Latest News

Dangerous Venice Homeless Encampments Cleared Out

Dangerous Homeless Encampments cleared today in Venice. Interview included.

High Surf & Hazardous Ocean Conditions this Weekend

A Pacific storm will bring SW-W gusts to 30 knots over the coastal waters this weekend.

There will also be some strong SW winds. Here's a graphic of the expected peak wind gusts.

Naked Lady Fight on Venice Boardwalk

Just another manic Monday on the Venice Beach Boardwalk

Model A cars on the Santa Monica Pier

From Santa Monica Close Up:

"On Tuesday, February 27, 2024, three members of the Orange County Model A Ford Club embarked on a unique journey, driving their vintage Model A cars from Orange County to the iconic Santa Monica Pier. This expedition was not just a display of automotive heritage but also a tribute to the historic Route 66, often referred to as the "Main Street of America."

Eric Engel, the editor of the club's newsletter, "The Distributor," shared insights into the significance of their trip and their affection for Route 66. "We are here today at the Santa Monica Pier just to specifically come to this location, Route 66, trails and sign," Engel explained. The choice of the Santa Monica Pier, known as the official end of Route 66, was intentional, reflecting the club members' desire to connect with a pivotal piece of American history."

Santa Monica Close Up is a photo blog by Santa Monica based Photojournalist/Press photographer Fabian Lewkowicz. Fabian is the former staff photographer for the Santa Monica Daily Observer Press, Santa Monica Mirror, Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Corsair.

Support Santa Monica Closeup/Fabian Lewkowicz with Venmo or PayPal to help earn money to make these videos:

LA Art Space Festival comes to Santa Monica

LA Art Space - A Shoppable Art & Music Festival

· Sunday, March 3.\, 2024
· Event Time: 10am - 5pm
·Event Location: 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica

50+ Visual Artists * Live Music * Free Art Workshops * Stage-Side VIP Lounge * Activities For Kids * FREE!

Join us at the LA Art Space - A Shoppable Art & Music Festival happening at the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA, USA. Get ready to immerse yourself in a vibrant celebration of art and music!

Discover a wide range of artworks and crafts created by talented local artists. From paintings and sculptures to handmade jewelry and unique home decor, there's something for everyone.

As you explore the festival, let the live music performances set the perfect backdrop. Talented musicians will entertain you with their soulful tunes, creating an atmosphere that will make you want to dance and sing along.

Whether you're an art enthusiast, a music lover, or simply looking for a fun day out, the LA Art Space - A Shoppable Art & Music Festival is an event you don't want to miss. Mark your calendars and join us for a memorable experience!

Unleash your inner artist with Paint: Lab! Explore your creativity with their FREE workshops all day long.

- Open Painting: Experiment with tempera & acrylics, texturizing tools, & unique surfaces!
- Giant Mural Collab: Team up with fellow artists on a massive 48x60 canvas!
- Speed Drawing Challenge: Sketch your best cat portraits from 3D Robotic Cat Models in minutes! ⏱️
- 2-3PM, Color Theory & Color Wheel: Master the basics in a fun, interactive workshop!
- 3-5PM, Drawing & Painting Workshops: Learn from experts in 2-hour sessions! ✏️ Step by Step Acrylic Paint Session
- Face Painting & Bubble Art: Express yourself & get a little messy with these hands on colorful creations! ✨


12-1PM: The SYCONS. Solar Powered DJs, and alt energy, alt transport activists.

1-2PM: The Rufus Bordal Jazz Trio. A jazz trio made up of southside, Santa Monica locals.

2-3PM: One High Five. Alternative Punk Rock from Long Beach, CA.

3-4PM: "The Edler". Spinning a mix of classic R&B and Hip & Hop.

4-5PM: La Compañía Musica. Latin Band from Santa Monica - Past performances include Pier Locals' Night & 4th of July Parade.

And More!

For more info, Click Here.

Find out about more upcoming local events, Click Here for the Event Calendar.

SMPD holding DUI Checkpoint on Friday 3/1

On Friday, March 1, 2024 the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) will conduct a driving under the influence (DUI) Checkpoint from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. at an undisclosed location. DUI checkpoint locations are determined based on data showing incidents of impaired driving-related crashes. The primary purpose of DUI checkpoints are to promote public safety by taking suspected impaired drivers off the road.

Impaired drivers put others on the road at significant risk. Any prevention measures that reduce the number of impaired drivers on our roads significantly improve traffic safety.

