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Venice, Los Angeles, California

Venice, Los Angeles, California

Overview

Venice is a beachfront district on the Westside of Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is known for its canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

s, beach
Beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

es and circus
Circus
A circus is commonly a travelling company of performers that may include clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented artists...

-like Ocean Front Walk, a two-and-a-half mile pedestrian-only promenade that features performers, fortune-tellers
Fortune-telling
Fortune-telling is the practice of predicting information about a person's life. The scope of fortune-telling is in principle identical with the practice of divination...

, artists, and vendors. Venice was home to some of Los Angeles' early beat
Beat generation
The Beat Generation refers to a group of American post-WWII writers who came to prominence in the 1950s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired...

 poets and artists and has served as an important cultural center of the city.

Venice is bordered by the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 on the southwest, by the unincorporated Marina del Rey
Marina del Rey, California
-Demographics:-2010:The 2010 United States Census reported that Marina del Rey had a population of 8,866. The population density was 6,094.6 people per square mile...

 on the southeast, by Culver City
Culver City, California
Culver City is a city in western Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 38,883, up from 38,816 at the 2000 census. It is mostly surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, but also shares a border with unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Culver...

 on the south and east, by the Los Angeles neighborhood of Mar Vista
Mar Vista, Los Angeles, California
Mar Vista is a district on the West Side of Los Angeles, California.-Geography and transportation:Mar Vista is near the center of LA's West Side. The city of Santa Monica lies to the northwest, West Los Angeles to the north, Palms to the northeast, Culver City to the east, Del Rey to the southwest,...

 on the northeast, and by the city of Santa Monica
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, US. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is surrounded on three sides by the city of Los Angeles — Pacific Palisades on the northwest, Brentwood on the north, West Los Angeles on the northeast, Mar Vista on the east, and...

 on the north.

Venice of America was founded by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney
Abbot Kinney
Abbot Kinney was a developer and conservationist. Kinney is best known for his "Venice of America" development in Los Angeles.-Early life:...

 in 1905 as a beach resort town, 14 miles (22.5 km) west of Los Angeles.
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Encyclopedia

Venice is a beachfront district on the Westside of Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is known for its canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

s, beach
Beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

es and circus
Circus
A circus is commonly a travelling company of performers that may include clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented artists...

-like Ocean Front Walk, a two-and-a-half mile pedestrian-only promenade that features performers, fortune-tellers
Fortune-telling
Fortune-telling is the practice of predicting information about a person's life. The scope of fortune-telling is in principle identical with the practice of divination...

, artists, and vendors. Venice was home to some of Los Angeles' early beat
Beat generation
The Beat Generation refers to a group of American post-WWII writers who came to prominence in the 1950s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired...

 poets and artists and has served as an important cultural center of the city.

Venice is bordered by the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 on the southwest, by the unincorporated Marina del Rey
Marina del Rey, California
-Demographics:-2010:The 2010 United States Census reported that Marina del Rey had a population of 8,866. The population density was 6,094.6 people per square mile...

 on the southeast, by Culver City
Culver City, California
Culver City is a city in western Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 38,883, up from 38,816 at the 2000 census. It is mostly surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, but also shares a border with unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Culver...

 on the south and east, by the Los Angeles neighborhood of Mar Vista
Mar Vista, Los Angeles, California
Mar Vista is a district on the West Side of Los Angeles, California.-Geography and transportation:Mar Vista is near the center of LA's West Side. The city of Santa Monica lies to the northwest, West Los Angeles to the north, Palms to the northeast, Culver City to the east, Del Rey to the southwest,...

 on the northeast, and by the city of Santa Monica
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, US. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is surrounded on three sides by the city of Los Angeles — Pacific Palisades on the northwest, Brentwood on the north, West Los Angeles on the northeast, Mar Vista on the east, and...

 on the north.

History


Venice of America was founded by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney
Abbot Kinney
Abbot Kinney was a developer and conservationist. Kinney is best known for his "Venice of America" development in Los Angeles.-Early life:...

 in 1905 as a beach resort town, 14 miles (22.5 km) west of Los Angeles. He and his partner Francis Ryan had bought two miles (3.24 km
KM
KM, Km, or km may stand for:*Kilometre *Kernel methods*Kettle Moraine High School*Khmer language *Kuomintang , a centre-right political party in the Republic of China on Taiwan...

) of oceanfront property south of Santa Monica
Santa Mônica
Santa Mônica is a town and municipality in the state of Paraná in the Southern Region of Brazil.-References:...

 in 1891. They built a resort town on the north end of the property called Ocean Park, which was soon annexed to Santa Monica. After Ryan died, Kinney and his new partners continued building south of Navy Street in the unincorporated territory. After the partnership dissolved in 1904, Kinney built on the marshy land on the south end of the property, intending to create a seaside resort like its namesake in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

.

When Venice of America opened on July 4, 1905, Kinney had dug several miles of canals to drain the marsh
Marsh
In geography, a marsh, or morass, is a type of wetland that is subject to frequent or continuous flood. Typically the water is shallow and features grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, other herbaceous plants, and moss....

es for his residential area, built a 1200 feet (365.8 m)-long pleasure pier with an auditorium, ship restaurant, and dance hall, constructed a hot salt-water plunge, and built a block-long arcaded business street with Venetian architecture. Tourists, mostly arriving on the "Red Cars" of the Pacific Electric Railway
Pacific Electric Railway
The Pacific Electric Railway , also known as the Red Car system, was a mass transit system in Southern California using streetcars, light rail, and buses...

 from Los Angeles and Santa Monica, then rode Venice's miniature railroad and gondola
Gondola
The gondola is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat, well suited to the conditions of the Venetian Lagoon. For centuries gondolas were the chief means of transportation and most common watercraft within Venice. In modern times the iconic boats still have a role in public transport in...

s to tour the town. But the biggest attraction was Venice's mile-long gently sloping beach. Cottages and housekeeping tents were available for rent.

The town's population increased; it annexed adjacent housing tracts, and changed its official name from Ocean Park to Venice in 1911. The population (3119 residents in 1910) soon exceeded 10,000; the town drew 50,000 to 150,000 tourists on weekends.

Attractions on the Kinney Pier became more amusement-oriented by 1910, when a Venice Scenic Railway, Aquarium, Virginia Reel, Whip, Racing Derby and other rides and game booths were added. Since the business district was allotted only three one-block-long streets, and the City Hall was more than a mile away, other competing business districts developed. Unfortunately, this created a fractious political climate. Kinney, however, governed with an iron hand and kept things in check. When he died in November 1920, Venice became harder to govern. With the amusement pier burning six weeks later in December 1920, and Prohibition (which had begun the previous January), the town's tax revenue was severely affected.

The Kinney family rebuilt their amusement pier quickly to compete with Ocean Park's Pickering Pier and the new Sunset Pier. When it opened it had two roller coasters, a new Racing Derby, a Noah's Ark, a Mill Chutes, and many other rides. By 1925 with the addition of a third coaster, a tall Dragon Slide, Fun House and Flying Circus aerial ride, it was the finest amusement pier on the West Coast. Several hundred thousand tourists visited on weekends. In 1923 Charles Lick built the Lick Pier at Navy Street in Venice, adjacent to the Ocean Park Pier at Pier Avenue in Ocean Park. Another pier was planned for Venice in 1925 at Leona Street (now Washington Street).

