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BACKSTORY: From The Venice Beach website:

Venice has always been known as a hangout for the creative and the artistic. In the 1950s and 60s, Venice became a center for the Beat generation. There was an explosion of poetry and art. Major participants included Stuart Perkoff, John Thomas, Frank T. Rios, Tony Scibella, Lawrence Lipton, John Haag, Saul White, Robert Farrington and Philomene Long.

Venice is today a vibrant area of Southern California and it continues a tradition of progressive social change involving prominent Westsiders.

Venice Beach is understood to include the beach, the promenade that runs parallel to the beach ("Ocean Front Walk" or just "the boardwalk"), Muscle Beach, the handball courts, the paddle tennis courts, Skate Dancing plaza, the numerous beach volleyball courts, the bike trail and the businesses and residences that have their addresses on Ocean Front Walk. The basketball courts in Venice are renowned across the country for their high level of street ball and numerous NBA players were developed or recruited from these courts.

The Venice Breakwater is an acclaimed local surf spot in Venice, located north of the Venice Pier and Lifeguard Headquarters, and south of the Santa Monica Pier. This spot is sheltered on the north by an artificial barrier, the breakwater, consisting of an extending sand bar, piping, and large rocks at its end. This spot has differing breaks depending on swell intensity, swell direction, tide and time of the day.

Prominent residents of Venice include actresses Julia Roberts, Kate Beckinsale, and Anjelica Huston, actors Tom Conway (brother of actor George Sanders), lived here in the 1960s, Nicolas Cage, Chaney Kley, Tim Meadows, Robert Hegyes, Mark Valley, Michael T. Weiss, Fairuza Balk, Taylor Negron and musicians Perry Farrell, Evidence of Dilated Peoples, Saint John of Saint John and the Revelations, Joshua Kadison, John Lydon (who owns a sizeable amount of rental property in Venice), Ozzy from Survivor, John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fiona Apple and Mike Muir and most of his Suicidal Tendencies bandmates. Photographer Lauren Greenfield has lived in Venice since 1972.

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