We have only been here a few days but we have already been wooed and won by an unexpected party and a delightfully creative park show. We have found this section of the LA area to be a warm and friendly despite the slightly-too-new-too-expensive look of the environs. We expected to be ignored and instead feel welcome. Thank you, Marina del Rey and Venice!
The Kindness of Strangers
We started a chat with another dog owner in the park near our boat. Everyday occurrence, right? Except that she included an invite, to us total strangers, to the Halloween party at her house on Saturday. Who says people aren’t trusting? We saw her lovely spanish-style home in Venice, met her friends and rabbits and dogs and cats, but sadly missed the opossums that she rescued. Opossums are not big on parties, but we forgive their un-sociability because of their flea and tick appetites. I loved and pigged out on the homemade Mexican food. The margaritas were delightful on a hot afternoon, but I chose to limit myself and mostly stick to the beers we had brought. Our gracious hostess was dressed as Marie Antoinette with a fabulous wig and white face and neck scar, but she provided both bread AND cake, completely out of character (grin!). And lots more besides. We hope we provided good guest value by talking – not too much – about our watery travels.
On the way back we walked through the Burton Chace Park Halloween celebration. What ingenuity! The decorations were spectacular from ghouls climbing out of caskets to skeletons swinging from trees and green-faced or striped-legged witches left and right. The fog machines spewed their eerie protoplasm and the lights and sound added to the other-worldly atmosphere. There were rides and games for the under-12 gang. What a hoot!
Post-ironic Holiday Celebration?
I watched the park being decorated in the days before the Halloween party began. As a final step fake cobwebs and bags of imported dry deciduous leaves were spread around to complete the atmosphere. I guess dry leaves, a part of every Halloween in my mid-Atlantic upbringing, are also part of the Halloween atmosphere in sunny palm-strewn southern California. Are Australian Christmas’ completed with fake snow? In their summer? Do they drink hot wassail? I personally suspect cold beer predominates. I suppose that east-coast-wintery imagery is so universal now that any Halloween is incomplete without the dry papery leaves that line the streets of cold places on Halloween. What do the California-raised kids think? Is hot weather not as “scary” as dry rustling leaves?