Venice and the Canals

While Kelli headed out of town last weekend, I was right smack in the middle.  It started in a very LA way by driving from the Valley to LAX to drop off Minnesota relatives of Ralph.  We decided to go the ‘scenic’ route on the way home and get a piece of bagel crust pizza at Abbott’s Pizza on Abbott Kinney in Venice.  (yes…many of our days are planned around eating!!).

Anyway, as we were driving down Venice Blvd, we missed Abbott Kinney…by quite a distance.  We got completely turned around and  thanked God for the ocean, because we used it as our compass.

We retraced our steps and headed back up Venice Blvd when I suggested Ralph make a quick left turn on to a small side street. I had a feeling and I had to express it! Lucky for us we did because the next thing you know we were going over little bridges and looking at canals full of the most adorable charming beautiful houses!  We pulled over and gawked because …we were at the Venice Canals!

Big deal, you might be thinking, but I have never seen them in person. Only in the movies.  They were like the proverbial twenty minute drive to get across town in Los Angeles.  You know it’s happened before, just not to you.  Alas, the Canals were the same.I knew they existed, I had just never seen them.

The weird thing is, I have spent a lot of time in Venice. My daughter used to work at the g2 Gallery, went to college at Loyola Marymount and lived in Playa Del Rey.   I would regularly hang out in this little seaside community.  I have been to the ‘freak show’ boardwalk, the art and shopping district of Abbott Kinney, the Out of the Closet on Lincoln, Electric Avenue, Mar Vista, Venice High School…..etc.  I have seen a lot of Venice, but the Canals have always alluded me. I wasn’t even clear where they were and if we had not accidentally stumbled into them, I still would never have known.

Okay, by now you’re probably thinking I need to shut up about the miracle of our journey and start talking about the Canals themselves.  So here goes.

First the history of the building of these babies is intriguing.  Originally designed to replicate Venice, Italy, the canals were constructed in 1906, utilizing reclaimed marsh land for building. This inland waterway is comprised of six canals. Fronting the canals are approximately 370 residential properties, most of which are single family homes. A complete restoration of the canals, including new sidewalks and canal banks, was completed in 1993.

The houses are just amazing.  The walking paths are perfect for an early morning power walk or an evening stroll, which is what we did, snapping pics like happy tourists.

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The Brig Building mural.

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We did manage to get our pizza, but not before we stopped for a vodka tonic at The Brig, with it’s famous mural on the side of the building.  Since it was a Monday afternoon, it was relaxed and easy with very few people crowding the comfy bar.  Usually The Brig is INSANE and I have only walked in once and immediately walked out.

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An older pic I took of my daughter looking out the window onto Abbott Kinney Blvd.

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Of course I had to peak in the g2 Gallery and we browsed at the over priced, but super cool t-shirts at Junk Food Clothing.  What I love about Abbott Kinney, is there is just so much going on and so many fun and delightful things to look it, but NOTHING was as amazing as those canals.

Did I mention the canals?

 

For more Venice pics check out my Gallery entitled Venice.

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