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Venice Beach, California

The scene in Venice is always fun to check out. Every Sunday people get together and form a drum circle. “It’s a hippie haven and it lasts until sunset. Come visit us!”

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41 Responses to Venice Beach, California

  • groovy, wheres the drum circle at?

  • Hoping to bring my sitar down there & play, if anyone here in the L.A area would like to jam with me after augest 10th e-mail me at rtysitar@aol.com……Peace

  • venice is really relaxed. i walk down there all the time from my house to avoid the rush. you can always find harry perry skating around with his guitar and a turban. beware of yuppies. venice gets to be a kind of a tourist trap sometimes.

  • If you want to know, how you can smoke legal at venice beach, contact me!!!! —-> mailing123@gmx.de

  • I see the politically correct police have weaned out the controversial comments from this page. Kudos from Stalin!!!!

  • Oh dude, That is awesome. I’m gonna live there one day. Jim Morrison lived there too and he is the ultimate!

  • The atmosphere is out of this world. Wouldn’t it be nice to sell up and live on the beach for rest of your life. We all have dreams perhaps one day. Can’t wait for my next visit, hopefully this October. Greetings from across the Atlantic stuarthhargreaves@yahoo.co.uk

  • no rockchic you are the ultimate and then jim morrison notatruesmoker@hotmail

  • Venice Beach is cool for a week or so. If you want to sleep on the beach just wander over to the Santa Monica side of the beach to the north but be careful and sleep near a lifegaurd station or the bathrooms. The reason for this is that the police take pleasure in running over people sleeping in the open. Also make sure you wait til after 11pm to pick a place to sleep because you might have a very angry drunk person “wake you up”. Prime real-estate is: under the concrete stairs, life gaurd stations (watch out for the transvestites under #27), restroom vestibules(the city workers are all cool as long as you keep your shit neat and tidy, most of them are “doing time”)

  • IM moving to venice beach in a few of months(have to get a job first) About the summer time and i was wondering if there is anyone that could show me around(drug dealers) and such.ps jefferson airplane rules

  • Venice beach is a fun place, but there are a number of things I don’t like about it.

    The good: It’s swarming with interesting people, head shops, drum circles (on the weekends), there are areas to spraypaint and express yourself (i highly recomend it), and so forth. Good place to wander around while high (but be careful about smoking, see below).

    The bad: The place has a lot of problems. First, sometimes there are a lot of gangs. That doesn’t really bother me, but the absurd number of police really bothers me. Everywhere you go there are lots of cops. Lastly, there are too many tourists, and WAY WAY WAY too many t-shirt shops, all selling the same shirts.

  • mmm i love venice. the drum circle is awesome. oh how i love harry perry “no more steak and chocolate cake, no more steak and chocolate cake, no more booze and tv news…” haha he’s so awesome

  • There is no place like Venice Beach especially near the boardwalk. The canals were my favorite.
    If you visit Cali you must visit Venice.

  • Lived/squatted in Venice/Santa Monica for a week and a half. It’s a turbulent place with plenty of street kids & kind hearts but just as many crazies. The boardwalk of souvenir buying tourists might get to you, but they can be to your advantage. I found a big bag (3lbs maybe) of random jewlery bits someone threw out, was gifted some hemp cord, and had no problem selling enough for food/pot. There’s free food on “hippy/hobo hill” usually, if you really need it just ask around. Best place to sleep is just south of the Santa Monica pier, otherwise you’re liable to be harrassed by the man. Stay low profile, preferably with a friend for security, and find a spot alongside a lifegaurd tower or pole so you don’t get run over by the sand sweeper early morning. (I met someone who was actually run over by this bull-dozer-like thing; cut and bruised all over.) There are public restrooms and outdoor showers to use. Found a few discarded sun umbrellas, a boogie board(Wooee!), and other random stuff that I used to make a shelter from the cold night wind. Spotted San Pedro on a walk a mile or so inland and was able to have a beautiful spiritual experience with some friends. Unfortunately the ocean around here is a bit polluted, so don’t stay in too long. Not a place you want to stay for an extended period of time, but its good to get sand in your crack for a little while. Happy trails.

  • venice beach sucks!!! HAIGHT/ ASHBURY IS 10 TIMES BETTER even tho it is also a tourist trap just like venice beach!!!!

