Archive for August 2010

Venice VNC BBQ – an experience

Open Letter written about a personal experience at the VNC BBQ –

Written to the Volunteer Coordinator of VNC BBQ

you, Joanne, were great, friendly, asy-going, and taking care of things, as I noticed you…and it is unusual to meet someone with your apparent calm and openness…if I am wrong, tell me because this is More Feedback you did NOT ask for about how you come across.. and I consider myself perceptive but not clairvoyant !

a mexican woman, [who attended with her family and who came with her down’s syndrome daughter] brought 2 gorgeous jello’ food presentations that were so outstanding I was TOTALLY IMPRESSED….One of was magical yellow rose shaped and formed as a bas-relief with green leaves on the side…the 2nd one a square of light blue opaque jello as base below on which a clear layer with yellow inserted delicate flowers floated…and when I asked her in spanish if these were actual flowers, she responded, she had used a syringe to “make them… wow ! was I impressed and envious too !

there was a woman volunteering in potluck area who then took photos tho I cant find her to get a copy – in order for me to make a website for this artist who doesn’t have a computer of her own or would have to make more of these jello’s to be photographed again instead…

I saw that this volunteer took some pictures of food stuff with her camera and I saw her take pix of the jellos too and wondered to what private or commercial use she then uses them as she did not offer the cooks and creators a copy of her pictures… I wonder…..

I am wanting to see and get copy of pix to give to the creative woman who made those gems that were so beautifully outstanding ! I have the jello maker’s phone # as I went after her to retrieve it to help her get more customers if possible and to compliment her artistry.

I would like to find out if those pixes are available as I presume they are not HERS-the photographer’s-only as the photo-taker, but the maker of the jello’s – who was not asked nor identified -[except by me as I ran after these ladies to get their info for the contest which they did not know they could enter into – and then did not get any mention either at the end…oh well ] So she did not seem to ask anyone to send them a copy of the pix she took either.
[this photographer could not be found later either even while the coordinator did attempt to find her but we had no direct information to find or locate the photos taken unfortunately].

tho we volunteers in brought-in- potluck-food area were not introduced to each other, nor hardly even nodded at one another [strange way to work ‘together’ but, oh well, I didnt mind not having or being in any ‘community’ with those working at the potluck table].

I describe people by what they wear as most did not “make any contact” with me at all, tho I carefully spoke politely and thought I was friendly…. but even the person who was in Control of the potluck area did not even make ‘eye contact’ back with me except when I asked 1 pertinent question and then only received a curt reply …oh well…

My compliments for a successful day for most of this event, as I experienced it. I love so much that happened, both spontaneously and even what was planned.

the chicken fire truck was impressive and we ate generously and delishiusly. the cook was friendly and full of laughter while smoking up the area so that I and others ‘cried’ unwillingly from the BBQ fire-truck’s side effects.

Elroy who said he “arrived at 6:30 am to BBQ ribs” and corn on cob had his big space fenced off but with all chairs “inside” the closed off area that no one could sit in chairs to eat there and enjoy the meal at those tables … and no one corrected that set-up up even up to to 5 pm – when I left…did no one care or notice ?

I mentioned it to him but he seemed not to be in charge of the set-up itself and was into the cooking and sharing of his food …and also I appreciated all his effort and generous work…he wanted so bad to win again and he did…good !

the music was so good with the different types of sounds, all the bands/ groups played well, the variety that came thru was excellent
and mostly irresistibly dance-able.

I was totally enjoying all the WOMEN that danced, of all varied shapes, colors, income and sizes and levels of ability – that was magical and a great showcase… [did anyone take video or pixes of this scene ?]

The pictures you sent were of all the “beautiful” people, the fire workers and some gorgeous women with big smiles, some children, but the commoner folk some who also brought food, who came and ate and danced and wandered around were in none of the photographs I could find. Were there other ones too?

To my amazement and delight the downs-syndrome dancing daughter had such rhythm and energy continually, dancing to almost every song. while the elder women who moved in time but could not move very far were equally admirable. And all the others smiled at each other, appreciating their willingness to come “out” and dance, as women tend to do ! and danced together, maybe there were about 10-12 of us the same ones kept on coming out to any music that was played, loving the fun, the freedom of being together and moving together to the rhythmic music too. Becoming that momentary community of “women who dance together” w/o names or ID’s or further contact even.

and then only one young couple, a [1] daring young male danced with us elder women, with his girlfriend, wearing those blue t-shirts of volunteer workers…that was special – as alllllll the other men either watched or didn’t, but certainly wouldn’t be seen in the hot sun – moving their bodies or feet – in the red dusty dirt and maybe look silly ….right ? why is this so ?

I kept thinking “my physical therapist should see me now” since I had been injured recently…but as music moves me to move my body and I know it is the best ‘exercise’ possible, I stayed there and moved some more… and I didnt feel a thing…then ..until about 4 pm I tired and sat on grass with other Venice friends from boardwalk.

But….at night I was sooo sore, from all that delishus movings and having had all the fun of doing it. but then spent a restless night tossing and turning due to the effect of ‘overdoing it’ while not realizing it… tho the thought did occur, it was immediately dismissed in favor of Fun and Dancing. All well worth what was experienced that is not an everyday event or opportunity.

No, I wont tell the PT guy because the good effects of dancing on my body will have dissipated by our next appt.

a long whole story to give a personal view of the many experiences and some learnings gained from the wonderful day at Oakwood Park with strangers of so many varieties and lifestyles all coming together to create a scene of good-eating, fun-dancing, and a few nods to others too here and there.

