When I was a teenager, I used to dream about moving to Venice. Though it was only 15 or so miles away from where I grew up, it was so much more intriguing than my suburban neighborhood. Venice is one of the spots in the Los Angeles area where the artists live. Even though it’s changed in the last 30 years and become a lot more gentrified, there are still interesting places to visit.
Every morning I go for a long walk with my dogs and take in the sights. Here’s some of my favorites.
The Mosaic Tile House was (and is still evolving) created by Gonzalo and Cheri. It’s almost completely covered with mosaics and other interest objects both inside and out. As my friend Russ said, it is a life-affirming dwelling and well worth a visit. For a small fee, you can take a look inside and have a personalized tour on Saturdays.
The Chiat-Day Building is right on the border of Venice and Santa Monica at 340 Main Street. Here’s what I found out about it:
A four-story pair of binoculars, which can be seen for blocks, highlights the entrance of this advertising agency’s headquarters. In addition to this 1991 Frank Gehry design, the building also features a boat-shaped wing and a vaguely tree-shaped structure. The binoculars themselves house two conference rooms, with the eyepieces serving as skylights.
There’s a number of Venice walk streets by the beach, but there’s even more a bit inland. They are hidden away, so I don’t know if many people know about them. There’s a lot of huge new architecturally interesting homes that have been built in the last 5 years, but I like the funkier parts of these streets. There’s a house that hangs all sorts of lamps and chandeliers in the yard and another with a surfboard entrance.
The old Venice jail houses an organization called SPARC that creates and produces murals throughout the city (if only all jails could be turned into places where art is created). Here’s one of their murals in their parking lot.
This is Jonathan Borofsky’s clown ballerina (this photo is one of the highlights when I do my school visits slide show). This 30-foot sculpture overlooks the corner of Main and Rose about a block from the beach, and just down the street from the binocular building.
If my dogs and I want a really nice long walk, we go to the canals. There’s lots of ducks for the dogs to check out and peace for me.
Looking at all the interesting places around where I live always inspires me. By the time I get home, I’m ready to start creating my own art.