Jeffrey Solomon was a larger than life Venetian.  A gentle giant, standing damn near 6.5′ with his shoes on, Jeffrey had an energy and excitement to match  We at Venice Paparazzi met Jeffrey in 2006 or 07 at a Venice Chamber of Commerce mixer at Danny’s Deli (now Winston House).  In 2008 we rolled out the red carpet and took photos at the opening party of his Venice Beach Walking Tours.  Jeffrey could be seen daily walking down the boardwalk, giving guided tours to groups, filling them in on all the details about Venice that only a local like Jeffrey would know.  Jeffrey was born in Westchester and lived in Venice for over 45 years.  Sadly, he had to leave the beach to live in a memory care facility a little over a year ago.  The entire community is coming together to have a bench on the boardwalk built in Jeffrey’s honor.

Jeffrey partying it up with the Venice Paparazzi crew in 2007.

Here is a message from his wife Fran Solomon!

Jeffrey and Fran Solomon. Photo taken at Jeffrey’s birthday party at James’ Beach in 2013

Before I met Jeffrey, about a thousand years ago, I was new to California- a Florida transplant – living with my sister in the San Fernando Valley. But it wasn’t until I met Jeffrey that I really found my home. I met the guy on a blind date on a Monday, and he moved in on Tuesday. And then, he showed me Venice and there was no going back. It was a match made in heaven. Me, Jeffrey and Venice.

(1979, formerly The Sea N Shore Bistro. Today, The Waterfront Venice)
Jeffrey was born just three miles south of Venice Beach, in the township of Westchester, California. Jeffrey knew what it was to struggle. He grew up with a bi-polar disorder in a time when we thought crying was for sissies. In a sense, Venice saved him- it was his playground and the love of his life.

He knew everyone and everyone knew him. He was the guy with the pet tiger on a stake, walking circles around him, while he tanned on the beach. He was the guy you would catch shooting hoops on a Friday and skating around in his red roller skates on Saturday.

Jeffrey did a lot of walking as he moved around in his life. It gave him time for great reflection. He had a theory that “everything loose rolls West” and that’s what happened to him. He landed back here, back home, in Los Angeles, on the far western edge of the continent as far west as he could get – his back against the Pacific ocean and his heart facing the city. And that’s where he was, for over 45 years, living in and loving Venice, meeting its people, collecting its memorabilia, roller skating and- since 2008, when he founded Venice Beach Walking Tours- giving tours along the bike path and the world famous Ocean Front Walk.

He was never about this crowd or that group – he’d always been down to roll with anybody who was down to roll. And for me, that’s the essence of this project, and what I am humbly asking for your help with.
The Los Angeles Parks Foundation, in concert with the City of L.A. and a handful of local businesses and organizations, is kicking off a major effort to revitalize and repair Ocean Front Walk – “the boardwalk” along the beach. The strip of cement along the sand that has given so much meaning, expansive joy and fun to Jeffrey’s and my life.

These last few years, the double and dueling swords of Covid and gentrification have left many of our public amenities in disarray, while simultaneously threatening to chip away at the soul of Venice. That’s what makes this revitalization project so special- because, with your help, we can reinvest in the community in a way that will improve a shared quality of life for everyone here. The long-term project will include repaving, re-landscaping and more consistent maintenance. But the anchor project and very first step will be… wait for it… a new bench in honor of and dedicated to Jeffrey Solomon.

Two years ago, Jeffrey had to leave the beach community he loved so much to reside in a memory care facility for Alzheimers. He still smiles when he looks at photos of anything Venice. The bench will be right outside my patio window, at the very northern border of Venice. So when you step into Venice from Santa Monica – Jeffrey will be there to welcome you. Because that’s what he did. He welcomed everyone. And of course, it’s Venice, so the bench will be durable; made out of 2,000 lbs of concrete expertly affixed to the ground and maintained by L.A. City Parks and Recs. It will include this inscription:


Now, this where I ask you to please consider making a donation so we can raise the funds for the LA Parks Foundation to take this first step in revitalizing our community in honor and spirit of Jeffrey. We need to raise $25,000 in order to kick off this project with a bang and a bench. We will be adopting that portion of Ocean Front Walk. Funds raised will not only buy the bench, but will also support youth programming at the Venice Beach Rec Center. So many people have asked me over the years how they can help, and now I finally have an answer- this is how! Please make a donation to help us reach our goal and help this vision become a reality.
Thank you, and we hope to see you sitting on the bench!

Here are a few photos that we found in the Venice Paparazzi archives of Jeffrey Solomon!

Jeffrey and Fran in 2008

Jeffrey at the Venice Penguin Swim

2009 Venice Beach Walking Tours Launch party

Jeffrey was on the board of Venice Chamber of Commerce… like forever.    This photo from the 2016-2017 Venice Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Installation.

Click here for more info and to donate to the Jeffrey Solomon Venice Beach Bench Fundraiser

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