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Monday, July 27, 2009

Venice Beach is for Weirdos and Sunset Lovers.

Last night, we ventured over to Venice Beach to meet up with some friends. It turned out to be quite an ordeal (what else, right?), but we managed to get there in one piece. My sister isn't really the greatest when it comes to her navigational skills. Ignoring this glaring reality, I let her navigate, since she reassured me that she had been there, "A million times! I know where I'm going!!!" People change, right? So, we drove through Beverly Hills and Santa Monica (the scenic route, because I love that kind of stuff, and am afraid of driving on the freeway after watching Clueless too many times.) Anyway, we get there, and I can tell that she has no idea where she's going, as she keeps telling me to, "turn right. No! Stay straight! Don't ask me where we're going... I know where we're going! Turn right here! No, keep going... You're stressing me out!" I'm stressing her out?
I didn't care, though, because we were at the beach, and it was a whole lot cooler there than it was in West Hollywood (it was 90 degrees all day and my sister's air conditioning might as well be non-existent... I don't enjoy the heat much.) So, we parked and headed out on our way. We quickly realized that we were going the wrong way, when the third person we asked (the first two people had no idea where our desired destination was), laughed and said, "are you trying to get to where all the people go? Well, that's a hell of a long way that way," and pointed to the direction from whence we had just walked a half a mile.
We finally made it to "the place where all the people go," and there were definitely people there. Crowds and crowds, plus street vendors, street performers, and every weirdo you could ever imagine. I've never actually seen so many people completely stoned out of their minds in my entire life. Venice Beach is a treasure trove for useless (well, useless to me, at least) items and knicknacks that will probably break within three hours of ownership. There are a lot of tattoo parlors, t-shirt vendors, smoke shops, henna stations, and palm readers. I made the mistake of stopping to hear someone's hip-hop music, and realized after I had said that I liked it and would take a cd that it was going to cost me $10, and attract every other "hip-hop" artist within a five mile radius. "We've got a live one here, folks." The two guys I bought the CD from were genuinely nice, even if they were Yankees fans (but we were on neutral grounds, so I gave them a free pass.) After spending $15 and walking away with a CD and a generous donation to a man so he would stop breathing on the back of my neck, we finally speed-walked our way out of there and arrived at our destination:

It was an open-air Biergarten, which I loved. I don't love beer, but I do love anything that's on the beach and slightly German (including Arnold, who is actually Austrian and used to pump himself up on Muscle Beach.)

There were lots of people here... many, many "hippies," or bohemians (whatever they're called these days), and lots of drunkards. I think that the great thing about places like this, is that when you go, you can't really be in a bad mood... it's nearly impossible. Everyone around you is having a good time, and they want you to have a good time, too. The table next to us was ragging on their friend for bringing his girlfriend golfing with them, so we obviously joined in on the debate. By the time we left (only five minutes after we started the debate), we were fast friends. Obviously.
Anyways, who could be angry when you have a view like this:

I still haven't (and probably will never) get used to the debilitatingly laid-back lifestyle out here, but I can embrace it in a Biergarten for a few hours.

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