This morning while sitting in church, I was suddenly swept with images of my recent visit to Venice Beach. I can’t tell you what sent those particular memories spinning through my brain, but I was suddenly simply awash in the way the light fell that calm, early spring afternoon, swept by the sense of quiet and ease that I felt wandering around those canals.
Obviously, something snared me there. Not sure what, yet. In general, I love California–how can you not, really? Bouganvillea tumbling over a fence, a soft breeze, the pounding fury of the surf, and it even has mountains!–but something about those canals captured my imagination entirely. I see myself in memory walking down one path, all alone except for a thin man walking his dog. Little rowboats were moored at the front doors and I thought it would be so much fun to row around there on a late gold evening, glimpsing snapshots of the lives inside the eclectic houses.
I think I’ll hunt around for some history about the building of the canals and their heyday, and maybe, too, find if there’s anything written about the hippie heyday. If anyone knows of anything, please refer your favorites.
It will be good to get to Santa Barbara in a few weeks. Teach in the mornings, spend my afternoons shooting photos of the mission and tourists and neighborhoods. It’s all so very out of reach now for living, but I don’t have to worry about that. I only have to visit and enjoy the beauties.
Of course, I live in an extraordinarily beautiful place, too. Jack and I walked at Red Rocks Ranch on Friday. Not bad.
4 thoughts on “California Dreamin’”
For a great history of the area, I’ve always liked Jeffrey Stanton’s books and web pages. (http://www.westland.net/venice/stanton.htm) You might start there. He has tons of links. He tends to focus on the amusement piers and is a Venice character in his own right.
I’ve never seen much on the web about the canals in the 60’s. My recollection (which is more very early ’70s) was that the canals had become very scungy and rundown. The residents were mainly hippies. There were Canal Festivals (annually? or whenever?) that were like huge weird block parties, with food and dancing and the smell of marijuana everywhere. It would be fun to find something on that.
This is my favorite time of year in SoCal before it gets scorching hot. Less reading and more outside time. Love it!
Venice Beach makes me think of the drum circle. Pretty cool stuff.