For the amusement of the public, Kinney hired aviators to do aerial stunts over the beach. One of them, movie aviator
Aviator
An aviator is a person who flies an aircraft. The first recorded use of the term was in 1887, as a variation of 'aviation', from the Latin avis , coined in 1863 by G. de la Landelle in Aviation Ou Navigation Aérienne...

 and Venice airport owner B. H. DeLay
B. H. DeLay
Beverly Homer “B.H.” DeLay was an American aviator, engineer and actor.DeLay was born in Alameda, California, and educated at the Engineering School of the University of California and at the University of Heidelberg in Germany...

, implemented the first lighted airport in the United States on DeLay Field (previously known as Ince Field). He also initiated the first aerial police in the nation, after a marine rescue attempt was thwarted. DeLay also performed many of the world's first aerial stunts for motion pictures in Venice.

By 1925, Venice's politics became unmanageable. Its roads, water and sewage systems badly needed repair and expansion to keep up with its growing population. When it was proposed that Venice be annexed to Los Angeles, the board of trustees voted to hold an election. Those for annexation
Annexation
Annexation is the de jure incorporation of some territory into another geo-political entity . Usually, it is implied that the territory and population being annexed is the smaller, more peripheral, and weaker of the two merging entities, barring physical size...

 and those against were nearly evenly matched, but many Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 residents, who moved to Venice to vote, turned the tide. Venice became part of Los Angeles in November 1925.

Los Angeles had annexed the Disneyland
Disneyland Park (Anaheim)
Disneyland Park is a theme park located in Anaheim, California, owned and operated by the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts division of the Walt Disney Company. Known as Disneyland when it opened on July 18, 1955, and still almost universally referred to by that name, it is the only theme park to be...

 of its day, and proceeded to remake Venice in its own image. It was felt that the town needed more streets, not canals, and most of them were paved in 1929 after a three-year court battle led by canal residents. They wanted to close Venice's three amusement piers, but had to wait until the first of the tidelands leases expired in 1946.

In 1929, oil
Oil
An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

 was discovered south of Washington Street on the Venice Peninsula. Within two years, 450 oil wells covered the area and drilling waste clogged the remaining waterways. It was a short-lived boom that provided needed income to the community, which suffered during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

. The wells produced oil into the 1970s.

Los Angeles had neglected Venice so long that, by the 1950s, it had become the "Slum
Slum
A slum, as defined by United Nations agency UN-HABITAT, is a run-down area of a city characterized by substandard housing and squalor and lacking in tenure security. According to the United Nations, the percentage of urban dwellers living in slums decreased from 47 percent to 37 percent in the...

 by the Sea." With the exception of new police and fire stations in 1930, the city spent little on improvements after annexation. The city did not pave Trolleyway (Pacific Avenue) until 1954 when county and state funds became available. Low rents for run-down bungalows attracted predominantly Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an immigrants (including a substantial number of Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

 survivors), and young counterculture
Counterculture
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior...

 artists, poets and writers. The Beat Generation
Beat generation
The Beat Generation refers to a group of American post-WWII writers who came to prominence in the 1950s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired...

 hung out at the Gas House on Ocean Front Walk and at Venice West Cafe on Dudley. Police raids were frequent during that era.

Venice and neighboring Santa Monica
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, US. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is surrounded on three sides by the city of Los Angeles — Pacific Palisades on the northwest, Brentwood on the north, West Los Angeles on the northeast, Mar Vista on the east, and...

 were hosts for a decade to Pacific Ocean Park
Pacific Ocean Park
Pacific Ocean Park was a twenty-eight acre , nautical-themed amusement park built on a pier at Pier Avenue in the Ocean Park section of Santa Monica, California, which was intended to compete with Disneyland...

 (POP), an amusement and pleasure-pier built atop the old Lick Pier and Ocean Park Pier by CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 and the Los Angeles Turf Club (Santa Anita). It opened in July 1958, in Santa Monica
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, US. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is surrounded on three sides by the city of Los Angeles — Pacific Palisades on the northwest, Brentwood on the north, West Los Angeles on the northeast, Mar Vista on the east, and...

. They kept the pier's old roller coaster, airplane ride and historic carousel, but converted its theaters and smaller pier buildings into sea-themed rides and space-themed attractions designed by Hollywood special-effects people. Visitors could travel in space on the Flight to Mars ride, tour the world in Around the World in 80 Turns, go beneath the sea in the Diving Bells or at Neptune's Kingdom, take a fantasy excursion into the Tales of the Arabian Nights on the Flying Carpet ride, visit a pirate world at Davy Jones' Locker, or visit a tropical paradise and its volcano by riding a train on Mystery Island. There were also thrill rides like the Whirlpool (rotor whose floor dropped out), the Flying Fish wild mouse coaster, an auto ride, gondola ride, double Ferris wheel, safari ride, and an area of children's rides called Fun Forest. Sea lion
Sea Lion
Sea lions are pinnipeds characterized by external ear-flaps, long fore-flippers, the ability to walk on all fours, and short thick hair. Together with the fur seal, they comprise the family Otariidae, or eared seals. There are six extant and one extinct species in five genera...

 shows were performed at the Sea Circus.

Since attendance at the park was too low to justify winter operation, and with competition from Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and Marineland, it was sold after two seasons to a succession of owners, who allowed the park to deteriorate. Since Santa Monica was redeveloping the surrounding area for high-rise apartments and condo
Condominium
A condominium, or condo, is the form of housing tenure and other real property where a specified part of a piece of real estate is individually owned while use of and access to common facilities in the piece such as hallways, heating system, elevators, exterior areas is executed under legal rights...

s, it became difficult for patrons to reach the park, and it was forced into bankruptcy in 1967. The park suffered a series of arson fires beginning in 1970, and its was demolished by 1974. Another aging attraction in the 1960s was the Aragon Ballroom that had been the longtime home of The Lawrence Welk Show
The Lawrence Welk Show
The Lawrence Welk Show is an American televised musical variety show hosted by big band leader Lawrence Welk. The series aired locally in Los Angeles for four years , then nationally for another 27 years via the ABC network and first-run syndication .In the years since first-run syndication...

and the Spade Cooley
Spade Cooley
Donnell Clyde Cooley , better known as Spade Cooley, was an American Western swing musician, big band leader, actor, and television personality...

 Show, and later the Cheetah Club where rock bands such as the Doors
The Doors
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, California, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore, and guitarist Robby Krieger...

, Blue Cheer & many other top bands performed. It burned in the 1970 fire. The district around POP in the southside of Santa Monica
Santa Mônica
Santa Mônica is a town and municipality in the state of Paraná in the Southern Region of Brazil.-References:...

 is known as Dogtown. It is a common misconception that Dogtown is in Venice, but the original Z-boys surfing and skateboarding shop was and is still on Main St. in Santa Monica. Venice and Santa Monica were home to pioneering skateboarders
Skateboarding
Skateboarding is an action sport which involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard.Skateboarding can be a recreational activity, an art form, a job, or a method of transportation. Skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. A 2002 report...

 the Z-Boys
Z-Boys
The Z-Boys was a group of skateboarders in the mid-1970s from Santa Monica and Venice, California. The aerial and sliding skate moves that the Z-Boys invented were the basis for aerial skateboarding today.-History:...

