“Cool” on Steroids – by Gary S. Smolker

If  you want to get a sense of what “cool” people are thinking [and of what people who are aspiring to be “cool” are thinking] go to Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice/Los Angeles, California and look around.

On one sidewalk, on Abbot Kinney Blvd., you will find a sign in front of one the stores that reads, “No Fake Shit.”  See photograph below.

  • IMG_3689

You will find a sign in front of another store on Abbott Kinney, that reads, “Quality is not an act, it is a habit.”  See photograph below.


I photographed those two signs on March 12, 2016 on Abbot Kinney Blvd.

“Commercial free” artfully decorated commercial buildings on Abbot Kinney support that message.

The “No Fake Shit/Quality” message/philosophy projected by those sign and by the artfully decorated building on Abbot Kinney is very appealing to me and to young hip people everywhere:  All hip people everywhere connect to the “no fake shit/quality” message.

Stores on Abbot Kinney, individually and in the aggregate,  project a BELIEVABLE “rebel” and cutting-edge image.”

“Think Differently” is alive and well on Abbot Kinney.

When you are on Abbot Kinney you KNOW you are on a one-of-a-kind-street.

  • (a) Abbot Kinney is a “No Fake Shit/quality”  avant-garde place.
  • (b) All businesses doing business on Abbot Kinney mutually and reciprocally reinforce a “No Fake Shit/quality” message.
  • (c) I felt, when I visited Abbot Kinney, I was in a place where world-wide trends were beginning right in front of my eyes.

Abbot Kinney Has Great Signaling Value

  • Abbot Kinney is a signalling mechanism that telegraphs to businesses everywhere what is in demand among free thinking consumers with money to “spend” in a free market economy.
  • While walking on Abbot Kinney you can see, if you know how to look and understand what you are looking at, the DNA that controls how the consumer economies of the world will be working in the future.

What is happening on Abbot Kinney Blvd. has everything to do with “supply” and “demand.”

You must be lucky to “find” a place to park on Abbot Kinney Blvd.

People who sense that California and Los Angeles are at the forefront of a consumer, a cultural, a political, and a business revolution that is spreading, will discover that Abbot Kinney is at the epicenter of that revolution if they go there.

I predict

  • What is currently happening on Abbot Kinney today will be happening in the rest of Los Angeles, in California, in the United States and in the rest of the world later.
  • What is current in Los Angeles today, what is happening in Los Angeles today, will be happening in the rest of California, in the rest of the United States and in the rest of the world later.

World Capital of “Cool”

In my opinion Los Angeles is the “World Capital of Cool” and the “World Capital of Creatively Driven Businesses.”

There are many cool streets in Los Angeles, including that part of Ventura Blvd. in front of my office building in Encino.

However, in my opinion Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, is the coolest.

I base my opinions on the following facts.

  • Los Angeles is the biggest exporter of culture in the world.
  • Los Angeles is always on the leading edge of trends; trends start in Los Angeles.
  • Los Angeles is the world capital of creative activity.
  • I was on Abbot Kinney Blvd, in Venice, California, on Saturday, March 12, 2016.
  • While on Abbot Kinney, I witnessed that Abbot Kinney Blvd. is avant-garde.
  • There is nothing half-ass about the hipness of Abbot Kinney.
  • Abbot Kinney is the essence of avant-garde; there is no other street like Abbot Kinney in the world.
  • On Abbot Kinney you cutting edge hipness everywhere your eye moves.
  • There is no other street in the world that has so much “fully alive passionate free-wheeling independent free-thinking” on display.
  • All of the above will be “in your face” if you walk down Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, California.
  • Venice is a representative aspect of Los Angeles.
  • Abbot Kinney is a representative aspect of Venice.
  • Side note: Skateboarding was invented/began in Venice, California,
  • Skateboarding was invented in a section of Venice known as Dog Town.

Ventura Blvd. Cool

There are many cool streets in Los Angeles.

For example, below are photographs taken by me on March 17, 2016 of a food truck selling lobster rolls, etc.

I saw the truck in the photograph below parked across the street from the office building on Ventura Blvd., where I work , in Encino, California on March 17.