  • Venice and southern SM do have a great vibe to them but Venice being policed by the LAPD is extremely unfriendly to those “camping rough” and living a street type existence. Santa Monica PD are easier on the homeless and those who choose to sleep outdoors but the population who lives there is quite hostile and intolerant, as you’d expect in a place that’s basically yuppie central – expect to get a lot of shit from people, including getting bottles thrown at you if you look “homeless”, people trying to run you down in their brand new SUVs, getting all kinds of crap. If you have to sleep rough in that area you’re best off heading to Pacific Palisades, it’s LAPD turf but there aren’t that many homeless people in the area so the locals are not as unfriendly as in SM, and there are more places where you can hide out and sleep in the mountains. those people who live rough there have all said it’s pretty hassle free and because it’s so far from any other LAPD territory being surrounded by SM on one side and Malibu on the other, you can pretty much smoke weed on the street and no one will hassle you.

    now, of course, if you actually want to live in Venice NOT on the street, it’s a wonderful place.

  • spent a little more than a month living on the beach… met a lot of crazy fuckin’ people, but a lot of great ones too. i’d spend time writing all the free food places and orgs that put on shit for the street kids, but that’s been done. i’ll go back someday, i will…

  • Fond memories, lived there in the early 80´s.
    An oasis in plastic L.A. back then.
    Lots of groovy individuals and cool chicks from all over the globe.
    Moved on to Japan to visit people i met there and stayed for 17 years.
    Wanna be back one day to see how it changed.Peace

  • My brothers and I lived on Horizon St and the boardwalk in the early 70’s. That was a magical time and place never to be repeated, at least not for me. There was plenty of everything to go around and we made the most of each day. The boardwalk was busy but nothing like today. The streets weren’t safe at night unless you were in numbers but that was no problem. There was absolutely 2 girls for every guy any and all of the time! Venice is a special place and those that want to run it down just missed the point.

  • Venice seriously rocks as long as you’ve got a place to stay. If you’re living in the street it sucks – the LAPD will fuck with you and the gangs – some of whom live nearby in Oakwood and East Venice, and others who come from other parts of LA – will fuck with you too. If you’re not homeless though you won’t get messed with

  • I lived on Venice Beach for almost a year in the late 80’s. It was great. Not a lot of violence and hostility then. I have been back since, but its never the same when u are wearing a different life.

    peace

  • VENICE BEACH FUCKIN ROCKS!!!!

    Very good memories of this place so awsome. I had went on a trip there with some friends to help them find their daughter. It was cool we found her the first day amazed me. We squatted in a parking lot Me being new to all of this. Any how my car took a shit….I was standed there for 3 months….The place was absolutley a blast….the people I met are people I will never forget. Gardnerville Bill, Marlone, Peaches, Sid, My stupid retarded step Brother or thats what I called him JEFFREY HOREBATH!!! Unforgetable the people I met. Drum Circles WOW one of my favorite things I loved everything about venice. Hell I slept under a life guard tower and I would probably do it again. An experience I will never forget. Venice is definatley its own little world.—–ang

  • Venice Beach has become the tweaker capital of California. The place is overloaded with meth heads who will rip you off. It is DEFINITELY no place to sleep rough! There is a gang which has made raping homeless women into its initiation ritual. Expect nothing but hostility from the cops as well. It’s definitely getting worse even if you have a place to stay, but if you do it is INFINITELY better than sleeping on the beach! Unless you’re a meth head stay away!

  • Hey I was working in Venice 2 years ago and scored an awesome t-shirt at one of those sidewalk stores. I would love to get more. Does anyone know how to find them on-line?

  • Are there any known places in ca where hippies still share homes and all stick together? I want to hang out with hippies but dont know where to find them? are they all friendly to? thanks!

  • Hi Fellow Hipsters,

    If in your heart you identify as a “hippie,” Los Angeles in general is not the place for you. It’s true that it’s AMAZING with its cultural diversity, climate of social tolerance and liberalism, and extremely vibrant art scene; I can’t take that away from LA. It’s however also decadent, hard-edged, covered with concrete, and cynical materialistic image is everything. Best to move on to greener pastures on the West Coast.

    If you ARE stuck here for a while, it’s true that Venice and Santa Monica would be the neighborhoods least hostile to a self-identified hippie. LA gets a well-deserved bad rap for plasticness but with time you can find genuine people with a gentle heart in these two neighborhoods. Plus being at the beach you’ll breathe some of LA’s cleanest air and have ready access to LA’s gorgeous (yet sadly smog-influenced) sunsets. My suggestion for new arrivals is that you rent the old movie “Floundering,” tune into KCRW-FM midmornings and late nights on the weekdays, and check out public notices on the Santa Monica Community College campus, to get your initial cultural bearings.

