Why my Venice Pad cost $3k (and why I tried to pay it)

This L.A.Weekly piece is an interesting and accurate description of my temporary (most of 2016) hometown, the street where I worked but couldn’t afford to eat (Abbot Kinney), and the history that makes Venice such a magical, contradictory, fascinating place to live.

How Venice Became the Most Expensive Neighborhood in Los Angeles

Glitzy new construction looms in Venice.

Glitzy new construction looms in Venice.
Ted Soqui

Abbot Kinney is only a 10-minute walk from Venice Beach, but it somehow feels much farther. The ocean breeze doesn’t reach that far. You can’t hear the waves. Instead of the smell of the Pacific Ocean, inscrutable scents spill out of tiny, high-end boutiques.

So much is crammed into that half-mile stretch, running from Venice to Westminster, yet you’d be hard-pressed to find a swimsuit, much less a surfboard. You’ll sooner find a $200 wool poncho than a $12 pair of flip-flops. You won’t see Harry Parry, in his white turban, Rollerblades and bull’s-eye Stratocaster; you’re more likely to spot Tim Robbins riding his bicycle down the sidewalk, as I did one unseasonably hot winter’s afternoon, dressed head to toe in black, including a black beanie, like a cat burglar.

The stores here have whimsical names such as Scotch and Soda (clothes), Chariots on Fire (jewelry and pottery and such), Huset (IKEA for rich people) and the Butcher’s Daughter (juice and coffee but also wine and flowers and candles; one scent: basil honeysuckle and white grapefruit). Each one could be the name of a New Yorker short story or an indie rock band.

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