Category Archives: Venice Beach People

These posts include video and written interviews with the people who make Venice Beach California interesting!

Up Front with Venice Artist F Boke

By Nicole Horowitz

F Boke is a Los Angeles born artist. He considers himself a furniture designer who primarily works with wood. He enjoys working with materials like glass, stone, and metal to emphasize the beauty of wood.

He says he loves working furniture because he found that he had an “eye for composition” and enjoyed “the permanence of doing things that don’t just go away.”

Before he began creating furniture, he worked in set design. In this field, he spent time “fabricating a lot of stuff from different styles and eras,” which helped keep his horizons broad and his options open.

His furniture design focuses on using materials that would’ve otherwise been thrown away.

He likes the idea of making something new from something old, and thus, he based his artistic endeavors with sustainable materials. The objects he uses in his art come from repurposing companies who have warehouses full of reusable items. Boke also utilizes his friends who are in the set industry to create his current projects. Boke shared he enjoys improving himself in his art is through collaboration.

“New ideas can be created through collaboration; collaboration greatly exceeds what two people can create individually,” Boke says.
His use of various different artistic mediums has kept Boke’s mind open artistically. He discovers new art forms by creating his own pieces through his ability to fearlessly utilize new mediums.

With his love of collaboration, it makes sense that his favorite art experience was collaboration. He built a ten story metal sculpture with one hundred and fifty other people at Burning Man. This collaboration was an enjoyable and eye opening experience. Boke is the type of artist who always creates and jumps between projects with ease. When he’s not creating, he’s drawing.

What motivates him to keep creating is a lack of distractions. The ability to create art often, and in various unique genres and eras is one of Boke’s strengths.

He also has found the perfect technique to age wood in order to create an inviting and comfortable piece of furniture.

Finally, he has a skilled eye for styles: his extensive training has given this strength. However, he considers his lack of self-promotion a weakness: he’s the type who prefers to spend his time creating.
The places that inspire him to create the most are Spain and Ireland, with their “rolling cathedrals” and “ancient styles” he appreciates that they have an “amazing presence” about them. As for people who inspire Boke? He considers artist Salvador Dali and architect Frank Lloyd Wright inspirations. Boke considers them “two people in particular who broke the rules, made a difference.”

You can see more of F Boke’s work at

Venice Oceanarium celebrates 20th annual reading of Herman Melville’s ‘Moby Dick’

Since 1995, the Venice Oceanarium has invited readers to discover or rediscover the great literary masterpiece, Moby Dick.

The detailed and realistic descriptions of whale hunting draws on Melville’s experience at sea, on his reading in whaling literature, as well as life aboard ship among a culturally diverse crew, mixed with exploration of class and social status, good and evil, and the existence of God.

Venice Oceanarium Founder/Director Tim Rudnick said he has read Moby Dick 19 times on the beach with the Venice Oceanarium.

“I love the book,” Rudnick said. “It is exciting… insightful… meditative. It grows on you.”

The Venice Oceanarium holds the Moby Dick readings especially this time of year in recognition of the California gray whale migration.

The gray whale makes one of the longest of all mammalian migrations, averaging 10,000-14,000 miles (16,000-22,530 km) round trip.

In October, the whales begin to leave their feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi Seas and head south for their mating and calving lagoons in Baja California, Mexico.

The Venice Oceanarium, “A museum without walls,” has a mission to impart a better understanding of the ocean and the life within it through the arts and sciences and to celebrate the unique natural habitats of Venice Beach. They hold events on Venice Beach, the Venice Pier, Oakwood and Venice Beach Recreation Centers, Israel Levin Senior Center, Venice Library, Chase Burton Park in the Marina, Ecole Claire Fontaine (French School), and Westminster Elementary School. These community and family-orientated events and workshops are all free of charge.

The Venice Fishing Pier Project was created to educate and inspire the public about the ocean and features a weekly display of marine biological specimens, other oceanographic items, poetry placards relating to the ocean and opportunities for kids to draw fish.

Workshops are held in schools, recreations centers and libraries and are hands on and provide opportunities to explore the living laboratory of the sea and dive into the world of sharks, jellyfish, sea stars, crabs and more.

The popular Grunion Run Party on Venice Beach introduces the public to Venice’s robust population of grunion, a unique species of fish known for their unusual mating ritual.