    (For good old hippie 60’s rock, tune into KLOS-FM late weeknights. The Jim Ladd show is a total time-warp. KPFK-FM is excellent for Pacifica News, Alan Watt’s old lectures on Eastern mysticism on Sunday mornings, and a whole host of programs reflecting LA’s variety of cultures.)

    Want to commune with nature? Unfortunately you really do need a car to get around in LA. If crowded beaches are not your idea of a nature fix, my only true recommendation to you is sunrise hikes in Griffith Park BUT ONLY THE FIRST DAY AFTER A GOOD RAIN. Believe it or not, a natural setting where you can easily imagine you’re not in LA at all, does exist; if you can find your way to the Hollywood Reservoir it’s a nice brief hike, and it’s open to the public at certain times (the downside is that the water is surrounded by a high chain-link fence). Laurel Canyon, a mecca for rich hippies in the late 60’s and early 70’s, is still a place within LA proper where there are actual wild deer! And if you want a serene outdoor environment that’s totally conducive to meditation AND is open for free to the public, check out beautiful Lake Shrine close to where Sunset Blvd hits the Pacific Ocean.

    There’s a huge variety of resources for all things “spiritual” in LA, like the wonderful used books section of West Hollywood’s Bodhi Tree bookstore. But to be honest on the surface LA’s “spiritual” scene is dominated by rich white people’s New Agey-take on things, i.e., “Karma lets me off the hook for my apathy toward the current-day struggles of indigenous peoples whose religious traditions I take for my own. If they’re struggling it’s because they deserve it, not because I benefit from an unfair social order.” Don’t let this blind you to the fact that despite the “me-first” phonies who are primarily concerned with PERSONAL empowerment and PERSONAL liberation (what I call “trickle-down spirituality”), there are lots of people with good hearts here – rich and poor – who understand the spiritual value of gentleness (over mere tolerance) and working for social justice (over mere charity).

    Beyond the harsh realities of LA’s famous entertainment industry, where so much artistic creativity is sadly money-driven, the arts scene is very much alive here and is way too huge a topic to address in this posting. For example the city abounds in amazing murals of different cultures, most noticeably Chicano art. (Remember: Chicanos were here first!) Anglo artists always gravitate to where the cheap rents are, and despite their overt trendiness, Silver Lake and East Hollywood still have a genuinely artist-friendly vibe. More hardcore is the Anglo loft scene downtown centered around the former Al’s Bar, but I wouldn’t recommend that scene for gentle hippie types, it’s more for people who out-Bukowski each other.

    I hope this has been helpful for any hippie souls planning to stay in Los Angeles for a while. As I said earlier, I would truly recommend greener pastures on the West Coast (for example see my postings on Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Seattle) but don’t despair; with patience and enough poking around you can definitely find kindred gentle spirits in Venice and Santa Monica.

    Peace,
    Virgin (getsomebutu@hotmail.com)

  • wassup i will be heading to venice beach in july then maybe sf. anyone know juggalo? if u wanna party with me and my redz im me drugstorecowgrrrl on yahoo mess. Lets keep venice beach free! i think zeus is head oh the 5o there if we believe he says. him and apollo like mushrooms and we all want to grow them on venice beach. jim morison says acid is free to i hear they ate all the 5os

  • * Watch Out For The Gangs !!! A Nice Guy , NATHAN ALAN MORGAN (AND HIS PITBULL), Were Murdered VOODOO STYLE … March 2008

  • i hate bums everywhere… get a job and quit sitting on your ass begging— and take a shower.

  • “Venice is hippidom,” as pertains to a place that attracts ‘that type’ in Los Angeles…and those who go to “Rainbow” gatherings find they meet back in Venice Beach before or after a long summer trip to the national event of 25,000 or so lovers.

    Dont know about it ? Can’t find us? that’s because like looking for Tai food, when you have a taste for it, it is suddenly revealed EVERY WHERE, and you are lured, drift, slide and find what is part of you, no matter that you dont always dress ‘the type’.

