When I lived in LA, I always thought that Abbot Kinney was just about the coolest place there was in the city. It has that hip, laid back vibe that you’d expect to find in Los Angeles; though if you’ve ever actually visited Los Angeles, you’d realize that this relaxed, sunny, beachy hip way of life is actually not as all-pervasive as the postcards may have led you to believe. It’s in Venice, but it’s how you want Venice to be before you actually visit it; not the Venice Beach Boardwalk with its horrifying cast of grotesque characters and more tie-dyed shirts than you can shake a corn dog at, but something subtler, more charming, and just really LA. I mean, there are literally “Venetian” canals right nearby. You can’t get more quaint than that.
Today, 7×7, a pretty awesome local magazine about life in San Francisco (which measures 7 miles by 7 miles, in case you were wondering where the title came from), ran an article about visiting the little Venice neighborhood from the viewpoint of a Northern Californian. Now, I must say, though I live up here, I am definitely a born and raised Southern Californian, so I can’t empathize much with the point of view, and to be perfectly honest, it’s been a couple of years since Venice was graced with my presence, but hopefully this provides a good starting point for anyone looking to visit the area. Even if their recommendations aren’t spot on, they at least got the Intelligentsia Coffee part right. My recommendation is to fuel up with a cup of that yummy stuff at their beautiful storefront and just start exploring.