1906 Smith 1976

Jack Smith The Big Orange Ward Ritchie Press: Pasadena, CA, 1976. 252 pp.

    "Venice had fallen into decay from the vain-glorious splendors of Abbott Kinney's dreams. It had been taken over by the new barbarians, as some saw them; and now it was under siege, its bohemian life-style threatened by affluence.

     "It was only seventy years ago that Kinney had turned a slough into a new Venice, building a system of canals with arched bridges and a central lagoon. There were genuine gondolas from Italy and genuine singing gondoliers. Stores and hotels with mock-Renaissance fronts and cast-iron Italian columns were built around the lagoon and down Windward Avenue to the sand and along Ocean Front Walk. Now the lagoon is asphalt; the canals broken down, weed-grown and scummy; half the Venetian fronts are missing, like pulled teeth, and the others are scabrous and decayed, their columns rusted. It is a funky slum, not without its charm, in which the inheritors of the vanished beatniks, disdainful of the affluent life of the nearby marina, have rooted their counterculture."

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 Kelyn Roberts 2017