Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Day In Venice Beach

I tend to be the one to avoid crowds most of the time.  I enjoy the peace and quiet of nature and the solitude that comes along with it.  Sometimes, I do enjoy the chaos and energy a big city brings.  Even though Venice is not a big city...spend an hour there walking along the strip on a weekend and you will know what I mean.

What I love about it is that everyone is welcome.  People from all walks of life come to gather.  There are kids living on the street, sharply dressed visitors, street performers, students, infants, grandparents, the affluent beach front home owners, the struggling artists, volunteers, addicts, religious groups, musicians, entrepreneurs, soul searchers, homeless people, athletes, and just about everyone else in between.

I spent the day strolling along and absorbing the energy around me.  I stopped to talk to some artists, visitors and the homeless.  Everyone has a story to tell and this would be the place to listen to them.  As chaotic as I might make it sound, somehow it works.  Everyone does their thing and for the most part, people let others do their thing as well.   I enjoyed talking to these two gentlemen (top left) and having them pose for me.  As usual, I gave them little direction and told them to look at each other.  They did that for about ten seconds, cracked up at each other and said, "that's so gay!"  It turns out that the out take is one of my favorite shots.  It usually works with couples but you never know... it worked for them.  Instead of getting an "adoring" shot, I got a great candid of their personalities shining through.

Venice is not the sanctuary for healthy living, by any means.  There are lost people, people who obviously are in need of help and you will find that others are there offering to do what they can to help.  However, there are stores that will be more than happy to keep you on the path that you choose to take.

What I love about it is that you are free to be yourself.  No matter who you want to be that day, you will be welcome on Venice Beach.  There are a few places in this world that give you the freedom to express yourself and be just who you are.  Thank you, Venice beach.

For more photographs of my day, click HERE.


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