How Many Days Are Left In Your Summer?

June 25, 2007

The crux of my argument is that there are, as of this
writing, only 170 days left in summer.
For some this is a difficult thesis, but I am willing to defend it if
you would only have a little suspension of disbelief. Picture how I am living…

http://images.soapbox.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: Daytime Tour Rikoko

Another ridiculous weekend went by in Venice
Beach, California. My friends and I have been counting down the
summer and duping everybody into thinking that there are only approximately 174
days in the season when in fact we are merely counting down until the next
winter solstice. The solstice is that
point at which the sun is farthest from the celestial equator. I’m pretty sure that there are a few pagan
holidays associated with the event, but does anyone really need another reason
to party when beautiful weather is abundant?

There have been people that have tried to correct me with
reminders that the summer couldn’t possibly be 174 days because the months of
June, July, and August are only ninety-some-odd days. I say to those people: you do not live in Venice
Beach, California! Get with the times, and recognize that with
global warming and my ever-increasing age the summer must be extended and
maximized. This is not a time to be a
miser of fun. Share the wealth because
as Roy Ayers once put it, “everybody loves the sunshine.”

Since the very first day of summer my friends and I have
been doing just that. The Venice
hipsters have orchestrated a series of barbeques that could redefine how summer
is celebrated much like the “summer of love” did forty years ago. Instead of doing the whole
increased-chance-of-getting-an-STD thing though, we just have one of those
portable gas grills and a first class lounge overlooking the beach. It is our spoken goal to have and or attend
no less than one-hundred and seventy-four barbeques in our extended
summer. As it has been said, many times
before, “it is going down!”

The name of our first class lounge is the Rikoko Lounge, not
to be confused with the real Ricoco Lounge in the La Republica Dominica. In the former Rikoko
Lounge Jeff Jenkins, extreme sport producer extraordinaire, holds it down with
a vicious combination of Indian motif furniture and plush outdoor fauna on the
third story of our apartment building.
The outdoor portion of the Rikoko Lounge is the best selling point
though. There is a circular couch and a
purple velvet couch on which guests can relax on a wooden deck overlooking the
methamphetamine users that frequent the alleyways stumbling towards the sea.

In short, the Rikoko Lounge is a couch-surfers dream. A lounge like this wouldn’t be possible on
the lower floors because eventually one of the said drug addicts in Venice
would take it over. Squatting is more of
like a sport in Los Angeles, with
bums fighting users for the prime property. Just like everywhere else the most important
consideration is location, location, and
location.
As for prime spots in Venice
and Santa Monica, I believe that we
have it locked. We may have to check the
official standings but I do not believe that a finer crew exists in closer
proximity to veritable waves and bountiful boardwalk bars.

We have ridiculous talent in the crew. As mentioned earlier Jeff Jenkins is often
hired by Red Bull to do production and is also the son of an NFL and
college football coach
. In addition
to mastering the knack of a true L.A.
job that affords him the opportunity to sleep until noon and surf all day, he has the distinction of probably appearing in the August issue
of Paper magazine. He’s the guy with the
long hair playing handball in the sun while wearing a legitimate lumberjack
shirt. Now that, my friends, is
talent. This brings to mind another Jeff
that appeared in a movie entitled “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”:
a smooth talking yet remarkably vapid surfer named Jeff Spicoli was played
perfectly by actor Sean Penn. Just
picture if someone ever gave Jeff “all I need are some tasty waves, a cool
buzz, and I’m fine” Spicoli a job and you get the gist of Jeff Jenkins,
although the latter is far more industrious.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, then you aren’t really
living and more importantly your entire high school experience was poorer for
it. I suppose that there are suitable
equivalents for other age groups, but I contend that some of the maxims
espoused in that film are still valid.
Cultural relevancy in this case is namely the radical attitude that says
“let’s party!” When considering the
Rikoko Lounge and the principal benefactor of said lounge, then Jeff “dirty jefe´”
Jenkins
has it down cold. Everything
about the Rikoko Lounge lends itself to prolonged fun all summer long but
parties cannot subside on scenery alone.
Even sheik hipster hangouts like Bungalow 8 in New York City have food
at their establishments, so there should be no surprise the Rikoko Lounge, also
called Bungalow 9, has a part-time resident chef and grill master.

