Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sorry, Adidas. You Do NOT Define Venice.

It's true. The old Hal's space is going to be an Adidas store. ADIDAS! In a town where we never had chain stores, they now think they are going to DEFINE Venice. Oh, really? How completely offensive to everyone who ever made Venice what is is. The REAL definers of this Community. I'm livid.


Adidas, I have a suggestion for you. The first thing you should do is fire whatever marketing exec came up with this campaign, along with everyone who agreed to it. They clearly did no homework on the Community they're about to enter, or they'd know we would not take kindly to some chain claiming they define the legend that is Venice. A massive Germany-based global corporation is going to move on to Abbot Kinney Boulevard, and think that they are suddenly going to be "Defining Venice"?! Yeah. Right. This is as bad as the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad.

Venice has never been defined by any one thing, but it certainly wouldn't ever be a chain shoe store. It is defined by the artists, the skaters, the surfers, the gangsters, the beach bums, the regular bums, the free spirits, the hippies, the innovators, the edgy ones, the bikers, the teachers, the mom and pop stores, the laid back attitude ... the FREEDOM. How DARE some international conglomerate have the audacity to think they're going to come into a storied, historic place like Venice and DEFINE it. I could puke right on their doorstep. And probably will. That's as close as I'll ever get to stepping inside, unless I see someone I know in there and have to go drag them out by their ear in a big scene. *You've been warned.


I was ranting about it at the French Market after seeing this outrage of a window sign, and some affected girl behind me in line said, "Venice is all just Snapchat now anyway." No, it goddamn isn't, young lady. Go to an art opening. Go to a house party. Go to a non-chain store. Go to a town council meeting. Go to a school event. Go to the dog park. Go to the actual sand on the beach. Go to Hinano's. There you will find people that not only aren't Snapchat, but LOATHE Snapchat, and their ilk. I suggest you branch out. Learn your history. Have some respect.

I was walking home from a friend's last night and heard a group of Millenials sitting in the street talking about their NDA's (Non-Disclosure Agreements), and how they were so important they couldn't even talk to each other about their lame stuff. I have a feeling it was Tech stuff. Blech stuff. (I'm a known Luddite). I was so disgusted to think that this gentrification cancer has spread so much that youngsters think that his garbage IS Venice. It simply isn't, and those lame asses won't last here. Watch.


And I suspect neither will Adidas. No one comes to Venice, California to go to chain stores they have at their own mall in every city. They come for the unexpected. The weird. The "Freaks". The Art. The beach. The Boardwalk. The Skatepark. The Surf. The bike path. The beach. Not some store that the only thought I've ever had about them is that we used to think it stood for "All Day I Dream About Sex" as kids, and think that was racy. I certainly never thought they'd be so dumb as to come into Venice and have the utter nerve to think they can in any way "Define" this classic beach town. They're practically begging for vandalism (which I don't condone, of course, but would surely understand). The fact that all the good times we had inside that building when it was Hal's will now be taken over by corporate drones fitting people into overpriced sneakers makes me physically ill. WHO thought this could ever be a good idea? They were seriously misguided.

Just past the self-important Millenial jokers in the street, I saw this sidewalk chalk missive on Hampton Drive. "Try to not be a dick for once". I have a feeling it was meant for a specific someone, but it can sure apply to everyone doing their best to bury the Venice we know and love. Knock it off. Stop being dicks. For ONCE.

Please.

The Adidas boycott starts now. Not that we ever wore them anyway. This is a Vans town.








43 comments:

  1. Love you to pieces, CJ! And yes Addidas is just another store added to my long list of boycotts....

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  2. You're SO ON IT, CJ! I SUCK that I bought a pair of Stan Smith's LAST WEEK for my trip to Augusta! Had NO IDEA this was happening and now want to throw my new sneaks through the window of former Hal's. Love your voice, your blog, YOU!!!

