Friday, August 1, 2008

Venice, California - Then and Now

Yesterday I spent some time exploring Venice, California.
I've done a fair amount of research on the place, but this was my first visit since I really took the research seriously.

If you live in the area, I recommend seeing it for yourself. Of course, it helps to have a navigation system so you can find your way around. The place is a maze in some areas.

Over the years, Venice, California has become home to more and more new, flashy, modern homes, but you can still see the little bungalows that were so prevalent during the days of Abbott Kinney.

The real thrill however, is driving down a street and realizing that it was once a canal.
It's sad to think about all that once was, and is now almost forgotten.
At one point I stood in a traffic circle - that used to be a turning basin, and looked up two streets - that used to be canals.
Here's a photo I took yesterday of the "Traffic Circle" in Venice. The street on the right is Grand Blvd. and the one to the left of it is Windward Avenue. In 1923, when the postcard image below was rendered, things were a little different.

Let's take a look:
Here's the same place more than eighty years ago.
Back then the "Traffic Circle" was known as the "Venice Lagoon".
Grand Blvd. was the "Grand Canal", and Windward Ave. was "Lion Canal".
I'm really not sure what the duck-blind in the middle of the lagoon was all about.
On the far right, you can see part of a rollercoaster.

My visit to Venice, California was short-lived.
I took a number of photos, and I'll probably post some more up in the days to come.
It was depressing, fascinating, and educational.
I need to go back, better prepared, and spend a whole day taking photos.


Anonymous said...

Hi Greg, interesting comparison. BTW; in Venice (Italy) we call it "rio terà".

Gondola Greg said...

Ah, yes.
Thanks for pointing that out.
In Venice, California, there are so many "rio teras" that since I visited there, I've been having dreams about traveling down streets on a gondola!