Is Young Biden Cool Enough for Venice?
My home town of Venice California has suffered many indignities since it was founded by Abbot Kinney in 1905. Back in the 1920s, the ever-expanding city of Los Angeles got wind of a lot of oil under the surface, and staged a bogus election to annex Venice. The oil wells fouled the beach and canals for many years. Then L.A. sewage that was dumped in the ocean turned Venice into the smelliest town on the beach during the war years.
The silver lining was that beat poets could afford the rock-bottom rents and thought Venice smelled better than the rest of corporate America. They were replaced by the Sixties Generation which created a left-wing haven that blossomed into a Left Coast.
Then, beginning in the Eighties, developers, movie stars, and general UMC (upper middle class) riffraff have been flocking to Venice. Then in March, 2012, GQ magazine published an article calling Abbot Kinney Blvd., “the coolest block in America.” That falsehood was recently repeated in the New York Post, with the added insult which claimed that the quote came from locals.
The street’s name, Abbot Kinney Blvd., is also an Eighties change from the street’s original name of “West Washington Blvd.” (not cool at all). The name change was demanded by the street’s merchants, nearly all of whom were forced out by rising rents and gentrification. Be careful what you wish for.
Back before many of the hipsters, including Hunter Biden, were born, the street was mainly a Black commercial and residential street adjacent to the thriving community of Oakwood. After the name change, the Black community was pushed back behind the old railroad tracks. Gang shootings happened with regularity, including the murder of Sarai Ribicoff, the niece of a U.S. Senator.
In the last few years, several blocks of stores catering to the locals have been driven out, so that they could be replaced by chain stores which were able to pay much higher rents. These stores cater to the UMC crowds formerly seen on the Santa Monica Promenade, City Walk, and Westwood Village.
Now comes Hunter Biden, he of the recent scandals in The Ukraine and China, of which his father, Joe Biden, refuses to talk. It seems that in addition to being a highly paid board member of corporations whose actual business is none of HB’s concern, now someone is throwing a $2 million advance his way for writing his Memoirs, says the London Daily Mail.
One might think that at 51 years of age, it is a tad early to be writing one’s memoirs, yet this is no ordinary human, this is Hunter Biden.
Wikipedia explains why we should be impressed: “Biden is also a hedge fund, venture capital, and private-equity fund investor who formerly worked as a lobbyist, banker, public administration official, and registered lobbyist-firm attorney.”
Biden’s book, Beautiful Things, is already #7 on Amazon’s Political Leaders list (when did Hunter Biden become a political leader?). His book is ahead of books by and about; Ruth Baden Ginsberg, Stacey Abrams, Kamala Harris and Barack Obama.
H. Biden is now living with his family and secret service guards in a $25,000 a month apartment, just off Venice Blvd. and only a short distance from the “coolest block in America.” Fortunately for Venetians, it’s a rental, meaning he may be departing soon for his dream home in Beverly Hills.
When Did The Homeless Become Invisible?
Speaking of Venice, its always had some homeless people about. Back in the olden days people would come to Venice (the promised land) and sleep on the beach, until that became illegal. Until well into the new century, Venice’s homeless were local people who had run afoul of one financial catastrophe, or another. They would sleep in the alleys or carports of friends. I was one of those who was friendly to the down and out. I was told on more than one occasion that they, the homeless, were keeping a watchful eye on my house. Sure enough, in crime-ridden Venice, my house was never broken into or molested in any way.
Then, with the influx of the wealthier, and fearful, homeowners, demands were made to do something about the homeless. By this, the law-and-order types didn’t mean to find them homes. Our late lamented Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, who liked to straddle both sides, succeeded in jumping the five-year waiting list and getting “Section 8” housing vouchers for many ofour local homeless, who were given homes far from Venice, where they grew up, and far from their friends and neighbors.
This created a homeless vacuum in Venice, which was quickly filled by the teeming numbers of people who ended on the streets across the country by the Great Recession of 2008. The huge influx of new people put many locals on guard. While most of the homeless turned out to be good people from the midwest and south, there was an upsurge in non-gang related shootings and stabbings. While the poor streamed into Venice, rents went up, police patrols became more frequent, and no one was out at night who didn’t have to be.
So welcome to Venice, Hunter Biden. Perhaps you’ll have a change of heart and take up the cause of the homeless. You have connections that are second to none. Your father has the power to end the homeless crisis, immediately. Tell him about your new friends in Venice, who have hearts of gold, but not a penny for a roof over their heads. Your intervention would, indeed, create some “Beautiful Things.”