In the spring of 2012, the editors of GQ deemed the heart of the Abbot Kinney neighborhood in Venice, CA to be the “Coolest Block in America.” A year and a half later, the magazine is back in the hood and some residents struggling with the very real aftereffects of this kind of glorified gentrification are not amused.
To coincide with Saturday’s “GQHQ at The Brig” (10 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT, 1515 Abbot Kinney Blvd.), a group of residents have organized an anti-GQ event, “Welcome to Venice, Now Go Home.” It starts at the more civilized hour of noon, in front of The Brig.
The event, designed to foster discussion among residents about this complicated issue, is the brainchild of a pair of local small business owners. Among those planning to drop by is Tibby Rothman, a longtime Venice resident and journalist. She was not involved in the organization of the event, but as a longtime friend of FishbowlNY, we figured she would be very well positioned to address some of the broader, underlying issues.
“I’m speaking as someone who published the newspaper VenicePaper for close to eight years,” Rothman tells us. “Once you call something the Coolest Block in America, it most definitely will not be.”