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  3. GREAT PIECE!! Michael James Murphy is rotating in his urn. I moved to Mar Vista - after losing my place - much sadness to see what is happening to Venice and thank God I got to experience it as it was. Kudos, CJ. right on.

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  4. Saw their feature length skate film, see ad in DTLA. They are clearly trying to crash the skate world party

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  5. What about Vince? Lemonade? Rag and Bone? or paying 6 dollars for coffee at Blue Bottle? But you choose to pick on Adidas? Abbot Kinney is the rodeo drive of the westside. Those days of mom and pop shops are long gone but at least you can get a nice green shake at Kreation cafe :)

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    1. All bad, but I don't see any of the others claiming to "Define Venice". That is the problem here. Can't stand Kreation either.

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  6. Really wish you wouldn't lump an entire generation of people into your rant. I'm 35, lived here for 10 years, and while I know that's not a lifetime by any means, I care a lot about Venice and the reasons that I moved here in the first place. And believe it or not, I go to art galleries and town halls. Not every millienial is "self-important" and "affected." In fact, most aren't.

    I was just as outraged as you when I learned of this. And yes, the sign is incredibly inane and tone-deaf. And I hope we can force them out a la pinkberry years ago. But keep the outrage directed towards Adidas and not an entire generation.

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    1. Apologies to any Millenials that I offended. I just observe and report.

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    2. You give your opinion.

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    3. Annie, no offense to you, but I am the same age as you, I moved to Venice in 2008 after visiting it for years before that...and I would NEVER consider myself a "millennial" and I don't consider you one either. We are not in the age group by a year or so. Probably why you DO attend town meetings (I kid, sorta). So get off that soap box and suck it up. You are not a millennial by definition at least. Howe and Strauss define the Millennial cohort as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004. I am guessing you were born in 81 or MAYBE 82.

      I *wish* Adidas was not so tone deaf as well. Additionally, I doubt they will be pushed out.They are leasing the most expensive building to ever sale on AK to date (am I still right here?) and I am sure their lease is solid. Who else could afford what they are paying on that place besides another company on the Forbes top 500 (Adidas comes in at #577 with 25.2 Billion in annual sales).

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  7. There seems to be a burgeoning resistance from a group of locals who are really pushing back on the soul-snatching gentrification of this vital community. Stories like this help highlight the importance of preserving the culture of Venice. It is uniquely its own things, and most of us want to keep it that way. Let's connect on social media. I'd love to keep pushing messages like this out into the world! -@tharris1908

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  8. Well said, DICK! HAHA. 🙃 Seriously though. Nice piece.

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    1. I know you're not anonymously calling me a Dick ... Thanks.

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  9. Well it might look like a town of bums and a global chain "vans" but the houses are disgustingly overpriced and people look just like hipsters who would snapchat non-stop about his eco-friendly veggie stuff all day. If a hipster can afford that shady overpriced hut talking about shit all day, that is a great target for any global chain.

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  10. Thank you!! If Venice was a person it would be hanging it's head in shame for what it's becoming.

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  11. thank you for writing this. such a great piece.

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  12. what a boring article with an arrogant attitude full of hate...

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    1. That's me. Full of hate. Thanks for reading, and for your valued anonymous opinion. xo

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  13. Sorry CJ, but you DO NOT get to define Venice either. People change, Places change as well. Promoting vandalism, violence and intolerance just because it does not fit in with your ideas of Venice, how different is it from the religious extremists? Shameful article!

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    1. I never claimed to define Venice, and clearly stated the things that I believe do. Not sure how I promote intolerance, but ok. Not at all ashamed, and thank you for reading anyway.