, as profiled in the documentary film, Dogtown and Z-Boys
Dogtown and Z-Boys
Dogtown and Z-Boys is a 2001 documentary film directed by Stacy Peralta. Using a mix of film the Zephyr skateboard team shot in the 1970s by Craig Stecyk and more recent interviews, the documentary tells the story of a group of teenage surfer/skateboarders and their influence on the history of...

.
Little known is that POP pier was actually completely in Santa Monica, it started at the end of Ocean Park Blvd and extended to the line where Venice meets Santa Monica.

Producer Roger Corman
Roger Corman
Roger William Corman is an American film producer, director and actor. He has mostly worked on low-budget B movies. Some of Corman's work has an established critical reputation, such as his cycle of films adapted from the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, and in 2009 he won an Honorary Academy Award for...

 owned a production facility, the Concorde/New Horizons Studio, on Main Street, where many of his films were shot. This facility was razed to build the Venice Art Lofts and Dogtown Station lofts.

Demographics


As of 2008, the population is estimated to be around 40,885. The median household income is $67,057, making it one the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city. The racial and ethnic composition in Venice is White
White American
White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

 (63.9%), Latino
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

 (22.2%), African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 (5.6%), Asian
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

 (3.7%), and Other (4.6%).

Attractions and neighborhoods



Venice is today one of the most vibrant and eclectic areas of Southern California
Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

 and it continues a tradition of liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 social change involving prominent Westsiders. Venice Family Clinic
Venice Family Clinic
Venice Family Clinic is a free medical clinic based in Venice, Los Angeles, California.Founded in 1970 by Philip Rossman, MD, and co-founder Mayer B. Davidson, MD, it has grown from a single small storefront to eight sites in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista and Culver City...

 is the largest free clinic
Free clinic
A free clinic is a medical facility offering community healthcare on a free or very low-cost basis in countries with marginal or no universal health care. Care is generally provided in these clinics to persons who have lower or limited income and no health insurance, including persons who are not...

 in the country.

The Venice Farmers' Market, founded in 1987, operates every Friday morning from 7-11 AM on Venice Blvd at Venice Way.

Many of Venice's houses have their principal entries from pedestrian-only streets, and have house numbers on these footpaths. (Automobile access is by alleys in the rear). However, like much of Los Angeles, Venice is also well-known for traffic congestion. It lies 2 miles (3.2 km) away from the nearest freeway, and its unusually dense network of narrow streets was not planned for the demands of modern traffic. Mindful of the tourist nature of much of the district's vehicle traffic, though, its residents have successfully fought numerous attempts to extend the Marina Freeway (SR 90
California State Route 90
State Route 90 is a state highway in Southern California, United States. It consists of two unconnected pieces in Greater Los Angeles....

) into southern Venice.

Venice Beach


Venice Beach includes the beach, the promenade
Foreshoreway
A foreshoreway is a type of greenway that provides a public right of way along the edge of a waterbody.Foreshoreways are usually focused on sustainable behaviours and hence are a common facility for sustainable transport. The terminology was derived to assist to avoid the perception of a pavement...

 that runs parallel to the beach ("Ocean Front Walk
Oceanway
An oceanway is a form of foreshoreway that provides sustainable public access along an oceanfront area. The terminology was derived to avoid the perception of a pavement favouring either pedestrians or cyclists ....

" or just "the boardwalk
Boardwalk
A boardwalk, in the conventional sense, is a wooden walkway for pedestrians and sometimes vehicles, often found along beaches, but they are also common as paths through wetlands, coastal dunes, and other sensitive environments....

"), Muscle Beach
Muscle Beach
Muscle Beach refers to either Muscle Beach Venice, an area in Venice, California, on Ocean Front Walk two blocks north of Venice Boulevard or to Original Muscle Beach, two miles north of Venice, south of the Santa Monica Pier...

, the handball
American handball
American handball is a sport in which players hit a small rubber ball against a wall using their hands.- History :...

 courts, the paddle tennis
Paddle tennis
Paddle tennis is a game adapted from tennis and played for over a century. Compared to tennis, the court is smaller and has no doubles lanes, and the net is lower. Paddle tennis is played with a solid paddle as opposed to a strung racquet, and a depressurized tennis ball is used along with an...

 courts, Skate Dancing plaza, the numerous beach volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 courts, the bike trail and the business
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

es on Ocean Front Walk. The basketball courts in Venice are renowned across the country for their high level of streetball
Streetball
Streetball or street basketball is a variation of the sport of basketball, typically played on outdoor courts and featuring significantly less by way of formal structure and enforcement of the game's rules...

; numerous NBA players developed their games or recruited on these courts.
Along the southern portion of the beach, at the end of Washington Boulevard
Washington Boulevard (Los Angeles)
Washington Boulevard is the longest continuous east-west arterial road in Los Angeles, California. It starts by the Pacific Ocean just west of Pacific Avenue in Marina del Rey, and ends far to the east in the city of Whittier, on Whittier Boulevard. It is south of Venice Boulevard for most of its...

, is the Venice Fishing Pier. A 1310 feet (399.3 m) concrete structure, it first opened in 1964, was closed in 1983 due to El Niño storm damage, and re-opened in the mid-1990s. On December 21, 2005, the pier again suffered damage when waves from an unusually large northern swell caused the part of the pier where the restrooms were located to fall into the ocean. The pier remained closed until May 25, 2006, when it was re-opened after an engineering study concluded the pier was structurally sound.

The Venice Breakwater is an acclaimed local surf spot in Venice. It is located north of the Venice Pier and Lifeguard Headquarters, and south of the Santa Monica Pier. This spot is sheltered on the north by an artificial barrier, the breakwater
Breakwater (structure)
Breakwaters are structures constructed on coasts as part of coastal defence or to protect an anchorage from the effects of weather and longshore drift.-Purposes of breakwaters:...

, consisting of an extending sand bar, piping, and large rocks at its end.

This spot has differing breaks depending on swell intensity, swell direction, tide and time of the day.

Oakwood


The Oakwood neighborhood of Venice, also known as Ghost Town and the "Oakwood Pentagon", which lies inland a few blocks from the tourist areas, is one of the few historically African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 areas in West Los Angeles, although Latinos have constituted the overwhelming majority of the residents. During the age of restrictive covenant
Restrictive covenant
A restrictive covenant is a type of real covenant, a legal obligation imposed in a deed by the seller upon the buyer of real estate to do or not to do something. Such restrictions frequently "run with the land" and are enforceable on subsequent buyers of the property...

s that enforced racial segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

, Oakwood was set aside as a settlement area for blacks
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

, who came by the hundreds to Venice to work in the oil fields during the 1930s and 1940s. After the construction of the San Diego Freeway
Interstate 405 (California)
Interstate 405 is a major north–south Interstate Highway in Southern California. It is a bypass of Interstate 5, running along the western areas of the Greater Los Angeles Area from Irvine in the south to near San Fernando in the north...

 passed through predominantly Mexican
Mexican American
Mexican Americans are Americans of Mexican descent. As of July 2009, Mexican Americans make up 10.3% of the United States' population with over 31,689,000 Americans listed as of Mexican ancestry. Mexican Americans comprise 66% of all Hispanics and Latinos in the United States...

 and immigrant communities, they moved further west and into Oakwood. Whites
White American
White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

 moved in or around Oakwood during the 1980s and 1990s.

