Saturday, June 11, 2011

Venice City Hall--Beyond Baroque

One of the wonderful things about Venice is how much of it remains after 100 years. The canals, f'rinstance--at least the canals south of Venice Blvd, which we still take pictures of. I read that the ones north of that street were filled in. Or the arches along Windward Avenue. They look much the same now as they did when they were first built. Or in between those extremes, when Orson Welles filmed Touch of Evil. has a detailed history site about Venice--start here to read about how it was built and opened by Abbot Kinney.

I did not realize that Venice's original City Hall still stood on Venice Blvd. It was once called Ocean Park City Hall, and when the picture above was taken in 1910, it had just changed its name.

Since 1978, Beyond Baroque has occupied the building. Beyond Baroque has actually existed for 43 years, and is a "leading independent Literary/Arts center" and a public space (with free parking) dedicated to literary and cultural production.
So here's a photo of how the building looks today. Pretty good, huh?

Among the many offerings of Beyond Baroque is a series of "Gorgeous Stories" presented by students of Terrie Silverman's Creative Rites Workshops. I went to one this weekend & laughed and cried copiously. Another is coming up on June 19th at 7:30pm.

A supporting membership in Beyond Baroque--which entitles one to attend all their programs free--is only $35 a year. To sweeten the offer, you get a free CD of Viggo Mortensen reading his poetry in English and Spanish, just for joining.


John Bengtson said...

I have posted a self-guided walking tour of the downtown Los Angeles locations Harold Lloyd used in his 1923 silent classic Safety Last (where he hangs from the hands of a skyscraper clock), along with locations from Lloyd’s climbing stunts in Never Weaken (1921) and Feet First (1930), and behind the scenes images showing how Lloyd staged his famous skyscraper-climbing sequences.

The tour is temporarily posted on the Los Angeles Conservancy home page

and at my blog

I am the author of a series of books about Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd, entitled Silent Traces, Silent Echoes, and Silent Visions, respectively. My books examine the locations and historical settings preserved in the background of their classic films, and the changes wrought by the ensuing decades. All three filmed in Venice.

Thank you for your consideration

John Bengtson

Vix said...

THanks for visiting--and I have your book on Chaplin's films, it's one of my favorites! I will definitely check out the walking tour.

Terrie Silverman said...

Beyond Baroque is one of the jewels of the community. Thanks so much for mentioning my Creative Rites Workshops & Gorgeous Stories shows. Note- the next show is 6/23, 8pm in Pasadena. Here's the event link