Venice Pier on 0711 2008

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Reopened after severe storm damage a decade ago, the fishing pier’s toilets were blasted off the end by huge waves in December ’05. Gnarley…though no one was in them at the time. A stroll on the pier can make for a lovely constitutional. View fellow strollers, power walkers, people fishing, surfers, lifeguards, sea gulls, bat rays, dolphins and sea lions (if you’re lucky) and get a different perspective on Venice and Los Angeles.

Venice Boardwalk on 0529 2008

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When most people think of Venice, nowadays, it’s Ocean Front Walk — the boardwalk — they picture. A couple of miles of insanity, vanity and humanity with souvenir shops and tattoo parlors galore, street vendors and palm readers, more crazies than can shake sticks at you, sleaze, ocean breeze, street performers, nut jobs, tourists, posers…it’s all here, particularly on beautiful weekend days. Come prepared for a full immersion in life’s rich pageant. If you’re bringing a pygmy anaconda, please bring its sunblock. Actually, best to leave the pets at home unless you want to traumatize them for life.

Venice Beach Skate Dance Area on 0212 2008

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Not the scene these days that Central Park’s roller disco spot is, the skate dance area at Venice Beach (near the Public Art Walls) hosts plenty of dedicated roller boogie-oogiers, particularly on weekends. Some dance on blades, some on old school four-on-the-floor skates. Are you phreak enough to disappear down this hip-hop roller-disco rabbit hole? Un-huh, un-huh…

Venice Boardwalk Freak Show on 0211 2008

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The barker barks half-heartedly about all the s**t they have inside that has two heads. For my money, I’m sticking with the Museum of Jurassic Technology a few miles up Venice Blvd.