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VENICE SURVIVAL GUIDE / VENICE 101
HOW TO AVOID GETTING PARKING TICKETS IN VENICE. When parking, make sure you don’t park besides curbs that are painted red. Red means no parking. Stay on your parking meters. The parking attendants are on it and there is no negotiating your way out of a ticket once they start writing it up. Trust me I’ve tried. Also, beware of street cleaning days.
BEACH TIPS: Beware of rip tides. (Strong flow of water near the shore) Wear plenty of sunscreen. Respect the surfers. Stay south of the red flag. If you need more tips, ask a lifeguard before you go in the water.
VENICE BEACH BOARDWALK TIP: Bring plenty of $1 dollar bills when you walk along the Venice Beach Boardwalk. If you watch an entire performer’s show or appreciate an artist’s work, please leave a tip. They work very hard to make your stay enjoyable at Venice Beach.
WEATHER: The weather in Venice is unpredictable. I would suggest that you bring a sweater. Otherwise expect to pay at least $20 for a sweater with the Venice logo on it. Venice T-shirts are normally 3 for $10 and can be purchased a number of shops along the Venice Beach Boardwalk.
ANIMAL INFORMATION: During the summer season, do not bring your dogs to Venice. It is cruel and against the law to leave you dog unattended in a car on a hot summer day. Also, dogs are not allowed on the Venice Beach Boardwalk between 11 a.m – 8 p.m on Sat, Sun and holidays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. However, If you do decide to bring your dog, please pick up all defecation. The Westminster Dog Park is located on Westminster and Pacific. (three blocks from the Venice Beach Boardwalk) www.venicedogpark.org
BIKE PATH: Apparently the bike path is meant for bikes only. However, you will see rollerbladers, skaters and joggers on it all the time. Just last summer, a police cruiser rode up beside me and my dog, and told me that I wasn’t allowed to jog on the bike path with my dog. I almos
t got a ticket. I was shocked to hear this, because I have been jogging the same path for 10 years. Anyway, to avoid getting yelled at by the above athletes, please do not walk on the Bike Path.
POLICE TIP: The number one suggestion made by the Venice Police is to keep an eye on all of your belongings.
NO SMOKING: By law, there is no smoking on park grounds, the beach and anywhere west of the Venice Beach Boardwalk. These areas are smoke free zones . By California law, there is no smoking in restaurants. However, Jame’s Beach does offer smoking on their outdoor patio. www.jamesbeach.com.
KEEP VENICE CLEAN! Throw your trash in the garbage bins or take it home with you. The worse thing I’ve ever seen on the beach is a dirty diaper. Please don’t litter! Keep our beaches clean.
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS COLLECTED BY MY VISITING AUSTRAILIAN FRIEND Ki-YEONG KLEINER. She calls the following information for visitors, VENICE BEACH 101.
The heart of Venice Beach Local Culture: Ocean Front Walk is a wide pedestrian walkway that runs parallel to the beach. If you walk north from Venice, you’ll reach Santa Monica. If you walk south from Venice, you’ll reach Marina del Rey. A flock of street performers and stall holders take residence on Ocean Front Walk. Windward Avenue is a street that runs north to south. Windward circle is a turnaround that is on Windward Avenue close to the beach, between Pacific Avenue and Riviera Avenue. This area contains essential services and stores. Abbot Kinney Boulevard is also a ‘must-see’ area. It has interesting design and furniture stores, cafes, restaurants, a spiritual/new age bookstore, a Thai massage place and convenience stores.
Local Map: On your first day in Venice, it is an excellent day to pick up a free ‘Maphawk’ ie a local map covering essential information on Venice. It also takes in Marina del Rey and the essential tourism roads of Santa Monica. If you need any local information quickly, for instance just ask a friendly local shopkeeper. www.maphawk.com
Taxes and Tipping: In the USA, you must tip on services. Tip generally between 15-20 % of the charge for most meals and services.
Shuttle Buses: Primetime Shuttle: 1 800 RED VANS (1800 733 8267). Super Shuttle: 1800 BLUE VAN
Taxi: It is advised to ask the taxi driver for a mutually agreed fare price for the route you wish to take prior to boarding the vehicle. Always ensure the meter is running before the trip begins. Try United Independent Taxi company. Several vehicles are usually parked and at the ready on Windward Ave between Speedway and Pacific Ave. Their main telephone numbers are: 323 653 5050 and 800 822 TAXI.
Buses & bus maps: The central area in Venice from which many buses depart is on Windward Ave, on the beach side of Windward Circle and on the corner of Main Street and Venice Way, on the south side of Windward Circle. Windward Circle is the Turnaround located on Windward Ave, just south of Pacific Ave. If you are needing to use the buses frequently, it is recommended that you pick up the brochures that contain timetables and bus routes. They are available on all buses.
