Horizon at Sandy Point

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Venice in America

At the end of the 1800s, a new development on the southern California coast was being patterned after Venice in Italy. It was conceptualised by Abbot Kinney, who - born on the east coast and having travelled extensively in Europe - found that his asthmatic condition was alleviated in the drier climate in the west. He acquired several large tracts of land in southern California and built Kinneloa - less successful - and later Venice of America.

Though the real estate project was not wildly successful, it did put Kinney on the map. Today, Venice is an eclectic, upscale and desirable residential district built around shallow canals and bridges and narrow walking paths. The low, modest early houses are gradually giving way to more palatial or contemporary expressions, mixing old trees with new exotic grasses and flowering plants.
Houses with balconies, gleaming windows and a boat!

Papyrus screen to one of the ultra modern homes

One of many bridges linking the pedestrian paths

Glass and blue green cubes, with pool on the ground floor

New concrete beside old wooden shingles

Elegantly scaled homes

The Venice Beach promenade is now one of the most well-known tourist attractions in southern California. Skate-boarders, surfers and the free-spirited congregate and attract a culture that now typifies Venice Beach. "Kush" doctors promote and sell medical marijuana. A row of  towering, steadfast and straight palm trees oversees a carnival of characters. Buskers, moonwalkers, one-man bands and other entertainers play to the kaleidoscope of the eccentric, the curious and the gawkers.
Entertainers everywhere

Palm tree lined promenade and a parade of people

If we follow the Venice promenade north, it runs into Santa Monica. Here, the carnival continues on the pier  and Cirque du Soleil's pavilion. But for many who come to the beach, it is the call of the sea that lures them. And the end of the pier is an excellent vantage point to watch the sun set day after day.
Coney island rides above, the surging sea below

Cirque du Soleil training ground

View north of the pier

Surging Santa Monica surf north of the pier

1 comment:

  1. looks so pretty, like post cards,...I love the coloured houses..