Electric Venice

Film photography by Alexandra Tavares

All shot on Leica Minilux, with Agfa Vista Plus 200. Unedited.

Landing in a brand new city must be one of the most electrifying feelings. Earlier in September, flying over from Europe and on my way to Costa Rica, I had a long 10-hour layover in the City of Angels. Los Angeles was never a city I felt the urge to discover, but it seems like life had other plans for me.

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I knew nothing of what to expect. I even have to admit that I nearly decided to stay at the airport to rest. I was tired, hungry, jet-lagged and barely had any cash with me. Still, with my dad's trusty Leica in my pocket, I headed into the concrete jungle of Venice Beach.

I travel a lot, but nothing prepares you for that moment when you find a city where you can just feel like you belong. As I walked the streets of Venice, everything started to struck me. The diversity of its people, its architecture, its culture - blended in with the sounds and smells of the ocean made me feel like I was always supposed to eventually make my way there.

And yet, view from afar, it seems like there is little to love left. The vendors have lost their original identity, selling souvenir shirts with jokes on that make nobody laugh, the streets are dirty, concrete on concrete, a sort of crazy mishmash of styles, trying to reconnect to Venice's old glory days. You wouldn't say Venice is 'charming' or 'pretty'- and yet it is. This 'too much' of everything that made me enjoy it the most. There is still a strong feeling of community in the air. As the sun was setting on Abbot,  I made my way back to the airport feeling as if I was leaving a place I have always known.

Shooting film is always a pretty special experience. I received this roll back nearly a month after my trip down to LA. As I discovered each photograph, for just a second, I could nearly feel the thrill of Venice's vibe once again.