The organization was founded in 1986 by Tim Rudnick, who serves as the director. He is a native of Los Angeles and considers Venice Beach to be his hometown, having spent his childhood and the past 46 years here. He holds a B.A. in Art History from UC Riverside and has taken more than 60 post graduate units in Marine Biology, Oceanography, and the Earth Sciences. He taught classes for 15 years on the research vessel Vantuna with board member and Santa Monica College biology instructor, the late Ed Tarvyd.

Professor Tarvyd’s students are the beneficiaries of his lifelong study of the sea and its sciences. Ed was a fighter to protect the Ballona Wetlands and lead several field trips to the Tahitian atoll of Teti’aroa and was also an adviser to Marlon Brando.

This year, the Venice Oceanarium has partnered with: the Los Angeles County Beaches and Harbors for the Moby Dick reading, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks for the Venice Fishing Pier Project. The LA Opera will provide discounted tickets to the contemporary operatic masterpiece Moby Dick and Warner Brothers is providing tickets to a special screening of “In the Heart of the Sea,” directed by Ron Howard and written by Nathaniel Philbrick.

The Venice Oceanarium is funded by the Abbot Kinney Festival Association, local businesses, and individuals. This year’s Moby Dick reading is sponsored by General Real Estate Management, Shout!Factory, Hotel Erwin, Venice Boardwalk Association, and Venice Beach Suites & Hotel. Media sponsors include the Beachhead, Venice Paparazzi, and Yo!Venice.

Community sponsors include: Enterprise Fish Company, Los Angeles County Beaches and Harbors, Small World Books and Whole Foods Market Venice.

Join the celebration and shared reading of the complete book, Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22, from 8 am to 10 pm both days at the end of Windward Avenue, on Venice Beach near the breakwater rocks.

Come read aloud or just listen and also enjoy the beauty of Venice Beach. The Venice Oceanarium is a not-for-profit, tax exempt organization. To contribute or for more information visit Sign up now to read your favorite chapter at

Tips for a Windy Day in Venice


A red flag warning is in effect across Los Angeles, gusty winds and low humidity resulting in critical fire weather conditions that will continue through Friday afternoon.

Strong winds rip palm fronts from trees along Venice Beach

The warning includes the Santa Monica mountains recreational area, Ventura County Mountains and Los Angeles County Mountains.

Danger as blustery winds blow palm fronds from trees in Venice

Palm trees along Venice Beach have been battered throughout the week by strong winds and sand has been blasted from the beach onto Ocean Front Walk, into beach parking lots, and dumped in the paddle tennis courts.

Venice local Filmington aka Venny-Beach shared his tips on coping with the wind, “Just don’t have no stinking breath. Make sure you brush your teeth, because when the wind blows they’re going to smell your breath.”

Other than people with bad breath, Venny-Beachy has no complaints about the weeks blustery conditions, “Other than that, it’s a beautiful day,” he says.

Watch Venny-Beachy’s tips for a windy day in Venice here…

Venice Man Identified as Motorcycle Crash Victim


The coroner’s office has released the name of a
motorcyclist killed in a West Los Angeles area crash.

The victim has been identified as 49-year-old Marc Nanjo of Venice, coroner’s Investigator Kristy McCracken said.

Paramedics sent to the 11800 block of Gateway Street shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday morning pronounced Nanjo dead at the scene, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Yo! Venice Goes Inside LAPD’s 911 Dispatch Center

By Melanie Camp

When there’s something strange in the neighborhood who are you going to call?

You might be surprised, but 911 is not always the answer.
At the LAPD Metropolitan Communications Dispatch Center at 100 N Los Angeles Street in Downtown natural light filters through a row of windows that wrap around the top of a giant room. Operators sit at desks staring at the five computer monitors in front of them, headsets on. The calm in the center belies any number of emergencies and panicked people each operator might be dealing with.

“All the action is at the other end of the line. Our job is to remain calm,” says PSR II Yolanda Arroyo from the Community Relations Unit of the LAPD Communications Division.

Last year the LAPD Metropolitan Communications Dispatch Center took over 4.2 million calls total, city-wide between their 911 number and their non-emergency number, 877 ASK LAPD.

“There’s just under 4 million people in Los Angeles so that’s almost like saying everyone in Los Angeles might call 911 at least once in a year. That’s a lot of calls,” says Arroyo.

Of those 4.2 million calls, 2.4 million of them came in on 911 directly, and of those 2.4 million calls to 911, only 30 percent were life threatening emergencies.