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  14. Respectfully--CJ back as early as 2003 it had already begun...and by 2011 when cliques started to form in the neighborhood and certain people got invited to certain parties I couldn't get the fuck out of there fast enough. There's lots of people who've been there the whole time and have either a. made money b. ushered along the gentrification. I made a whole shit-load of enemies back then by ranting just like this--and people didn't want to hear it. The fact is that a lot of great people simply moved--and a lot of not so great people took over and have created the weird consumerist-post-hip bullshit that it swims in. Personally I can't stand even coming back. Too many memories of fire-pits, and ring a dumpy bike in my wetsuit down to the breakwater, rambling out my front door to Hals and ending up at someone's house. There was a real energy there long before I came and went, and it crumbled to money....I get your ire, I feel it, I share it--but this generation do not care about these simple values--unless they make money. The days of an everything bagel at Abbot's habit and a chat outside seem a very long time ago now.

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    1. It's all still here if you know where to find it. xoxo (who is this?)

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  15. Being raised in Venice I've seen this many many time. Great article! And as you said and I believe this as a Venice original. Venice decides who stays and who goes and there is really no need for stores like this in Venice. I've seen this before and again mother Venice will let you no who's going to be able to stay in her town!!!!

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  16. This is a great article! Venice has so much history!

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  17. Once upon a time a company called pinkberry was asked to leave the neighborhood. I miss those days.

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  18. pushed out 3 years ago. spent more than half my life there...yet never claimed venice the way the new crowd does. the same crowd that would never venture into the hood after dark back in the day. the same crowd that lived east of the 405 near the adidas stores and the rag and bone stones and the overpriced coffee stores...a westside takeover and now commercialization is king. big square boxes, nda's, privilege. Progress!

    Matt M. (always remember Emilio Ballato's NYC)

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  19. balanced view....

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  20. The Soul of VB died years ago - along with too much of coastal SoCal...AK soul was at its peak in the late 90's/2000's when Massimo's had the best Italian gelato this side of NYC, Surfing Cowboys did a fine job of maximizing the shitty VB surf (90% of the time) with the timeless soul of surfing lifestyle (akin to LB Grotto in Leucadia!) & Equator had an eclectic mix of books!

    Having spent 28 years visiting & 4 years living in - coastal West LA - SM/VB/MdR/MV/DRey it was a blast sans kids! Since having a family we decided too much of West LA unwelcoming to families - some parts of SM/MV near parks are family-friendly (for West LA) but too cost prohibitive for 99% of families...

    My wife is a born & raised lifelong Angeleno yet does not recognize most of her West LA 70's/80's hood anymore...We still LOVE(d) LA! One bike ride (midweek/midday on a sunny Jan day!) from VB Pier to Sunset is a mini-vaca from Veeda!! Long Live el Mundo!!!

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  21. Thanks for writing. I try to stay off Abbot Kinney as much as possible but had to cut though today.
    I saw the Adidas signs covering the windows & it sickened me. The other stores are bad enough but I try to be accepting to with some of them (except Lucky Jeans!). Some of them are successful artists who make quality goods and by some stoke of luck, their brand flourished. I use Fiorintini & Baker as an example. there is a small handful of them (2 in the US); they sell high quality shoes & boots designed by Deborah Baker and hand made by their artisan Italian shoemakers. That's art. I'm ok with the small custom boutiques (but not the RENT!)... ADIDAS? ... Really? They need to go back to the mall! How dare they... Definers of the community???? Disgusting and then there's the Dog Town Lofts. What do condos with price tags of $1,000,000+ have to do with Dog Town???? I can keep going and start ranting & raving but I'm going to stop. I get too angry & it's not healthy. Again, Thank you for your post.

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  22. We got rid of pinkberry we can boycott Adidas too

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  23. Even if they hadn't used that "defining Venice" nonsense, their whole presence on AK is generic. If they wanted to come to Venice (it was probably inevitable) they should have localized the store w local artists, local furniture makers, maybe used a hand drawn version of their logo outside and not made the whole store look like generic crap available at any mall. In other words they should have at least make an effort to signal that they understand that Venice is unique and made an effort to be unique in their store design and product range. But they don't care - they are on AK because of he spending power of the neighbors and visitors. It's a shame.

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