1) Big Blue Bus: www.bigbluebus.com. A local bus service. A great way of getting clear overview maps of all of the big blue bus services, pick up the brochure on board entitled ‘System Map’. For the most convenience, go to Venice Library, buy yourself a pre-paid bus card, load an amount of credit that suits your needs and simply insert into the bus ticket machine as you board. Otherwise, you will need to prepare exact change fares. The ticket machines do not give change
2) Green Culver City Buses: www.culvercitybus.com. A local bus service. You will need to provide exact change since the ticket machines do not give change.
3) Metro Buses: Buses that run from Venice to other ‘cities’ within Los Angeles. Detailed information and a trip planning service can be found onwww.metro.net. Tap cards are pre-paid, re-usable metro bus cards. You can buy them online for $2.00 or at more than half of Metro’s pass outlets around the county.
Venice Library: Located on the corner of North Venice Boulevard and Venice Way. 501 S. Venice Boulevard Venice, 90291 Opening hours are as follow: Mon & Wed. 10.00am to 8.00pm. Tue. & Thurs. 12.00pm to 8.00pm Fri: 1.30pm to 5.30pm Sat: 10.00am to 6.00pm Sun: closed Phone: 310 829 1761. www.lapl.org/branches/Branch.php?bID=40
Banking: A Bank of America branch stands on Windward Ave between Pacific Ave and Windward Circle, on the north side of Windward Avenue. It has three ATM machines which can often reduce waiting time. Post Office: Window service hours on Monday to Friday are 8.30am to 5.30pm. On Saturdays they are from 9.00am to 3.00pm. On Sundays and public holidays the post office is closed
1) Windward Farms: This is a friendly local grocery store with just about everything you need. You can’t miss it on Windward Ave between Speedway and Pacific Ave. It offers a range of snacks, fruit and vegetables, canned and bottled foods and bottled, freshly squeezed health juices. Coconuts can be cut opened for you for just an extra fifty cents. 105 Windward Ave Venice, CA 90291
2) Venice Farmers Market is open Fridays from 7am to 11pm. It is located on the corner of Venice Way and Venice Boulevard. There is a range of fresh, locally grown, mostly pesticide free and organic produce. The prices are very reasonable. Alex’s Fruits and Nuts has a great range of health snacks packed in convenient small bags. The pepitas and cranberry mix is unbelievably tasty. 501 Venice Boulevard. Venice, CA 90291. (310) 399-6690 www.venicefarmersmarket.com
3) Whole Foods Market. The nearest branch of the Whole Foods Market chain is on the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Rose Avenue. It has a highly attractive layout and a very wide range of foods, many organic. The atmosphere is like the supermarket of the future, where you can delight in an ultramodern, ultrahealthy grocery shopping experience. A colourful palette of different buffet-style lunch options line up. Just pick what you like and pay according to a set price per weight per food type. 225 Lincoln Blvd at Rose Ave Venice, CA 90291 (310) 566-9480. www.wholefoodsmarket.com
General shopping on a budget: You will never know what you can find while shopping and browsing the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Lincoln Boulevard and the area around the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Washington Boulevard are major roads in Venice and also offer a range of stores. Ross, great for reasonable priced clothing, is on the corner of California Ave and Lincoln Boulevard. Secondhand clothing stores such as Goodwill are available on Washington Boulevard for the super budget yet savvy shopper. Ross Dress for Less. 1400 Lincoln Blvd Venice, CA. Phone: 310-392-0106. www.rossstores.com.
Cafes with Internet:
1) Café Collage on the corner of Windward Avenue and Pacific Avenue. Wifi internet is free here but there are no outlets to plug in your computer so charge it up before you go. 1518 Pacific Ave. Venice, CA 90291. 310.399.0632. venicepaparazzi.smugmug.com/Cafe-Collage-1518-Pacific-Ave
2) Starbucks on Washington Boulevard
3) The Cow’s End on Washington Boulevard has an outdoor seating area, indoor area and upstairs area including a study/work lounge. 34 Washington Boulevard. Marina Del Rey, CA 90292-5124
(310) 574-1080 www.thecowsendcafe.com
4. Danny’s Bistro and Bar. www.dannysvenice.com 23 Windward Ave. Venice, Ca. 90291. 310.566.5610
Cellphone simcards, prepaid credit, new cellphones: Boardwalk Communications is located on Ocean Front Walk in a stall metres north from the intersection of Ocean Front Walk and Windward Avenue.
Phonecards: Available at the convenience stores located on Windward Ave between Speedway and Pacific Ave. Also, Muni’s Liquor store on the corner of Pacific and North Venice.
