Monday, November 29, 2010

FOUND: Venice Canals

Please ignore the smudge on the photo to the left. It was from a chunk of Short Rib Sandwich from Joan's on 3rd that fell gracefully from Fernando's mouth into my bag.

A little snack for later, he said.

I have walked the canals before, but the day was so glorious I could not help but fall in love again.

I wish that I knew the history of the canals while I was acting as a tour guide, alas... I only wiki'ed that shit... post-tour.

So, here I go:

"A man named Abbot Kinney originally built the canals. In 1905, our modern day equivalent of Venice was originally named Ocean Park; it was envisioned and designed to be a Southern California beach resort.
To help create his vision, Kinney modeled and named his dream town literally after the fabled Venice, Italy. His plan was to reproduce several miles of canals and gondolas that help to navigate that famous Italian city. Kinney– in furtherance of his beach resort idea–built a 1200-foot-long pleasure pier complete with an auditorium, ship restaurant, and dance hall. To keep the amusements coming, by 1910 the Kinney Pier added a Venice Scenic Railway, Aquarium, Racing Derby and other smaller rides and game booths. About this time, the name of the town—Ocean Park–was changed to Venice. However, a fire in December 1920 destroyed the Kinney Pier.

Not willing to have his dream go up in smoke and be defeated, the Kinney family (Abbott Kinney died in November 1920) rebuilt the Pier even bigger and better than the original and by then there were thousands of visitors arriving every weekend.

Venice’s Decline Period

But the hard times which gripped the rest of the nation during the Depression along with Prohibition, also lead to the downfall of Venice. Los Angeles laid claim to it and in 1925 voted to annex it to Los Angeles.

In true political style, Los Angeles decided that Venice wasn’t road friendly enough, so by 1929, most of the canals were filled and paved. However, the residents didn’t go down without a three year legal battle."

While walking the canals, Fernando and Veronica fell in love with a home that they hope to purchase one day.

Obviously I would be the designated house-sitter when they are in Madrid.

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