Kourtney (photograph below) came out of the truck to let me take her picture.

See photograph below.

Kourtney was selling Lobsta Rolls, Crab Rolls, Clam Chowder, Lobster Bisque, Cape Cod Potato Chip, Woopie Pie, Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, Specialty Drinks and Water and Soda from the Lobsta Truck.


A Lobsta Roll consists of fresh Maine Lobster on a toasted split top roll with butter or a seasoned mayo.

The price of a Lobsta Roll on March 17, 2016 was $13.00.

See Lobsta Truck menu below.


Below is a photograph of the front of the Lobsta Truck, taken by me on March 17, 2016.


Dreamers Are Saviors of the World

Getting back to Abbot Kinney Blvd., in Venice, California:

  • Not only do we want to survive, we want to live.
  • At least one store’s front window on Abbot Kinney Blvd. sends that massage.

See photograph below.


“Living” in the Best Sense of the Word

On Friday, March 11, 2016, my 28 year old daughter Leah asked me if I would buy her an embroidered meditation pillow/cushion at the ANANDA store on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice.

I didn’t know what a meditation pillow/cushion is, but I said, “Yes.”

That is why I ended up being on Abbot Kinney Blvd. on Saturday, March 12, 2016.

By the way, while I was at the ANANDA store, which is located at 1354 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, I purchased four embroidered meditation pillows.

I had never seen or owned a mediation pillow before I walked into the ANANDA store on Saturday, March 12, 2016.

Below is a photograph of each of the embroidered meditation pillows I purchased.

According to a label affixed to each pillow, those meditation cushions/pillows were manufactured in Bombay, India.





The beauty of those pillows overwhelmed me the first time I saw them.

I was moved by the combination of colors on those pillows, by the shapes of the embroidered patterns on those pillows, and by the workmanship/craftsmanship exhibited in the manufacture of those pillows.

I will always cherish those pillows because they are beautiful and I love beauty.

That is the underlying “real reason” why I bought four instead of one of those pillows and brought three of those pillows home with me.

It fascinates and intrigues me that each of those beautiful pillows is meant to be sat on while one meditates.


Beauty is so important to me that if I knew how to arrange flowers I would always have a vase of fresh flowers on desks in my office and in my home home.

I wholeheartedly agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson statement, “Beauty is its own excuse for being.”

In my mind, beautify is undefinable, beauty is a light in the heart.


I was very intrigued and happy to find that many fascinating books sold are sold at ANANDA.

Below is a picture of the cover of one of those books.


I am very interested in beauty, fashion, design, art and style.  I relax by reading books about beauty, fashion, design, art and style.

For that reason I was delighted to find the “Stress Less Coloring Mosaic Patterns” book pictured above.

Train Your Taste for A Smaller Waist, Avert Hangovers and Get Your Body Beach Ready

I am very interested in the size of my waist and in my weight.

Leah promised me that I would be impressed and would have a new experience at a restaurant she was taking me to for lunch, the Kreation Kate Kafe, that specialized in serving healthy Persian food.

The Kreation Kate Kafe advertises it prepares dishes from ancient Persian health and beauty recipes and that it is committed “to treating your body like the temple that it is.”

Kreation Kate Kafe also advertises that the dishes it serves breakfast lunch and dinner will “train your taste for a smaller waste.”

“You Are What You Eat”

Below is a photograph of a napkin I was given at the Kreation Kate Kafe.


Chocolate Lovers Smoothie

While at Kreation Kate Kafe, I ordered a chocolate drink: a custom smoothie consisting of almond milk, cacao, carob, frozen banana, and peanut butter.

The name of that drink on the Kafe Menu is the “Chocolate Lovers Smoothie.”

Below is a picture of the “Chocolate Lovers Smoothie” I had with my lunch.


California Crunch Salad

As my entree, I had a “California Crunch Salad.”

The “California Crunch Salad” consists of organic baby spinach, shaved fennel and celery, crushed roasted macadamia nuts and chopped niman ranch bacon.

Below is a picture of the California Crunch Salad I had for lunch at Kreation Kate Kafe.


The Kreation Kate Kafe

The Kreation Kate Kafe that Leah and I ate lunch at is located at 1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice.  Phone 1-310-314-7778.

