LA Fridays with Bob and Tom: Venice Street Art

LA Fridays with Bob and Tom

Week 16.  Venice Street Art

This week, for the more adventuresome and athletic, we recommend taking a Venice bike (or walking) tour of Venice street art.  We took a three hour bike jaunt which included the Santa Monica bike path, inland to the Graffiti Art Park and then along several Venice streets checking out murals painted by artists from all over the world.  Visually amazing, there are many very cool murals. Our guide gave us the inside scoop about what we saw along the way, enlightening us about Venice’s rich, colorful history, and the famous local legends. He related amusing tales about the film stars, Bohemians, artists and poets who contributed to the eclectic seaside community lore. We were fascinated hearing about the background of the artists who created the graffiti on the many walls and buildings we passed in alleyways and streets throughout the route we travelled.  Bike rentals are by the hour and very reasonable. Also, check the web site for Venice bike tours for operators, locations, hours, and rates.

For the international travelers, Melbourne has some very competitive murals.




Robert (Bob) is a PhD physicist whose career has spanned academia, government and private industry. As a faculty member of the Department of Physics at the University of Tennessee, a Branch Chief at the United States Department of Energy and Vice President of an American International Group Company, his scientific endeavors include radiation physics, environmental research, environmental insurance and nanotechnology.

Originally from the East Coast, Bob was seduced by his sons and their families (and the California weather) to leave Washington, DC after retiring in 2010. While recovering from culture shock, Bob found many outlets to reconcile his eclectic interests. As a member of Senior Scholars for over six years he continues to take courses in a myriad of subjects ranging from film to art history to brain science and finds great intellectual and social rewards in Senior Scholars and the Plato Society.

As a latent artist, he sketches scenes about town once a week with an artist friend from his college days and is attempting to learn to play the electric guitar.

On moving to Los Angeles, he found Tom Jacobson, another recent transplant. They became great friends and decided to explore their new town together leading to over 113 sites in our city. Dubbed “LA Fridays with Bob and Tom” they are happy to share their experiences with others.

Bob lives in Brentwood with Phyllis, his wife of 56 years, an education policy executive. They have two sons and four grandchildren, one of whom plays a guitar a lot better than Bob.




Thomas (Tom) is an attorney who practiced trial and constitutional law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Born in 1938 in Bamberg Germany, he was one of the youngest passengers on the ill-fated voyage of the Damned, the SS St. Louis, turned away from Cuba in 1939.

Tom represented local civil rights activists and Dick Gregory and twice argued cases successfully in the United States Supreme Court. In 1970 he was the Democratic candidate for Wisconsin Attorney General.

Retiring in 2008, he and wife, Peggy, moved to California to join their two sons and four grandchildren, and enjoy the warm weather.

Tom has kept busy as a member of Senior Scholars and Plato for the last six years keeping his brain stimulated and active. Yoga and swimming have kept his body in shape.