Seeing as I don’t have classes on Wednesdays, I usually go to bed on Tuesday nights with the most sincere intentions of spending all of the next day at the library working on my research paper, my story for my final production project, my weekly screenwriting assignment, and/or my final screenwriting project.
So this past Wednesday I got up, enjoyed my coffee and breakfast, watched a little TV, and…went to the beach.
I know I briefly mentioned some time spent at Venice Beach back in October. To quote myself – Venice is an interesting place...we decided that it was sort of like being transported back in time. Remember those days of the hippie-revival in the early-mid 90s? Still going on in Venice, CA.
Honestly that’s really the best way to sum it up. Imagine the early 90s grunge/skater look, existing peacefully alongside the current punk/skater look (skinny jeans, chunky skater shoes, weird hair). So just put all those things together in your head – skateboarders weaving through crowds of people, school-age children with no parental supervision in sight, barefoot hippies, Muscle Beach, persistent musicians trying to sell you their hip-hop cds, and the smell of pot wafting on the breeze and voilà! Venice.
The image of Venice as a throwback to bygone years was only solidified when my friends and I heard a song blasting from a nearby store and found ourselves instinctively responding - “Heyyyy, must be the moneyyyy.” Oh, Nelly…it's 2009 and apparently we still want to ride wit you.
As we sat outside our favorite spot (the place with hand-dipped corndogs, obviously), there were several things going on.
I was stealing glances at the hippies who had set up camp at the nearby intersection of the boardwalk and a path to the beach. Among their signs: “will work for marijuana,” “help a punk buy drugs,” “anything helps - even just a smile, namaste,” and my personal favorite, taking a turn for the entrepreneurial, “kick me in the ass for $1.” Also, the lone female hippie was literally wearing a bandanna for a top.
The other group catching our attention was a band of young teenage skaters, probably 13-14 years old. They were laughing and talking loudly, trying like teenagers do to own their little bit of space in a place crowded with personalities. When this group left, they were replaced by a slightly younger group of tween-age skaters. Skinny jeans, v-neck shirts, lovingly tattered skate shoes, and hair hanging over their eyes (with the exception of one, who had a downright magnificent mane of beautiful curly hair). They were scarfing down slices of pizza in the way that only boys that age can.
My friends and I are all in the 24-27 age range and sitting near these kids made us realize something a little shocking. We have apparently reached the age where we feel strange around teenagers. We weren’t scared, we didn’t get up and sit somewhere else, we didn’t think they were going to cause trouble or anything silly like that. We were just very aware of their presence. I guess what struck us most was that, rather than feeling like we identified with them, we were wondering where their parents were.
I guess we're getting old.