Kreation Kate Kafe is a Kafe and a Juicery.

While at the Kreation Kate Kafe I was informed that I may purchase fresh cold pressed custom juices, kleanses and many other “unique” products.

Vegan Chocolate Milk

Kreation Kate Kafe – Venice has on its menu a vegan chocolate milk which it describes as a cold pressed drink consisting of almond milk, maca, coconut water, cacao, coconut, cinnamon, and coconut nectar.

The flyer for that vegan chocolate milk drink (“ENHANCE”) states:

“Chocoholics rejoice!  Your vegan chocolate milk will hydrate and detox while boosting your mental well-being and libido.  Satisfy your sweet cravings, promote weight loss, and watch you stress melt away.  Pure decadence!”


One of the custom juices sold at Kreation Kate Kafe on the Kafe Menu is named/called “Hangover.”

According to the Kafe Menu “Hangover” consists of lemon, ginger, tomato, cayenne.

Cold-Pressed Custom Juices

Kreation Kate advertises that the custom juices sold at Kreation Kate Kafe are “cold-pressed.”

A written flyer provided by Kreation Kate Kafe – Venice, states:

“Cold-pressing extracts juice by crushing fruits and vegetables, then hydraulically pressing them.  The heat and oxidation generated by a centrifugal juicer kills nutrients and enzymes. We carefully select 100% USDA Certified organic produce from local farmer’s markets daily and juice in a cold room to keep rich nutrients intact.  Inundating your body with a super-dose of critical nourishment restores its ability to heal itself.”

Enhance Your Life by Averting Hangovers

I saw a sign posted in the Kreation Kate Kafe which promotes a product (Charcolade) that allegedly helps avert hangovers.

Below is a picture of that sign.


Enhance Your Life by Getting Your Body Beach Ready

Another sign I saw in the Kreation Kate Kafe  promotes products that allegedly help you get a “beach body.”

Below is a picture of that sign.


Avocado Toast

I had never heard of “Avocado Toast” before I ate lunch at Kreation.

Below is a picture of a postcard I was given while eating lunch at Kreation Kate Kafe – Venice.


Delightful Astonishment

I was delighted, amused, and astounded when I read the descriptions of the items listed on the Kreation Kate Kafe – Venice Kafe Menu.

By the way, breakfast is served all day at the Kreation Kate Kafe – Venice.


I am a strong proponent of wonder.

  • While eating lunch I began to wonder: Where is the world going? What will be the next “big” hip-trendy thing?  Is the world ready for a product line that will get your body “beach ready”?
  • Eating lunch at Kreation Kate reinforced my realization that my life is hurrying past me and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.
  • Walking around Abbot Kinney looking at building walls decorated with artwork instead of advertisements added to my sense that life is truly beautiful.
  • I totally agree with Henry Miller statement, “The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”  More than a week has passed since I was on Abbot Kinney and I still can’t get over the fact that I saw “smiley” “happy” creative uplifting paintings that express happiness on many of the walls of buildings on Abbot Kinney.

We need to take time each day to notice all of the rich cultural and natural diversity that is often overlooked.

Abbot Kinney Blvd. is one place where you will find a graphic uplifting happy and free expression of life and creativity.


On one wall on Abbot Kinney I saw painted a picture of a humming bird with its beak in a flower painted.

The hummingbird was painted  on a wall next to a painted fence.

See photos below.




On the wall of another building I saw a wall painted one line after another of meditating Buddhas.  See photo below.


Street Parking & Public Parking

I found it impossible to find an available parking space for me to park my car on Abbot Kinney Blvd.

I also found it impossible to find a parking space in which to park my car near Abbot Kinney Blvd.

Although there is public street parking on both sides of Abbot Kinney Blvd. and public parking lots behind the buildings on the East side of Abbot Kinney, I couldn’t find a single place to park either on Abbot Kinney or in public parking lots behind Abbot Kinney or near Abbot Kinney Blvd.

There were absolutely no parking spaces open on Abbot Kinney Blvd. or in the public parking lots.

