This piece was originally published featuring information on Plymouth University. It has been adapted for Venice, CA by the author.
Venice, California – a neighborhood hated and loved in equal measure by locals and guests alike. I do not pretend to be a local as my heart will forever be held in the valleys of Wales (but it is fucking freezing so I’m never going to live in Wales). However, I have spent just enough time in Venice to claim myself someone relatively ‘in the know’.
I moved to Venice in June of last year and have been intermittently going back and fore as I fight through the visa process. Venice, for the most part, is perfect. Those complaining of the gentrification are predominantly wealthy white folks (AKA: those causing it).
However, this is not my argument. I love Venice for the people, the places and the energy generated in such a thriving annex of Los Angeles.
But everyone has a few pet peeves once they spend a certain amount of time in one place.
When Abbot’s Pizza co. runs out of the spiciest varieties!
Essentially the world’s greatest pizza at affordable prices. Step aside Whole Foods, you will never compete.
When you spot a tourist engaging with the touts on the Boardwalk, and the look of horror in their eyes as they begin to walk away. Seriously – have you ever been outside before?!
That CD isn’t free, mate.
When your super religious grandparents come to visit and the guy outside the smoke shop knows you by name and holds a significant amount of information on your life.
So you try to convince Grandma it’s because you guys go to the same church – duh!
Then your grandparents leave and so…
What do you do?
You’re having an in depth conversation with a cute guy / girl in Hinanos and they start complaining about non-locals and immigrants bringing the “vibe” down, despite having only lived here since 2014…
As a non-local, I find this conversation both repetitive and monotonous. I live with a local and she has no problem with me being foreign. I get it! I’m not welcome! I don’t care!
I’d rather eat my own face than live in Weho, so get over it, yeah?
You left your bottle of water / jacket / purse / sunglasses / literally any personal possession in your bike basket for barely ten seconds and now it belongs to the closest homeless person who is pretending to be asleep.
You were asking for it, you walking talking First World Problem.
Having your house built on sandy soils and waiting for the Big One to hit Venice is like playing Russian Roulette with yourself.
You might not break, but you will definitely sink.
You have lived in Venice for more than six months and frequent the same four bars every weekend.
You suddenly realize the worst: you have to go EAST OF LINCOLN to find a new hook up!
You’re chilling at one of Venice’s classic hangout spots – The Whaler, Golds, or even just on the pier and you meet an attractive person. Upon asking them what they do for a living, you discover they are in the industry and make hundreds of thousands of dollars for doing fuck all to help the planet.
And you moved here to avoid the industry at all costs!
Eating your $2 tacos whilst walking down the Boardwalk and you accidentally pass Muscle Beach…
Or you leave the Rose and have to walk south to get home…via The Mecca.
Your car is in the shop. You’re too pretentious for Smart & Final but too poor for Whole Foods.
Oh, you want gluten-free, sugar-free, fun-free low fat almond milk? Well I think you had better go fuck yourself. Hipster.
‘Hi, I just moved here and I’m looking for a job and somewhere to live. Do you know of anywhere?’
This is the response from all militant locals:
All jokes aside, I am not a local and I will never claim to be. I was a tourist and I am now an immigrant. I would like to thank my incredible friends and neighbors (real locals) for making me feel so welcome, and helping me find my place in the world.
I’d also like to give a special shout out to Sky Stern for showing me the differences between locals and non. You’re the best Sky and I miss you!
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR SIMILAR PIECES ON OTHER GLOBAL NEIGHBORHOODS!