Why go to Disneyland and empty your wallet just to see run down attractions and ridiculous characters that were created by an anti Semite Nazi sympathizer. All you need to do is head down to the seething microcosm of modern America that is Venice Beach. In 1890 Abbot Kinney, a tobacco mogul and seasoned traveler, set out to transform the area into the ‘Venice of America’ complete with canals, gondolas, amusement parks and a mini railroad. Today some of the canals still remain and although the mini railroad has long gone it is now full of attractions of a different kind.
Venice Beach boasts everything from tanned 20-somethings in promo gear waving placards espousing the benefits of one or another medical marijuana clinic. Skaters who are still living and dressing like they are stuck in the ZBoy era and various transients dancing to a beat no one is playing, and living in rundown RVs that look like they were decorated by bower bird. In the midst of all the eccentric locals, overweight sunburnt tourists sporting bum bags and ill fitting tshirts emblazoned with ‘Venice Beach’ alongside a few obligatory palm trees, waddle down the boardwalk, their heads turning like sideshow clowns in some sort of stunned wonderment that a place like this exists.
Venice beach feels like a neglected seaside amusement park where the sideshow alley employees never got the memo that it was shut down. It is hyper America, where nuts and bolts capitalism mixes seamlessly with manipulated democracy and whose residents still hold onto slightly anarchistic ideologies. So fuck Disneyland and head to Venice Beach.