In places, Venice Beach sometimes feels like something else. This photo was snapped back in October 2013.
There are two tales of ignorance tied to this photo.
1) It seemed pretentious to me at first, the idea of a hotel proudly selling self-promotional T-shirts.
While quietly scoffing in my head, I looked around to see what hotel this was.
The sign said Hotel California … and the $5 (I think) T-shirts on sale at the front desk suddenly made sense.
2) Holding up my camera to grab a photo of this sign, someone in a group of young men walking by, likely all in their early 20s, offered to take a picture of me with the sign in the background.
I declined and explained I wanted only the sign, because of the song. A quizzical look fell upon his face.
“Hotel California,” I said. “You know, The Eagles?”
His expression remained unchanged.
“Never mind,” I replied. “Just Google it when you get to a computer.”
Visitors to the Venice Beach boardwalk are likely not tempted to look down. It’s usually a good idea to keep your head up — to look out at the ocean, to people watch the beach or to keep an eye out for oncoming pedestrian/skateboard traffic.
That said, it’s worth noting someone’s taken the time to paint the entire U.S. Declaration of Independence onto the pavement of the pedestrian path.
If you ever make it there for a visit, it’s a little nugget worth looking for.