by Tamara Rice of The Rice Paper
Venice Beach, California, is one of those beaches that is known more for what the humans are doing on the shore, than the beauty of the coast.
The buildings are close together, the graffiti is plenty–this is Los Angeles, after all–and the vendors of souvenirs and trinkets are many, but the entertainers along the sidewalk, like artists, musicians and dancers, are not the sort of people you meet (or see) every day.
Our Venice Beach experience began with lunch at Mao’s Kitchen. (Yummy msg-free kungpao, despite the communism!) The tiny, yet popular, lunch stop is full of vintage Chinese Mao Zedong-era posters mounted on brick walls–after all, his mantra was “serve the people”–and the menu is full of fresh, delicious food.
After a brief stroll along the Venice Beach sidewalk, looking at silver rings, strange paintings and offensive postcards, we stopped into the famous House of Ink, where I bravely pierced my nose. (Because what else are you supposed to do in Venice Beach besides get a tattoo or a piercing?)
My memories of our day in Venice Beach live on. As for the nose piercing … it only survived until allergy season.