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Venice Beach @ Pacific & Windward: LAblocks

Here’s the second episode of my new travel show, LAblocks!

Smack dab in the middle of the Venice Beach boardwalk is the awesome block Pacific & Windward. It’s a hodge podge of Snapchat employees, struggling artists, and the very rich.  Pacific & Windward and Venice Beach in general is a place where bums and billionaires rub shoulders more than other parts of town in Los Angeles.  Looking at the history of this neighborhood helps you understand why.  Venice was founded by Abbot Kinney at the turn of the 20th century, and he wanted to create the “Coney Island of the west coast.”  He also wanted to make the neighborhood resemble Venice, Italy, and proceeded to build canals out of the marshland that existed.  Due to plumbing problems, the canals began to reek, so the only people who would brave the vile stench were artists looking for cheap rent.  And so the culture of artists living in Venice Beach was born.  Once the automobile came into prominence, almost all of Abbot Kinney’s canals were paved over and turned into streets.  It wasn’t until the 1990s when some canals were restored and the plots of land surrounding them quickly became some of the most expensive pieces of property in Los Angeles.  Hence, the billionaires.

Luckily, you don’t need to be a billionaire to enjoy the Venice Beach block of Pacific & Windward.  If you’re looking for swimwear, a board, or maybe a surf lesson, check out Mollusk Surf Shop.  After catching some waves, refuel by eating at Bank of Venice, a restaurant built inside a former bank.  Might as well peruse the 15,000 items available at the Gotta Have It vintage clothing store, too.  Then why not get a little caffeine fix at Menotti’s, named after the owner of the speakeasy that existed on this block during Prohibition.  Or if caffeine isn’t your thing, Windward Juice offers organic, cold pressed Clover juice in a quaint alley setup.  And round out your day at Pacific & Windward with a stiff drink at Townhouse Venice, a bar that has continuously operated since 1915, even during Prohibition (shh, don’t tell anyone).

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21
Oct 2015
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
DISCUSSION No Comments
Articles

Toronto’s Walk of Fame vs. Hollywood’s Walk of Fame

Walking in the Entertainment District of Downtown Toronto, I discovered their Walk of Fame.  It’s actually called Canada’s Walk of Fame, and it honors well known Canadians with a tile on the pavement, just like in Hollywood.  People like Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, Jim Carrey, Wayne Gretzky, Alex Trebek, Shania Twain, and Joni Mitchell.  Or Robbie Robertson, the guitar player for The Band:

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Looking at these names really pointed out to me what influence Canadians have had in the entertainment industry.  Sure, I knew a lot of America’s well known comedians are actually Canadian (Dan Aykroyd, Martin Short, Mike Myers), but there are some seriously heavy hitting entertainers from Canada.  Louis B. Mayer?  As in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer?  As in the founder of MGM?  Dude’s Canadian.  I’m just glad he cut that hockey scene from The Wizard of Oz.

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Since I live in Los Angeles, I couldn’t stop myself from comparing Canada’s Walk of Fame to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.  I made a pros/cons list for Canada’s.  Here it is:

Pros:

-Doesn’t smell like urine.

-No homeless guys sleeping in doorways.

-Refreshing lack of racist cartoon characters posing for pictures.

-Next to a lovely park.

-Traffic not congested and the drivers are very polite.

-You always feel safe walking down the street.

-Not even one juiced up dude reeking of cologne.

-Aspiring, amateur “musicians” aren’t busking on the street hoping to be discovered by an agent.

-Devoid of party girls drunkenly stumbling along the sidewalk on a “girls night out” bender.

Cons:

-It’s not Hollywood.

04
Jun 2013
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
DISCUSSION No Comments
Video

Il D’Orleans, Quebec: Food Island

Quebec has an island the size of Manhattan, and all they do there is grow delicious, organic food.  Well, that’s not all they do there, but basically, yeah.  Lots of farmers.  Oh, and did I mention they have wineries?  I’d say a day trip to Il D’Orleans is essential for your Quebec trip.  That is, if you enjoy delicious food, pastoral views, and happiness.

27
May 2013
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
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Video

St. Lawrence River cruise, Quebec

If you want to explore the coastline of Quebec on a boat, you can do that.  You shouldn’t, though.  If I were you, I’d spend your time doing something else.  You still should watch the video, though.  It explains why your time is better spent somewhere else.

20
May 2013
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
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Video

Quebec City Helicopter Ride

Sure, you could drive through the countryside of Quebec and see the beautiful natural surroundings.  Or, if you have a connection with a helicopter company, you could fly over the beautiful natural surroundings and see the sheer scope of pristine wilderness.  If you have that choice, might I suggest taking the helicopter ride option?

06
May 2013
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
DISCUSSION No Comments