Dear All –
I have lived in Venice since 1996 and have watched the progressive development of the area, both commercially and residentially. About ten years ago I lived on Electric Avenue between San Juan and Santa Clara which is exactly one small block from a murder which occurred last night.
It’s been my strong belief that the Abbot Kinney Festival does not represent Venice or the community with any significant positive aspects. Here are my reasons: The Abbot Kinney Festival features many “typical” types of vendors who simply go from street fest to street fest selling their wares. Abbot Kinney has become quite a distinctive and special Los Angeles area attraction for shopping, dining, cocktailing, meeting, fashion, and people watching. Abbot Kinney Boulevard is becoming more and more upscale while remaining artistic and eclectic with a terrific community spirit. Nothing about carnival rides, drunken people in the streets and the sale of “fair” food and items is unique to Venice or the area. We have much of that 365 days a year available on the boardwalk. In fact, it detracts from the vitality of the Abbot Kinney District and street and it’s inherent character, bringing it down to a much less historical and unique level.
Quite simply, The Abbot Kinney Festival needs a drastic make-over. It should first require each vendor to actually be from Venice, therefore insuring a vibe in keeping with the area. Second, the entertainment and art and fashion features should also be representative of Venice. It can be an accessible fun day for many but have similar characteristics of the Venice Art Walk which provides a much better atmosphere worthy of repeating. Going green and changing the look of the poster is not nearly enough.
Here is the main reason why the current festival is in need of a major overhaul: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-venice30-2008sep30,0,404630.story. I find this sort of thing sobering and sad, yet controllable if a better atmosphere is created. I have avoided the standard complaints regarding noise, trash and parking to focus on the horrible death which happened — which hopefully will serve as a wake up call.
Just one person’s view…I welcome comments and feedback.
Sincerely and sadly,