SMPD reminds the public that impaired driving is not just from alcohol. Some prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs may interfere with driving. While medicinal and recreational marijuana are legal, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal.

Drivers charged with a first-time DUI face an average of $13,500 in fines and penalties, as well as a suspended license.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Overnight Crime Spree in Venice & Marina del Rey

City News Service reports, "Three suspects were in custody Tuesday following an early morning burglary spree in which at least six businesses were robbed in the Marina del Rey and Venice areas. Pacific Division officers from the Los Angeles Police Department officers were called at 1:20 a.m. to reports of a smashed window at the Ulta Beauty at 13455 Maxella Ave.

A good Samaritan told reporters he saw the break-in in progress at the Ulta store and approached the building, then caught one of the suspects trying to exit through a broken window. The man said he held the suspect until police arrived.

Multiple businesses were targeted in the area, including several at a shopping center in the 4200 block of South Lincoln Boulevard."

The Centinela Cafe, located about two miles away at 4800 Centinela Avenue in Del Rey, was also the victim of a burglary early Tuesday morning.

The business that were hit located in the Marina Center shopping plaza on Lincoln Boulevard include L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, Rubio’s Coastal Grill, Nick the Greek, Juice Crafters and Starbucks.

Authorities do not believe the Marina Del Rey burglaries are connected with the Venice burglary, but they do believe that they may be connected to the Ulta Beauty and Centinela Cafe burglaries.

Malibu Canyon Road has Reopened

After intensive cleanup efforts and a thorough safety assessment, Malibu Canyon Road will reopen for the Monday morning rush at 7:00 am.

For more info on road closures & conditions, Click Here.

SMPD Bike/Pedestrian Safety Operation Planned for 2/28/2024

The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) will conduct a Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation with focused enforcement efforts on primary collision factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Police Department identifies locations where pedestrian and bike collisions are prevalent, along with the violations that led to those collisions. Traffic officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic and collisions occur in an effort to lower deaths and injuries. Officers will be looking for violations committed by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries. These violations include speeding, making illegal turns, failing to yield or provide right of way to bicyclists or pedestrians, or failing to stop for signs and signals.

These extra enforcement efforts will take place on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

“We all have places to be and not everyone gets there by car. Bicyclists and pedestrians have the same rights to the road but face even more risk without the protections vehicles have. We should all be looking out for one another.”


· Be predictable. Use crosswalks, when available.

· Take notice of approaching vehicles and practice due care.

· Do not walk or run into the path of a vehicle. At 30 mph, a driver needs at least 90 feet to stop.

· Be visible. Make it easy for drivers to see you – wear light colors, reflective material and carry a flashlight, particularly at dawn, dusk or at night.

· Be extra careful crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when it is harder to see, or when crossing busier streets with more lanes and higher speed limits.


· Follow the speed limit and slow down at intersections. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks.

· Avoid blocking crosswalks while waiting to make a right-hand turn.

· Never drive impaired.


· Obey traffic laws, use hand signals, use lights at night (front white light and rear red reflector), and wear a helmet.

· Bicyclists must travel in the same direction of traffic and have the same requirements as any slow-moving vehicle.

· Avoid the door zone: do not ride too closely to parked cars.

· If there’s a bike lane, use it, unless making a left turn, passing, or approaching a place where a right turn is allowed.

· Yield to pedestrians. Bicyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within marked crosswalks or within unmarked crosswalks at intersections. 

Vintage Surfboard Collector Club Swap

A look at the vintage surfboard and memorabilia swap hosted by the Vintage Surfboard Collector Club held at Boardriders on the Malibu / Topanga Beach border.

Fire under Santa Monica Pier - Homeless Man Arrested

A homeless man lit a fire under the Santa Monica Pier. SMPD was alerted and when they went under the pier to investigate, the man took off running. The officers put out the fire and gave chase. After running quite a distance south of the pier with officers on foot and in a police vehicle catching up to him, the man eventually stopped running and laid down in the sand to surrender.

As seen in the video, he had lit what appeared to be several items of clothing on fire under the old wooden pier.

Venice Beach Annual Mardi Gras Parade

From Santa Monica Close Up:

"On Sunday, February 25, 2025, Venice Beach witnessed the vibrant and spirited Annual Mardi Gras Parade along its famous boardwalk, led by Marky Lennon, crowned as King, and Jeffrey Banks, the King Consort, alongside the lively tunes of the Beaucoup Brass Band. This event continues Venice's long-standing tradition of Mardi Gras celebrations, a legacy that traces back to its inception in 1935.

