While walking on Venice beach we did not observe many structural boundaries. The houses located on the beach walk did not have large fences or gates to separate them from the beach walk. However, the vendors on the beach walk had a painted square on the ground that separated them from the other vendors. In addition, Rose Street was a boundary that divided the city of Santa Monica from the city of Venice. Things were a little different in the Oakwood Community. While walking into the residential areas of Oakwood, one would notice that there was a variety of working-class and high-class homes built close together. There was a boundary set for each home with a high fence surrounding the entire property. One would notice that the higher the price of the home, the higher the fence was. Some homes were not visible at all because of the height of the fence, which were sometimes covered with vines.
When an outsider views Venice beach they see a very weird place. There are many different characters walking around that do not act “normal”. There are homeless people who will try to get your attention. Venice seems like a very good place to walk around and do some shopping. As an outsider walking down the quiet streets of Oakwood, one would feel very isolated and not welcomed by the people who live in the community. Because of the high fences, one would feel that they could not come to community members for help in times of need.
The people who actually live on Venice Beach view it as a gem that should never be changed. They do not fear for their safety because they know the homeless and the vendors. Most of the residents of Venice Beach really enjoy the diversity and have lived there for a long time. Those who live in the Oakwood community know each other and seem to work together to help each other out. Those who have lived there for years seem to communicate with each other well and strive to get to know each other. However, those that are new to the community may be cautious because they are not as familiar with the social networks that have been formed.
submitted by: Rosa Guerrero and Lois Swearington