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Venice Books

Paintings that could
be yours


Links to Other
Venice Sites

Have Your Own Banned Books

Venice Quiz

Alky Bob

Non-Venice Links


Boardwalk Excerpts
from Call Someplace

Aaron Waugh Draft-
Beach Vending

Coins of Venice

Future of Venice


Boardwalk Miscellaneous

Lots of products are Venice Beach-oriented

In June 2006, more than 100 farmers and friends marched along the Venice boardwalk, in support of the struggle to keep the South Central Farm. This is the nation’s largest urban farm, a "successful example of urban sustainability for the rest of the world to follow." But all the families who have lovingly tilled that soil were evicted. It’s one of those stories that, the farther into it you delve, the uglier it gets.

Venice Beach is a Collection
of bed linen from Ralph Lauren: 100% cotton in a paisley floral pattern that looks like one of those India print bedspreads from the head shop

Venice Beach is a color!
teeshirthell.com announced in February of 2004: "We've added 6 new colors: puke, herb green, baby blue, steel grey, Venice Beach and charcoal grey."

Joseph Giovannini in Real Estate as Art lists these subcultures in Venice

Elderly Jewish .........................Café society
Body builders...........................Ex-wet set
People who work for a living

Travel writer Doug Lansky visited Venice in the summer of 1997 and reported on his boardwalk interactions with a palm reader called Mad George, a Tarot reader named Luna who told him he was spending his money on silly things, and Bobby Brown, who billed himself as "World's Greatest Wino! Trained in Jokes, Songs and Sexual Counseling."

In his book Venice of America: The American Dream Come True, Sweet William described the No Prices policy embraced by Jerry, the original Fruit Tramp, who peddled fresh produce on the boardwalk, without posting any information for the customers. No Prices means the people who frequent their stand and who treat them nicest get the best prices; people who hassle them get higher prices. Instead of pricing according to the quantity of the purchase, the Fruit Tramps price according to the quality of the buyer.

Gathering of motorcyclists in 1911

If you’re into pop culture, there is no more fertile area for study than eBay. Of course plenty of the Venice items found there are predictable: artwork, vintage postcards, clothing. Some online entrepreneurs have gone one step beyond, offering such ingeniously specialized local items as:

Sand in a glass jar, along with a photo of the jar (already labeled with your name), pictured alongside a sign for that particular beach, providing irrefutable proof that your new sand didn’t just come from somebody’s catbox. While the legality is questionable, the idea is clever, if not original. Throughout the millennia, pilgrims have toted bits of the earth’s crust from one place to another in the name of piety and commerce. But no stay-at-home client in the Middle Ages ever received an in situ photograph of her genuine Holy Land pebble.

We learn of the existence of the International Sand Collectors Society, whose members engage in Psammology (the study of, not surprisingly, sand.) But the big selling point here is Pamology, a field of scientific inquiry dedicated to the likelihood that one or more grains of your sand may have touched a Baywatch star’s foot or other body part

Postcard: A "Greetings from Venice Beach, California. Wish you were here" postcard, mailed to the person of your choice from Venice even though you are not there. "Confuse your friends with being at two different places at the very same time." Or throw your parents off the track if you‘re really in Seattle.

Various Ocean Front diversity sightings:

--a white-suited Santa eager to hear your list of Christmas wishes
--a woman in her eighties, affectionately known as "Grandma Dugs" who chatted with tourists while catching rays in a topless state
--a giant Cabbage Patch doll you could have your picture taken with
--Ellie Netjetter in her blog writes of a meeting some years back with a Rabbi who "claimed to be the only Jewish fortune teller on Venice Beach."
--craftsperson creating handmade leather dog collars to order
-- a boardwalk performer (name unknown) who has drawn a huge crowd. His schtick is illustrating how people of different races dance, and he’s said to be very funny. This information from a great photo (taken by Travis Smith) in 2005
-- a fellow with a cardboard sign that read: "Tired? Stressed? Had a bad day at the office? I will take your verbal abuse for $1.00 a minute."( Found on a blog)



Venice Beach Fashion Warning

As some of us are getting a bit older, this is to help us avoid any fashion faux pas. Despite what you may have seen on the streets, the following combinations DO NOT go together and thus should be avoided:

01. ..nose ring and bifocals
02. ..spiked hair and bald spots
03. ..pierced tongue and dentures
04. ..miniskirt and support hose
05. ..ankle bracelet and corn pads
06. ..Speedo and cellulite
07. ..belly button ring and gall bladder surgery scar
08. ..unbuttoned disco shirt and heart monitor
09. ..midriff shirt and midriff bulge
10....bikini and liver spots
11. ..short shorts and varicose veins
12. ..in-line skates and a walker
13. ..thong and Depends

(author unknown, possibly Martin Frankfort)

This thing called Optimum Boot Camp takes place at different locations, including Venice. It is run by a former Marine Corps sergeant, and said to be "based on the same rigorous Marine Corp boot camp training regimen he went through". The program combines Marine-style training with the latest motivational and nutritional information, for a program "guaranteed to take excess pounds off, add muscle, and put you into simply great shape," all in a period of just two months, about the same time frame as real boot camp.

Technically this happened in Marina del Rey, but I read about it when living in Venice and it seems very typical. In a a letter to the editor, Ole Olsen talked about what happened to his 60-year-old wife, who was riding her bike. A California Highway Patrol cop almost ran over the nice lady in an intersection and instead of apologizing, he demanded her ID, yelled at her, and wrote her a ticket.

But she had the last word, saying kindly: God bless you. I hope you get better.

In a blog called A Fly on the Wall, the writer recalls visiting Venice Beach with family members, including a one-year-old nephew, on Christmas 1996. They encountered Ronald Reagan, who by then was well into Alzheimer's. The former president walked along with an ice cream cone he hadn't started licking, accompanied by his wife and a couple of Secret Service bodyguards. When Reagan saw the little boy, he grinned widely and handed over the ice cream, saying, "Such pretty eyes." One of the guards guided the old man by the elbow and the group continued on its way.

Wheelchair-bound activist Bill Bolt is justifiably angry with the lack of restrooms on the boardwalk for the disabled, and mad at Alliance for Survival, too. His story is here.

July 2005 - a woman won the televised Grilled Cheese Sandwich Eating Contest by consuming 25 of them

If you're under 18 and want some body part pierced, Venice Beach was (maybe still is) known as the place to go.

The Secular Coalition of America is one group that runs an outreach table on the boardwalk. They like to be out there on Saturdays from 10 to 4, depending on current ordinances and strictness of enforcement.


© 2004 - 2012 Pat Hartman
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