Venice Beach – Canals and Muscle Beach

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.

Venice Beach Canals

This was our first look into the Venice Canals residential area.

This would be a fun area to spend more time in – vacation but not sure about living.

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 Sign

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.

Muscle Beach Gym

Working Out

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.

She must have some hidden muscles.

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.

There is some hefty weight being lifted here.

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.

Arm Wrestling Competition

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.

I’ll bet this couple observing the arm wrestling spend time at the gym.

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

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.

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About Ron Ludekens

God created a marvelous world full of wonderful sights and people. He is the Creator and it is His Palette of beauty that Ron Ludekens tries to capture as photographic images. Images of nature or images of people and their lives - both reflect the handiwork of the Creator. Ron is a photographer living in Visalia, California - part of the great Central Valley. He is immediately surrounded by agriculture and all the hard working people that feed our world. A short distance away are the grand Sierra Nevada mountains, impressive National Parks and, wider still, the vast diversity that California has to offer. Ron is one of the family owners of the L.E. Cooke Co Wholesale Nursery - a leader in the horticulture industry of North America. Even on the job, his camera is always near by. His photos for the nursery trade have been published in print and around the websites of nurseries across America. Ron is also a leader in his church and its missions. Ron's photography has been a resource the church uses in its communications and message. Plus photos of all the fun things we do are shared among members and friends. Ron also loves capturing precious moments in lives of people. Weddings, senior portraits, graduations, family gatherings, maternity and special events. Ron will not shoot more than four weddings a year to provide the attention to detail and followup that is required for such an important milestone event in the lives of the couple. Ron can be reached at 559-732-7165 or cell 559-967-5370.
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