Yeah, Venice Beach has always been pretty wacky. In a column headlined "There’s room for all the Venices — including a zip line," The Times’ Scott Gold comes to the conclusion that a little family-friendly commerce won’t hurt the area’s famed bohemian vibe.
I brought my 9-year-old daughter to zip the other day, and while we walked along, I had to explain why there was a glass pipe for sale in the shape of Hello Kitty; why there was a man stomping on shards of glass for money; why there was a T-shirt for sale that said “I pooped today”; why there was a friendly looking, older gent sitting on a stool holding a sign reading “NEED CASH 4 WEED.”
I’m not Ward Cleaver — but can we throw the kid a bone?
Read the whole piece. Well worth it.
— Matt Ballinger
Published captions follow.
Top, May 22, 1976: SHE MAKES A BIG SPLASH—Judy, a 12-year-old, 6,300 pound elephant from the Circus Vargas, takes her first dip in the ocean at Venice Beach. Assisting Judy is her trainer, Bones Craig.
Second, July 8, 1984: Primo Desidero, 22, performs freestyle skateboarding to music. He and his 20-year-old fiancee, Diane Vermin, both skate-dance to “share Jesus Christ with the people in Venice” and secondarily to make a living…. Primo has been skating for 8 years, Diane for 3 years, and they live in Garden Grove.
Third, Dec. 1, 1986: … a roller skater on the beach.
Fourth, Aug. 15, 1977: HARE HARE KRISHNA—Followers of the Krishna sect brought three huge chariots to Venice beach to celebrate the festival of the Chariots. Dancers and colorful spectacle attracted crowd.
Fifth, Aug. 27, 1979: VENICE STROLL—Steve McPeak crosses Windward the hard way.
Bottom, circa 1925: No published caption. Bathers and lifeguard on boardwalk in front of bathhouse at Venice Beach.
Credits: Los Angeles Times / UCLA Library