I got for a 0.60 cent donation last year got lost soon after and I will never forget how I at first walked by him then, and only turned around after 10 further steps when he sang "The only free ride is DOWN".  He knew what he was doing but I was still wet behind the ears. I can't believe that was only 11 months ago.

I'm amazed at how much I sleep down here. The ocean, the lack of cars, Crosby's voice coming in beautifully through my window.

 At 9 am she's singing again.  I've done all the dishes, brought out my garbage, and swept the floors to save paying the US$ 50 cleaning fee.
This place DOES rent rooms by the month, and during the next Rainy Season in Soggytown (TM) I might just have to make use of that.

At 9:45 I try the bike shop for the first time but the woman from the store across the aisle can open the door but can't get to the regular bikes.  I don't want a beach cruiser!  1 hour until checkout and I'm looking forward to my beach hiatus is Culver City.  I won't be able to hear Crosby's voice from over there, but with a bike the 6 km distance should be easily bridged.

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