The Venice Shoreline Crips
Venice Shoreline Crips
The Venice Shoreline Crips are a black American street gang located in the Oakwood section within Venice, a district of Los Angeles, California....

 and the Latino Venice 13
Venice 13
Venice 13 is a Mexican American street gang based in the Oakwood neighborhood of Venice, a section of Los Angeles, California, with a substantial presence in East Venice as well as the Culver City/Los Angeles border, especially around Washington Blvd.The gang dates back to the 1950s, and has long...

 gang, which are under a shaky truce, continue to remain active in Venice. By 2002, numbers of gang members in Oakwood were reduced due to gentrification
Gentrification
Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

 and increased police presence. According to a Los Angeles City Beat article, by 2003, many Los Angeles Westside gang members resettled in the city of Inglewood
Inglewood, California
Inglewood is a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, California, southwest of downtown Los Angeles. It was incorporated on February 14, 1908. Its population stood at 109,673 as of the 2010 Census...

.

Near the end of the 20th century, gentrification has greatly altered Oakwood. Although still a primarily Latino and African-American neighborhood, the neighborhood is in flux. According to Los Angeles City Beat, "In Venice, the transformation is....obvious. Homes are fetching sometimes more than $1 million, and homies are being displaced every day." Author John Brodie challenges the idea of gentrification causing change and commented "...the gunplay of the Shoreline Crips and the V-13 is as much a part of life in Venice as pit bull
Pit bull
A Pit bull is any of several breeds of dog in the molosser breed group.Many jurisdictions that restrict pit bulls, including Ontario, Canada,, Miami, Florida, U.S...

s playing with blond Labs
Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is one of several kinds of retriever, a type of gun dog. A breed characteristic is webbed paws for swimming, useful for the breed's original purpose of retrieving fishing nets. The Labrador is the most popular breed of dog by registered ownership in Canada, the United...

 at the local dog park." Xinachtli, a Latino student group from Venice High School and subset of MEChA
MEChA
M.E.Ch.A. is an organization that seeks to promote Chicano unity and empowerment through political action. The acronym of the organization's name is the Spanish word mecha, which means "fuse"...

, refers to Oakwood as one of last beachside communities of color in California. Chicano
Chicano
The terms "Chicano" and "Chicana" are used in reference to U.S. citizens of Mexican descent. However, those terms have a wide range of meanings in various parts of the world. The term began to be widely used during the Chicano Movement, mainly among Mexican Americans, especially in the movement's...

s and Latinos of any race make up over 50% of Venice High School's student body.

East Venice


East Venice is a racially and ethnically mixed, residential neighborhood of Venice that is separated from Oakwood and Milwood (the area south of Oakwood) by Lincoln Boulevard, extending east to the border with Mar Vista, near Venice High School. Aside from the commercial strip on Lincoln (including the Venice Boys and Girls Club and the Venice United Methodist Church
Venice United Methodist Church
The Venice United Methodist Church of Venice, California, is a member of the California-Pacific Conference within the United Methodist Church. It serves the Venice and Marina del Rey communities within the UMC Cal-Pac Los Angeles District.-Location:...

), the area almost entirely consists of small homes and apartments as well as Penmar Park and (bordering Santa Monica) Penmar Golf Course. The existing population (primarily composed of Caucasians
European American
A European American is a citizen or resident of the United States who has origins in any of the original peoples of Europe...

, Hispanics, and Asians
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

, with small numbers of other groups) is being supplemented by new arrivals who have moved in with gentrification.

A housing project, Lincoln Place, was built nearby by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles
Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles is the public housing agency for Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1938. There are more than 60 public housing locations in Los Angeles.-History:...

 to accommodate GI's returning from the war and in need of affordable housing. It later came to house working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 families. Lincoln Place is currently in the midst of an extensive legal battle between past and present tenants and the owner, AIMCO. The developer, which acquired the property in 2003, plans to demolish it and build a mixed-use condominium and retail structure on the site. Only 13 tenants remain, all of them elderly or disabled.

As of 2010 the housing developer AIMCO has settled with tenants and agreed to reopened the project and return scores of evicted residents to their homes and add hundreds of below-market-rate units to the Venice area.

Notable residents and businesses


Venice has always been known as a hangout for the creative and the artistic. In the 1950s and 60s, Venice became a center for the Beat generation. There was an explosion of poetry and art. Major participants included Stuart Perkoff, John Thomas, Frank T. Rios, Tony Scibella, Lawrence Lipton, John Haag, Saul White, Robert Farrington, Philomene Long and Tom Sewell
Tom Sewell (artist)
Tom Sewell is a multi-media artist, designer, photographer, filmmaker, sculptor. He was presented "The Annual Award of Excellence" by the United Nations Society of Artists and Writers for his "Enigma of the Mill" and for his contribution to the Anti War/Peace Movement...

. In the 1970s, prominent performance artist Chris Burden
Chris Burden
Christopher "Chris" Burden is an American artist working in performance, sculpture, and installation art.-Education:Burden studied for his B.A...

 created some of his early, groundbreaking, work in Venice, such as Trans-fixed.

Prominent residents of Venice include Youtube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 sensation Shay Butler, artist Greg Colson
Greg Colson
Greg Colson is an American artist best known for wall sculptures constructed of salvaged materials. Colson has had solo exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe, including Sperone Westwater , William Griffin Gallery , Galleria Cardi , Kunsthalle Lophem , Konrad Fischer , and the Lannan...

, writer Russell T Davies, singer Brandon Boyd
Brandon Boyd
Brandon Charles Boyd is an American musician, author, and visual artist. He is best known as the lead vocalist of the American rock band Incubus.-Early Life and Incubus:...

, actresses Anna Paquin
Anna Paquin
Anna Helene Paquin is a Canadian-born New Zealand actress. Paquin's first critically successful film was The Piano, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1994 at the age of 11 – the second youngest winner in history...

, Kate Beckinsale
Kate Beckinsale
Kathryn Bailey "Kate" Beckinsale is an English actress. After some minor television roles, she made her film debut in Much Ado About Nothing while still a student at Oxford University...

, Valeria Andrews
Valeria Andrews
Andrews' debut studio album, Freshly Squeezed was originally set to be released through Interscope but Valeria decided to move the project to a new label . The album was a digital release; it was released onto Amazon download on the January 28, 2009 and on iTunes on February 10, 2009...

, Lana Clarkson
Lana Clarkson
Lana Jean Clarkson was an American actress and fashion model. Clarkson was a native of Los Angeles County. She played roles in science fiction and fantasy movies. She was murdered by songwriter and producer Phil Spector, who was convicted of the crime on April 13, 2009.-Early life:Born in Long...

 and Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston is an American actress. Huston became the third generation of her family to win an Academy Award, for her performance in 1985's Prizzi's Honor, joining her father, director John Huston, and grandfather, actor Walter Huston. She later was nominated in 1989 and 1990 for her acting in...

