Now, Venice has even on it's most average days, a strong hippie-ish vibe about it. There's public artwork all over the place - painted murals, strange little graffiti stamps on the sidewalks that say things like, "find your way", sculpture - and of course the grandest work of all there ever was, the Pacific Ocean. But at a festival? What a hippie love fest of the highest order! There were booths selling clothing made of hemp, various hand-made artworks both practical and absurd, veggie hot-dogs, and bands every other block or so. As I was walking, I passed a jazz quartet, a funk band called "Rythym Child" that had the crowd pointing their fingers in the air to "show their unity", and a pop-band starring a valley-girl clone named "Brittney Elizabeth". There were people, children, dogs everywhere.
The Brothers from the Liberal Arts Masonic Lodge were doing a booth making photo id's and fingerprints for children, and I bumped into wickedthought there. He took a break and we had a hot dog (veggie dog for me) for lunch. I was moving pretty slow because I hurt my back somehow over the weekend. I limped home after a while and watched a little football, but not before running into my next door neighbor. The building I live in is basically awesome - weekend mornings people sit around on the front porch (which my patio is part of) and drink coffee and just socialize together. Everyone stops to say hello and catch up on the news of the day. It's like something from another century, and I really like it. Anyway, the neighbor told me about this guerilla art installation he does with a friend - they roll up someplace unsuspecting, find some surface to do a projection on, and then send a camera with a wireless hook up out into the crowd. They mix, in real time, footage from the camera with clips of various video things, and roll it to a beat. Some of the clips are scandalous, so a lot of times they have to cut and run before the cops show up. I was determined to see this last night, when he planned to do it.
Around sunset, nephandi, robtheswordsman and I got some Indian takeout, and then walked out to the beach to take a look. The Venice drum circle was huge - hundreds of people gathered around a small bonfire drumming and dancing. It was far bigger than I expected... they were raising up some serious mojo out there. Nathan (the next door neighbor) had set up a sheet on a couple of poles and was doing his thing. It still astonishes me that this is my backyard.