Munchie Machine Unites Opposite Ends of Social Spectrum

People say there are two different ways to live in Los Angeles. You can do the slow-paced Venice Beach thing by snagging a stress-free job, surfing and scarfing down fish tacos barefoot at beachside stands. Or you can live the fast-paced life, whizzing around Hollywood taking meetings and pounding on the Blackberry. As it stands, you usually have to pick a side. Industry types seem to forget there's a beach nearby and their seaside counterparts tend to forget about long-term goals. Both scoff at the other's values.

Back East, I was seduced by the both the laid-back beach lifestyle and the glitz of Hollywood. I thought I could do both. But since people in the entertainment industry tend to act as if they're curing cancer, it's hard to maintain a balance. I've had people move out of Venice Beach because they felt slowed down by "slackers" and said the general lack of motivation was depressing. In my quest for equanimity, I don't have a Blackberry, I refuse to text, I hike canyons and I spend weekends lounging at the beach.

The only two people in Hollywood fully embracing both worlds.
I do work in entertainment though, and it's only during al fresco power lunches to my cohorts spend time in the sun. These are the people who say they moved to California for the weather, but have never taken a surfing lesson or seen Topanga Canyon.

But if there's one thing both Hollywood types and Venice Beach residents can agree on, it is the Munchie Machine. Rolling around past studios and media meccas, it acts as a subtle reminder of our careless, free-spirited past. Looking like the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine, everyone is instantly transported to those hazy golden memories of stoned, sunny, laid-back good times. Cell phones are snapped shut, and all the years of social climbing and ladder climbing disappear. We worked so hard to gain responsibility, only to have the Munchie Machine remind us of how sweet life was without them.

Oh, and they make s'mores.

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