An Altered Abbot Kinney

The street Abbot Kinney at this time (2007-2014) was creatively and artistically alive.  It was alight with little independent stores, art galleries, bars and restaurants. Abbot Kinney was a real paradise to stroll along signaling that Venice was again bubbling. The steel theft bars covering windows and doors were being taken off the houses, which were being spruced up. Trees were planted on curbsides, the drug gangs were put on notice to leave their "turf" on sixth and seventh and it was no longer tolerable to dump old mattresses on the streets and in the alleys. Venice was alive and Abbot Kinney became it's new heart and soul as a relaxing, interesting promenade. Around our store we had the Glencrest Barbecue, Double Vision, The tea house with delicious hand made chocolates, the Roosterfish, Madley's, Salt, Axe, Tortoise all mixed together with used furniture stores and of course Hals jazz club and Abbot's Habit. These were our neighbors and with a kind unusual synergy "the street" was the place to visit. First Fridays we stayed open late with wine and snacks for evening shopping. It was fun. However there were little glitches that began to show up in the form of movie crews shooting advertising campaigns for everything. Beer, shoes, insurance. pharmaceuticals, you name it. They found Abbot Kinney the ideal movie back drop with its small cozy boutique-look and lack of corporate signage it was the perfect casting couch for big-time corporate ad campaigns. Abbot Kinney had just the right look for the "downturn times" understated cool and hip. Perfect to sell Coors or reeboks. In fact about this time, Gentleman's Quarterly (GQ) named Abbot Kinney the hippest street in America and Marianne was named the Best Under-the-Radar Designer by LA Magazine. This I suppose was the peak of Abbot Kinney. In rushed hordes of food trucks to take over the first Fridays, to capitalize on the free parking that was a hall mark of the street and out went the social media invitations to come to where it was happening! The demographic began to change a harbinger of the new stores that began to show up as first the tea shop then the barbecue then john and Irene at Double Vision were gone. The collectible furniture shops left. The rents were whispered to have risen above five figures. These leases were eagerly snapped up by the Jack Spades and Urban Outfitter spin off stores who wanted to be where the action was and develop their "street cred" and hipness. Eventually virtually eighty percent of the independent stores were gone. Very quickly the street and community that prided itself in not having any chainstores was awash with them and we were not far behind. Our stay on Abbot Kinney lasted seven years total and was ignominiously ended as our landlord tripled our rent replacing us with a larger fish. We said our goodbyes and moved nearby to Main Street  to begin another chapter.