August 2008 – The Wonderful World of Westminster

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By Amanda Renner

During the peak of summer the Ocean Front Walk in Venice is packed with tourists, locals and everything in between. 

The block of Westminster Avenue, between Speedway and Ocean Front Walk, offers relief from the crowded walk that lines the beach.

Here the buzz of traffic fades away and the chatter of people replaces it. A variety of smells from various restaurants fills the street, drawing people in for a light snack or large lunch.

People will find a variety of food choices: pizza sold by the slice, a delicatessen, Thai, Mexican and Indian cuisine, and a coffee shop and deli.

Instead of busy dining rooms or placing orders into small windows, most of the restaurant’s store fronts are barn style doors. When an owner arrives in the morning, they set out their sidewalk sign and swing open the top half of the door.

 An array of people can be found sitting outside of the coffee shop; reading, at computers, people watching or just enjoying the day.

A tradition in the making was started here last year by Fruit Gallery owner Nina Merced. She as well as other shop owners on the street pulled together to serve the street’s first ever free thanksgiving dinner to the Venice community.

“Culturally it is so diverse,” Merced said. “That is what makes the street so beautiful.” 

This small street, tucked away quietly on the boardwalk, is the perfect place to escape the fast-paced life of Los Angeles and relax in the wonderful world of Westminster.

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