Tuesday, October 17, 2017

An Ocean Avenue Installation

 *Update 10/18: I walked by this morning and it's all gone. Even the bushes. In less than 24 hours.
   Sorry, dudes. I was into it. Keep your art going!

Over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed an increasingly larger homestead/art installation growing at the corner of Ocean Avenue and South Venice Boulevard. It's clearly a little colony of houseless neighbors, creating their shelter in the bushes located there ... and decorating it for passersby to enjoy.

Not everyone is enjoying it, however. A woman at the Farmer's Market last Friday told me that she'd been making calls to have it cleared out, but to no avail. She said she was told that you can actually get arrested yourself if you try to remove the things from the property. She felt it was a more nefarious deal, and that police might have been told by council people and/or those who want to see the big homeless housing development happen on Venice Boulevard to leave it be. To let things get as bad and obvious as possible to get more people to sign on for the housing project. Hmm.

I don't know about all of that, but I do know that it is some of the more creative construction happening around Venice these days (other than the Frank Gehry house finally going up!). I'm about to make friends and ask if there's room for me, as it seems to be about the only remotely reasonable housing currently available around these parts (Seriously. Where are all my cool landlord friends hiding?!), and this is where I want to be. What are the rules, anyway? You can just put up a tipi wherever you want and live in and landscape around it? Cool. I had an offer off an unused geodesic dome that its owner said I could borrow if I could find land to put it on ... out of the box, but at least some people are still being innovative in Venice.

My friend said they must be rookies, as no one who lives on the streets is ever trying to attract that much attention to themselves. I've seen police there talking to the residents a few times now, and have thought their time there must be up, only to pass by the following morning to see it all still intact. I'm not mad at it. We all know Venice real estate is almost evilly ridiculous as of this writing, and you do what you have to do. Venice has long been a beacon for travelers of all kinds, and certainly one for artists. This corner appears to be for both. And art is for everyone.

I'm curious what other Venice folks think about this ... let's discuss.

1 comment:

  1. I think homeless encampments are a good thing, especially the kind your picture details. Its an in the face F U to the system that rewards selfishnish and greed. That said, it can be quite dangerous and there are more than a few crazy and violent souls out there so one has to be careful.
    It is a human right to sleep outside under the stars, and its much more healthy.
    I know you're a writer so think of the word "rent". A rent in the fabric. Rent means a tear, a rip, where things leak out. Why would we want to put a rent into ourselves just to give someone our energy/money?
    I am very sad to see the snobbery that passes for 'venice local' these days but it has always been there, at least in my post nineties existence. Luckily i met some great souls in venice who had no home but were full of much magic.

    The dream seems so nice, but i still gots to eat! Cheers, Erik