“13.1 Los Angeles” Half Marathon Next Sunday, Starting at Venice Beach

Harbor
Runners may be distracted by the Marina Harbor views

The 13.1 Los Angeles half marathon (13.1 miles) takes place next Sunday, January 15, against “a new scenic backdrop.” The half marathon, part of the “13.1” series of races in major U.S. cities, starts at 7 a.m. at the Venice Boardwalk (Rose Ave. intersection), winds around the Marina del Rey Harbor, and ends in Playa del Rey. Area drivers should plan accordingly.

In addition to the half marathon, there will be a separate “Karhu 5k” race along Dockweiler Beach, in which racers will compete against — insert joke here — a runner dressed as the Karhu Bear. Runners who “Beat the Bear” will win a pair of Karhu brand running shoes.

Two Days, Two Holiday Boat Parades

Boat Channel
Marina Boat Channel by day

If you’re an L.A. lover of the life aquatic, you’re in luck: this weekend, we’ve got two boat parades in a row.

First up, on Saturday, December 10, is the Marina Holiday Boat Parade at the Boat Channel in Marina del Rey. The boat parade, where the vessels are decked out in lit holiday splendor, begins at 6 p.m., preceded by a fireworks show at 5:55, which some people may be eager to see after the annual July 4 fireworks display was canceled due to budget cuts. There will be judging in various categories for the boats. See the first link above for all details.

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Rockaway Beach to Venice Beach: Marky Ramone Hawks his Sauce at Whole Foods

Marky
Marky Ramone getting some California Sun

East Coast vs. West Coast rivals laid down their Glocks and picked up spoons last Saturday, as Marky Ramone, former drummer of the Ramones, flew in from Brooklyn to the Venice Whole Foods to promote his new pasta sauce. The sauce is called Marky Ramone’s Brooklyn’s Own Pasta Sauce, a fittingly complicated name from someone whose job it was to keep time for the rapid Ramones.

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Venice Vintage Motorcyle Rally this Saturday

Venice Vintage MC Rally Poster
Rally event poster, used with permission

If you’re a fan of engineered machinery as I am, the words “Venice Vintage Motorcycle Rally” may be among your favorites. This Saturday, October 22, the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club will hold its annual Vintage Motorcycle Rally on the Venice Farmers Market lot at 400 Venice Blvd. South, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will feature vintage bike judging, live music, a barbecue, beer garden, pin-up girl contest, and vendors.

Admission to the rally is free. If you want to enter a vintage bike in the judging, the cost is $10 and includes VIP parking. Others arriving by motorcycle can park for $5. According to The Argonaut newspaper, proceeds from the rally will benefit the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA). I plan to arrive on foot, but if there are bikes for sale, then who knows, I may be leaving in a different manner.

Subtlety, Los Angeles Style

Pictogram
Back of Whole Foods

Los Angeles area folks do not have a reputation for subtlety. Perhaps that’s one reason why this mural which doubles as a pictogram, hiding in plain sight on the back of the Venice Whole Foods, is none too subtle. Hint: the Whole Foods is at the corner of Lincoln … and Rose … get it?

Venice RV Parking Restriction Makes List of 10 Most Ridiculous Anti-Homeless Laws

Car camping
Some of the RVs and campers along 3rd Avenue in Venice

Consider this a parting shot from homeless advocates who have lost the latest battle in the long-running Venice parking war: the National Coalition for the Homeless has named Venice’s “oversize” vehicle nighttime parking restriction one of The 10 Most Ridiculous Anti-Homeless Laws in America.

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Venice Going Ahead With RV Parking Restrictions

If you visit Venice and are very observant, you might notice a subtle difference. Things might seem a bit more opened up. You may see more sky. If so, that’s not likely a result of breathing in the pot smoke on Venice Beach. Rather, it may be because Venice homeowners have finally taken action in their long-running battle to restrict recreational vehicles from permanently camping on their streets.  Specifically, in recent months, some Venice streets, such as 3rd Avenue pictured here, now have signs posted which prohibit vehicles over 7 feet high or over 22 feet long from parking between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

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From Silver Lake to Venice

I took my camera out on my adventures yesterday and grabbed a few snaps around Silver Lake and Venice. I moved to San Francisco right after the Venice Skatepark opened so I never got to go hang out. I snuck out and took some time to check it out yesterday. It’s pretty damn nice but man was it hectic. Like watching a crazy tennis match on acid. I was amazed at the little kids ripping it up. They’re going to be amazing if they stick with it. The head scratcher of the day though was when 2 cop trucks pulled up with 2 more cops on ATV’s as backup just to remove a little kid who was riding a scooter in the park. The biggest downside of the park were are all the people smoking pot and stinking up the joint. It was really overpowering at times and no matter where you moved you got a snootful. The raging sunburn I got is no fun either. Remember, just because it’s cloudy you can get fried. I forgot that lesson. Ouch. Enjoy.