, actors Tim Robbins
Tim Robbins
Timothy Francis "Tim" Robbins is an American actor, screenwriter, director, producer, activist and musician. He is the former longtime partner of actress Susan Sarandon...

, Tom Conway
Tom Conway
Tom Conway was a British film and radio actor, and elder brother of actor George Sanders.-Early life:...

 (brother of actor George Sanders), lived here in the 1960s, Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage is an American actor, producer and director, having appeared in over 60 films including Raising Arizona , The Rock , Face/Off , Gone in 60 Seconds , Adaptation , National Treasure , Ghost Rider , Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans , and...

, Christian Bale
Christian Bale
Christian Charles Philip Bale is an English actor. Best known for his roles in American films, Bale has starred in both big budget Hollywood films and the smaller projects from independent producers and art houses....

, Stephen Moyer
Stephen Moyer
Stephen Moyer is an English actor who has starred as vampire Bill Compton in the HBO series True Blood since 2008.-Early life and career:Moyer was born in Brentwood, Essex...

, Chaney Kley
Chaney Kley
Chaney Kley was an American film and television actor.-Early life:Kley was born Chaney Kley Minnis in Manassas, Virginia. Kley attended the Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver, Colorado, and the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. He gained a BFA in acting...

, Tim Meadows, Robert Hegyes
Robert Hegyes
Robert Hegyes is an American actor, perhaps best known for his portrayal of Epstein in the 1970s television series Welcome Back, Kotter.-Early life:...

, Mark Valley
Mark Valley
Mark Thomas Valley is an American film and television actor, known for his role as Brad Chase on the TV drama Boston Legal and Christopher Chance in Fox's action/drama Human Target.-Personal life:...

, Michael T. Weiss
Michael T. Weiss
Michael Terry Weiss is an American actor best known for playing the title role in The Pretender.-Early life:Weiss was born in Chicago, Illinois. His father was a steel-industry executive and his mother was a homemaker. He has a sister, Jamie Sue Weiss, who became a make-up artist for television...

, Fairuza Balk
Fairuza Balk
Fairuza Alejandra Balk is an American film actress. She made her theatrical film debut as Dorothy Gale in Disney's Return to Oz...

, Taylor Negron
Taylor Negron
Brad Taylor Negron is an American writer, actor, and stand-up comedian.-Personal life:Negron was born in Glendale, California to Conrad Negron, Sr., former mayor of Indian Wells, California. He grew up in Pasadena, California. His cousin is singer Chuck Negron...

, artist Martha Alf, and musicians Perry Farrell
Perry Farrell
Perry Farrell is the frontman for the alternative rock band Jane's Addiction. Farrell created the touring festival Lollapalooza as a farewell tour for Jane's Addiction in 1991; it has since evolved into an annual destination festival. Farrell continues to produce Lollapalooza with partners William...

, Evidence
Evidence (artist)
Michael Perretta, better known as Evidence , is an American hip hop artist, producer, and member of the rap group Dilated Peoples. Evidence is a native of Venice, Los Angeles and was born to an Italian father and a Russian-American mother...

 of Dilated Peoples, Saint John of Saint John and the Revelations, Joshua Kadison
Joshua Kadison
Joshua Kadison is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, and writer.- Early life :Joshua grew up in and around Los Angeles, California, the younger of two sons. His mother was of Mexican-American Indian descent. At age 12 he started playing the piano and subsequently started to write songs...

, John Lydon
John Lydon
John Joseph Lydon , also known by the former stage name Johnny Rotten, is a singer-songwriter and television presenter, best known as the lead singer of punk rock band the Sex Pistols from 1975 until 1978, and again for various revivals during the 1990s and 2000s...

 (who owns a sizeable amount of rental property in Venice), Ozzy Lusth
Ozzy Lusth
Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth is a reality show contestant who first appeared on Survivor: Cook Islands. He finished as the 1st runner-up in a 5–4–0 vote to Yul Kwon. Lusth later competed in Survivor: Micronesia as one of the returning favorites...

, and Jud "Fabio" Birza
Jud Birza
Judson John "Fabio" Birza , is an American male model, best known as the winner of Survivor: Nicaragua. At age 21, he was the youngest winner of the show. Birza is a native of Lake St...

 from Survivor, architect Lawrence Scarpa
Lawrence Scarpa
Lawrence Scarpa is an architect based in Los Angeles, California.He is known for the creative use of conventional materials in unique and unexpected ways...

, John Frusciante
John Frusciante
John Anthony Frusciante is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, record and film producer. He is best known as the former lead guitarist of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, with whom he had been for a number of years and recorded five studio albums...

, ex-guitarist
Guitarist
A guitarist is a musician who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar while singing.- Versatility :The guitarist controls an extremely...

 of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The group's musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk, hip hop and psychedelic rock...

, Tommy Mars
Tommy Mars
Tommy Mars is a keyboard player, best known for his work with Frank Zappa.Born in Connecticut, U.S.A., 26 October 1951 Mars began piano lessons at age eight, and later his instrument range expanded to various keyboards and synthesizers. Mars graduated in 1972 from the Hartt College of Music in...

 of the Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

 band, Fiona Apple
Fiona Apple
Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. Apple met international acclaim for her 1996 debut album, Tidal, which was a critical and commercial success...

 and Mike Muir
Mike Muir
Mike Muir is the lead vocalist of the Venice skate punk bands Suicidal Tendencies Los Cycos and the funk rock band Infectious Grooves...

 and most of his Suicidal Tendencies
Suicidal Tendencies
Suicidal Tendencies is a U.S. crossover thrash band founded in 1981 in Venice, Los Angeles, California by Mike Muir, its leader and only permanent member. The band is sometimes credited as one of "the fathers of crossover thrash"...

 bandmates. Photographer Lauren Greenfield
Lauren Greenfield
Lauren Greenfield is an American artist, documentary photographer, and documentary filmmaker. She has published three monographs of her photographic work, directed four documentary films, exhibited her photographic prints in museums throughout the world, and had her work published in a variety of...

 has lived in Venice since 1972. R&B singer Teena Marie
Teena Marie
Mary Christine Brockert, better known by her stage name Teena Marie, was an American singer, songwriter and producer...

 spent her childhood and teenage years in Venice, performing along the boardwalk before her big break with Motown.

Actress Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan is an American actress, pop singer and model. She began her career as a child fashion model before making her motion picture debut in Disney's 1998 remake of The Parent Trap at the age of 11...

 lives in the Windward Circle area (next to DJ Samantha Ronson
Samantha Ronson
Samantha Judith Ronson is an English singer-songwriter and disc jockey who lives in Los Angeles, California.-Biography:Ronson was born in London and raised in St John's Wood...

) upon her recent release from the Betty Ford clinic. Actress Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts
Julia Fiona Roberts is an American actress. She became a Hollywood star after headlining the romantic comedy Pretty Woman , which grossed $464 million worldwide...

 owned a house for ten years on one of the walk streets (which was recently sold to actor Tim Robbins
Tim Robbins
Timothy Francis "Tim" Robbins is an American actor, screenwriter, director, producer, activist and musician. He is the former longtime partner of actress Susan Sarandon...

