When I was twelve or thirteen, a young couple moved in across the street. They were Max Hendler and Arlene Goldberg, and they were part of a loose group of painters who lived and worked in Venice during the sixties.
The Venice Painters on 378 2008
Claire Horner on 363 2008
I met a lot of peculiar and interesting people at Venice West Café — none more interesting (or more peculiar) than poet Claire Horner. He read at VWC alongside people like Bukowski and Taylor Meade, and peddled mimeographed “books” of his poetry with names like “Please don’t step on the Bacon”.
Graffiti Induces Colorblindness on 3527 2008
I should probably publish this discovery in Nature or some other peer reviewed journal. But what a hassle, so here goes: Graffiti is visible only in black or white. Yes, people often appear to see red when their homes and workplaces are bombed, but that’s only further proof that despite what you think you see, there is no gray area where graffiti’s concerned, let alone color.
The Venice West Cafe on 3527 2008
In 1965, when I was fifteen, I started hanging around the Venice West Cafe, a dank little hole in the wall with wooden benches and tables. Of course they served espresso. And the place was always full of (to me at that age) coolly romantic hipsters, complete with shades, turtlenecks — yeah, even berets.
The Fastest Walls in the West on 3526 2008
Wake up and smell the Krylon! Actually, I don’t recommend it, though I often do it. Not because I’m into huffing paint, mind you, but because I often roll directly out of the wrapper and up the local bike path past the public graffiti walls at the Venice Beach “Pits.”
Graffiti Wall: Ich Bin Ein Venician on 3525 2008
The Venice Pits, now known as the Venice Art Walls, are a point of contention in my neighborhood. They seemed like an apt metaphor for the tension between graff writers and taggers, and a general public that doesn’t much care that there can be a difference between the two.
Gjelina on 3525 2008
Recently opened Abbot Kinney restaurant specializing in farmer’s market fresh American contemporary cuisine. Still hammering out the service kinks but a delicious addition to the neighborhood. Their vegetable dishes are especially fine. Gjelina serves beer and wine. Best make a reservation — Gjelina’s “in” this summer.
Dola on 3525 2008
1423 1/2 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
Phone: (310) 664-9300
Newly opened Abbot Kinney newsstand with a nice selection of titles and sweet garden reading area. Coming soon, harder-to-come-by European architecture titles, as well as coffee and pastries.
Hours: 7am – 8pm
Six-Hour Wall (time-lapse graffiti writing) on 3421 2008
I was at the Venice Pits all day with graff writers Dytch66, Gil and Gozer but this time-lapse piece is all Didrik Johnck — the shooting, the editing. Okay, I messed up the titles and blathered on the soundtrack, but other than that it’s all D-track.
Sponto Gallery on 3311 2008
7 Dudley Ave
Venice, CA 90291
Phone: (310) 399-2078
This eclectic gallery, in the tiny storefront space once occupied by seminal Beat scene hang Venice West Cafe, hosts 7 Dudley Cinema’s regular screenings of experiment films, art films and documentaries. Sponto is both a quintessential and essential Venice venue.