Days two and three have presented me with an interesting Los Angeles vibe. On the tacky side was Venice beach – lots of concrete, T shirts and souvenirs of the garish type absolutely everywhere along the beachfront. the beach itself is a wide expanse of flat, coarse, sticky sand. The surf was fairly big and the water, cold – according to my grandson! There is a dedicated bike path – excellent. Muscle beach is impressive, both in the size of the two men I saw – tall and well but not over developed and in the exercise yard. Owen, my son, discovered that the man who comes to do odd jobs was one of the super fit guys on the chin up bar. On from the beach we wandered into a totally different area – there is a vibe like Byron Bay just off the beach with alternative and eccentric characters on the streets. There is fabulous street art and – see Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider) and streets with trees, flowers and attractive timber houses. The shopping for great simple but classy objects, clothes, furnishings is in a street named Abbot Kinney – he was the man who built the canals that gave Venice it’s name.
A completely different Los Angeles vibe was experienced today, a visit to a children’s art class – completely free and in a beautiful park – Barnsdall Park. This park was once the home of an oil heiress, Aline Barnsdall, and she commissioned the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright to design her house. She loved Hollyhocks and they have been used as a motif throughout. The house is low to the ground, built around courtyards, is filled with beautiful timber panelling, headlights and Japanese artworks. Sumptuous and Hollyhocks in the garden, of course.