) but has primarily resided in Malibu since 2009. Actor Robert Downey, Jr. kept an apartment on the boardwalk during the 1990s and currently owns a building on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Harding Avenue is also where The Lennon Sisters
The Lennon Sisters
The Lennon Sisters are a singing group consisting of four siblings: Dianne , Peggy , Kathy , and Janet . They were all born in Los Angeles, California of German/Irish and Mexican ancestry. The original quartet were the eldest four in a family of twelve siblings...

 of Lawrence Welk fame grew up. Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison
James Douglas "Jim" Morrison was an American musician, singer, and poet, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band The Doors...

 lived in Venice for two years where he met Ray Manzarek
Ray Manzarek
Raymond Daniel Manzarek, Jr., better known as Ray Manzarek , is an American musician, singer, producer, film director, writer, co-founder and keyboardist of The Doors from 1965 to 1973, Nite City from 1977–1978 and Manzarek-Krieger since 2001.Manzarek is listed #4 on Digital Dreamdoor's "100...

 to form the nucleus of The Doors
The Doors
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, California, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore, and guitarist Robby Krieger...

. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

's acting career began after becoming a regular bodybuilder at Venice's famous Gold's Gym, whose present facility claims to be "The Mecca of Bodybuilding." Restaurateur Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Johannes Puck is an Austrian-American celebrity chef, restaurateur, businessman and occasional actor. Wolfgang Puck restaurants, catering services, cookbooks and licensed products are run by Wolfgang Puck Companies, with three divisions...

 has owned and operated noted eateries in the area since the 1990s. Other notables include actors Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Peter Mortensen, Jr. is a Danish-American actor, poet, musician, photographer and painter. He made his film debut in Peter Weir's 1985 thriller Witness, and subsequently appeared in many notable films of the 1990s, including The Indian Runner , Carlito's Way , Crimson Tide , Daylight , The...

, Rutger Hauer, Bryan Callen
Bryan Callen
Bryan Christopher Callen is an American actor. Callen is notable for being one of the original cast of comedians on the sketch comedy series MADtv.-Early life:...

, Paul Giamatti
Paul Giamatti
Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti is an American actor. Giamatti began his career as a supporting actor in several films produced during the 1990s including Private Parts, The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan, The Negotiator, and Man on the Moon, before earning lead roles in several projects in the...

, Camryn Manheim
Camryn Manheim
Camryn Manheim is an American actress known primarily for her roles as attorney Ellenor Frutt on ABC's The Practice and Delia Banks on CBS's Ghost Whisperer and as Elvis's mother, Gladys Presley in the 2005 mini-series Elvis....

, Maria Bello
Maria Bello
Maria Elena Bello is an American actress and singer known for her appearances in the movies Coyote Ugly, The Jane Austen Book Club, Permanent Midnight, Thank You for Smoking, A History of Violence, Payback, and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. For television she is known for her role as Dr...

 and Elijah Wood
Elijah Wood
Elijah Jordan Wood is an American actor. He made his film debut with a minor part in Back to the Future Part II , then landed a succession of larger roles that made him a critically acclaimed child actor by age 9. He is best known for his high-profile role as Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's...

, and film directors Vadim Perelman
Vadim Perelman
Vadim Perelman is a Ukrainian-American film director. Perelman made his feature film directorial debut in 2003 with House of Sand and Fog, following a successful career as a commercial director. The film, nominated for three Academy Awards, also marks his first screenplay credit...

, Henry Jaglom
Henry Jaglom
- Life and career :Born January 26, 1941 in London, England to Simon and Marie Jaglom, Henry Jaglom trained with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York, where he acted, wrote and directed off-Broadway theater and cabaret before settling in Hollywood in the late 1960s...

 and Paul Mazursky
Paul Mazursky
Paul Mazursky is an American film director, screenwriter and actor.-Personal life:He was born Irwin Mazursky in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Jean , a piano player for dance classes, and David Mazursky, a laborer. Mazursky was born to a Jewish family; his grandfather was an immigrant from...

, and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is a reality television series providing home renovations for less fortunate families and community schools etc...

Host Ty Pennington
Ty Pennington
Tygert Bruton "Ty" Pennington is an American television host, model, philanthropist and carpenter. He is most notable for being the host of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition which currently airs on ABC in the US and Ty's Great British Adventure, which airs on UKTV home in the UK and TV LAND...

. For many years, pro wrestlers Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan
Terrance Gene "Terry" Bollea , better known by his ring name Hulk Hogan, is an American Semi-retired professional wrestler, actor, television personality, and musician currently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling ....

 and Sting
Sting (wrestler)
Steven James "Steve" Borden , better known by his ring name Sting, is an American semi-retired professional wrestler, currently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling...

 were announced as residing in Venice Beach as well. Standup comedian
Comedian
A comedian or comic is a person who seeks to entertain an audience, primarily by making them laugh. This might be through jokes or amusing situations, or acting a fool, as in slapstick, or employing prop comedy...

s, such as Nick Swardson
Nick Swardson
Nicholas Roger "Nick" Swardson is an American actor, stand-up comedian, and writer. He is best known for his recurring role as Terry Bernardino in the Comedy Central series Reno 911!, for his work in Happy Madison films, most notably the 2011 film Just Go With It, and for his new Comedy Central...

, Jim Jeffries, Eddie Ifft
Eddie ifft
Eddie Ifft is an American stand-up comedian and sitcom writer. He lives in Venice, California.Ifft graduated with honors from Fox Chapel Area High School in 1992...

, Paul Provenza
Paul Provenza
Paul Provenza is an actor, comedian and filmmaker, a self-professed skeptic currently based in Los Angeles.-Early years:...

, George Carlin
George Carlin
George Denis Patrick Carlin was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor and author, who won five Grammy Awards for his comedy albums....

 and Zach Galifianakis
Zach Galifianakis
Zachary Knight "Zach" Galifianakis is an American stand-up comedian and actor known for his numerous film and television appearances including his own Comedy Central Presents special...

 and street performers have proliferated in Venice, Wavy Gravy
Wavy Gravy
Wavy Gravy is an American entertainer and activist for peace, best known for his hippie appearance, personality and beliefs. His moniker...

 and Swami X
Swami X
Swami X is an American boardwalk performer and stand-up comedian. Active from the 1970s to 1985, he performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, and New York. He was known for bawdy sexual humor and political invective....

 being two of the more recent hippie
Hippie
The hippie subculture was originally a youth movement that arose in the United States during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world. The etymology of the term 'hippie' is from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into San Francisco's...

 busker alumni. Federal civil rights lawyer Stephen Yagman
Stephen Yagman
Stephen Yagman, is a federal civil rights lawyer.Over his legal career, Stephen Yagman developed a reputation for being a civil rights advocate, a crusader against police brutality, and a "pugnacious civil rights lawyer." In County of Los Angeles v. U.S. Dist. Ct. , 223 F.3d 990 Stephen Yagman,...

 lives there. Political contributions have been sent from homes in Venice from the actor Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper
Dennis Lee Hopper was an American actor, filmmaker and artist. As a young man, Hopper became interested in acting and eventually became a student of the Actors' Studio. He made his first television appearance in 1954 and appeared in two films featuring James Dean, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant...

 and Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

creator Matt Groening
Matt Groening
Matthew Abram "Matt" Groening is an American cartoonist, screenwriter, and producer. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell as well as two successful television series, The Simpsons and Futurama....

