Architecture, Venice, California Sights

ballerina clown

Ballerina Clown

One person’s nightmare is another person’s dark night of the soul. And then there’s Jonathan Borofsky’s Ballerina Clown, which is…well…both.

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drum circle on-deck circle

Drum Circle On-Deck Circle

In the hours leading up to a full-fledged drum circle there’s often a warm up—a drum circle on-deck-circle—taking place on a beach-side grassy knoll near Ocean Front Walk and Breeze Ave. There you’ll find an assortment of rhythm-crazy revelers, conga players and bongo beaters. Lots of folks who march to the beat of a different drum as you’d expect at a Venice Beach drum come together.

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El Bordello Alexandra (Venice Beach Bordello Apartments)

El Bordello Alexandra (Venice Beach Bordello Apartments)

It’s not every neighborhood where you can mount gargoyles and cloven-hoofed figures all over your house without having the local home owners association up in arms.

This strange “gothic” divertissement next to another (the Morrison Hotel) is hardly Notre Dame de Paris, but as boardwalk kitsch goes (okay, it’s 100 feet off the boardwalk across Speedway), it’s a gargoyle giggle.

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Chiat/Day/Mojo Office Building

Former Chiat/Day/Mojo Building

The former Chiat/Day Building is one of many local examples of the work of famed architect Frank Gehry. Built in 1991, the multi-faceted office structure includes a 40-foot pair of binoculars by sculptor Claes Oldenburg.

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Former Eames Studio

Former Eames Studio

On the corner of Abbot Kinney and Brooks sits the one time home of Charles and Ray Eames‘ design studio.

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Historic Venice sign

Historic Venice Sign

A “replica” of the historic Venice trestle sign hangs over Windward Avenue just west of Pacific. Welcomed back in 2007 to the spot where the original hung almost a century ago, the boxy letters V-E-N-I-C-E again light up the “downtown” Venice night in welcome.

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jadis

Jadis

The Victorian Sci Fi paraphernalia in the windows of this enigmatic Main Street storefront is a puzzlement to many passersby. That, and the fact that it never seems to be open. Actually, this exotic movie prop shop is generally open on weekends between 12 and 4 pm, and a $1 donation is required.

If you’re smart, you’ll cough up. If you’re lucky, you’ll be regaled by quixotic owner Parke Meek (or someone equally informative) who will fill your head with tales of wonder.

You ask me, that’s a buck well spent. Blucher!

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King George Hotel (Historic)

King George Hotel (Historic)

Circa 1912

The building that’s now home to the Ocean View Apartments was once among Venice’s luxury hotels. On the beach in North Venice.

5 Rose
Venice, California

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Morrison Apartments

Morrison Apartments

If the Lizard King slept here, it wasn’t because his name was on the lease. Rock star and leader of the Doors Jim Morrison had friends in the building and evidently partied on the roof. Some say he wrote much of the Doors’ first two records in the rooftop apartment. But local historian Jeffrey Stanton terms claims that Morrison lived in the building at Westminster and Speedway, urban legend.

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Muscle Beach Venice

Muscle Beach Venice

Muscle Beach Venice is located two blocks north of Venice Blvd on Ocean Front Walk in the Venice Recreation Center, Earth. Where some of the over-buff creatures there actually come from is a matter for the Star Council.

While it’s often referred to as Muscle Beach these days, the recreation center’s weightlifting/bodybuilding facilities are not the site of the original Muscle Beach (the Muscle Beach of yore, which is a few miles up the beach near the Santa Monica Pier).

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