‘People who live in Venice are cooler than those of us who just visit.’ GQ, 2012
Even Terminator got scared.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor of California fears nerds will take Venice Beach over. And eventually change the DNA of this neighbourhood, once a successful amusement-center and now mecca for sport-lovers and freak shows.
The cause is Google relocating its sales and IT offices in the center of Venice, in the famous Binoculars Building by Frank Gehry. An unmissable sight at 340 Main St.
The community thinks the arrival of the seach engine might cause a clustering effect and ultimately skyrocket the prices of the real estate market.
Tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney founded the ‘Venice of America’ in 1905. Including gondolas, venetian channels and a pier in his funky project. Venice was healthy until the death of its founder in 1920. Since then Venice became a slum and has been only recently requalified thanks to the commitment of the LAPD.
From the kitchen window I observe the graffitis on the last standing walls of Old Venice. The map of the channels painted in dark blue on the square tiles. There are no waves at Venice Breakwater and that is about the only calm thing here today.
I feel I am wasting time while swirling my coffee.
Venice Beach is a treasure hunt. There has to be a skater -a painter somewhere to take a snap of.
Check that shop – watch out for the bike – I am not interested in Scientology – legalize Marijuana – artwork made of garbage?-
Everyone walks around sporting an ‘in-your-face’ attitude.
People are more stylish for the mere fact they were born in Los Angeles.
Basketball players wear baggy pants and sunglasses on the courts and trash-talk a whole lot.
Each person rocks a peculiar style.
Skaters wear beanies and knee high socks despite the heat.
Muscle Gym juiceheads hit the boardwalk while leaner bodies work out on the beach.
Guys climb on the bars and swing on the rings while clenching their six-packs.
In the background world famous Cali-Girls rollerblade their way up to Santa Monica.
Venice finds its peace only at sunset. The murales disappear in the shades while the homeless push their carts among the palmtrees.
Pedestrians look like black ghosts and it is the moment to pull my hood up to pass unnoticed.
No geek to be found. They must be finishing Power Point presentations in their fancy apartments of Abbot Kinney st.
The road named after Venice founder was voted ‘The Coolest Block in America’ by GQ Magazine in 2012. Thanks to its interior-design shops and fashion botiques and candle-lit bars.
But the boardwalk still belongs to athletes, homeless and freak shows and holds its frantic allure.
While I walk to the bus stop I know I will find it unchanged next time I come.
My only thought is:
‘when am I gonna see you again Venice?’