Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Unruly Jews

This weekend I had friends in town, and so we did lots of touristy LA things, including Venice Beach. Considering all of the blaring music, dogs, obscenely visible body parts, crack pipe vendors, homeless street performers, and funnel cake, it was sensory overload, to say the least. Anything goes in Venice Beach, literally. So it was surprising to see a little Orthodox shul right there on the boardwalk, next to a dicey clothing store named Unruly.

But then I recalled reading this a few weeks ago:

Worshipers say workers in the shop blast music on Saturday mornings, overwhelming the religious service held with the door open to the boardwalk. When the worshipers ask for the music to be lowered for an hour, they are met with hostility, they say, some of it smacking of anti-Semitism. Once in a while, the police are called. Further, there have been occasions when mannequins dressed in G-strings and other clothes that are decidedly not part of the customary wardrobe of Orthodox Jews have been placed on the synagogue's property line - as a matter of provocation, some members suggest.

Yes, this is terrible. But there's also something terribly funny and ridiculous about the whole thing. It makes me want to experience it for myself...


Jermon Cooks said...

I have never been to Venice Beach and I lived in Los Angeles for 27 years. Is it that bad?

Monica said...

Jermon--I wouldn't say Venice Beach is bad, but it's definitely crazy, unlike any other LA city. I grew up in southern California and had only been one time, ten years ago.