[Hula hooper via busaboys]
Minnesota Star-Tribune columnist Chris Riemenschneider and his family took a vacation in Venice and found that while Dennis Hopper's death last year marked an end for the neighborhood, Julia Roberts' recent move-in has created a fresh new beginning. Venice has a big Whole Foods, quaint bungalows for rent, and hip shops and restaurants a-plenty, so why shouldn't it be "enjoying something of a renaissance as a family-friendly section of L.A."? Riemenschneider, his wife, and his three-year-old daughter had a wholesome time renting bikes and riding to the Pacific Palisades, meeting the rude child of a vaguely-identifiable actor at the Annenberg Beach House, and encountering the benign weirdos of the boardwalk. But Venice hasn't gone changing too much: "We just looked at it as a sort of low-rent Disneyland. We even saw Mickey and Minnie Mouse at one point, though they were actually a couple of tacky entrepreneurs in costume charging tourists for photos."
· Beach babies in Venice [Minnesota Star-Tribune]