In honor of the upcoming release of “Matching Wits With Venus”, my paranormal romance about Hollywood matchmaker Lia and Roman god Cupid, I am blogging about Lia’s Los Angeles. Today I highlight some of Venus’s favorite southern California hotspots. So whether you’re in L.A., coming to L.A. or just thinking about L.A. grab your sunglasses and let’s hit one of the funkiest beaches on the planet.
As a Roman goddess, Venus used to think she’d seen it all. That was before she discovered Venice Beach, the L.A. enclave unlike any other beach front community. With its skateboarding dudes and dudettes, seaside musicians, performance artists, freak show museum and iron pumping musclemen (did you know a certain former Governator used to build up his physique at this waterfront beach?), there is something for everyone.
Venus likes to begin her day in Venice with a stop at C & O Trattoria (31 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey 90292) so she can load up on some of the Italian food she misses when she’s away from her villa in Rome. She’s partial to the Fettuccine Alfredo and chopped Italian vegetable salad, although of course the real reason she comes to C & O, where you pour your own wine and are charged on the honor system, is for the garlic balls. (The one miss? The eggplant parmesan could be better – it’s too breaded, and very light on the cheese.) After her meal Venus joins the masses strolling along the concrete boardwalk, past the museum with the dog with five legs, the man selling turtles, the incense pushers and the dog walkers, until she arrives at Small World Books (1407 Ocean Front Walk), where she enjoys an eclectic selection ranging from small press poetry to a large mystery annex. After picking up a small journal and a few paperbacks, Venus likes to shop for jewelry. Plenty of sidewalk stalls offer handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces that are definitely wallet friendly: on a recent trip, Venus scored a blown glass necklace for five dollars. Pleased that she’d satisfied her intellectual and costuming needs, Venus next sought out some new artwork for her Hollywood Hills villa. She found a fabulous selection of paintings and prints at the stand of artist Damon Warren, whose fluid portraits seem to dance across the canvas.
Venice Beach is Venus’s favorite place to go when she’s looking for a visual feast. What’s your respite of choice?