Back To The Beach

{ Brie ‘n’ Me | Venice Beach, California }

{ Free People Dress | Leather-Lace Converse }

{ Prada Necklace (via TheRealReal) | Zac by Zac Posen Bag }

(I think the angle from which this photo was taken gives you a hint as to who took it)

Even when I lived in LA, I never spent much time in Venice Beach; I have only two memories of the area, actually. The first took place in 1999, when my actor boyfriend and I spent the summer before I went to college living in Oakwood Apartments: a temporary housing complex located over on Sepulveda (which isn’t in Venice Beach; I’ll get to that in a moment).

We lived there in that one-room studio, sleeping on a Murphy bed and eating off of someone else’s plates while we went on auditions and he tried to persuade me to skip that whole “college education” thing (or at least enroll at a California university). I did entertain this idea pretty seriously both because I was in love and because I simultaneously booked a lead role in a DJ Qualls movie called The New Guy (which was, as I’m sure you can imagine, quite a work of cinematic excellence – but as the saying goes, actors can’t be choosers) and one of the lead roles in the pilot for a TV show based on Cruel Intentions (which I think might not have ever actually gotten made – obviously because I turned down the role and there was no other actress in all of Los Angeles capable of being quite as extraordinarily bitchily prep-school-girlish as me. Or maybe because the script was terrible. I think it’s being made now, though. I don’t know).

Mostly I was tempted to skip college in favor of continuing my career as an actress because doing this sounded very grown-up and glamorous, but – THANK GOD – I eventually decided that college was probably a better idea than not-college. (To my children, who may read this one day: you are going to college. And if you try to pull what I tried to pull on my own parents and say “weeeeeell, mayyyyyybe I’ll just go be an actor instead,” do you know what is going to happen? I am going to get on a plane, and I am going to kidnap you, and then I am going to physically deposit you where you need to go. Which is in college.)

Maaaaaajor digression: back to Venice Beach. My first memory of Venice Beach was with that boyfriend and a bunch of his friends: we all rented bikes in Santa Monica and drove them down to Venice, and ended up at some beachside bar that sold very cheap but massive goblets of beer. Except I was underage and so I couldn’t have any and was annoyed, and then I was more annoyed that I had to bike back up to Santa Monica with a lot of extremely drunk people. Did I mention that I hate bike-riding?

The second memory was much better: it was the day after I went to see Kendrick’s band play at a little place in Silverlake, which I guess technically constituted our second date. He crashed on my couch (which, again, I am writing for the benefit of our children, but I think everyone knows where he really crashed, n’est-ce pas?). And then in the morning we held hands while we walked my shih tzu, Lucy, over to the coffee shop to pick up breakfast for ourselves and for Francesca (who was my roommate at the time), and fell in love.

I mean it: I remember the exact second I fell in love with him: we were walking down my block, and Lucy pooped, and I made some joke about who was going to pick it up and saw this expression of utter horror come across his face, because he’d never had a dog and I don’t think he was emotionally prepared to deal with feces quite so early in the morning, and something about the fact that we were talking about dog poop at 9AM and laughing about it and walking down a sunny street on our way to get donuts made me realize that I could spend a lifetime with this person.

Later that afternoon, we (plus Francesca and my mom, who was visiting) drove down to Venice to have lunch by the beach. We were sitting at this little wood table on a restaurant patio, drinking beers and eating poutine, and “I’m A Believer” came on the radio. Now, I am a person who will absolutely, in all possible situations, drop whatever needs to be dropped in order to dance and sing when this song comes on, because I am obviously a MASSIVE dork, and so that’s what I started doing.


Kendrick did it too. Completely unprovoked. So the two of us sat there at that table and bopped and sang and completely mortified my mother and my best friend, and I was like YES. THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR ALL ALONG.

Because I knew. I was in Venice, half-drunk and listening to The Monkees, and I knew.

venice beach restaurant with a dogrose glasses at a venice beach wine barvenice beach wine bar around sunset denim on denim in venice beachfree people wrap dress in rustfree people rust-colored wrap dress

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