I thank YOU for accepting me with my stated limitations and treating me so gently and care-fully also. I appreciate your style, lady.

at 5 pm I gave away my Volunteer t-shirt to a van-living woman I know who appreciated it because she said it had the day’s essence in it, tho I wore it over another t-shirt so it was clean too. this is passing-it-on and also passing-anything-possible -forward too. thanks for providing them and the time to enjoy the whole scene in all that it contained for us all.

from a temporary volunteer

Those who took photos that I learned about are here tho I do not know the photographers myself:



Add a comment August 8, 2010



was held on August 4, 2010 and led by Los Angeles City Council Representative of District 11 – ARTURO PINA.

Apparently, all who care to attend can come and speak, those who have concerns, interests, businesses, residence, or want to help IMPROVE this area. Most who attended were responsive, some more defensively of the agencies they work for, others more willingly to provide information and to listen to complaints. A few who attended were apparently trying to dominate the discussions and ‘win’ over their points by loudness or intrusive interrupting continually. Most raised hands and took a turn to speak to their concerns.

Some who worked for the city left as early as they could, which left others
wondering about their willingness to engage in changes and improvements.

The LAPD staff were noted to have stayed for the full meeting, being responsive and attentive.

The VNC members also stayed present throughout the meeting. Some of the public members not officially affliated with the LA City were courteous and informative and asked clear questions, while others did not always share openly or who seemed to think they could get their way by dominating the meeting by repeatedly loudy blurting out their opinions over others and taking-over much of the meeting time.

There were many representatives present of various VENICE involved and interested agencies, community members and also a few those who wanted to learn ‘what is happening here? This is MY COMMUNITY too ! ‘

The moderator was Arturo Pina, the LACC person who’s area is Venice and
who attempted in good fashion to keep some order and give everyone a fair opportunity to speak to their issues and concerns.

People present were:
[though not all names were voiced audibly nor spoken clearly or loudly enough to be noted, so some attendees are not here included …and some name spellings may be wrong too… there was no list available for attendees to share or have of those there from prior meetings or this one, though a sign-in-sheet was passed around and Piina has it if that information becomes public or available with emails included .. some first names were audible and noted , and some others were asked but information seemed hard to obtain and record by this writer – unfortunately. Some may be not fully identified as to their position or alliance for this meeting. So this list is incomplete and limited. ]

Arturo Pina – LACC for Venice area
Yvonne Guzman, Venice Neighborhood Council – Boardwalk committee
Ira Koslow= VNC cochair of Boardwalk commitee
4 Uniformed Members of Los Angeles Police Dept, [some name tags said]
working in Venice: Thussing, Reina, Suarez [and another unlegible from seating afar]
Daniel …of Art Crawl
These Dietlin of Venice Beach Boardwalk Coalition
Barbara Peck – resident [took video of some proceedings ]
Lisa Green – resident, artist and candidate for office
Carolyn James, “Principal, Recretation Supervisor I, Recreation and Parks
Laura….. assistant to Carolyn James [above] – Rec and Parks
Brad ….of Rec and Parks
Marie….Venice Boardwalk vendor
Jingles … Venice Boardwalk vendor and resident
Michael….Venice boardwalk vendor and has a lawsuit against LA City [was mentioned]
Arnie Corlin…security camera expert [indicated]
Maria…resident & artist
2 men from Beaches and Harbors [names not heard clearly]
2 women saying they represented the “homeless” community in Venice
1 woman representing Venice residents in her neighborhood
1 woman from a restaurant [name not heard clearly]

[Maybe others not intentionally excluded here but not noted…as there was NO ONE apparently taking any official notes so everyone who did so, if they did, have their own versions of what happened and who said what too probably.]

SOME TOPICS OF DISCUSION: some discussions were continually interrupted, and at other times the speaker’s concerns were more courteously addressed by many others even with different versions of what ‘reality’ is – obviously not the same one, with their differences unresolved.

The atmosphere was often loud, intense, vehement, and yet informative, with Pina attempting to keep some semblance of order.

Some topics=

Can Crysallis that collects recyclables in Venice share some of their benefits to help clean up areas that the LA City cannot afford to do [so stated] ?

How can the boardwalk be cleaned better and garbage cans improved ? For the tourist attraction, residents and visitors.

Boardwalk vending [much time was spent disagreeing about the problems, solutions, limitations, ordinances, enforcement of ordinances, lack of staff available, with defensive responses indicating that enforcement was being done while others claimed it was not, cigarette butts, criminality & extortioning vendors, illegal selling of lottery spaces, illegal selling in specified lottery spaces, lack of spaces for ‘free speech’ advocates, “dead spots/ black spots/ unassigned spaces” on boardwalk, Rec & Parks monitors acting inconsistently and favoring some and not others, the need for additional lottery monitors, ordinances needing revision and clarification, to be more consistent with original ‘intentions’ stated, and more…..[most of meeting was focused on these topics]

telephone wires cut by city workers/ Beach & Harbors workers repeatedly – so residents are inconvenienced

bicycles and skateboards laws not enforced on boardwalk, PUBLIC SAFETY issues, LAPD not enforcing rules when clearly visible offenders, dangers thereof

security cameras and how to organize information from those already in place

and more….

next meeting is September 1, 2010, at 9:30 am at James Beach Restaurant on North Venice Blvd – between Speedway & Pacific Ave. No food provided, only space for meeting. Contact Bill Rosendahl’s office for more information.

Add a comment August 6, 2010






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