The life of Venice, one of the beach communities of Los Angeles, ranges from high to low, from esoteric to mindless, from artistic to athletic. Walking along the boardwalk allows us to talk about the history of this community that evolved from the ideas of one man, Abbott Kinney, to turn Venice, California into a west coast version of Venice, Italy. The grand canals, gondolas, magnificent palaces of hospitality were all conceived and constructed during the city’s heyday. The wooden piers were home to dance halls and carnivals. Hollywood filmed here and vacationers reveled here. Venice has changed from those halcyon days of full body bathing costumes and paddle balls, bicycles with two different sized wheels and dance marathons. Today we see modern stores and boutiques as well as booths hawking sunglasses, t-shirts and souvenirs. Fine art abounds from henna (on skin) to acrylic beach landscapes and then to kiln-fired clay kitsch. And, of course, lots of food and drink. And then at one end of the boardwalk there is athleticism on display. The basketball, handball and paddle tennis courts built along the bikeway lead us to Muscle Beach. Here our Los Angeles private tour guests watch in awe as the bodybuilders work the exercise machines in full display of everyone passing by. The stage is lined with awards recognizing the princes and princesses of this age old expression of physical perfection. Most of our guests recognize the names of Jack LaLanne and Arnold Schwarzenegger but there are more names to know. The grunting and sweat results in a full-blown Adonis.