“Venice never quite seems real, but rather an ornate film set suspended on the water”. Frida Giannini
Venice, as we know, isn’t only in Las Vegas. For me, our Venetian canals are the most magical place in Los Angeles, to where it is simply immoral NOT to take your aunt from Yoknapatawpha, or your grandfather from Minsk. Every time that I show someone this embassy of paradise, I become audibly distraught that I do not live there. If Heaven exists, surely it is something like this.
I started showing this place to my guests long before the introduction of GPS, and due to my terrible sense of direction, it was inevitable that I’d wander the neighborhood in search of the cursed, suddenly-vanishing canals. Thankfully, I would end up finding them, but always forget the route I took and be forced to wander the neighborhood again during my next visit.
However, there is nothing better than getting lost in these places. It is of such an honest beauty that I once again regret the brevity of life. A friend of mine will be getting Lasik soon, and is already planning a trip to the canals to see them with his new, eagle-like eyes.
The canals are located between Abbot Kinney Blvd and the Venice Boardwalk. Take a stroll through these almost-dreamlike walkways and along the waterline, past the lovely homes (worth a million dollars or more), and secretly take a look at the details of their private rooms, all the breathtaking vegetation, imperturbable cats, peaceful geese, happy ducks, the rare boat, and a reflection of the blue sky in the clear water… in short, all the things that the Northerners imagine while they’re meditating.
Distracted by their own happiness, the people that live in this half-mythical world almost do not notice you. They long ago became accustomed to the sleepwalker sailing past their patio, completely silent except to take a breath. Thanks heavens that a gadget for detecting such breaths has not yet been invented.
Photos by Igor Lipski, Eya Ozerova (Марина-дель-Рэй),
Dasha Koyfman, Tatiana Minchenko and Dima Malanichev (ч/б).
Text: Sebastian Varo
Translation: Richard Crenwelge
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