Los Angeles Highlight: Venice Beach

Hello world! I’m coming to you live from Los Angeles. My trip so far is pretty amazing. I’m just starting my third day in the City of Angels, but I have already done a ton of stuff, and I’m only going to be doing much more! Los Angeles has been pretty amazing so far, and that’s excluding the gorgeous weather we’ve been having: highs in the mid-70s, perhaps, and lows in the 50’s. You can’t really ask for better weather. You can be jealous, I know.

The first day started off with a tour of some of L.A’s nearby beach towns of Venice Beach and Santa Monica. I had been told about how Venice Beach was kind of shady, and was pretty similar to Maryland’s own Ocean City, so I didn’t really have the best picture in mind about the non-Italian Venice area. But Venice turned out to be pretty cool. To make up for the numerous “medicinal” marijuana shops (that were both humorous and sketchy) and the plethora of weirdos trying to sell you their music CDs by shoving things in your face; Venice actually did have some unique bits.

I had always wanted to see Muscle Beach, only because I had heard about it in so many places. Walking by the hard-core work-out zone was pretty cool. There was this outdoor gym area right on the boardwalk- something I had never seen before. The body builders there couldn’t really care less that tourists and locals were pretty much staring at their seamless routines. I guess if your body is that good, you don’t really care if people are watching you sweat you mind out.

There was also a skate park that I had recently heard much about. I will admit that I am fond of watching skateboarding and playing skateboarding games, but usually, I will only see the casual skateboarder skating illegally around places in D.C. such as Freedom Plaza. But Venice Beach’s skate park was unique, because it was a sanctioned area where kids could go and skate for fun. The area was well built and looked challenging, with concrete-made bowls and ramps- much nicer than the simple drained swimming pool. It was pretty mesmerizing to watch the folks skateboard too.

But I’m really saving the best for last here: the real highlight of the trip was something that probably not many people would consider that great. I was able to catch a glimpse at something of an internet celebrity that is in one of my favorite music videos. Mayer Hawthorne’s music video for his song, “Maybe So, Maybe No” is one of my favorite music videos ever. (I’ve written about this before, here.) Needless to say, I was happily surprised to discover that the video apparently took place in Venice Beach. Besides the skate park being featured in the video, the dead giveaway for me was this guy that I saw:

You can see him in Mayer Hawthone’s video at 0:58, below. When I first saw him in the video, I thought he was pretty cool- playing guitar on Rollerblades with additional larger side wheels: now that’s an unusual talent! And then I saw him in person. I almost wanted to go up to him and talk to him about meeting Mayer Hawthorne and ask him if he knew he was in this amazing music video.

Venice Beach was surprisingly memorable, especially since it was also the first place I visited during my trip to Los Angeles. But my love for Mayer Hawthorne definitely made the experience (so far) more unique. It’s always a delight when you discover something in person that you had always admired from afar. I’m pretty sure that’s the underlining theme of the trip so far, but there’s more to see, so I best be off!

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