Venice, California: The Other Disneyland

Muscle Beach, Venice, California (c)2015 Russell Johnson

OK, it doesn’t have a white-gloved falsetto mouse in a diaper and it is not as antiseptically acceptable but Venice Beach, in Los Angeles, does have adventures and cartoon-like characters that rival those of Disneyland…unless you are a six year old.

And it is free.

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July 4th Fireworks Finale (Video)

Sonoma, Calfornia, home of Connected Traveler, is rated by many as having one of the best 4th of July celebrations in America with a two hour parade: dancing horses and rope twirling from the town’s Hispanic community, a troupe of toddler fiddlers playing “Turkey in the Straw,” a march of twelve-foot tall women and more. In the evening, thousands of people flock to a field on the grounds of the historic home of General Vallejo, who ruled the area for Mexico before it became part of the United States.

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The Kiss 2015

Photo: © Russell Johnson

Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra painted this tribute to Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous The Kiss photograph, which celebrated the ending of World War II. Eisenstaedt shot the original in New York’s Times Square. Kobra’s mural is visible from the Highline on 25th Street and 10th Avenue.

Nepal: Beyond the Mountain (Video)

Here is a video introduction to Nepal we did in the 90s, sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme as part of a campaign to tell the world that Nepal was much more than Mt. Everest, that it offered some of the most unique natural and cultural treasures in the world. Unfortunately some of the heritage sites shown in the video are now in rubble. The video was produced in English, French, German and Japanese and, long before YouTube, was cited by the Daily Telegraph and the BBC as being a prime example of he possibilities of new medium, streaming video.

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