Venice Beach California 1/1/2022

Happy New Year everyone!!!

I miss everyone that I love all of the time.

Balls

At the park today there was a giant bag of balls. I do not know of where it came but soon the kids and dogs had enough and soon thereafter, they were the toy of choice.

The beach was absolutely packed today, and in wholesome overdrive! The golden hour of liquid gold sunshine was upon us, so I was heading to the skate park for the views. The bike path is littered with pedestrians when it grows crowded. The first drink of wholesome punch came in the form of an elderly man riding a bicycle. A rectangular wagon with light powder blue sides was in tow. The assumption of grandfather and granddaughter radiated but not nearly as bright at the child’s smile. A tiny white helmet, an incomplete set of teeth on proud display, chin raised to the sunshine. Heart melted.

The journey to the skate park passes through the Venice Beach Graffiti Park. A constantly evolving collection of surfaces and shapes among a cluster of palm trees. I post a lot of the pics I take on my Instagram. Some of the art reflects incredible skill, some is just random lettering of varying quality. I cherish its existence.

The smell of spray paint signals a creation in progress.

Next to the breakwater for some splashing waves and clear view. I spend so much time trying to get good pictures of the waves crashing. It is very difficult to time, but the occasional group of tourists getting a whitewater surprise makes it worth it. The waves give little indication on which will perform. There is really nowhere else like it to watch a sunset. As great as all of that is, it got much better when Murphy came on the scene. Some of the soccer balls had made it to the breakwater. Two young men began kicking a ball back and forth. I paid little attention to the sound of a man shouting “Murphy!!”. People shouting after their dogs is hardly uncommon and this was a good distance away. It only registered when a galloping chocolate Labrador retriever made its intention to participate known. No less than 80 pounds of furry enthusiasm snatched up the ball and was off like a bottle rocket. Do not snap to judgement on Murphy. He was a good boy. When he was told to stop, he stopped. Drop it he did as soon as commanded, and almost contained his enthusiasm long enough for the ball to be returned. But not quite. Again, after a small chase Murphy complied with his drop it and go commands. 100 ft. off he ran before again overcome by the feeling his presence was really required in the game. Me and the two other humans involved did our best to keep the ball from our pursuer but last he was too swift. A small crowd had gathered, and laughter followed the final battle of owner and animal. The ball was returned, and Murphy left to applause.

I am horrible with people names, but I remember every dog I have ever met. I love you Murphy.

The people in this picture got demolished by a wave and I do not feel bad for laughing.

I see a huge crowd at the skate park so I know I am missing some bad assery. I passed a small group playing music. They looked a little bit hippy but like, currently enrolled in college hippy. A guy with an accordion looking thing had a college sweatshirt on. As normal looking a tiny band as I have seen at the beach. Anyone familiar with Venice Beach knows that there is a pretty well-known group of people that go by the name Hare Krishnas. Hare Krishna, a Sanskrit mantra, and highly associated with the movement. You might have noticed them if they were within a half mile of you. They wear robes and bang drums and repeat “Hare Krishna” in broken cadence loudly. So very loudly. My only encounters with that song have been when it was fired into my eardrums from the barrels of the remarkably loud speakers they carry with them. That was until today. This NORMAL looking (I hate the term normal and am only using it here to distinguish how different this group appeared in both attire and attitude than the Hare Krishnas I was familiar with) group of young adults were singing Hare Krishna. The same staggered cadence, ‘hare krishna, hare krishna, krishna krishna”. A soft hand drum and a ukulele rounded out a positive vibe. They seemed nice.

Light was quickly evaporating but I found a social distanced viewing point and I am glad I did. A young kid of no more than 8 was trying a jump off an edge taller than he was. A few misses demonstrating the child’s skill in falling under control, and a few that will be bruises in the morning. The kid had heart. He was so small he had to stop and start a pass over because a pigeon wasn’t threatened enough to fly out of the way. Like didn’t give a shit. Kid was on wheels and bird said “I’m walking here!!”. A deep breath and a few extra pushes for speed and click, clack, boom! Stuck the landing followed by an eruption of clapping and cheers. “One more time” and elder encouraged. Deep sigh of exasperation as only a child can perform and the performance was repeated, as was the applause. Off to the gym I went with a heart spilling over.

One last pic of the burn

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