Creative Atmosphere

While I was walking on Abbot Kinney Blvd. the paintings and artwork I observed on the buildings, the products I observed being sold in the stores and the products being sold from food trucks and in the cafes and restaurants along Abbot Kinney Blvd. gave me visual proof that the world is grander and more creative than I imagined.

For example, I never imagined that “vegan ice cream” exists.

But, on Abbot Kinney I saw an ice cream truck/food truck selling vegan ice cream.

See photographs below of ice cream/selling vegan ice cream, regular ice cream and ice cream sundaes from a food truck parked on Abbot Kinney Blvd.





Alley Art

After driving down the length of Abbot Kinney Blvd. without finding an open parking space, Leah and I drove down the alley behind the stores on Abbot Kinney looking for parking spaces in the public parking lots behind the rear of the stores on Abbot Kinney.

As we were driving down the alley behind the buildings on Abbot Kinney, I stopped and took photographs of pictures painted on fences at the back of buildings fronting on Abbot Kinney Blvd.

I also took photographs of paintings painted on the back of one of the buildings fronting on Abbot Kinney.

Below are some of the photographs I took in the alley behind the stores fronting on Abbot Kinney.

See photos below.









Creative People Change the Way We Experience the World

Creative people who change the world are different.

They are artists; they are artistic in the true best sense.

They have a strong sense of self.

Their strong sense of self (selfhood) enables them to give themselves fully, enables them to commit themselves fully to something.

I saw each artist’s strong sense of self in the paintings I saw painted on the walls and fences on Abbot Kinney Blvd. itself and in the alley behind Abbot Kinney Blvd.

Skateboards, Skateboarding and Venice, California

Consider how much the boys who invented skateboards and skateboarding love/loved skateboarding.

The “boys” who invented skateboards and skateboarding passionately committed themselves to skateboarding.

Because of their passionate commitment to skateboarding it (skateboarding) became a worldwide sport, a worldwide phenomena.

This is celebrated in a painting painted on a wall of a building on Abbot Kinney.

[By the way: Skateboarding was invented in Venice.]

Below is a series of photographs I took of a painting painted on one of the walls of a building on Abbot Kinney.

The painting is a testament to skateboarding.

The man in the picture below is on a skateboard.

[By the way: Skateboarding started in that part of Venice known as Dog Town. hence the sign reading “Dog Town” in the painting.]

That painting (see photograph below) creates a record of what was and reminds people that skateboarding was invented in a section of Venice, California known as Dog Town.




Below is a pictures of one of many highly decorated walls on streets leading into Abbot Kinney.  I am standing in front of that wall.


Below is a picture of a painting painted on the side wall of a building fronting on Abbot Kinney.


Below are pictures painted on a wall in a courtyard on the side of one of the buildings on Abbot Kinney.

I am standing in front of the picture painted on that wall.

The painting on that wall made me gasp.







Very Artsy

I agree with Grey Livingston’s statement, “Beauty comes as much from the mind as from the eye.” — Grey Livingston

Below is a picture I took of a hanging decoration in the entrance of a store.


Below is a picture painted on the wall next to the entrance of that store.



Below are photographs of a “continuous painting” of a rooster,  painted on two sides of a corner building fronting on Abbot Kinney.

The painting of a rooster painted on that wall made/makes me think of a comment made by Edward Weston: “…to consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk.”


The two photographs below are direct pictures of the corner of that building taken by me from across the street.



That painting of a rooster (shown above) on the corner and two walls of a building reminds me of the whimsical wisdom of songwriter Leonard Cohen:

Ring the bells that still can ring.

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything.

That’s how the light gets in.

Full Frontal

A friend of mine (Femme Fatale) claims that the difference between people who live in San Francisco and people who live in Los Angeles is that all or most of the women (and some men) who live in Los Angeles wear sun glasses all the time and people in San Francisco don’t wear sun glasses.

Below is a photograph (taken by me) of a painting of a person wearing sunglasses, painted on the front of a building on Abbot Kinney.


That painting (shown above) put me in the mood to buy an embroidered meditation pillow for Leah, and to buy three more embroidered meditation pillows at ANANDA.


Below is a a photograph of a window facing Abbot Kinney on the front of one of the stores on Abbot Kinney.