. South Park
South Park
South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

co-creator Matt Stone
Matt Stone
Matthew Richard "Matt" Stone is an American screenwriter, producer, voice artist, musician and actor, best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with creative partner and best friend, Trey Parker....

 lives in Venice as well. Harry Perry, the famous street entertainer, is one of the boardwalk's key performers. Photographer Helen K. Garber
Helen K. Garber
Helen K. Garber is an American photographer known mostly for her black and white urban landscapes of cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Paris, Amsterdam and Venice...

 maintains a studio on Ocean Front Walk. Graffiti/Street Artist and painter Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist. His career in art began as a graffiti artist in New York City in the late 1970s, and in the 1980s produced Neo-expressionist painting.-Early life:...

 lived in Venice in the 80's. Immature
IMx
IMx , are an American R&B group, managed by record producer Chris Stokes. Its members include Marques "Batman" Houston , Jerome "Romeo" Jones , and Kelton "LDB" Kessee , all natives of Los Angeles, California, where the group was formed...

, an R&B group from the 1990s, used to perform on the boardwalk prior to becoming famous.

TNA
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling is a privately held professional wrestling promotion founded by Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Jarrett. The company broadcasts its events on television and the Internet fifty two weeks a year with over a million weekly viewers on its primary television program, Impact...

 professional wrestlers Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan
Terrance Gene "Terry" Bollea , better known by his ring name Hulk Hogan, is an American Semi-retired professional wrestler, actor, television personality, and musician currently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling ....

 and Sting are billed as being from Venice Beach; they actually hail from Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Tampa is a city in the U.S. state of Florida. It serves as the county seat for Hillsborough County. Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida. The population of Tampa in 2010 was 335,709....

 and Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska, United States, and is the county seat of Douglas County. It is located in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 20 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River...

 respectively.

Venice is today a vibrant area of Southern California and it continues a tradition of progressive social change involving prominent Westsiders. The Venice Family Clinic is the largest free clinic in the country. The Venice Community Housing Corporation
Venice Community Housing Corporation
The Venice Community Housing Corporation was formed in 1988 by a group of grassroots activists who were interested in preserving affordable housing in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, California...

, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the economic, racial and social diversity of Venice and the surrounding area, provides affordable housing, economic and community development opportunities and needed social services to low income residents. Women in Recovery, Inc., a non-profit organization offering a live-in, 12-step program of rehabilitation for women in need, was founded by a longtime resident of Venice, Sister Ada Geraghty. Geraghty and her organization on Coeur D'Alene Avenue annually honor those who've made a difference in helping women overcome substance abuse problems. The 2006 honoree for Women in Recovery was Christopher Lawford
Christopher Lawford
Christopher Kennedy Lawford is an American author, actor and activist and member of the prominent Kennedy family.-Life and career:...

; past honorees have included Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis is an American actress and author. Although she was initially known as a "scream queen" because of her starring roles in several horror films early in her career, such as Halloween, The Fog, Prom Night and Terror Train, Curtis has since compiled a body of work that spans many...

, Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
Angela Brigid Lansbury CBE is an English actress and singer in theatre, television and motion pictures, whose career has spanned eight decades and earned her more performance Tony Awards than any other individual , with five wins...

, and Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, KBE , best known as Anthony Hopkins, is a Welsh actor of film, stage and television...

.

Local government


The Los Angeles Fire Department
Los Angeles Fire Department
The Los Angeles Fire Department is the agency that provides fire protection and emergency medical services for the city of Los Angeles....

 operates Station 63, which serves Venice.

Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of with a population of more than 4.1 million people, it is the third largest local law enforcement agency in...

 serves the area through the Pacific Community Police Station at 12312 Culver Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90066, and a beach sub-station at 1530 W. Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90921.

Los Angeles County Lifeguards


Venice Beach is the headquarters of the Lifeguard Division of the Los Angeles County Fire Department
Los Angeles County Fire Department
The Los Angeles County Fire Department , serves unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County, as well as 58 cities and towns that choose to have the county provide fire and EMS services, including La Habra. It should not be confused with the Los Angeles City Fire Department, which serves the city of...

. It is located at 2300 Ocean Front Walk. It is the nation's largest ocean lifeguard organization with over 200 full-time and 700 part-time or seasonal lifeguards. The headquarter building used to be the City of Los Angeles Lifeguard Headquarters until Los Angeles City and Santa Monica Lifeguards were merged into the County in 1975. The department is commonly referred to by Angelenos as Baywatch Lifeguards.

The Los Angeles County Lifeguards safeguard 31 miles (49.9 km) of beach and 70 miles (112.7 km) of coastline, from San Pedro in the south, to Malibu in the north. Lifeguards also provide Paramedic and rescue boat services to Catalina Island
Santa Catalina Island, California
Santa Catalina Island, often called Catalina Island, or just Catalina, is a rocky island off the coast of the U.S. state of California. The island is long and across at its greatest width. The island is located about south-southwest of Los Angeles, California. The highest point on the island is...

, with operations out of Avalon and the Isthmus.

Lifeguard Division employs 120 full-time and 600 seasonal lifeguards, operating out of three sectional headquarters, Hermosa, Santa Monica, and Zuma beach. Each of these headquarters staffs a 24-hour EMT-D response unit and are part of the 911 system. In addition to providing for beach safety, Los Angeles County Lifeguards have specialized training for Baywatch rescue boat operations, underwater rescue and recovery, swiftwater rescue, cliff rescue, marine mammal rescue and marine firefighting.

County, state and federal representation


The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Health services to over 10 million residents in the Los Angeles County are provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Mental health services are provided by the County Department of Mental Health...

 SPA 5 West Area Health Office serves Venice.

The United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 operates the Venice Post Office at 1601 Main Street and the Venice Carrier Annex at 313 Grand Boulevard.

Education



Public schools


Venice is served by many Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified School District is the largest public school system in California. It is the 2nd largest public school district in the United States. Only the New York City Department of Education has a larger student population...

 schools. The area is within Board District 4. As of 2009 Steve Zimmer represents the district.

The neighborhood is served by Coeur d'Alene Avenue Elementary School, Westminster Avenue Elementary School, Short Avenue Elementary School, and Broadway Elementary. Students go on to Mark Twain Middle School. High school students attend Venice High School
Venice High School (Los Angeles)
Venice High School is a public high school located in western Los Angeles, California within the Los Angeles Unified School District . The school contains a Foreign Language and International Studies Magnet, Bilingual Business and Finance Academy and a New Media Academy...

, which is actually in Venice rather than, as many believe, in the adjacent neighborhood of Mar Vista
Mar Vista, Los Angeles, California
Mar Vista is a district on the West Side of Los Angeles, California.-Geography and transportation:Mar Vista is near the center of LA's West Side. The city of Santa Monica lies to the northwest, West Los Angeles to the north, Palms to the northeast, Culver City to the east, Del Rey to the southwest,...

.

