So I started a new free-lance gig (because I didn't have enough random other projects going on already). It's a brand new travel site called AdventuryWorthy, and I'm doing a travel column for them called "Average Guy Goes to _______", about various place I've gone and the moronic experiences I've have there. So really it should be called "Stupid Meathead Goes to _______" but I guess they wanted a name that flew a little better.
Anyway, feel free to check it out if you like - like I said, the site just started, but they let me do my first column on my home city, Venice Beach. I've excerpted below - feel free to critique if you like, particularly if you're a fan of Town House, which I mock incessantly...
Average Guy Goes To... Venice Beach
So I've spent a fair amount of time in Venice Beach, California because - and this is the only time I'll say this - I live here. Moved there a couple years ago because property value was increasing but it wasn't as snooty as Santa Monica. Then the recession happened. You live, you learn.
Venice, most famous for Muscle Beach, the basketball courts from White Men Can't Jump and its circus-like boardwalk, is a couple square-mile district of Los Angeles, about 10 miles west of downtown. Once upon a time a rich tobacco guy named Abbott Kinney owned most of the area and put up roller coasters and dug canals (to imitate the "real" Venice), but then Los Angeles annexed the town, the Great Depression happened, and Venice basically went bankrupt. I tell you all this not to bore the shit out of you, but to give some important background on why Venice is like it is today.
To put it simply, Venice is half super-ghetto and half super-rich. It's what would happen if you put Inglewood and Beverly Hills in a blender, dumped in a pound of artistic culture and about a thousand homeless people, and hit "gentrify".