Summer tour: Bailey's Blog day five
- Wed 13 Jul 2011, 12:18AM
- Posted by Chris Bailey in Los Angeles
Whilst the footballers sleep, the staff can get out and about for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
Favourite haunt between training sessions for the website team is Venice Beach which is one of the most intoxicating and beguiling few miles of coast in the USA but also one of the weirdest.
In a couple of miles stretch between the Venice pier and its more famous cousin in Santa Monica all human life is encapsulated.
If my sketchy memory of A-level literature has stood the test of time then it was Chekhov who wrote:
‘In nature a repulsive caterpillar turns into a lovely butterfly. But with humans it is the other way around: a lovely butterfly turns into a repulsive caterpillar.’
Venice Beach boardwalk contains many butterflies and several repulsive caterpillars. All of them fascinating.
You can lift weights wearing a thong, skateboard with your dog, compose rap songs dressed in Mad Hatters garb, body-pop, impersonate Michael Jackson, impersonate a Maharajah whilst doing 30mph on roller skates, have a massage, get some ‘legal’ marihuana, have Botox treatment, enter a freak show, watch basketball performed to a ridiculously high standard, play short-tennis, ride a cross-trainer, paddle in the ocean, fish off the pier, watch a TV show being filmed, or simply gawp at the colour and busyness of it all from numerous eating establishments.
Think Blackpool on hallucinatory substances and then times by ten and you have a snifter of what VB is all about. Eccentricity is par for the course.
The great thing about it when I visited, too, was that there wasn’t a United shirt to be seen anywhere! A couple of us went wearing our branded tour t-shirts and shorts and were stopped regularly in a two-hour visit and asked about City.
Some of the locals even shouted ‘Go-City’ as we passed them and one, having stopped for chat, promised faithfully to be at the LA Galaxy match a week on Sunday.
The players, meanwhile, are relaxed and together. David Silva missed field training on Tuesday morning our time as a precaution but managed some gym work and Stefan Savic and Freddy Veseli both arrived safely and were put through their paces after having little sleep.
Joleon Lescott and James Milner stopped by for today’s video interviews whilst Aleks Kolarov, whose sense of humour knows few boundaries, continued his tirade against the trendy haircut of our esteemed social media man Chris Nield and even offered to get a razor and cut it himself. Not an offer I would be rushing to take up.
Still, whatever mess the defender might make with his hairdressing skills the recipient could always nip down Venice Beach and no one would bat an eyelid.