Posted: December 11, 2012 in Gentrification, Homelessness, Venice Boardwalk


Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice —


Rose Avenue's transformation

To: Los Angeles Times – RE: Rose Ave. in Venice

Dear Editors,

I love you.

Highlighting $3,140.00 per-month rents for one-bedrooms at Archstone –the Los Angeles Times recently front-paged an article here about a place called “Rose Avenue.”Implying that “better times” have arrived now –for all of Venice Beach.The article gives less than short-shrift to the loss of affordable housing here.  And, as well, the loss of coastal access that the increasingly costly commercial leases on Rose will mean –for the future of regular, working-class visitors here to Venice Beach.

Anyone looking for a welcoming and affordable restaurant –other than the pricy “Cafe Graditude.”

Or –just another yoga shop.

The article also –significantly undercounts the number of homeless people; and traditional youth hitchhikers –recently pushed off of Venice Beach’s Boardwalk; and onto 3rd Ave.  And it fails whatsoever to mention the loss of retail establishments that served the needs of the working classes of color still hanging on in nearby Oakwood.

It completely ignores the closure of all public toilets in Venice to the homeless at night; and other recent and controversial, LAPD tactics; including property seizures, and false reports under color of authority –that violated homeless’, and youth travelers’ rights here –all last summer.

Moreover –it merely glosses over what the loss of economic diversity underlying all this new glitz –means to the unique, creative heart of Venice.

In addition to ignoring the Coastal-Commission-violating signage, that was at the center of removing the last of the truly affordable housing left from Rose last year –those RV.s.

But hey, they’re getting over $4,000 a month; for two-bedroom apartments there now, at Archstone. Designer jeans go for $179 –and you can still get beers –for $3.50!

Venice Beach, for decades, has seen developer dreams like Abbott Kinney’s fade, and instead of  a developer-planned  haven of only expensive artists, Hollywood elites, and hanger-on hipsters; saw it’s greatest success –arise from its becoming, instead, a unique place of diversity:

Where whites, browns, blacks, native Americans, Asians; gay, poor, working-class –wealthy eccentrics, socialists, Jews, Buddists, and AME –mingled here with each other.

Forming a uniquely democratic, and American –cultural and economic wetlands.

In the same way salt, fresh water, and organic mulch –in nearby Ballona mingled –and created the precious wetlands there.

To preserve this cultural and economic access –it is critical that the California Coastal Commission should step-up soon: to restore and re-vitalize all this  economic diversity in Venice Beach; that of it’s own unplanned-by-developer genius, has made it Los Angele’s largest visitor destination.

A haven of poets, misfits –the damaged, and the disillusioned; who’ve made history; and world-class art here; inspired by their midnight strolls –freely gazing over it’s vast ocean, and the heaven’s stars.

And over it’s, until now –accessable-to-all (and not just the rich) beach.

Before it’s all trampled underfoot –by fat-walleted gawkers; herded here only to gaze, instead –at the mere movie stars.

I love you.

David Busch
Homeless in Venice

David Busch, a Unitarian Universalist, has recently taken a vow to begin and end all conversations with “I love you.”

Further reading on this subject:,0,3795269.story

  1. Great article, David. Very heartfelt and well written.


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