The Venice Mardi Gras Festival initially took place from August 16-18, 1935, inspired by the New Orleans Mardi Gras. It featured a grand opening with King Neptune arriving by outrigger canoe, the coronation of Queen Venetia, and a royal procession along Ocean Front Walk. The proclamation by the queen marked the beginning of three days filled with parades, costume contests, and entertainment, embodying the spirit of fun and revelry. Highlights from the early years included majestic floats, participants donning enormous plaster of Paris heads crafted in Arthur Reese's studio, and a street carnival on Windward Avenue, complete with gondoliers and Keystone Cops adding to the festive atmosphere.

The event quickly grew in popularity and scale, evolving into a significant annual festival that drew crowds in the hundreds of thousands before World War II. The expanded four-day celebration by 1941 included a treasure hunt for children, aquatic events, the Miss California beauty pageant, and a grand Mardi Gras Ball, all contributing to a burgeoning sense of civic pride and community engagement.

Venice's Mardi Gras Festival has stood as a testament to the community's commitment to celebrating culture, history, and the arts. For those interested in delving deeper into Venice's rich history, Jeffrey Stanton's website offers extensive insights into the past festivals and the evolution of this beloved event."

Santa Monica Close Up is a photo blog by Santa Monica based Photojournalist/Press photographer Fabian Lewkowicz. Fabian is the former staff photographer for the Santa Monica Daily Observer Press, Santa Monica Mirror, Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Corsair.

Support Santa Monica Closeup/Fabian Lewkowicz with Venmo or PayPal to help earn money to make these videos:

Venice Healer Daisy Presents a Captivating Puppet Show

From Santa Monica Close Up:

"On Wednesday, February 14, Venice Healer Daisy recently presented a puppet show on the Venice Beach Boardwalk that captured the hearts of onlookers. Through the narrative of her show, she conveyed a powerful message about possession, forgiveness, and the strength of community.

The performance began with a puppet discovering a golden jewel, which led to a brief conflict when its original owner appeared. However, the situation quickly resolved with an apology and a lesson in trust and friendship. The puppets discussed the difficulties of living outdoors and the need for supportive relationships to create safety and strength in numbers.

The show took a turn when it depicted the struggles faced by the homeless community, particularly the disruption caused by city actions, such as the removal of their belongings. Daisy's puppets rallied together, emphasizing unity and the importance of being part of a tribe to face the challenges of displacement and enforcement.

In a whimsical twist, Daisy introduced a character based on Sergeant McAdams, using humor to address the tensions between the homeless community and local authorities. The 'Superhero Squad' was called to remind everyone, including the officer, of the inherent love and worth in all individuals.

Daisy's performance ended on a high note, promoting the concept of her tribe and extending an open invitation to the audience to join in solidarity. Her puppet show not only entertained but also offered a glimpse into her philosophy of love, community, and social advocacy. "

Click Here for more Stories about Venice Healer Daisy

Santa Monica Close Up is a photo blog by Santa Monica based Photojournalist/Press photographer Fabian Lewkowicz. Fabian is the former staff photographer for the Santa Monica Daily Observer Press, Santa Monica Mirror, Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Corsair.

Support Santa Monica Closeup/Fabian Lewkowicz with Venmo or PayPal to help earn money to make these videos:

Bay Street Surfboad Demo Day

Come try out boards from local shapers next weekend down at Bay Street. This coming Saturday, Bay Surf Club will be hosting a demo day with local shapers, giving them a chance to showcase their talents and allowing anyone to come down and try out some fresh boards. Join, Lula Crafts and Bay Street Boards on Saturday March 2nd at 7am at Bay Street, Tower 20 in Santa Monica (weather permitting). There will be lots of midlengths, fishes, logs and cool stuff to try if you never have. Pray for waves!

For more info, Click Here.

Find out about more upcoming local events, Click Here for the Event Calendar.

Topanga Lagoon Restoration Project - DEIR Public Review Meeting

Topanga Lagoon Restoration Project - DEIR Public Review Meeting 2-24-24

German In Venice & Venice Healer Daisy at the Weekly Homeless Clean Up

Mike, aka German in Venice, vlogs about daily life in Venice Beach, and the nearby communities.