    So try being on that kind of “mindset“,not just the USA 60’s limited to 1 large scale era and group, but this is a FRAME of mind, like a ‘framework’ or a way of being, not just thinking…tho many youngsters try to be retro and copy what they have seen in pictures….they want to drop in but are imitation drop outs looking for a group home and love and a faked up version of what this hiiiii piii stuff actually is.

    you is or you aint and no pretending….manipulators do enter and con their way into free easy sex or mj or bum whatever, even housing, but they are just good ‘pretenders’…. and soon found out, tho tolerated temporarily.

    the hiiiipiiii style/way is a mix ofmany other ‘types’ or philosophies, like
    indigenous [native american and other native peoples anywhere else too], mixed in with some gypsy ways and customs, combined with a need to create a more open-loving-free-yet-monitored-equalized COMMUNITY [instead of individual owership with greed at it’s center],
    and Our Way is open to all who can and do enter with a good heart, a willingness to share and give w/o expectations of return [even secret ones] and who can accept all and any body, thing, part of themselves and nature in a positive way or work hard at this, if not perfected yet.

    so dont talk about hippy as if it were ‘monolithic’ made of one stone, solid, easy to identify by the clothing or name labels….dont assume someone who wears a bright tie die shirt knows more than how to spend money to look like and try to identify as one of those who long ago disbanded inimost but not all ways and places.

    “dont pretend you know what a hippy is.” You have to encounter one or more. You have to be recognized as kin by one who is of that ilk. You have to findout that you are not what you thought or claimed before in the stultified limited rigidified world. You have to find it deep deep inside, your heart, body, soul, spirit and more ways/ places/ senses that you are “family” with those who have actually continued to this day and this place to BE whatever…not by show, not by dress, not by drugs or free sex, not by being ‘named’ by any other.

    Welcome to Venice. It is home to many of us, but not all are “us” “.

    veniceactivist@yahoo.com

  • My previous posting, a response to someone else’s comment, of this was erased or not liked by monitors so here it is again, cuz if we have any freedom of definitions + opinions + interests + descriptions, it might be of interest….or not…..

    re Venice California….a beach

    Venice is hippidom, as pertains to a place that attracts ‘that type’ in Los Angeles…and those who go to Rainbow gatherings find they meet back in Venice Beach before or after a long summer trip to the national event of 25,000 or so lovers.Dont know about it ? Can’t find us?

    that’s because like looking for Tai food, when you [another commentator wrote this ] have a taste for it, it is suddenly revealed EVERY WHERE, and you are lured, drift, slide and find what is part of you, no matter that you dont always dress ‘the type’.So try being on that kind of mind-set,

    not just the USA 60’s limited to 1 large scale era and group, but this is a FRAME of mind, like a ‘framework’ or a way of being, not just thinking…tho many youngsters try to be retro and copy what they have seen in pictures….

    they want to drop in but are imitation drop outs looking for a group home and love and a faked up version of what this hiiiii piii stuff actually is.you is or you aint and no pretending….manipulators do enter and con their way into free easy sex or mj or bum whatever, even housing, but they are just good ‘pretenders’….

    and soon found out, tho tolerated temporarily.the hiiiipiiii style/way is a mix of many other ‘types’ or philosophies, like indigenous [native american and other native peoples anywhere else too], mixed in with some gypsy ways and customs, combined with a need to create a more open-loving-free-yet-monitored-equalized COMMUNITY [instead of individual ownership with greed at it’s center]

    and Our Way is open to all who can and do enter with a good heart, a willingness to share and give w/o expectations of return [even secret ones] and who can accept all and any body, thing, part of themselves and nature in a positive way or work hard at this, if not perfected yet.so dont talk about hippy as if it were ‘monolithic’ made of one stone, solid, easy to identify by the clothing or name labels….dont assume someone who wears a bright tie die shirt knows more than how to spend money to look like and try to identify as one of those who long ago disbanded in most but not all ways and places.dont pretend you know what a hippy is.

    You have to encounter one or more. You have to be recognized as kin by one who is of that ilk. You have to find out that you are not what you thought or claimed before in the stultified limited rigidified world. You have to find it deep deep inside, your heart, body, soul, spirit and more ways/ places/ senses that you are “family” with those who have actually continued to this day and this place to BE whatever…

    not by show, not by dress, not by drugs or free sex, not by being ‘named’ by any other.Welcome to Venice. It is home to many of us, but not all are “us”. and even then some of us pretend to be more of “us” different / exclusive / special / hipper / blah blah blah er
    …..

