Venice Writer Rants Against 'Corporate Greed' On Abbot Kinney
Has Venice's Abbot Kinney become too popular for its own good? Earlier this year GQ named it the "Coolest Block In America" but we've been hearing from more Venice residents worried that corporations hoping to cash in on the boulevard's cachet are destroying what was cool about it (i.e. its weirdness) in the first place.
Gentrification isn't anything new in Venice, but the pace has been ramped up to the point where writer C.J. Gronner fears that soon there won't be much to distinguish the hood from its neighbors to the North: "If you had left Venice even a year ago, and returned today to stroll down Abbot Kinney, you might think you got lost and wound up on Robertson or Montana."
Gronner takes aim at chains that recently moved in including Lucky Brand and Gant:
These corporate wheeler dealers all claim to want to maintain the integrity of the street, but MAN, are they not looking at the big picture. First of all, they don't know the community. Venice doesn't want to buy stuff to look like everyone else in the world. The Venice that I know/knew and love takes pride in its individuality and free spirit. The Venice I believe in ran the corporate Pinkberry out of town with pickets and protests. I heard there were some picketers outside of the new Lucky Brand store, and that might be the kind of deal it's gonna take. If not outright picketing, which I encourage, then certainly boycotting. Let the Abercrombie T-shirt wearing tourists go there, because they're going to anywhere they go, but don't let that be YOU. If you chose to live here, with all that Venice is, good and bad, then YOU know better. If Venice becomes a place full of chain stores that anyone can go to anywhere, then we lose all that made Venice cool in the first place, and there's no reason for all these international tourists roaming around to come here anymore. We'll be just another mall, and then a ghost mall, when all the boarded up shops and fancy build-outs sit rotting because no one could afford the rents anymore.
You can read the entire piece at Gronner's site Blogtown (h/t Curbed LA).Related:
Are Soaring Rents Forcing Abbot Kinney Eateries to Close?
GQ Names Abbot Kinney 'The Coolest Block in America'