Meet the People of Venice Beach

By

May 27, 2023

Categories

Culture

Tags

, ,

Share

(LOS ANGELES) — Venice Beach is home to skateboarders, artists, musicians, and performers. It’s a place one can go to show off their skills and make money doing what they love. During my seven visits to Venice Beach over the course of two months, I found particular interest in skateboarders, artists, and musicians. I spent time talking with them, trying my best to learn about why they do what they do. Their stories are different, but all seem to connect to one shared theme: passion. 

A musician I spoke to was Lionel Jean-Baptiste, better known as “Ice Cream Songs.” When I asked him how he got into music he said, “My dad and I were watching Soul Train, and he asked me if I wanted to do anything musical-related, and I pointed to the bass.” He is also a huge fan of Bob Marley. “I try to sing the hits out here, but the main music I like singing is Bob Marley because he addressed real social issues like racism,”  he said. 

I also talked to Frank Gentile, a pop-up artist on the Venice Beach boardwalk who’s been making art since 2005. After a long pause, he told me, “I like taking a blank surface and making something valuable. There’s something so special about starting with a blank canvas and making it your own.” He’s a quiet person and informed me that no one has ever asked to take his picture before. He said he usually posts pictures of his art, but never him making his art. 

I also spent time watching the skateboarders, recognizing their familiar faces over multiple visits. No matter what day of the week it is, Venice Beach will always be a constant for these individuals. A home away from home to practice doing what they love most. 

Related Posts

May 13, 2024

Virginia City is an Old West Town, and Locals Want to Keep it That Way

Local residents hope to preserve what makes Virginia City, Nevada special even as modern hotels and apartments bring a different kind of style to town.

woman bundling rice in Thailand

May 10, 2024

Clouds Gather Over Thai Rice Fields as a New Generation of Farmers Digs In

In Khon Kaen, Thailand men and women from farming communities must move off the farm for better pay and quality of life while they support their families' farm back home.