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Venice Beach Pictures
Flower power lives! Visit Venice, California, where the date is always 1969!
You're viewing pictures of Venice Beach, California in the slide show above. You'll see photos of Windward Avenue, featuring architecture designed a century ago to resemble Venice, Italy...and you'll also see several of the remaining canals of Venice, California (another holdover from Venice's resort days of yore.) And you can't help but notice the many palm trees which line the famous Venice Boardwalk...noted for its street performers (but also a popular morning jogging spot for area residents.)
Venice Beach, more than a place to swim
If you miss the hippie days...or if you didn't get to live through them the first go-around, visit Venice to revel in the past.
Or, if you're an art lover, visit Venice Beach, California to enjoy the many works that you'll find in "Mural City." On public walls and private buildings...murals seem to be everywhere. You'll never know where you'll come across another one of these enchanting tributes to creativity.
Venice is weird. Venice is grimy. Venice is beautiful, too. It all depends on which part of Venice Beach you're looking at when you make the statement.
Celebrities make their home in this rapidly gentrifying Los Angeles suburb. So do dozens of homeless men. Visitors from all over the USA (and the world!) come to gawk at Venice Beach. And, so do folks from the nearby neighborhoods and barios.
When should you visit Venice Beach? Well, on weekends you'll find more street entertainers along the Venice Beach Boardwalk...but you'll also find more tourists gawking and more local youth hanging out at the beach. Actually, a great time to visit Venice Beach is on a weekday during the "slow" season. You'll get to enjoy the same Venice that the locals do. Residents walking their dogs and jogging along the cement "board"walk. Homeless people wheeling the shopping carts that carry their belongings. Local vendors going about their daily business. People relaxing in cafes and drinking their cappuccinos.
Or, you could just bring your swimsuit. There really IS a very nice beach in Venice!
Venice Beach -- "Mural City"Actually, if you hunt for them, you'll find colorful murals in all parts of greater Los Angeles.
Murals at Venice Beach, however, just seem more "at home." Venice Beach murals fit in with the unique atmosphere of the area as neatly and naturally as Mickey Mouse fits into Disneyland, or a Rolls Royce fits into Beverly Hills.
The joy of stumbling across a new mural as you tour around Venice Beach is one of the special delights of visiting here. Each mural is as unique as its artist.
One artist, however, stands out in his contribution to the other-worldly atmosphere of Venice Beach. His name is Rip Cronk, and he painted some of the most famous (and interesting) murals along the boardwalk and its surrounding areas. While it's tempting to think that all the Venice murals got into their places because some free-spirited, artistic passerby simply brushed them into place, that isn't always the story. Rip Cronk, for example, has a master's degree in fine art! Careful planning and execution went into the murals' making. But...I guess knowing that tidbit of information sort of ruins the reputation of Venice as being home to the "wild and the free," doesn't it?
The mural that you see heading this section of the page is called "Venice Beach Chorus Line," a 2004 creation by Mr. Cronk. I love the pastel colors and the funky "look" of the mural. No, I don't have a clue what it's "all about" or what it's trying to say...but I do know that it fits right into the atmosphere of the boardwalk, and is enjoyable eye candy for visitors to this famous strip of real estate.
In the photo to your right, you see an even MORE famous mural by Rip Cronk...the 1989 "Venice Reconstituted," which, like the "Venice Beach Chorus Line," you'll also see as you stroll along the Venice Boardwalk. If you've never seen the "Venice Reconstituted" mural, perhaps you never look at television or watch movies. This mural seems to be a "darling" of film makers, and you just may get a glimpse of it unexpectedly someday as you sit by your TV!
Below the first Jim Morrison mural picture, you'll see a 2nd photo of the same mural. The first picture was taken in 2007...and the 2nd one in 2011. As you can see, the color of the building changed during that time period, but the mural itself is stil intact. You might have a preference for one better than the other.
Directions to the Jim Morrison mural: From the main thoroughfare of Pacific Avenue in Venice (not Santa Monica, as some readers have wondered), take Windward Ave to the beach.
As you turn onto Windward, it will look like you're heading into a dead end street. Don't worry; it's NOT a dead end. When the road ends, you will come to an alley, and that's where you'll turn LEFT. From that point, you can see the mural. Just drive up close and admire! (You may use the Google map at the end of this page to help you find this area, if you like.) The alley really does have a name...Speedway St. If you're looking at Venice maps on your cell phone, then you should find Speedway if you zoom in your resolution of Windward Ave in Venice.
If you'd like to look at more examples of Rip Cronk's Venice murals (including a daytime photo of this terrific Jim Morrison mural), you may use the following link to view a
great web page about Rip Cronk's Venice, California murals.
Venice Beach's historic & funky Windward Avenue
Venice Beach history lives in its buildings and canals, built to resemble Venice, Italy!Though only one block long, Windward Avenue between Pacific Avenue and the beach is the number one "must see" attraction in all of Venice, California. This is the heart of Venice, California in a number of ways. First of all, the mural-painted buildings resemble a Flower Power-era reincarnation. And, secondly, the Venice, Italy-inspired architecture of Windward Avenue was the whole advertising gimick which brough Angelenos from downtown out to the Venice Beach area in the first place (back in 1905! It was quite a trek back then; a good gimick was definitely NEEDED to pull folks away from the then-popular Downtown LA district.)
A Mr. Abbott Kinney and his associates built this planned settlement to resemble and honor Venice, Italy. He made a very elegant little downtown area, using classical pillar styles from the original European Venice. In addition, the settlement was laced with a network of water-filled canals...most of which are filled in today. Ah...but the ones that remain are an interesting sight to see!
At any rate, these days the Windward Ave. buildings are doubly-nostalgic. First, they're nostalgic as we reminisce about Abbott Kinney and his fledgling efforts to draw Los Angeles residents from downtown out to his shiny new "Venice, Italy reproduction" at Venice Beach. And, secondly, the buildings are nostalgic because, as you can see in these photos, they've been painted "hippie style"...not so much as a "tribute" to the late '60's and early '70's...but, rather, as a natural and spontaneous continuation of the distinctive styles spawned during that historic era.
The Mao's Kitchen address is 1512 Pacific Ave, Venice, CA 90291. The Mao's Kitchen phone number is 310/581-8305.
Venice Beach Directions and mapIf you're heading to Venice, California to go to the beach, it doesn't really matter to what part of the city you head. The sand is nice and clean throughout the miles of Venice Beach shoreline.
If, on the other hand, you'd like to take in the sights and stroll along the Venice Beach Boardwalk, you'll want to head straight to the heart of town, the corner of Windward and Pacific Avenues. Once you're there, you can find a pay-to-park lot for your car...or, you might get lucky and find an on-street parking meter!
Map to Venice Beach, California: To get a look at where you'll be heading, you may use the following link to view a
Google map of the Venice Beach area.
1.) Here's the link a "fun" map of the Venice Beach Boardwalk and bike path. You can see some of the Boardwalk's entertainment features and the Venice pier marked on the following colorful map:
Map of the Venice Beach Boardwalk area from the VeniceBeach.com website.