Welcome to Venice, You Intolerant Morons
As longtime readers know, I live in the LA neighborhood known as Venice, or sometimes more descriptively, "Venice Beach".
In recent years, Venice has been slowly undergoing a process known as gentrification.
Only Gehry-designed gentrification is welcome.
In my building, I can see this in new tenants, who tend to be whiter, whinier, douchebaggier, and richer than the previous ones.
I rode in the elevator with one today. I held the elevator for her when her SUV came roaring in after me into our parking garage. She was mid-to-late twenties, looked Indian-Pakistani-ish in origin, lots of highlighted hair, and I remember her flashy gold belt actually hurt my eyes for a moment. But she was pretty cute and looked reasonably cool at first glance.
"Thanks for holding the elevator," she said.
"No problem," I replied, flashing a patented Atlas smile.
"Hey can I ask you something?" She looks directly at me and I think perhaps the Atlas smile has worked its magic on yet another hapless lady.
"Sometimes, when you get on this elevator, do you..." she starts waving her arm, as if warding off a bad smell.
"Oh, yeah, totally--" I begin, as our elevator does have a tendency to randomly smell like various things, until she finishes--
"...do you smell marijuana?"
"Uh, what?" I ask, shocked. She doesn't look happy about the marijuana smell. And she looks like she expects an answer from me.
"Uh, well," I say, "This elevator smells like a lot of things from time to time, but, uh....not usually marijuana."
Fortunately, the doors have opened onto my lower-level floor at this point.
"Yeah, well," she says as I shrug my shoulder and exit, "I'll have to report it to the manager."
And when those elevator doors closed, I turned around and shook two upraised middle fingers at them.
Do I move to Boca Raton and complain about all the old people? No.
One reason I live in Los Angeles is because I don't like old people. But I know that there are a lot of old people in Boca Raton, so I don't live there. And if I had to, I still wouldn't complain about the old people because it's Boca and that's where they're supposed to be, safely ensconed behind gates and golf courses.
Am I going to move to New York and start complaining about how expensive parking is? Move to Mexico City, Tokyo or Sao Paulo and complain about crowds? Move to Paris and start whining about how the Parisians aren't welcoming and accommodating?
No. No I don't. Because I'm not an intolerant, unthinking moron lulled into a false sense of security by the siren song of egregious, planet-destroying wealth.
Here's my real beef: in LA, you have no excuse. Hell, take the areas immediately adjacent to Venice. Santa Monica, to the north, has just as much nice ocean air and plenty of rich jerks so you won't feel alone. To the south, Marina del Rey and Playa Vista are much the same. Further east are Palms and Mar Vista, which, if you need cheaper rent (one reason why you'd choose Venice over Santa Monica, for example) are perfect for you, and more staid.
The point is, there are at least 200 neighborhoods in Southern California, most of which are less liberal/boho/urban/pot-friendly than Venice.
So don't move to my 'hood and start complaining about the things that make it great.
Because next time, I will f**king key "Welcome to Venice" into the side of your SUV.
TECHNORATI TAGS: gentrification, SoCal, Venice, marijuana, California