Today I left behind the swank, neon-lit, circus that is Hollywood Boulevard for the laid-back, surfer-dude environs of Venice Beach. The palm studded beach abounds with surfers, sunbathers, and yoga classes. Skateboarders roll by and the smell of incense and marijuana wafts out of the vendor stalls that line the boardwalk. Retirees sit on park benches talking, the homeless repeat mantra "spare some change," parents walk by with kids in tow, and the occasional pet owner jogs by with rover leading the way. Venice beach is much grittier (ha ha) than North Hollywood but definitely more “real.” In fact it's so real that I've been cautioned twice not to walk around at night... Hmmmm, maybe too real?
I took the bus part of the way, got out at the stop indicated on the LA Metro trip planner, and quickly realized that the connecting bus indicated on the website does not stop there :-( So, I hailed a cab and $35 later I was at Venice Beach. The kicker is that while I was at the previous Hostel in North Hollywood, I turned down a seat on the $7 Hostel-to-Hostel shuttle because the bus was only $3. Note to self: $7 for the hostel shuttle is a fair price.