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Santa Monica Skies

Roberto Nickson


Behind the Shot

Southern California was home to dozens of spectacular recreational piers between the late 1800s and the mid-1950s. Before Disneyland and other local amusement parks were opened, locals and tourists would gather at these amusement centers over the water for rides and attractions, entertainment and more.

In 1963, construction began on a new pier in Venice, 3 miles south of its famous neighbor, the Santa Monica Pier. Unlike its glamorous neighbor to the north, this new pier was planned to be primarily a fishing pier. There would be no roller coaster or bumper cars or restaurants or carnival games here.

Two years later, the 1,310-foot-long concrete pier was completed and its main purpose was realized: It was a world-class fishing pier. Today the Department of Fish and Game identifies 25 different species around the pier including sardines, mackerel, perch, bass, rays, smelt and the occasional leopard shark, halibut and eel.

Roberto, who lives nearby, visits Venice often. “My fiancée and I moved to Marina Del Rey this year and one of the joys of living on the westside is being a short walk away from the beach.

“On this day, I decided to bring my camera so I could take pictures of Carleigh and Odie at the beach when a beautiful sunset started to develop. As it was a weekday just a few weeks into the COVID pandemic, there was barely anyone in sight.”