web analytics

Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

WatchDawg’s Rick Feibusch Leaves Venice

Rick Feibusch, longtime activist and author of the “tell-it-like-it-is” Venice WatchDawg is leaving Venice for Santa Rosa, California. Whenever there was a “situation” in Venice, one could count on Rick to fire up some facts and write a steaming article. Don’t think there was a politician that he ever liked. It was always refreshing to read his side of the facts presented … always. You will be missed.

Rick & Carolyn 1990 Carolyn and Rick Feibusch in 1990 are saying goodbye to Venice.

Farewell Venice…

What can I say…? Carolyn and I have finally left Venice.. Bought my brother’s house in the NorCal wine country (as opposed to Venice, the SoCal whine country…) It has been bittersweet, but the last few years have seen such changes, things we had not even envisioned a few short years ago, that it just became the time to leave. While much has been upgraded, the upgrades seem to bring more traffic, less parking, big blue buses that are too big for our narrow streets, and yet another version of the “youth culture” that kept Venice artistic and vibrant all of these years.

The big transformation seemed to come along with the Whole Foods at Rose & Lincoln – something the neighbors dreamed about for years… But with it came the sanctimonious Santa Monicans and people from other parts of LA, allowing them to see that Venice was no longer dominated by the homeless and gang activity… They also noticed that property values were paltry compared to other coastal burgs and started buying up places and rebuilding them as big glass boxes that stretch from lot line to lot line. Then came the Rose Avenue restaurant row, and the city’s policy of “virtual parking” for restaurants, meaning that there is virtually no parking in our neighborhood after 5:30PM. Some of our neighbors actually began storing their cars on the street and taking Uber to local destinations…

Yep, the time to depart became something to consider, along with the underlying feeling that the Beachhead folks might have been correct about keeping our little piece of the past clouded in an image of danger and squalor to keep the faint-hearted away. Trading a few homeless in the alleys and a gang shooting or two for what has culminated here…

Rick and his 1950 Plymouth in front of this property on Dimmick.

Rick’s 1950 Plymouth in front of this property on Dimmick.

The major loss to me is having to sell my beloved house. It is a triplex that we bought from Power Word motivational instructor George Wather (http://www.georgewalther.com/power-talking/), the guy who first suggested to substitute the word “challenge” for “problem” – using common words to create positive outcomes. in the mid-1980s. He had just developed his system and was taking it on the road and was selling off a few pieces of property he had renovated in Venice… We were living in San Francisco at the time but were staying with friends up the street who were in real estate and we jokingly said that we would like to buy it if it could be worked out – and damn… they did. We now were absentee landlords with no experience and a negative cashflow.

We finally got fed up with the crowded streets and hustle and bustle of San Francisco and faced with escalating rents and diminished parking, and moved into our smallest 1-bedroom apartment when a tenant moved out – We lived in that apartment for 26 years.

Having no experience or any idea about professional property management, we chose tenants like room mates and have filled the place with artists, writers, musicians, and the occasional celebrity chef. More recently we have had more contemporary artists working in advertising and new media. This was always a house filled with creativity and good cheer – Many of my former tenants, a few staying well over a decade, are still friends though spread from San Diego to New York.

And then there are our neighbors, many who moved in around the same time as we did. Marie across the street, Richard, the automotive artist and design teacher up the street, Rudy next door, Joe & Rox, Mike and Judy… people that made living in Venice so special. We were a neighborhood that stuck together, helping to make each other’s life easier, from moving cars on street cleaning days to wasting hundreds of hours at silly City meetings and committees to encourage a cleaner and safer town.

And then there was the house itself. It channeled me from restoring and customizing cars to apply what I brought from that to home renovation. Other Venice rental property owners asked why I would replace ALL of the windows and install stained glass and custom awnings… Called my building an “art project.” But we also lived there and isn’t art what Venice was all about??? I loved that little building and it was hard to leave it behind.It was purchased by a young couple in the film industry who promise to love it as we did and continue to artistically renovate…

I will miss 26 years of friends – many of them who are no longer on the planet, and I will miss the Venice of the past, something that has been fading away for years. I miss The Black Whale on Washington, H.O.T. on Pacific, Van Gogh’s Ear (both locations), Azteca on Lincoln, Szechuan on Washington, the original Rose Cafe, The Omelette Parlor on Main… DNA on Rose… My mechanic, Grant Fought… The places that made Venice, Venice during our time here…

What we will not miss is Councilman Bonin’s Ruth Galanter-style dictatorial “solutions” for the unchecked expansion of the Venice homeless population. “Solutions” do nothing to help people who do not want, or feel a need for, housing, but instead invite more homeless “lifestylers” to party at the beach allowing the local social services to throw up their hands and cry “Well, we tried…,” while collecting millions in government funding…

Nothing stays the same – Venice has changed, and so have we. I have become less tolerant of noise, passive-aggressive traffic that goes from too fast to too slow and people with pork pie hats. It was just time to go.

Venice now joins my native San Francisco as a place that I would prefer to visit in a time machine…

I heard this piece when it was released and it brought tears to my eyes. I had just declined to attend yet another “important” VNC meeting and realized that I was on the verge of engineering our escape… My love song to Venice.

Love to all…

Rick Feibusch, Venice WatchDawg – Still watchin’ – this time from afar…

Comments (3)

  1. Gabriel Martinez

    Trust me dude, you will not be missed. I grew up a two blocks from you, so trust me, please stay in Santa Rosa. You can talk of dictators but you are also a dictator. I’m happy you never rose to power. Venice would have been what you dreamed of every night. And that would have been a nightmare for Venice.

  2. reta

    Rick sent this to the Update. I don’t know if I ever sent this to you before but it is what is starting to happen with the “bicycle town” that Mike Bonin is promoting in Venice – This is what is going on in SF where all of this nonsense began…

    This is the attitude that the bike riders have!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgCqz3l33kU

  3. Rick Feibusch

    Reta, Politicians? I liked Cindy Miscikowski (and her Venice Deputy Sandy Kievman)lots, and no one was able to dislike Bill Rosendahl under any circumstance…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.