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Venice Beach, Los Angeles

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Join the Drum Circle at Venice Beach

On summer weekend nights, a crowd of people, made of performers, locals, tourists and listeners, gather at Venice Beach for a Drum Circle ceremony to welcome the sunset. As the noise grows and the night goes on, people start moving into free dance or trance dance–– a sort of mix between dancing and jumping, flinging your arms and shaking your head. It looks a bit like exorcism, but in a nice way, and if you don’t feel like joining you can just watch the spectacle from afar, and maybe add a few claps of the hand, or a nod of the head. [more ]

Venice Beach, Los Angeles

Lets talk about the obvious first. Venice Beach is known for its 60’s hippies, 80’s musclemen, 90’s roller bladers, and 21st Century Tourists. And that is not at all wrong. All of these are still present. Alongside, basketball, volleyball and soccer team’s, competing as if they played in the major leagues. In fact, the games they are playing are probably far more important.The untold number of shops selling Marijuana paraphenellia, and Jim Morrison T-Shirts, gets exhausting, after your first 100 metres. However the bands, musicians, DJ’s and general freaks, who adorn the pavements around them, are the star attraction. The naked man who juggles silver balls, the guy selling reggae tapes of Nursery Rhymes, the guys offering God knows what for dope… It’s a sight to behold, and these days pretty safe. There is a strong police presence here, and the Californian Police have cleaned the area up since the mid-nineties.The highlight of it all, however, is a walk over the sand towards the Pacific Ocean, where the Alaskan cool waters bring surfers and dolphins together. The waves are constantly perforated by white boards and shimmering tails; a distance enough away from the madness to drown out the sound, but close enough to view the chaos.The muscle men by the way, have long since disappeared. I was last there on a Sunday, and expected to see a number of beefy men working out their over sized muscles. I was sorely disappointed. There was one weeny little fellow doing press ups. Great! [more ]

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