"Friday is the weekly homeless encampment and bathroom cleanup in Venice, Beach California. You never know what you can expect."

Click Here for more Stories about Venice Healer Daisy

Wonderful Pistachios Get Crackin’ Eating Championship Returns to Santa Monica Pier

Get ready for the ultimate showdown in competitive eating as the Wonderful Pistachios Get Crackin' Eating Championship returns to Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier on World Pistachio Day, February 26th, 2024. This year's event promises to be even more thrilling, with legendary Joey Chestnut set to return and face reigning champion Nick Wehry for a spectacular display of speed, skill, and pistachio-cracking prowess.

Last year's inaugural event set the bar high, but the 2024 championship is poised to surpass it with an incredible lineup of the world's best competitive eaters. These athletes will go head-to-head in a nail-biting, eight-minute battle to see who can consume the most Wonderful Pistachios, testing not just their eating speed but also their dexterity in cracking open these delicious nuts.

The Wonderful Pistachios Get Crackin' Eating Championship is more than just a competition; it's a celebration of America’s #1 Nut®. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, the event offers a perfect blend of competitive spirit and family-friendly entertainment. Spectators can expect a day filled with excitement, energy, and, of course, plenty of pistachios.

Attendees will have the opportunity to witness history in the making as they cheer on their favorite eaters in this one-of-a-kind event. Whether you're a die-hard fan of competitive eating or simply looking for an enjoyable way to spend your day, the Wonderful Pistachios Get Crackin' Eating Championship is an event you won't want to miss.

Join us at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier for a day of high-energy competition, family fun, and a celebration of all things pistachio. It's sure to be a shell-crackin’ good time!

$10,000 TOTAL PRIZE PURSE! 1st $5,000 2nd $2,500 3rd $1,250 4th $600 5th $300 6th $200 7th $100 8th $50

The contest will take place at 11AM PST on Monday, February 26th, 2024, at the Pacific Park, 380 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401!

For more info, Click Here.

Find out about more upcoming local events, Click Here for the Event Calendar.

We Are Venice - Season 1 Preview

We Are Venice showcases the people and culture of Venice Beach, California and will inspire you to be the best version of yourself.

SMPD's Operation Sunrise Sweep leads to Narcotics Arrest at the Beach

From Santa Monica Close Up:

"In a concerted effort to enhance safety and cleanliness along Santa Monica Beach, the Santa Monica Police Department initiated "Operation Sunrise" on Thursday, February 22, 2024. The operation, which took place on the Ocean Front Walk, was spearheaded by the department's Downtown unit and involved a dedicated team of 8 officers and 2 supervisors. Running from 7 am to 12 pm, the initiative was a targeted approach aimed at engaging proactively with individuals found camping, creating disturbances, or in need of social services.

The operation led to the arrest of one individual on suspicion of narcotics possession and the issuance of a citation for smoking on the beach. Additionally, several advisals were issued to individuals found camping on the premises. "Operation Sunrise" was not only about enforcement but also focused on educating the public about local camping laws and connecting those in need with appropriate services.

Sergeant Sendejas, in charge of the Pier Task Force and Directed Action Response Team (DART), emphasized the importance of high visibility enforcement and addressing quality of life issues that have been a concern for the community and local businesses, especially those in the hotel industry. The presence of officers on patrol was aimed at ensuring the safety and security of the community, addressing municipal and county violations.

Vice Mayor Lana Negrete praised the operation's impact, noting the proactive engagement with the community and the positive response from residents, tourists, and the business community. The visible presence of law enforcement was reported to curtail unwanted activities and was met with widespread approval from passersby and businesses alike, who have long sought a safer, more accessible, and attractive beach path.

"Operation Sunrise" represents a direct response to the concerns raised by community members and businesses along Ocean Front Walk. The initiative's success in creating a cleaner, safer environment underscores the Santa Monica Police Department's commitment to addressing community needs and enhancing the quality of life for both residents and visitors."

Santa Monica Close Up is a photo blog by Santa Monica based Photojournalist/Press photographer Fabian Lewkowicz. Fabian is the former staff photographer for the Santa Monica Daily Observer Press, Santa Monica Mirror, Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Corsair.

Ocean Water Quality Rain Advisory issued for all LA Beaches

February 21, 2024

An Ocean Water Quality Rain Advisory has been extended for all Los Angeles County beaches. The advisory will be in effect until 6:00 am, Saturday, February 24, 2024. This advisory may be extended depending on further rainfall.

