This Memorial Day weekend was marked by various activities, ranging from laying out on a crowded Venice Beach to a crowd-stopping brawl and arrest Sunday evening on Windward Avenue and capped off with a huge feast and ping-pong tournament at the home of the very talented chef of the Fraiche restaurant in Culver City. Taking photos all the while of course.
Most notable and unusual of course was the brawl. I had just stepped out onto the boardwalk looking for some evening photos of Memorial Day visitors when suddenly the police started flashing their lights and bleeping their sirens from the direction of the beach patrol station, which is right at the end of Windward Avenue, marked by its classic arcade architecture and suspended trademark Venice sign. The majority of them went straight up Windward, while some of them drove across the grassy park area, evidently to head off anyone trying to get away by heading north. I decided to follow them up Windward to check it out and was there as a handful of young men started sprinting. The police were already blocking off the street by that point and quickly ran and tackled them, at least three that I saw, onto the sidewalk, before lining them up against the high red wall that borders the adjoining compounds owned by notable neighbor Anjelica Huston. I was able to get a few shots off from close proximity before the police gained control of the situation and kicked everyone off the entire first block of the street. They held the boys there up against the wall for a solid hour as I and numerous others watched from adjacent corners on the other side of Pacific Avenue. I hung out watching for awhile and then got bored and headed home. On the way, I came across another two that had been detained next door to my place on Market St. I took a couple photos and watched as the police stood them up one at a time and took pictures of their tattoos with their cell phones.
I later read that the brawl was thought to include up to 70 young men, ages 14-17. Twenty were detained and only one arrested. They still don’t know what the cause of the fight was, but are investigating it as possibly gang-related. More here.
The rest of the weekend was pretty typical and enjoyable. A fun night Saturday was had at our neighbors, who hosted a party around the much-hyped UFC fight between Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans. I know nothing about this sport, and find it pretty brutal, but had a fun time cleaning up in a pool with a lucky wager on Evans it the third. He won by decision, but I was closest! Sunday was spent walking around photo hunting along Venice Beach, mixed in with a little bit of laying out in the sand with Erinn. Then Monday at the home of the chef and wife’s house near Beverly Hills. We were treated to a feast of curried chicken and fish, lemon-stuffed, roasted chicken, mixed greens and strawberry shortcake, among much, much more. Not traditional BBQ material, just some great food the chef grew up eating and wanted to share. No complaints here. Now it’s Tuesday and back to work I go.