I am sitting in a dark backyard in Venice on a warm autumn night, my hands turned unnaturally up, so as not to get the remnants of my first ever crawfish boil on my clothes. Someone from the Brian Jonestown Massacre has just finished spinning some tunes and I am licking my fingers and watching as a fellow arranges a motley collection of wooden crates, hub caps, number plates and other debris in what can only be described as a sort of drum kit. This, as it turns out, is seriously infectious, hip shaking, swamp stomping, local electro-punk band, "Restaurant."
I am standing on the corner of Abbot Kinney and California in Venice, absentmindedly scuffing my shoe against the curb as my companion, brilliant Singer/ Songwriter "Matt Ellis" having handed local vagabond John his nightly tea - picks up where he left off in conversation with one of Venice's most well known homeless identities. My ears prick up when I hear John telling my companion about his experience of Coachella. He'd just returned, having been treated to the trip by his local friend and one of my personal idols, freak folk artist extraordinaire, Devendra Banhart.
I am traversing the footbridges and narrow pathways of the always magically lit (and particularly so for X-Mas if you care to go for a wander) Venice canals, when I am forced to a sudden halt by a territorial duck and her five ducklings on a spooky, late-night Halloween stroll. Forced to back up into near by bushes, I am delivered a genuine Halloween fright, in the flashing orange eyes of a grim reaper-like identity that has appeared out of nowhere and unexpectedly come to life. This ruckus sets off my fellow countryman, a boisterous, Australian Cockatoo who contributes to the general scene of pandemonium.
I am riding Mathilda, my beloved beach cruiser, under an almost full moon and we are speeding along the boardwalk. The water is a sheet of navy hued, stained glass and the back and forth of light between sky and sea is sprinkling everything in stardust. The palm trees bob their heads as if attempting to shake the silver dust from their coiffed afros. And far away but growing louder with each revolution of Mathilda's pedals, I can hear the lonely notes of a melancholy piano. Every day this old man rolls his upright down to his post on the beach and plays tunes that speak of a life that used to be his.
This is Venice in all her beauty. I am a legal alien who fell in love with planet Venice and I invite you all to come visit my chosen home. This Friday night, December 8th from 6pm to 10pm, is Venice's Holiday Extravaganza on Abbot Kinney. Come and stroll the boulevard and hunt for gifts at one of the many boutiques on offer. Immerse yourself in some great music at various venues along the street. Forage for food amongst the myriad restaurants and eateries along the way. Check out some art and the colorful locals in their natural habitat -- works of art each one.
Abbot Kinney, the founding Father of Venice was one of those creative-thinking entrepreneurs who led quite an adventurous life for such times. It seems then that Venice beach, from the boardwalk to the canals, is an appropriate legacy for him to have left behind. This is Venice reveling in her joie de vivre and being adored by all who call her home.
Hot tip ..
The Epoxy Box: Cnr of Abbot Kinney & Venice Blvd. A high-end casting facility and gallery space, the Epoxy Box plays host to Little Radio EV -- the exclusive dealer of 100% electric cars in L.A.
You can check out the cars and get down to "Restaurant" who play a set at 8:30pm. This is a Little Radio company. Founded by fearless music explorer, creative minded entrepreneur and fellow Venetian Dave Conway, Little Radio is foodie food for music intellectuals across the city of Los Angeles. Operating out of a fantastic and newly renovated warehouse space in the dankest regions of Downtown, Little Radio is THE indie, web radio station. Tune in to www.littleradio.com and check out Little Radio Enviromental Vehicles at www.littleradioev.com