Use the map below to obtain the current water quality status of your favorite beach location. Use your mouse wheel to zoom into a particular location. Click on the marker to identify the sampling location. This map is updated as conditions change.

PCH in Malibu Partially Reopened

Update: Both southbound lanes of PCH near Latigo Cyn/Corral Cyn. are open as of approximately 6 a.m. (Feb. 22) The northbound left lane is open. The northbound right lane will remain closed at least through the next storm. K-rail remains in place. Multiple boulders were removed from the slope overnight.

City of Malibu Free Photography Workshop

Whether you have a camera or a smartphone, you can learn the principles of composition, light, color, and texture at the free Photography Workshop on Wednesday, February 28 at Malibu Bluffs Park at 3:30 PM.

For more info & to register, Click Here.

Find out about more upcoming local events, Click Here for the Event Calendar.

UPDATE - PCH Mudslide Closure in Malibu

Pacific Coast Highway remains CLOSED from Latigo Cyn Rd to Corral Cyn Rd due to a large mudslide. CalTrans will be working overnight to dislodge loose boulders at the hilltop to make the area safe for clearing the roadway. When the work will be completed is currently unknown.

For more info on road closures & conditions, Click Here.

Mudslide Closes Malibu Canyon Road

Malibu Canyon Road is closed in both directions near Piuma Road due to a large mudslide.

LAFD has stated th road could be closed for several days.

For more info on road closures & conditions, Click Here.

Mudslide Shuts Down PCh in Malibu

State Route 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) is CLOSED in both directions between Corral Canyon Road and Latigo Canyon Road in Maliobu due to a mud slide.

Malibu's PCH Traffic Enforcement Update - 113 Tickets Given

Following Santa Monica Police Department's traffic Operation where 65 vehicles where stopped on PCH on Friday, the Malibu Task Force has announced they issued 113 citations between 2/12 - 2/18.

- 91 for speeding

- 10 for equipment violations

- 12 for violations like failing to stop at traffic signals & unsafe turns.

Dogtown Car Club Super Show Announced

The ORIGINAL Venice car show!! Save the date July 13 2024!!!

For more info, Click Here.

Find out about more upcoming local events, Click Here for the Event Calendar.

Huge Rock Slide on PCH

Westbound lane closed at the 20700 block of Pacific Coast Highway (between Las Flores and Big Rock) due to a big rock slide.

Surfing Topanga with Taro Watanabe and More

Sunday at Topanga with Taro Watanabe and more...filmed by @kai.magalhaes

Police Detain Knife-Wielding Man at Santa Monica Pier

From Santa Monica Close Up:

"In an incident at the Santa Monica Pier on Sunday, February 18, 2024, Santa Monica Police Officers were dispatched following reports of a man brandishing a knife. Upon arrival at the scene, officers swiftly located the individual, a shirtless man, and proceeded to detain him with handcuffs to ensure public safety while they conducted their investigation.

Notably, the investigation revealed that the knife in the man's possession was, in fact, a plastic imitation. Further checks on the individual uncovered an outstanding warrant from another state; however, the warrant did not include provisions for extradition.

After establishing the facts and deeming there was no immediate threat to the public, the officers escorted the man off the pier. They removed his handcuffs and allowed him to leave the area. This response by the Santa Monica Police highlights the officers' commitment to maintaining safety while also showing discernment in resolving a situation that could have escalated without their measured approach. "

Santa Monica Close Up is a photo blog by Santa Monica based Photojournalist/Press photographer Fabian Lewkowicz. Fabian is the former staff photographer for the Santa Monica Daily Observer Press, Santa Monica Mirror, Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Corsair.

Surf Photos - Venice Breakwater - Sunday 2-18-2024

Here's surfing photos from Sunday, February 12th at the Venice Breakwater.

This set of surf photos was shot by Six12 Media and brought to you by Bodyglove.

These are just a few of the 100+ photos from this session. If you were out there, you probably got some surfing shots, probably multiple photos, they will be in the complete photo gallery for this day, check them out, the link to the complete gallery is down below.

You can find 100+ more photos from this session, all full size and in high-resolution, in this photo gallery:

Venice Breakwater - Sunday 2-18-2024 Photo Gallery

If you were out there, we probably got some cool surfing shots of you, go check them out!

Wanna see photos from previous days at this and other local surf spots from this photographer?
Click Surf Spot Galleries and look for the spot and then the date.