“People will call for all things. They think that 911 is a solve all phone number,” says PSR II Chance Chavez (pictured above) from the Community Relations Unit of the LAPD Communications Division. Chavez explains that when a call is made to 911 for something that is not life threatening the caller could be “taking the opportunity from somebody who might be calling 911 for somebody who is having a heart attack, or may be there is a shooting in progress, and now the line is being blocked off by somebody who is calling about a loud party,” says Chavez.

Chavez says that calls Dispatch receives from the Venice area that are examples of what would be better serviced through the non-emergency line, involve complaints of loud parties, or loud radios, and that, “often people will call about the noise coming from the drum circle.”

While these types of things can be annoying for neighbors, because they are non life threatening, “we ask that people refrain from calling 911 and dial the 877 ASK LAPD phone number instead,” says Chavez.

The non-emergency, 877 ASK LAPD line “will get you to a live operator that can take the call and still get the police out there but you will not be tying up the 911 system and tying up somebody that possibly has a life threatening emergency from getting though,” says Chavez.

While Chavez says no one should ever hesitate to call 911 in the case of a life threatening emergency, callers are encouraged to call “that non-emergency number for something like the drum circle being too loud. 877 ASK LAPD is a perfect number to dial if you have any of those types of non-threatening things,” says Chavez.
“If they’re being a nuisance on the boardwalk, just being loud, or they’re harassing -trying to sell things, you can call 877 ASK LAPD.

Of course if they commit some sort of a crime that could be construed as felonious or a crime where there is some kind of physical assault or somebody’s life is in danger of course call 911,” says Chavez.

Chavez says that sometimes callers think they can beat the system.
“People think that if they call the non-emergency number and they’re waiting two or three minutes that “OK I’ll just hang up and call 911 and I’ll get through to somebody right away,” in fact you might get somebody right away but you will be connected right back to the 877 ASK LAPD line because it’s not of a life threatening nature. But if you were to call 911 and be transferred, you’re still tying up a 911 line because you’re still in the process of that transfer mode until the phone is answered.”

While Dispatch knows that waiting times can be longer on the non-emergency line, Chavez explains that the reason for this is because, “we have to make sure we staff our 911 and our radio positions before the non-emergency gets answered because those are of life threatening urgency.”

Chavez says that while people may believe calling 911, as opposed to the non-emergency line, will result in their complaint being dealt with quicker, this is not the case. Sometimes officers may be on their way out to a call  when they are redirected to an urgent, life threatening emergency.

It is a matter of managing the available resources.

“Unfortunately we don’t have one officer for every call that comes in, it’s just unrealistic, so the officers have to make sure they go out to things based on priority. Life threatening things would be a higher priority than a loud nuisance on the boardwalk,” says Chavez.

In some cases 911 operators have experienced frustrated callers who, having waited too long for police to respond to a noise complaint, will call back and claim a more serious crime is underway.

Chavez uses a dramatic example of how one caller’s lie had dire consequences. He explains that a caller, in an effort to speed up police response time to a noise complaint  chose to tell the dispatch operator that there was somebody at the party with a gun and that shots had been fired.

Chavez explains that while it led to police getting to the noisy party quicker, officers approached the house with very different set of expectations, and their guns raised. Ultimately, an innocent person ended up loosing their life because due to false information, the police had arrived expecting to find a gunman at the scene.

Chavez says that a fatal mistake like this where, a caller misleads law enforcement, can result in that caller being held liable.

“It’s always best to remain truthful and always understand that the police will come, it may take time but the city is really big and we do try to get the officers out there as soon as possible.”

The basic rule of thumb is if you feel police are not responding quick enough to a call that does not involve a life threatening emergency, it is probably because they are tied up saving a life that is in danger.
“If there are not too many calls that are coming in, or it’s a slow day on the beach, or not a lot of life threatening emergencies are coming through the 911 system, we can go ahead and get an officer out there faster than it would normally be if there were some life threatening things going on in the area,” says Chavez.

If you are ever unsure of what number to call, “please call 911 and we can always walk you through it and differentiate for you whether or not you should stay in the 911 system or be connected over to the non-emergency number,” says Chavez.  “If you have a life threatening 911 emergency, of course, don’t hesitate to call 911 but we do ask that, please call that non-emergency number for something like the drum circle being too loud.”

If you ever do find yourself in the face of a life threatening situation and having to call 911, first and foremost it is important to tell the operator where you are located, followed by what service you require, police, fire, or ambulance.

Also if you are calling from a landline the operator is able to pinpoint your exact location. If you call via cell phone that can not, so it is even more important to be able to tell the operator where you are.
However if you are not in the midst of a life threatening emergency remember who you’re going to call, 877 ASK LAPD.