In Venice, Parking Restrictions are the Football and Homeowners are Charlie Brown

Venice homeowners who want to restrict overnight parking to stop long-term RV camping on their streets must feel like Charlie Brown after Lucy pulls the football away at the last second, again.  In the long-running battle to establish “overnight parking districts” (OPDs) which would restrict parking to permit holders between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. in several zones in Venice, the Venice homeowners thought they had a solution in their grasp.  In May, they reached a tentative settlement with the California Coastal Commission in which they would withdraw their lawsuit against the Coastal Commission for denying their OPD request in return for the eventual right to establish OPDs after a six-month period in which the City of Los Angeles would permit “oversized vehicle” restrictions in Venice to see if they solved the problem without resorting to OPDs.  But, like Lucy, the Coastal Commission then pulled the football away, backing out of the deal.

Advocates for the homeless are chalking up a victory.  They maintained that the OPDs targeted them, and cut off their access to the beach.  The Coastal Commission agreed, albeit pointing to no real evidence to back up such a charge.  Given that the Venice proposal included relocation of the vehicles to nearby spots, some of which were considerably closer to the beach, during the wee hours of the morning, I am still scratching my head over that one.

The Venice homeowners now have to start over again.  However, they have one head start: last month, the City Council voted to let them restrict “oversized” vehicles (over 7 feet tall or over 22 feet long) from parking overnight.  If such restrictions are enforced, this might solve the issue as to a good number of cases.  But then, given the history of failures in the effort to establish OPDs, I wouldn’t be surprised if the effort to restrict oversized vehicles in Venice hits a roadblock as well.

Venice Overnight Parking Dispute May be Settled — For Some

Peace may have broken out in the battle between Venice homeowners and the California Coastal Commission regarding the epidemic of overnight parking by those sleeping in their recreational vehicles and cars on Venice streets. Last we left off, the Venice Stakeholders Association had sued the California Coastal Commission after the Commission denied the request by the City of Los Angeles to establish “overnight parking districts” on certain Venice streets, where parking without a permit would have been prohibited between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. (or 5 a.m. on some streets).

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New Skate Park Opens on Venice Beach This Saturday

IMG_1524For some reason, publicity on this is skimpy, but The Argonaut, the Venice Surf and Skate Association, and City Council Member Bill Rosendahl’s website are reporting that Venice Beach’s long-awaited skate park will have its grand opening this Saturday, October 3.  The park was built by skate park masters Wormhoudt Inc.

Skater boyz and girlz have lobbied for and have reportedly been waiting for at least 10 years for this park, and it promises to be an exciting addition to the neighborhood.  Given that Venice and the nearby area is often considered the birthplace and mecca of skateboarding, it’s about time they got it.

Venice Residents Sue California Coastal Commission Over Denial of Parking Restrictions

IMG_1652Venice’s battle to prevent RVs from camping on its streets took a new turn this past week, when the Venice Stakeholders Association filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court against the California Coastal Commission for denying Venice’s bid to create overnight parking districts (“OPDs”). The OPD plan would have prohibited parking on certain Venice streets for several hours in the middle of the night.  The main goal was to prevent RVs from camping on these streets for days, weeks, and months on end.  Venice residents have complained for years that these RVs dump raw sewage and create other sanitary and safety problems in the neighborhoods.  However, the Coastal Commission, in what used to be termed a “cosmic wimpout,”  decided in June that it didn’t want to wade into the “social problem” of homelessness, but its decision voting down the Venice OPD plan had the effect of taking a side against Venice residents on the issue anyway.
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Coastal Commission to Hold Hearing and Vote on Venice Overnight Parking Restrictions

img_0925Venice is one step closer to ending its de facto recreational vehicle campground status.  According to the Los Angeles Times, the staff of the California Coastal Commission last week recommended that the Commission establish so-called “overnight parking districts” (OPDs) throughout five areas in Venice, in which parking between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. (or 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. in some of the OPDs) without a resident permit would be prohibited.  According to The Argonaut, the Coastal Commission will hold a public hearing and will vote on the OPD issue on June 11, beginning at 8 a.m., at the Marina del Rey Hotel, located at 13534 Bali Way in Marina del Rey.

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Architecture for the Elite and Art for the Masses in Venice

Separate studio at the Sale House
Separate studio at the Sale House

While millionaires admired each others’ handiwork at yesterday’s New Wave of Venice Architecture tour, part of this weekend’s Venice Art Walk & Auctions events, pedestrians flocked to the nearby Art Auction preview for something more within reach. First up was the Architecture tour, comprising six modern (some just-finished) homes, several of which have won design awards. The homes were located in the “West of Lincoln” neighborhood, with five of the homes inside the area bordered by Lincoln, Venice, and Abbott Kinney Boulevards, and the sixth home just across Abbott Kinney.  I was told that this area has the most architects per capita on the planet, and I wouldn’t doubt it.  Some of the architects took a break from their houses to check out the competition.  Likewise, some area residents got a rare opportunity to do the same, and to get some design ideas for their own homes.
Click here to take the tour

The Dogs Take Charge of Dogtown

img_1427I engaged in an important Los Angeles rite of passage today: my first audition. Actually, the audition was for my “nephew” Spencer, a Golden Retriever/Lab mix. I took Spencer over to Venice Beach for the Long Island-based North Shore Animal League’s Tour For Life 2009, billed as “the world’s largest cooperative pet adoption event.”  As the name indicates, Tour For Life is a roving pet adoption event that hits many major cities around the U.S.  But at Venice Beach, we got the added attraction of Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer.”

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