The New Venice

We don’t know how many commercial buildings and how many residential apartments were converted and taken over by Snapchat this past year or two, but it is getting easier to recognize a building housing the Snapsters.

How? Take a look.

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The Snapsters now have their own quasi police force. These private security people are all over our town from Abbot Kinney to Ocean Front Walk. Reminds us of San Miguel de Allende where every rich person’s villa had an uzi-wearing guard outside on 24 hour patrol.

It sure looks like our new fabulous people just don’t want to mix with Venice’s un-washed. So much for all that PR… ‘we love Venice’s culture and we love being here.’ These are our new Venetians. We know they just love to hang out on Abbot Kinney and drink at Venice’s pubs and bars — it won’t be long before we see their security force everywhere they are — protecting our new elite.

This is what we have become. First the takeover of our neighborhoods by Airbnb and the rest of the STR Wall Street gold rush tycoons who have turned our neighborhoods into neighborhoods of strangers — and now — our new ‘Silicon Beach’ eliterati who even have their oven private security protection to keep us away from them.

The sharing economy and social media crowd have brought a tide of money to Venice, got their huge tax breaks from the City, and are filling the coffers of our politicians — but what have they taken?