The Crib and Venice Beach

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Luckily for us, we didn’t have to endure the painful mediocrity that is the hotel and conference centre filled Long Beach strip as my sister has been a resident in LA for 10 years now and has her place located down at Venice Beach. Living in a bungalow in one of the quietest streets just 4 blocks from the beach cannot be sniffed at, even when your next door neighbours are active members of the Venice Shore Line Crips. Apparently a dude called Smokey, one of the Crips top boys looks out for my sister and her friends well being. Good job she’s not trafficking suitcases of coke from her house under their noses then…

Venice is probably my favourite part of LA. In a city that smacks of desperation to be recognised and famous the moment you get off the plane, Venice is an oasis of creatives, hipsters and down right hippies, happy to do their thing and maintain a community feel amongst the surrounding madness. Abbot Kinney – now one of LA’s most expensive streets is located bang smack in the middle and is home to Gjelina’s restaurant, apparently the best restaurant in the whole of the US – Jay Zed and Beyonce filled their cake holes there recently.

If locals are to be believed though, Abbot Kinney is soon to lose its crown as the smaller independents who gave the street its fame are now moving out to occupy Rose avenue and Lincoln Boulevard. Despite the persistent June Gloom, we still had a few days down at the beach, and even though the boardwalk has a tacky, tourist vibe, the iconic Venice beach graffiti monuments still stand, muscle beach still has a bunch of halfwit goons in leopard skin pants showing off, the new skatepark goes off and when there is good swell Venice beach breakwater is the best surf spot around.  If only the sun shone in London and it was by the ocean…

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