It ain’t the same Venice!

Last month we had rented a place for a couple of days in Venice to get away from some of the construction projects at our West Hollywood home. I thought it would be fun to live close to the beach for a change of pace. I was so surprised and delighted to see the transition of the new Venice. Not the “Starbucks at every corner” type trend, but the advent of super cool unique boutiques and top rated restaurants within about a mile stretch on Abbot Kinney. The vibe was relaxed, and very friendly. I felt the urge to start dressing all Bohemian-like! There were tourists everywhere with a definite influx of French & Italians. It’s no wonder that GQ once named it “Coolest Place in America”.

I always associated Venice beach with the busy section where you have muscle beach, street performers and and the skate board park, but I prefer the southern end, by Washington Blvd., for it’s more tranquil. It’s the perfect place to run along the beach, have a picnic or just enjoy the views. Being a native San Franciscan myself, this is what I always imagined Los Angeles to look like.

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If you love sushi like I do, Shima is the place to go! I’ve walked by it so many times thinking that it was just somebody’s cool two story architectural home. I just happen to notice the small white notice on the door on this last visit that had the name, hours & a remark that they use brown rice. It peaked my curiosity, so we made reservations. The decor was sleek, modern & minimal. The food…delicious! It’s now our new favorite sushi restaurant and I can’t wait to go back.

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GJelina is the Hipster/Celebrity Hot Spot. It happens to be our go-to place for it always delivers the perfect bite with that rustic edge. My favorites include oysters, roasted pear & burrata appetizer and squash blossom pizza. The interior wood finishes with industrial style lighting and the cozy outdoor patio totally live up to the new cool Venice that people are buzzing about.

I found another spot that quickly became a daily ritual…Intelligentsia Coffee. The coffees are out of this world and the baristas are some of the best around. Not only do they churn out the perfect coffee, but they can handle a crowd like nobody’s business. What organization skills! The place has that warehouse style open feel look with the coffee making taking center stage.

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Dressing like a bohemian is pretty easy here. Abbot Kinney is lined with unique little independent shops that definitely put you in the mood to do more than window shop. Principessa caught my eye for sure. Their signature style transports the 60’s look into a more luxe confident modern day flower child.

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It only took me one day to get the urge to start looking for neighborhoods that I may want to live in. I did find one that I was drawn to, which the locals refer to as “the walk streets”. It’s located west of Lincoln, east of Shell. Even the street names sound magical…Marco Place, Ambroso Place, Nowita Place. The fronts of the home have pedestrian pathways, instead of streets with cars which makes for a more European feel. There’s a mix of cottages, bungalows and modern architecture type homes that dot the streets. My only hope is that developers do not abuse these lots and build massive structures. The beauty lies in the quaintness of walking down these meandering paths and seeing the lovely gardens in front of these unique homes. This area is loaded with personality and charm. It emits a certain calmness that tends to draw a creative crowd.

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I came across this one home that struck a chord with me. It used to belong to Todd Nickey & Amy Kehoe of NickeyKehoe. This home fit in perfectly. I particularly love the color of the front door and the overall style. It’s vintage, bright and pretty darn near perfect. It’s got that effortless chic feel that’s super hard to replicate.

This particular home was listed in December of 2013 for $2,395,000. It has 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms  (approx 2,138sq’) and ended up selling for $2,700,000. As you can see, I’m not the only who thought it had the “wow” factor.

If you prefer a more done larger architectural space with a lap pool…this home captures that modernism style in all its grace and personal style. This masterpiece recently went for $4,875,000 for 3,116sq’.

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Entry market listings do come up, but they are starting to go quickly for I think the word is spreading about the area. Pricing for homes now are around $1,300,000 to $1,500,000 for around 1300 sq’ properties. Here’s one approximately 1,028sq’ that recently sold for $1,430,000 on 7/22/14.

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There is something to be said to be able to live near a beach, a commercial street with some of the most desirable restaurants and a host of independent stores, not to mention a quick jaunt to the LAX. I personally put myself on auto notification when listings come up in the area so I can keep an eye on the what new inventory pops up. In the event that you want me to add you to such a service, just let me know.

Venice…it ain’t the same Venice – it’s better and getting more & more desirable!

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(photo credits: beach: venicebeachhouse.com, shima: meravigliapaper.com, gjelina pics: interior: lespetitepestes.blogspot.com, burrata dish: njinl.com, squash pizza: flicker.com, patio: shopblackcaviar.wordpress.com,  intelligentsia coffee: laweekly.com, flower child: prinipessavenice.com, walkstreet photo: themls.com, craftsman home: mls.com, betterhomes magazine,architectural home & starter home: themls.com)

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