Hit the Beach


Thanks to a lawsuit and a man in a pig mask, L.A. officials have rescinded some of the regulations and permit requirements meant to tame Venice Beach. On what was earnestly dubbed the "free expression" side of the boardwalk, the old rules had barred the selling of goods lacking a "religious, political, philosophical or ideological" message. The New York Times reports:

Some vendors said they had been forced to prove they were selling art, not merchandise. Judah McLean, who was selling Caribbean knit hats, said he had to demonstrate to the police that he could crochet. "We make our stuff," Mr. McLean said.

Asked why some hats had "Made in China" labels, he said that even artisans had to yield occasionally to the power of Far Eastern mass production.

"China is the biggest producer of Rastafarian culture," he added.