Below are photographs of signs on the sidewalk on each side of Abbot Kinney, in front of two of the stores on opposite sides of Abbot Kinney Blvd.




In my mind Abbot-Kinney Blvd. in Venice, California is a more fun and unique combination walking, eating and shopping venue than the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, or the Champs-Elysees in Paris, or Fifth Avenue in Manhattan or Rodeo Blvd. in Beverly Hills, California.

Abbott-Kinney is a more fun place to visit than The Place el Fna (a fabulous open air bazaar in Marrakesh, Morocco) or the colorful Spice Market in Istanbul.

Below are two photographs Leah took while we were shopping together in the colorful Spice Market in Istanbul, Turkey.




Extraordinary things do exist, including extraordinarily unique and charming shopping venues.

They are most eloquent to the extent they impart a new way to look at things.

Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder.

In the right hands a camera is as powerful as the paintbrush, a pen, a keyboard, because as Susan Sontag has said, “To photograph is to confer importance.” 

So please share your pictures of remarkable and extraordinary places and things with others, including me.

It has been my experience that when “COOL” is suddenly let into my life, it dazzles and hurts and almost blinds me and then it seems to become the only element I want to exist in.


I believe beauty is unquantifiable and undefinable.

“Beauty is a light in the heart.”

  • “Beauty is a form of genius – is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation.” — Oscar Wilde
  • “In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty.” — Christopher Morley
  • From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Wisdom is the abstract of the past, but beauty is the promise of the future.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes

Call to Action

Hopefully one or more of the photographs in this blog post has/have taken your breath away and you will want to share some or all of the photographs in this blog post with others.

Please do so.

Please share your pictures that contain an element of wonder.

Please share your pictures that will make us care, understand, react, become aware of and empathize with a wider world.




Gary S. Smolker, Publisher
Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange Blog





Copyright © 2016 Gary S. Smolker, All Rights Reserved


About Gary S. Smolker

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: No enterprise can exist for itself alone. Every successful enterprise ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others. Otherwise, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. Imagination, open mindedness and flexibility are the most important factors in unlocking potential. Those who embrace innovation, improvisation, continuous learning, time management, are action oriented, high energy, passionate, creative, purposeful and intense individuals are best equipped to succeed. We all have ideas and the ability to make progress by sharing information and our ideas and also by changing our ideas when appropriate. We should always be on the lookout for teaching and mentoring moments. We hold time like water in our hands; however tightly we clench our fingers, it drips away. But, if it falls on a seed, a seed may grow to become something that will have a positive social impact. PERSONAL INTERESTS: I have a passion to learn, to innovate, to lead, to mentor and to teach. I seek to write things worth reading and want to do things worth writing about. I enjoy (a) driving a fast car, (b) having intense conversations (c) teaching/mentoring, (d) reading and (e) being involved in productive activity. PERSONAL: I believe in cultivating and backing passionate people, innovation, and old fashioned good ideas. I love making human connections and spreading good ideas. I am strongly motivated to achieve in situations in which independence of thought and action are called for. PERSONAL GOALS: I want to live life vibrantly, to be as sharp as a tack until my last breath and to change the world by being me. My personal goal is to be fully engaged in life, to lead by example, to set high standards and to continue to amass firsthand experience and knowledge in all that interests me. PERSONALITY: I love fun and mischief. I relish absurdity. I have an irreverent, facetious and satiric disposition. I dread boredom. I have spent a lifetime reading. I have no bias against people who have lived successful and/or complicated lives. I write to release tension, to get things off my chest. SOCIAL MEDIA: I post articles on the "Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange" blog at www.garysmolker.wordpress.com, and "Dude's Guide to Women's Shoes" at www.dudesguidetowomensshoes.com. I also post images and comments on Instagram @garyspassion. CONTACT INFORMATION: Gary Smolker, Smolker Law Firm, 16055 Ventura Blvd., Ste 525, Encino, California, 91436-2609, USA. Phone 1-818-788-7290, e-mail GSmolker@aol.com.

Posted on March 13, 2016, in "Cool", Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice California, Ancient Persian Health & Beauty Recipes, World Capital of Cool and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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