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It’s fun to return to Venice after a short absence and find everything new and reimagined after only a few short weeks.  Here’s what’s new.

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Next to our offices near Abbot Kinney is a breezy little wine bar called Le Zinque.  Rose Ave. is the next hot area with the opening of several restaurants and bars in the past few months.  Give Moon Juice a try for organic pressed juices and almond milk made in-house.  Oscar’s Cerveteca is down the road for fish tacos, margaritas and outdoor seating.  Venetians are eager for the impending opening of Cafe Gratitude, which will bring another organic farm to table experience to the hood.  And next door Hostaria is set to open, providing a much needed dose of Italian flavor with tons of fresh gluten free options.  Gjelina is still the poster girl for hip.

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Pick up some whole bean chocolate at ChocoVivo, where beans are organically grown and fair-trade.  Keep shady with a Eugenia Kim hat from Satine.  Heist is still my go-to on Abbot Kinney, where I stock up on all the Isabel Marant I can afford (not much).  Buy a fragrance at Le Labo – also on Abbot Kinney – and get a custom label.  Great hostess gift!

Experience the space at Deus Ex Machina (God from the Machine) even if you can’t afford a 50k custom bike like the one they made for Orlando Bloom.  Try on a biker hat instead and sip a coffee, or show up for a weekend BBQ.  Bikes are custom and they shape their own surfboards.  Yes, your bike will come with a surf rack if you want it.  Or not (like Jason Mraz).

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Always fun to hop a bike (or a skateboard – very Venice, you know) and check out the newest additions in street art from Invader (guess someone finally snagged the space invader on my street), JR, Shepard Fairey, and the like.  Enjoy.

It seems my life is on a 13 year cycle.  I spent 13 years working and living in Palm Beach, Florida and the last 13 living and working in Venice, California.  Now it seems a new 13 year cycle has taken hold and new adventures await.  As I say goodbye to the beach town that I love, I wanted to share a few more of my favorite things and share the experience with you!

Saying goodbye after 13 years in a community, and after 13 years of living in the same house, is not easy.  The week before I left to begin my new chapter, I walked around the house touching the walls, sitting on the stairs, and musing out the window at the twin palms I see from my bedroom.  Fitting for Hollywood, I was a bit dramatic, and cried a thousand tears.  When the expecting young couple came to buy the rocker that I had nursed my daughter in and read story time tales to for the last three years, I wasn’t sure I could sell it and through tears told them how I will miss it and its memories.  At least they know it was loved.

There was a lot of “this will be the last time I sleep in this house. . .” kind of melodrama.  I’m glad I let the emotions flow through me and I’m grateful to Venice and all the learning years I spent there.  As I write this, I am on the plane for my first trip back (o.k., it’s only been three weeks!), and I’m happy to have friends moving into my home as I know they will love it and the community as much as I do.

Several photos here are courtesy of Steve Reiss, neighbor and friend for the last 13 years.  Steve has seen me through it all and I will miss him!

P.S. On my last morning in Venice, I had huevos rancheros at the Rose.  The staff sang to me and brought me a candle in a slice of French toast.  A toast to new beginnings.  I can’t wait to settle into my usual table tomorrow morning and have an iced tea waiting for me before I even sit down.  Old habits die hard.

Venice-Cafe

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The TACO TRUCK parked on Rose Avenue between Hampton and Fourth has the freshest ceviche tostadas you will ever have. Topped with a wedge of lime and fresh cut avocado, this may be the only reason my NYC-loving husband stays in LA.

I’ve been eating breakfast at the ROSE CAFE several days a week for twelve years. The staff has remained the same and it’s a true neighborhood spot. I can’t imagine not starting my day outside on their back patio with an iced tea (arguably the best I’ve ever had) and huevos rancheros. Pretty sure no one does them better.  Make sure to ask for Patti. http://www.rosecafe.com

There is no better spot than GJELINA for hopping into a social swirl and snacking on thin crust pizza and incredible salads. I’m particularly fond of the spinach salad and you can’t beat sitting outside near the fire pit. http://www.gjelina.com | http://twitter.com/Gjelina

Quaint but not quiet, with tight seating on a small patio, you’ll make friends quickly at VENICE BEACH WINES. Wine and cheese. Cheers! http://www.venicebeachwines.com/ www.twitter.com/vbwines

Venice-Things

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In keeping with the eclectic nature of Venice, Abbot Kinney is a one-stop destination for everything from bicycles to flowers to medical marijuana to surf paraphernalia.

I love FIORE FLORAL DESIGN for the quaint space and their fresh blooms. They also offer a few select gift items, all of which I love. Rose chocolate bars, votives, and I got my daughter the best book ever there, “Everyone Bonjours” : http://fioredesigns.com/

ALEXIS BITTAR, known for incredible resin bangles and jewels, it’s a must for gift giving!
http://www.alexisbittar.com | http://twitter.com/ABittarRetail

This married couple from New York moved to Venice and brought a little NYC glam with them in GUILD.  Think high style, LD Tuttle boots, Ann Demuelemeester and Rick Owens. http://www.guildla.com/

I am currently bike-less (not enough storage space!) so until I am able to move, I daydream by browsing all of the simply elegant styles at LINUS; a superb bike shop.
http://www.linusbike.com/  |  http://twitter.com/Linusbike

Venice-Linus

COOL FACT: Lauren Hutton is a Venice beach resident and happens to live across the street from me. Her Venice style always includes a fab floppy hat and that must be why she still has flawless skin. Love her!

Many thanks to friend and fellow Venetian, Steve Reiss, for use of some of his favorite neighborhood photos.

 

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