Godfather of Fitness at Muscle Beach this weekend!

According to The Argonaut:

“Muscle Beach Venice enthusiasts have something to work up a sweat over as the Labor Day Muscle Beach Championship bodybuilding contest brings the “godfather of fitness” Jack LaLanne to the stage.”

Jack LaLanne?! He’s getting a lifetime achievement award. (I’ll say! The guy is 93!)

“Following the introduction of the bodybuilding athletes at 1 p.m., LaLanne will be presented a lifetime achievement award. LaLanne’s segment will be followed by the grand opening of the Walk of Fame at Muscle Beach, that will consist of bronze plaques mounted around the weight pen honoring 23 Muscle Beach Hall of Fame inductees.”

I love this story. It’s just weird. Every time I tell some uninformed person that I live in Venice Beach, they say “Oh is that near Muscle Beach?” Now I have something to show these people if they come to visit, besides all the greased-up ultra-tanned muscles. They can read plaques now.

Philomene Long

Philomene Long

They are already ghosts
John and Philomene
As they pass
Along the Boardwalk
Where ghosts and poets overlap
As they pass, the gulls
Ghosting above their shadows

Everything’s haunting everything

Already ghosts
John and Philomene
Under the ghostly lampposts
Of Venice West
Their cadence
The breath of sleep
At rest
Lost at the edge of America
Already ghosts
And each poem
Already a farewell

Everything’s haunting everything
The sea is the ghost of the world

–Philomene Long

I’m reading reports that Philomene Long, Poet Laureate of Venice, passed away last week.

www.virtualvenice.com has a lovely tribute to Philomene and her late husband, John Thomas.

Here are a few links to articles and interviews about our “Queen of Bohemia”.

Noveltown’s Blog
Some of her poetry: www.virtualvenice.info
www.emptymirrorbooks.com (whose photo we borrowed!)

YoVenice.com sends our condolences to her family, her friends, and the Venice community. It seems that Philomene’s spirit was intricately woven into the history and soul of Venice – and we have suffered a great loss at her passing.

Spin on Abbot Kinney – Driving Club

Spin, a newish to Abbot Kinney car rental/ driving club has opened. With membership, you can take any of their fleet of classic vehicles. A Jaguar XJ 120, Porsche Speedster and ’74 El Dorado are among their fleet. Driving clubs like Spin are all the rage these days, coming to us from Europe where they were set up to allow plebeians to over extend themselves and rent “super” luxury cars to impress their dates, friends or business associates. (The owners of the cars also get to write off their car collection “habit” … humm … ) In New York, Gotham Dream Cars is where you go to jump in a Lambo or Ferrari. In LA, we are happy to see the addition of Spin and look forward to seeing what they expand their fleet of rentals with. We may not ever rent from them as our friends have some pretty cool cars we get to ride in, but we will like looking at the cars as they parade around the hood.

Spin • Abbott Kinney Blvd. Venice Beach California

1410 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice CA 90291
(888) 852-7746

Bye-bye old Venice…

Cruz Vintage and High D High

Last year, I wanted to find some interesting kitchen chairs to go with my 1950’s stove and fridge – and I found them at Cruz Vintage. You know, that cool vintage furniture store that used to occupy 1307 Abbot Kinney Blvd? At the time, Mr. Cruz himself told me they were moving from that location because the owner of the building planned knock it down. He may have said “sell it” but seemed to remember discussions about knocking it down. (it was a year ago!)

Now, High D High has finally vacated the other half of the building – and so I would imagine the time is drawning near.

What are the plans for this space, built in 1922? I did a google search for the addresses and this is what I came up with:

Picture 2

I have no idea how old this listing is, but it refers to leases expiring in March 06 (which is when I bought my chairs), and it also refers to drawings and models for retail/condo space. I didn’t realize it would also include NiteSpa. Drat! I love that little bungalow spa.

I’m wondering what the percentage is of restoration vs. new construction in this town. There are so many fantastic old structures that remind us of Venice’s history. Does it cost too much to restore and expand on the old stuff? I do love that the face of our town is a mix of old and new but it seems more about the new and less about the old lately!

What do you guys think? (this is why we have comments!)

PS – here are my lovely chairs. (table designed by Kelly LaPlante of Organic Interior Design.) I’m so glad I found them before Cruz Vintage moved (Any idea where they moved to? Can’t find anything online!)

kitchen chairs from cruz vintage

Hinano Bar and Grill

OK, everyone knows that Hinano’s is a dump. Not a dive, a dump. Hinano’s smells bad. There are cobwebs all over the ceiling. The window screens haven’t been cleaned since Jim Morrison hung out at the place. People that may have hit you up for cash five minutes before may roll in and sit next to you. NEVER try the bathrooms.

All of these horrible things noted, I love going to Hinano’s for a burger and a beer every so often. The burgers are great. I think it is all the salt that they put in them? The staff is friendly sometimes, depending on their mood. (Some days they are your best friend and some days they act like your ordering from them is keeping them from other more important things they need to do.)

Hinano. It is what it is.

Hinano Venice Beach by www.YoVenice.com

Hinano Venice Beach by www.YoVenice.com

Taking this picture made me chuckle .. the guy on the stool could be the guy on TV.

Hinano Venice Beach by www.YoVenice.com

They don’t take credit cards.
15 Washington Blvd
Venice, CA 90292
(310) 822-3902