On my first day at Venice Beach I missed seeing Muscle Beach and the Canals – two things I had come to see. Barbara was patient (as always) and let me take her with me on a short second look on Saturday. She wasn’t so sure she wanted to see Venice but I promised to take he further up the coast to the Santa Monica Pier amusement and boardwalk area. We never made it there.
It was Saturday and much more crowded so parking was further away and more expensive. But we happened to park right next to the entrance to the Canals and that was one of the highlights of the day.
After walking the canal area, Barbara wants to find a rental for a vacation week to spend more time here. See a lot more photos here: Venice Beach Canals
The history of the Venice Beach area and canals is interesting. You can read it here: Wikipedia – Venice Beach
Muscle Beach was a little of a let down. Somehow I envisioned a more rustic, rusted outdoor plaza with glistening muscular bodies pumping iron. You know, like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Hulk Hogan types glistening with sweat or body oil. Instead we found a neat, pristine indoor/outdoor gym not filled with hulking bodies but mostly normal folks like you and I. Well, maybe not like me. There were some real muscles at work – but just not photographically impressive.
The one person I found impressive was this skinny waif of a gal. She was lifting a fair sized weight in this clean and jerk.
Later we saw her pushing a much larger weight – but only exercising her calfs with this straight arm push. Not sure how she did not crush her spine.
Most of the crowd at Muscle Beach was watching the Ultimate Arm Wrestling (UAL) Competition being filmed behind the gym on a stage surrounded by stands.
We had access to the two side stands, but the angle for good photos was poor. The main stand was only half full, but security prevented us from getting in there for the best view of the competition.
The stands were filled with about an equal mix of men and women. I’m sure the women were watching the overly buff guys in the competition. The guys were probably watching the
Bartels Harley Davidson models carrying their signs or serving the beer in the main stands. I find it interesting that the link above to the UAL website doesn’t focus on the competitors but on the models. I assume their webmaster is a guy. Anyway their photographer was there earlier and in the right place for better photos of the models (I’m sure Barbara was happy I wasn’t there earlier too). See a more photos here: Muscle Beach.
Next post – more amazing skating from day 2 at Venice beach.