  • HIPPIES NOT WELCOME IN VENICE OR SANTA MONICA. GET THE FUCK OUT YOU STINKY BASTARDS.

  • Im new to Venice Beach,
    Can someone tell me why they have put up the fence down across the beach? I find it ruined the look of the beach.

  • HEY WERE IS A SAFE PLACE THE COPS STAY AWAY FROM TO SLEEP ON STREETS IN VENICE

  • this coming sunday im going to this beach n invite someone a drink….i got no friends..i was thinking maybe i can make a friend there at venice beach….

  • A lowdown on VENICE : the cops of venice: unfortunately, you WILL have to wake up at the crack of dawn, or you will get a ticket (sometimes a warning first)  When they are ‘cracking down’ the city will wake you up throughout the night and make you move- there are some laws protecting people, but its still ruff. They will bust you for smoking weed outside, smoking cigarettes on the beach, drinking in public.. all your usual. They will periodically bust the people in the bathrooms smoking or taking other drugs.. (Meth is rampant here, so can Heroin be at times) There is MANY undercovers/informants on the beach, they stay on the streets with the kids, they are in the crowds of tourists. Most busts happen because of these people. They run on the beach in ATVs, Horses, Bikes, Foot, Car, SUV.. theres usually about 100 of em out at any time.
    I dont want this to discourage you, however I want you to be informed. It is a WONDERFULLY artistic community. If you do a craft, chances are you could come here and vend it. Theres places you can find to put your RVs, or buses, the public transportation is decent, foodstamps will keep you well fed, and flying signs happens all the time, and its acceptable by the cops. Panhandling here is okay, protected.. just know many folk are doing the same thing, so.. have a skill, play some music, tell jokes, give directions, be a storyteller… There is a decent amount of services in near by areas (malibu, hollywood, downtown etc) that can supply you with bedding, clothing and food. I would honestly LOVE to see more hippies make it here, and turn the place back around for the good. Many people say be careful of the gangs, and while yes its true- they are nice people, and you dont need to worry about them like you think- what you do need to be careful of, dont fall into their drug game, dont snitch, and dont disrespect the locals. Good luck- oh and one last thing.. there are outdoor beach showers, and they are cold.. so like my previous post- its best to come in summer!

  • Okay, I stayed there for one of the longer stretches that most do. About a year’s worth of time, and I must say, during festival/tour season, its great to use it as a meeting point to head out again. There is a large amount of locals, and they are fun to get along with- if you dont get to caught up. It is an artsy community. There is good MJ here, Hash and Oils especially… however its best if you can to bring it in from the north, anything local in shops is going to be priced a lil high for its quality. As for the rest of that scene, you’ll find a lot of variety here, everything from your happy hippie drugs to your hard drugs. I recommend to enjoy this place the most, if your going here – plan it in summer, when life is good on the beach and most everyone is happy..

  • i oppose the negitivity in venice beach i have danced in the drum circles sense high school, which would make that 25 years. the brutality of the insanity with police is so sad, and also the people who bring their trouble, need to find some where else to hang. STOP DIGGING HOLES IN THE DRUM CIRCLE.  peace out roxie

  • anyway, venice beach has for the most part lost OUR original atmosphere, we were free but NO violence you new folks have desroyed the concept and turned into a side show, try and find out about the 60’s you shit heads

  • me and my friend want to go down there for the summer we got like 2O bucks to our name , you can sleep on the actual beach right ?? and if so what time?

  • Heres some tips. Get a temp  library card in santa monica. You can use the internet in venice and SM. Get an all week bus pass ($20)its worth it. You can get a free daily meal at the OPCC (look it up)on 6th,its a mission,between 9 and 1030am everyday,dont recommend showers there tho.  Ive slept on the north side of the SM peir several times and not been distrubed or fined. Dont go too far out as remember you are on your own,i usually go half way out to the sea(but dont disturb me fuckers). Pot is everywhere but not legal to smoke outside so be careful. You can whore bath on the SM pier but keep those things clean or they will stop that too. Other than that just stay out  of trouble and you will have no problems. Careful who u mingle with becuz the cops are watching and know whos who. SM is cleaner than venice and safer. FYI – JIM MORRISONS VENICE/DOGTOWN VENICE are gone remember that it is different now and its become a sad image of what it was. Too many people trying to act like morrison or some shit. Junkies, tourist and mentally ill, enjoy

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