Today was a classic Venice Sunday, and the final one I will be experiencing for awhile.

Classic in that I awake early to a blue sky and decent temps even though most of the rest of the country is experiencing snow and a winter wonderland. I call my aunt in Iowa.

“We’re having a blizzard,” she says. Here is a picture of her yard.

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Classic in that I call Mike, my local coffee buddy. We meet at Abbott’s Habit, one of my local coffee shops. After a two hour heated discussion on the paradigms of the information age, we decide that . . . we’re hungry. So, we step over two shops to Abbott’s Pizza Company, one of the best pizza joints in all of LA, and only one block from my house! We get a couple of slices and sit on the sidewalk since all the tables are taken. Local dogs try to snatch the crusts off our paper plates. We abide.

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Later, I think about roller skating the boardwalk for my last Venice Sunday (for awhile), but the Venice boardwalk gets more foot traffic than Disneyland on a sunny Sunday. Unless you get down there early, it’s almost too many people to skate through. Being 3PM, I decide to walk and snap some pics.

As I walk down my street, I can’t help but smile because I love my neighborhood. You’ve got one house with a meticulously manicured yard, doors wide open and jazz blaring on one side of the street and a tricked-out Yukon thumping club music on the other side of the street. One house has a Delorian parked in the drive. Another house has alot of kids and almost as many pit bulls playing in a grassless front yard. The pit bulls know me and don’t bark at me anymore.

Approaching the boardwalk, I see that, as suspected, it’s a busy day in Venice. The boardwalk is almost viscerally overwhelming on days like this – a mish-mash of tourists, whistles, color, seagulls, bums, shouts, bike horns, incense, blue sky, ocean, performers, music, skateboards and dogs. The boardwalk is like this every day actually. However, on sunny Sunday afternoons, the masses are multiplied until the strip is fully congested, the people appear as one wriggling mass from afar.

I head down to the beach, to the rocks and the ocean that is the end of my street. imgp0227_web.jpg I wonder what will be at the end of my new street in Albuquerque?

I walk past groups of people huddled on the sand, talking and laughing and watching the waves. I’m a bit disturbed by the beach today because of the endless stream of trash lining the shore, from doll heads to milk jug caps, endless bits of unnatural bright colors. And the most amazing part to me are all the people frolicking all along the trail of junk.

I head up to the spraypaint wall. The walls in this park are a constantly changing surface for spraypaint artists. The walls are never the same from day to day or sometimes, from hour to hour. imgp0243_web.jpgI’m eager to see what today’s messages are on this last Venice Sunday (for awhile). This is my pick for the day!

I’m content to head home before sunset because I’ll have a few low-traffic days to enjoy the sunset this week. On my walk home, again, I break into a smile because as the wind blows in from the beach, it brings with it the faint sound of hundreds of drumbeats from the Sunday drum circle on the beach. My classic Venice Sunday is complete.