Private schools


Saint Mark Elementary School
Saint Mark Elementary School (Los Angeles)
Saint Mark Elementary School of is a Catholic elementary school on the Venice neighborhood westside of Los Angeles, California.It serves the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.- External links :*...

 is a private school in the area.

Public libraries


The Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library
The Los Angeles Public Library system serves the residents of Los Angeles, California, United States. With over 6 million volumes, LAPL is one of the largest publicly funded library systems in the world. The system is overseen by a Board of Library Commissioners with five members appointed by the...

 operates the Venice - Abbot Kinney Memorial Branch.

Parks and recreation



The Venice Beach Recreation Center nominally located at 1800 Ocean Front Walk, comprises a number of facilities sprawling between Ocean Front Walk and the bike path, Horizon Ave. to the north and N.Venice Blvd. to the south. The installation has basketball courts (unlighted/outdoor), several children play areas w. gymnastics apparatus, handball courts (unlighted), tennis courts (unlighted), volleyball courts (unlighted). At the south end of the area is the famous muscle beach outdoor gymnasium. In March 2009 the city opened a sophisticated M $2 skate park on the sand towards the north. While not technically part of the park the Graffiti Walls on the beach side of the bike path in the same vicinity.

The Oakwood Recreation Center is located at 767 California Ave. The center, which also acts as a Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of with a population of more than 4.1 million people, it is the third largest local law enforcement agency in...

 stop-in center, includes an auditorium, an unlighted baseball diamond, lighted indoor basketball courts, unlighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a community room, a lighted American football field, an indoor gymnasium without weights, picnic tables, and an unlighted soccer (football) field.

The Westminster Off-Leash Dog Park is in Venice.

Venice in film


Dozens of movies and hundreds of television shows have used locations in Venice, including its beach, its pleasure piers, the canals and colonnades, the boardwalk, the high school, even a particular hamburger stand. While it is neither possible nor desirable to list every movie which features scenes shot in Venice, the following films show views of the neighborhood which are interesting in the context of its history and culture:
  • 1914- Kid Auto Races at Venice
    Kid Auto Races at Venice
    Kid Auto Races At Venice is a 1914 American-made motion picture starring Charlie Chaplin in which his "Little Tramp" character makes his first appearance.-Synopsis:...

    (Charlie Chaplin
    Charlie Chaplin
    Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era. He became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I...

    )
  • 1920- Number, Please?
    Number, Please?
    Number, Please? is a 1920 short comedy film featuring Harold Lloyd.-Plot:While at an amusement park, trying vainly to forget the girl he has lost, a young man sees the girl with her new boyfriend . When her dog gets loose in the park, both suitors have to help her catch it...

    (Harold Lloyd
    Harold Lloyd
    Harold Clayton Lloyd, Sr. was an American film actor and producer, most famous for his silent comedies....

    )
  • 1921- The High Sign
    The High Sign
    The High Sign is a 1921 short comedy film starring comedian Buster Keaton. It was written and directed by Keaton and Edward F. Cline. The runtime is 21 minutes. Although One Week was the first of Keaton's independent shorts to be released, The High Sign was the first one to be produced. ...

    (Buster Keaton
    Buster Keaton
    Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton was an American comic actor, filmmaker, producer and writer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname "The Great Stone Face".Keaton was recognized as the...

    )
  • 1923- The Balloonatic
    The Balloonatic
    The Balloonatic is a 1923 short comedy film directed by and starring Buster Keaton. It was one of Keaton's final short films.-Plot:A young man has a series of encounters in an amusement area, much like Coney Island, until happening upon a group of men preparing a hot air balloon for launch...

    (Buster Keaton
    Buster Keaton
    Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton was an American comic actor, filmmaker, producer and writer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname "The Great Stone Face".Keaton was recognized as the...

    )
  • 1927- Sugar Daddies
    Sugar Daddies
    Sugar Daddies is a 1927 short comedy silent film starring Jimmy Finlayson, and a pre-teamed Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.- Cast :*James Finlayson as Oil tycoon Cyrus Brittle*Stan Laurel as Brittle's lawyer*Oliver Hardy as Brittle's butler...

    (Laurel and Hardy
    Laurel and Hardy
    Laurel and Hardy were one of the most popular and critically acclaimed comedy double acts of the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema...

    )
  • 1928- The Circus (Charlie Chaplin
    Charlie Chaplin
    Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era. He became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I...

    )
  • 1928- The Cameraman (Buster Keaton
    Buster Keaton
    Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton was an American comic actor, filmmaker, producer and writer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname "The Great Stone Face".Keaton was recognized as the...

    )
  • 1961- Night Tide
    Night Tide
    Night Tide is a 1961 thriller film, written and directed by Curtis Harrington and starring Dennis Hopper. It premiered in 1961, but was held up from general release until 1963...

    (Dennis Hopper
    Dennis Hopper
    Dennis Lee Hopper was an American actor, filmmaker and artist. As a young man, Hopper became interested in acting and eventually became a student of the Actors' Studio. He made his first television appearance in 1954 and appeared in two films featuring James Dean, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant...

    , Linda Lawson
    Linda Lawson
    Linda C. Lawson is a Democratic member of the Indiana House of Representatives, representing the 1st District since 1998.-External links:* official Indiana State Legislature site...

    , written and directed by Curtis Harrington
    Curtis Harrington
    Curtis Harrington was an American film and television director whose work included experimental films, horror films, and episodic television.-Biography:...

    ) - Shot entirely in Venice and shows the deteriorated nature of the area in the 1950s.
  • 1991- The Doors
    The Doors (film)
    The Doors is a 1991 biopic about the 1960s-1970s rock band of the same name which emphasizes the life of its lead singer, Jim Morrison. It was directed by Oliver Stone, and stars Val Kilmer as Morrison, Meg Ryan as Pamela Courson , Kyle MacLachlan as Ray Manzarek, Frank Whaley as Robby Krieger,...

    (Val Kilmer
    Val Kilmer
    Val Edward Kilmer is an American actor. Originally a stage actor, Kilmer became popular in the mid-1980s after a string of appearances in comedy films, starting with Top Secret! , then the cult classic Real Genius , as well as blockbuster action films, including a supporting role in Top Gun and a...

    , directed by Oliver Stone
    Oliver Stone
    William Oliver Stone is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Stone became well known in the late 1980s and the early 1990s for directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, for which he had previously participated as an infantry soldier. His work frequently focuses on...

    )

See also

  • List of California public officials charged with crimes, Venice
  • J.C. Barthel
    J.C. Barthel
    Julius C. Barthel, who went by J.C. Barthel, was an engineer and politician who was a Los Angeles City Council member from 1929 to 1931.-Biography:...

    , Venice postmaster and commissioner of supplies, 1920s. President of the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Charles Winchester Breedlove, Los Angeles City Council member, 1933–45, supported legalized tango games
  • Karl L. Rundberg, Los Angeles City Council member (1957–65), opposed Venice beatniks

Further reading

  • Maynard, John Arthur. Venice West: The Beat Generation in Southern California. Rutgers University Press, 1993. ISBN 0813519659.
  • Stanton, Jeffrey. Venice California: Coney Island of the Pacific Donahue Publishing 2005, ISBN 0-9619849-3-7 . Comprehensive history of the beach town and its amusement piers including Pacific Ocean Park with 367 historic photographs.

External links