Venice Beach: Home of Transplants and Techies

Man selling overpriced flowers out of his car on Abbot Kinney.

Being born and raised in Venice nowadays is unheard of, however, that is my story. In the 1950s, my family migrated from Mexico and settled in Venice, since then they have seen this part of the city change dramatically. According to Census Report, over 18% of people who reside in Venice are from Latin America, however as I grew up, I saw more and more of my Hispanic neighbors moving away and an influx of Caucasians moving in due to the increase of prices in the housing market. Hispanics no longer dominate this area with 67% of Venice now being white and only 5% Black or Asian.

My birthplace that I have grown to love and hate, had a large art community with run down stores and the homeless wandering the streets, has now become gentrified.The quirky places I grew to love soon turned into overpriced coffee shops and boutiques selling tank tops for $90. The area that took the hardest toll was, Abbot Kinney Street. My parents never brought me to Abbot Kinney when I was younger because because it was then filled with violence and camps for the homeless. However, the rebirth of this once troubling street has been happening within the past ten years, and now only eleven percent of residents are below the poverty line in Venice compared to the staggering amount in the previous years. Due to the rise of such popular places like Abbot Kinney, finding a place to live around this new trendy area became a concern for those in the community.

Photo I took at a launch party for a tech company right off of Venice Blvd.

One by one, people started moving out and those in the lucrative tech industry moved in. Google, in the past couple years has been buying property right off the Venice Boardwalk which is now changing the way outsiders look at Venice. My community is now becoming the “Silicon Beach” with waves of people looking to move here. Thanks to the gentrification of Venice, prices have skyrocketed up and the median income per household is $80,111 which is almost double the amount in California. On one hand, the dirty streets of Venice are now all cleaned up with this entire area improving and walking out on the streets late at night is no longer something dangerous to do, but a negative impact of gentrification has led it to become the next San Francisco with the rents raising expotentially to the highest in the city. It is weird to think that the place I grew up in and have lived my entire life is now one that I could never afford were I living on my own.

A short history of how Venice used to be, and how it is now.
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