The first thing people notice about Circus Vargas is its big-top tent. Hand-fashioned in Milan from 90,000 square feet of cerulean-blue and sunshine-yellow fabric, the canopy, along with spotlights and saw-dust-covered floors, completed the illusion of an elegant lost era when used in the 2011 film Water for Elephants. The last thing people notice is the absence of animals. They're too busy gaping at a man balancing a 12-step ladder with his mouth.
Keeping its marvels strictly human, Circus Vargas builds on a 40-year history by blending classic feats of fearlessness with surprising new tricks. The show features magic tricks along with a skilled hand balancer, a speed juggler, and the wheel of destiny.
The waters around Marina del Rey teem with seasonal gamefish. Beneath the ocean's surface, halibut, sand bass, and barracuda swim from Rocky Point to the Big Kelp Reef. That is, until they cross paths with The Betty-O, Spitfire, or the New Del Mar?the fishing boats of Marina Del Rey Sportfishing's fleet. Aboard these vessels, experienced guides help small and large groups cast lines and pull prize catches from the water.
But sometimes, the ocean's beauty makes anglers put down their fishing poles. Sea lions, dolphins, sea birds, and several whale species also make their home in the water. This diversity of wildlife prompted the owners of Marina Del Rey Sportfishing to start their whale and eco tour, during which sightseers can admire the ocean's majestic creatures and the teams of Aquamen who groom them.
By day, Industry is a bright and airy cafe, with vibrant artwork lining the walls and colorful curtains slung from the ceiling or pinched off to the side. As night falls, the space transforms into a romantic, shadowy venue for writers and musicians, who take to the cafe's intimate stage during open mics to play a jazz melody on their guitar or recite a poem on their guitar.
Though the restaurant's personality might change, its menu always maintains an eclectic mix of Ethiopian cuisine and American soul food. Here, Eastern African mainstays such as doro wat and injera bread share a spotlight with candied yams, cornbread, and peach cobbler. Beer and wine top off the selection, and Happy Hour specials are available throughout the week.
At its waterfront perch at Marina Del Rey's Pier 44, Marina Paddle offers clients the equipment and local knowledge needed to successfully explore the area's waterways. The company's two primary aquatic offerings are group stand-up paddleboard lessons and sit-on-top kayak tours. Each incorporates instruction on proper technique and safe maneuvering, before giving students the chance to zip off under their own power with or without the help of hired seahorses. Not content to limit itself solely to surfaces of the liquid sort, Marina Paddle also stocks electric bikes for rent that riders can use to pedal to and from nearby beaches, scenery, and attractions.
The 65-foot fishing vessel known as the Spitfire nominally calls dock 52 on Fiji Way home. However, between three-quarter day fishing trips, twilight fishing trips, and chartered excursions, it seldom stays moored for long. Most often, it can be found slicing through the waves under the steady hand of its captain, helping up to 80 fisherfolk chase calico bass, rockfish, and perch through the waters. To keep its passengers fueled up enough to reel in the big one, the Spitfire boasts a galley whose chefs serve hot meals, cold beers, and sodas chilled by being used as ice-fishing bait.
Capoeira, an African-Brazilian art form, combines dance, martial arts, music, and acrobatics. All of these elements come together in a circle known as a roda, where capoeira's participants perform improvised movements. Omulu Capoeira Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization, welcomes all types of students into its roda, regardless of age or fitness level. By teaching capoeira, instructors help their students lose weight and build strength, in addition to learning to play musical instruments and sing traditional songs in Portuguese.