Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 100: Venice Exploration

I reached the 100th day of OYLPA today, so I decided I wouldn't just let the day pass without anything out of the ordinary happening. I picked up my L.A. guidebook and ventured out to Venice with camera and map in hand.

I started by walking along the Venice Canals, a pleasant place for a stroll, and I imagine much more so in the spring or summer with the flowers out and a bright blue sky. Crossing over to Venice Boardwalk, I took my time walking a long ways north, passing along a fair number of legal marijuana shops, braided neon bracelets, bold street performers, and of course many, many people high but seeming thoroughly happy in life at the moment. Two moments were my particular favorites today:

I happened upon a man in a bright red beret painting a stunning piece of artwork. He was working on the detailed lines of a woven basket when I walked by. I had to stay and watch his work and find out more. The artist's name is Jean Joseph Monfort, a Haitian artist who captures his remembrances of Haiti in vivid colors and scenes. I was also lucky enough to bring home two of his moving pieces. (Pictures of Monfort working).

Besides meeting and observing Monfort and his art, I'd have to say a quick conversation between two stoners was my second favorite moment of the day. A thoroughly tanned young guy with beach blond hair hanging long at chin line came wobbly zooming by on his skateboard, talking loudly to himself. He passed by a large dog and exclaimed, "Woah! Marmaduke in the house!" (and I complete agreed with his observation). He tripped a few times while skating on, laughing and talking to himself, and then skated near another group of young people, clearly enjoying their high.

A girl popped up as she saw him pass and yelled loudly, "Hey you!" He curved mid-skate to her and sort of tripped and stopped, pulling up his board.

He replied, "Ya?!"

"You know know who you look like?" she asked.

"No man, who?"

"You look like that guy, oh man you totally look like that one dude...the dude from High School Musical!"

"What? No way!"

"Haha, ya maan, Zac Efron! You look like Zac Efron!"

"What?! No I don't!" the skater yelled, clearly annoyed at the comparison. The girl replied, "Ya you totally do!" The skater then grabbed his board and rushed away, off balance but zooming along.

I finished up my Day 100 trip to Venice by checking out the art murals on the sand and then walking down Abbott Kinney. Couldn't find Jin Patisserie but enjoyed seeing all the hipster stores and people, and a final walk through the Canals now that the sun was a bit warmer and out from behind the clouds. I look forward to exploring more of my L.A. backyard - there is much to see!

(All images from this excursion available here

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