When I first moved to LA, Abbot Kinney was a cute little area I wandered into with a friend; read: she knew it was a happening place and dragged me there despite my protests to the heat of that particular day (I’m pretty sure I wanted to be on Venice Beach, wind whipping my three inches of hair). My first thought was: pricey – though that was admittedly based on the fact that I wanted at least 34 pieces I saw at various jewelry stores. While “pricey” can still describe some of its retailers, my appreciation for Abbot Kinney has grown immensely over time.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard is a favorite cruising spot for younger locals, hipsters and artsy types. It’s also a border area to its grittier neighbor Venice to the west; the blending of foot, bike and skateboard traffic from that side gives Abbot Kinney a little bit of an unexpected rougher edge that I happen to enjoy. The skateboard “couples” are among my favorite sights: guys and girls, typically in their 20s, in their well-dressed-but-dressed-down skateboard fashion, totally fit and flying around Abbot Kinney Boulevard as fast as their collective wheels will take them.
Just about every pedestrian community with locally-owned shops and restaurants attracts a diverse population in LA – Abbot Kinney, in particular, attracts the artsy and fashionable set from near and far. The fashion along Abbot Kinney rivals Melrose. In addition to dressing its residents and visitors, Abbot Kinney’s one-off designer stores are joined by every other imaginable kind of storefront: bars, home goods, jewelry stores (grrr, I want it all) , smoke shops, art galleries, local artisans, kids clothing, natural juices… the list is vast and better captured here than me trying to capture the entire inventory: Abbot Kinney Directory
As with all of my LA wandering in place posts, my Abbot Kinney share wouldn’t be complete without a comment on its art. The cars, homes, businesses and everything in between show a complete reverence for art. Abbot Kinney has its own aesthetic (it’s awesome). You don’t have to wander far to see street art mixed with funky bikes, cars or architecture. The people are also part of what can look like a living mural. And, if you walk too fast, you’ll undoubtedly miss a well-blended-in gem. A few favorites from last weekend:
My advice: take this snapshot and add to it by wandering Abbot Kinney soon. Their annual festival is happening on 9.27.15. For more information on this little treasure trove, visit: Abbot Kinney