While putting this issue together, I had the opportunity to tour the new Hal’s Bar & Grill just before its soft open at Runway. Expecting just a newer and cleaner version of the one that existed in Venice for 30 years, I was surprised to discover how a restaurant known as the soul of Venice, famous for jazz music and walls of art, reinvented itself as a tech savvy, totally wired “creative campus” where you can eat a turkey burger while editing a film, mixing digital music or even broadcasting live via satellite.
The truth is I shouldn’t be surprised. The world is changing fast, and everyone in Playa Vista understands that. A restaurant in Silicon Beach should have its own screening room with 10.2 Dolby surround sound system. We are that place — the very edge of the tech world, beyond which lies an undiscovered future.
During the “A West Side Story” art show at Ignition Creative, I had the chance to speak with Jeff Ho — founder of the Zephyr Surf Team, which later evolved into the Z-Boys — about his passion for educating today’s youth about surf and skate culture. The legacy of the Z-Boys continues in skate parks all over the world.
I also had a chance to get to know some fascinating local dogs and their dog parents. I met a proud service dog named Hunter and two ‘talking” dogs — one that can bark “hello” and another that can actually bray “I love you.” I even watched a golden retriever named Jack chill at Runway, drinking a Pupuccino. Again, I should know better than to be surprised by talking dogs with their own Starbucks orders. It is Playa Vista.
One thing that doesn’t surprise me about Playa Vista’s residents and makers is their boundless curiosity, inexhaustible commitment and love for animals.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Playa Vista Direct as much as I did.
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