Laundry: A large laundry is located in the same shopping area block as Whole Foods Market on the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Rose Avenue. There is a change machine so you will have no trouble having enough coins to insert into the washers and dryers. There is also a laundry powder machine in case you need to have a single use amount of laundry powder. 402 Rose Ave, Venice, CA. 310) 452-2064
Parking laws and parking options: It is illegal to drive or park cars and motorcycles on Ocean Front Walk at all times. Remember to be carefully read all signs when parking your car in Venice. Red and white signs indicate parking restrictions during street sweeping hours. Green and white signs parking restrictions.Where signs indicate one hour parking, it is illegal to top up your meter and park beyond the one hour. You must move your car to another parking spot if you wish to continue parking beyond the first hour. If you wish to park your car in an off-street parking lot, prices can vary from $5 to $7. Try the street known as ‘Pacific’ (parallel to the beach) for parking lot options.
Gas Stations & Car Services:
1) Angel’s Service Centre on the corner of Pacific Ave and Venice Way. Angel’s Service Centre offers parking and also an oil change service for $18.95. After tax and a waste disposal fee, the service costs around $25.
2) Lincoln and Rose Gas Station. On the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Rose Avenue.
3) Chevron Gas Station at 2400 Lincoln Boulevard
Pharmacy : CVS Pharmacy on the corner of Main Street and Rose Avenue.
Dog Information: Westminster Dog Park on the corner of Westminster Avenue and Pacific Avenue. Picking up after your dog is mandatory in Venice. Note: Between Memorial Day until October 31, dogs are not allowed on Ocean Front Walk (the Venice Beach Boardwalk) from 11.00am and 8.00pm. http://www.venicedogpark.org/
Relaxing & Great Venice Views:
1) Ocean Front Walk: See top of this article for information.
2) Venice Beach Recreation Center including Venice Muscle Beach where Arnold Schwarzenegger ruled the bodybuilding scene in the 1970s.
3) Children’s playground: No smoking and no animals are allowed around this area
4) Rooftop overview of Venice Beach from Hotel Erwin on Pacific Avenue just south of the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Windward Avenue.Make sure you watch the sunset from this great rooftop bar.
5) Washington Boulevard: A must see for the great array of restaurants and cafes.
6) Venice Pier. Fantastic views looking back onto Venice from the end of the pier and also of the sunrise and sunset.
Surfing and swimming safety: Always be aware of surf conditions by reading the signs posted up by the lifeguards on their light blue watchtowers. Do not swim after consuming alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs that cause drowsiness or a heavy meal. Do not dive headfirst into the water. This can result in permanent spinal injury. If you are not a particularly strong swimmer, do not swim beyond where you can securely stand up on the sand. If however, you find yourself in a situation where you are out of your depth and are struggling, keep as calm as possible and gently dog paddle (ie paddle your arms around in the water using your hands to scoop the water and tread your feet as if riding a bicycle. Call out ‘help’ if possible. It is advisable not to swim or surf in the water for the three days following heavy rainfall due to stormwater and other pollution. Professional lifeguards comprehensively patrol all beach areas. They begin patrolling from 8.00am til sunset (6.00pm) and in summer from 7.00am til sunset (around 8.30pm). For further information, call the Lifeguard Training Section on 310 939 7200.
Main Street Video Shop: Located at Windward Circle, all that is needed for membership is a form of identification such as a drivers licence and a credit card. The store is open as follows: Mon-Fri 11am to 10pm. Sat 11am to 11pm. Sun 11am to 10pm Rental movies cost $4.10 overnight. If you wish to hire three movies at the same time, you may keep them for three days. If you wish to hire five movies, the hire time is five days. Late fees are $1.50 plus tax per movie. 1600 Main Street, Venice, CA, 90291. (310) 594 – 3616. mainstreetvideo.formovies.com
MUSCLE BEACH FACILITIES (Basketball, volleyball, handball, paddle tennis, skate parks, rollerskate parks, bike path, gymnastic, boxing, muscle beach gym, etc.): Venice Recreation and Parks: 1800 Ocean Front Walk. Phone: 310:399.2775. The office is open from 8.00am to 6.00pm.
Massage & Beauty:
1. Lamai Thai Massage on Abbott Kinney Boulevard, is open from 7am to 10pm daily. A one hour massage costs $40 and a half hour massage costs $20. It is a great service and you can either opt to have the massage therapist step on your back or not step on your back during the massage. It is up to your comfort level. You can also indicate what level of massage pressure is comfortable for you. www.lamaithaimassage.com
2. Hairdresser: Trim is a great hairdressing salon, found on Abbott Kinney Boulevard. First time customers can receive a special price of $20. www.venicetrim.com
3. Nitespa. The beach bungalow spa is open by appointment from noon to midnight Tuesday to Sunday. Treatments include organic facials, expert waxing, meticulous manicures and pedicures, holistic massage and professional make-up application and lessons. www.nitespa.com
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