Re "Venice's new bloom," Column One, Dec. 11
When I moved to Venice almost 20 years ago, I still heard the occasional gunshot at night. My reaction was, "Yes, I am in Venice!" The edge of danger was part of Venice's charm.
I'm in my late 50s, and when I walk down Abbot Kinney now, I feel 300 years old. Silicon Beach has moved in and has transformed Venice into yet another hipster haven.
The pretty little cottages are being torn down for lot-line-to-lot-line homes, designed like fortresses with high walls and hedges that destroy the friendly community that characterized our streets.
Yes, it's nice that high-end businesses are populating Rose Avenue, Lincoln Boulevard and Abbot Kinney. But soon, Ocean Front Walk will be like Disney's Main Street, a simulacrum of the real thing. Santa Monicazation is on its way.
Cynthia A. Smith
As a 17-year resident of the neighborhood around Rose Avenue, the gentrifying area profiled by The Times, the changes are hard to miss, including more traffic, noise and litter and less parking.
What has remained are the stalwart community services that long predate the burgeoning gentrification: Venice Family Clinic, Venice Community Housing Corp. and St. Joseph Center. All minister to Rose's original and continuing residents — the homeless, the poor and the underserved. I prefer to recognize them as the heart and soul of our community.
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