DJ Harvey is a British import that lives in the apartment
directly behind party central. However
rather than spend all of his time spinning soul, deep house, trance, and excerpts
from his album Map of Africa DJ Harvey
is more apt to be cooking fish tacos on the grill or marinating some steaks at
the Rikoko Lounge. Usually his
apprentice and contemporary, DJ Osamu, holds down the
wheels for him because he is much too valuable of a commodity in the kitchen to
distract with the responsibility of keeping the party grooving. DJ Harvey’s specialty is anything Asian, or
all things fish. Some have said that it
comes from his uncanny resemblance to a pirate, and that he was actually in the
trilogy “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

If they didn’t get Keith Richards to play the part of Jack
Sparrow’s (played by Johnny Depp) father then they could have easily used DJ
Harvey. He might be an eye patch and a
tricorne hat away from being enshrined in the Pirate Hall of Fame. He already spends a great deal of time body
surfing in Venice and Hawaii
when he isn’t pushing Map of Africa,
which is in stores now. Go get it and he
just might give you a fish taco one
day. If he does give you a taco consider
yourself blessed because the food doesn’t ever last long at the Rikoko
Lounge. How could it when you have to
ration enough for mahi-mahi scrambled eggs in the morning before a serious surf
session?

The music at the Rikoko Lounge is always kicking and
the grill seems to always be hot, so there is usually no shortage of men at the
Rikoko Lounge. Ordinarily this would be
a serious problem but the
Venice hipsters usually take it in stride and this past
Sunday might have been the first weekly sausage party, or “guy’s night.” The footage is self explanatory.

http://images.soapbox.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: Sausage Party Documentation

We were hoping to have a better mix initially, but when that
didn’t happen we all gave away wholesale to the idea of Sunday being designated
for the boys. We all got on our
skateboards and took over the boardwalk at around 11
PM to solidify the deal at a bar at Winward and Pacific called The
Townhouse. Two out of eight had electric
skateboards that could manage the difficult task of towing those too drunk to
kick and steer their own skateboards.

Jasper wiped out at the bottom of a hill, making the turn onto
the boardwalk. He is one of the
proprietors of Rogue Status clothing
so I thought that he would pretty much be okay even though the rest of us didn’t
stop after we all so him go tumbling. I
guess we’ll catch up with him later.
Those guys
at the store really know a thing or two about seizing the day
and gathering rosebuds as evidenced by a series of blogs called the L.A. Smog Check. They even have stickers and t-shirts that allude
to the most serious charge in the military: AWOL. I pitched my idea to have a Rikoko Lounge
t-shirt with the neon logo on the front and the caption “Venice
Beach: Don’t Trust Anyone, Don’t
Tell Anyone” (intermingled with a winding thorny rose) on the back to the guy
that bit the dust. I hope that he wasn’t
too hurt to remember my idea. Head
injuries could be nasty.

Whether we like it or not, the danger from head trauma comes
with riding a skateboard much like the danger of being hit by bottle rockets is
a danger if you live around the Rikoko trapezoid which extends from Pacific to the
beach, pier to pier. For undisclosed
reasons I can’t give the exact location of the lounge on this website due to
the possibility that it might be soon overbooked. (Be sure to make your reservations early.) I also don’t want to give the location of the
Rikoko because guys have been prone to lighting fireworks in dazzling displays
while ducking the cops. I guess that
video is self explanatory too.

http://images.soapbox.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: Fireworks at the Rikoko Lounge

We used to have a fire pit at the Rikoko but “the man,” in
this case the property manager Jerri, shut us down because of a trivial fire
code violation. Don’t worry though;
summertime in Venice Beach
only requires a fire pit on the chilliest of nights. Something tells me that if there were
actually women at the Rikoko Lounge that arrangements could be made so that
everyone could stay warm. Besides, if it
is too cold outside, I heard that there is a reggae and hip-hop club right downstairs
where the people party all night long.
The deep base resonates into the alley from that space like the flood of
red light and dank atmosphere of the city.
Honestly, I would tell you more about this magical place but our time is
running short and this column is running extremely long…

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m recommending the
Rikoko Lounge if you can find it.
Quietly, everybody is going to be asking about it so you will want to be
one of the first people in the know. Have you ever heard of the Rikoko Lounge?

Well there are only 169 days of this left, so what are you
going to do?

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