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Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Walk Down Abbot Kinney Blvd. (Part I)

Last weekend I decided to take a walk down Abbot Kinney Blvd in nearby Venice. I've driven up and down this street hundreds of times ... and decided to see what it looks like from street level.

"Bohemian" is probably the best word to describe the atmosphere. Abbot Kinney - and much of the surround Venice neighborhood - continues to experience gentrification, but the community maintains it's funky edge.

There's an incredible mix of architectural styles: everything from converted homes to contemporary glass and steel boxes. This, of course, is all part of the appeal.

There were also a surprising number of pedestrians up and down the street. Granted, I was there on a Saturday afternoon, but Abbot Kinney is very walkable and pedestrian friendly.

I parked on Broadway, cross the street - walking east on Abbot Kinney on the south side of the street.

"Zingara" - have no idea what they sell/do - I just like the building. A quick search on the
internet mentioned a gypsy band, someone giving free psychic reading, and a wine and cheese event. Huh.

I've seen
antique shops, I've seen surf shops - but I've never seen an antique surf shop. If vintage surf clothing, artwear, or even old boards are your thing, they've got it on Abbot Kinney.

No, this is not a Hollywood set (at least I don't think it is). My guess is a new structure is going behind the old front. I've seen this elsewhere in Santa Monica: kind of the best of both worlds.

The street curves slightly and then crosses Venice Blvd. It curves again after crossing Venice - and from there is almost entirely residential.

The curve after crossing Venice Blvd. In the distance are the towers of Marina
del Rey.

This could be almost anywhere in Los Angeles: wide parkways, palm trees, and small apartments buildings.

One of the few single family homes on the street. A small house in between a couple of 4-6 unit apartment buildings.

Another single family home, this one significantly bigger, across the street. I just thought it was funny seeing homes mixed in with apartment buildings. Reminded me of "Monopoly" - little green houses and bigger red hotels.

I made it to Washington Blvd, and then crossed the street to walk on the north side back. At one time these lots were single family homes - each, of course, with it's own backyard. Unfortunately, the change in zoning did not include the addition of any sort of public space - even a basketball court or small playground would have been great.

I think what caught my eye was the wires coming off this telephone pole. How many lines can you count?

Normally, a roof deck would be desirable ...

Heading back to commercial/business section of Abbot Kinney. I like the mix of the old 1950's (what's now
referred to as "mid-century") one story stucco next to the three story office building. Of course, the people living right next to the three story office building probably don't like it so much. This is just before I crossed back over Venice Blvd.

No, this is not a movie or TV set - (remember "Sanford & Son"?). This is a real working garage. Got to love the atmosphere.

I liked the old advertisement on the side of the building. I have no idea what "The Stronghold" is - but it's been around Los Angeles for over 100 years.

Surfing Cowboys - from the other side of the street.

I took a lot of photos - Abbot Kinney is only 1.3 miles from Brooks Street to
Washington Blvd. (for a total distance of just 2.6 miles). More on Part II.

© 2009


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