Allston Yacht Club held a soft launch of its new Sunday “Unbrunch” menu today, and offered free food from 1-3:00 pm to test out the new menu. The AYC Facebook page announced a few items for tasting, including: “crawfish sandwich, garlic fries, beer-battered onion rings, eggplant and potato tacos, pulled pork tostadas, new house-made daiquiris, and don’t forget we’ve got new craft beers on tap.”

The official launch of the Unbrunch menu starts next weekend on Sunday, June 20th from 3-8:00 pm.

I was excited to see what they had to offer on tap, as before there were just a few bottled beers available. Did you go to the free food event and/or would you go to AYC for Unbrunch?

A passion vine flower blooms in Echo Park

The next time you take a walk, hike, or picnic in Elysian Park, take a look around at all the different types of trees and flowers (both native and non-native) that decorate the landscape around the park. Next time you go, you might know a few of the names!

Echo Park resident Michael O’Brien, a horticulture expert who frequently updates us on blooming trees and flowers in the neighborhood, recently wrote on the Echo Elysian Neighborhood Council forum about a website he contributes to documenting plantlife in Elysian Park.

“The botanical survey is ongoing,” he writes, “and far from complete, but you can look up the 159 species currently identified on CalPhotos. (Just enter “Elysian” in the search box.) There you will find photos of all the species.”

The purpose of his post on the forum, however, was also a warning about the future of about two dozen native species in Elysian Park. The Los Angeles Planning Committee recently voted in favor of developers to build a 120-unit condo complex on what is known as the “Menlo Property” in Silver Lake on Riverside Drive (near the Fletcher intersection). Many residents (in Silver Lake, Echo Park, and beyond) are concerned that the condo complex will basically block an important thoroughfare for both animals and plants from the Los Angeles river to the Echo Park/Elysian Park area.

“The Menlo project on Riverside Drive has closed off any possibility of gene flow to the Park from the Santa Monica Mountains, so there are approximately 2 dozen native species in the park that will go extinct in our lifetime,” O’Brien explains. Read his full post on the forum here.

If you’re interested in the Menlo Property history, politics, and future, I suggest reading through Diane Edwardson’s blog called Corralitas Red Car Property by clicking here.

The Echo Park Animal Alliance is having a fundraiser yard sale, pet supply giveaway, and pet adoption!

From 9:00 am – 4:00 pm tomorrow (Saturday, June 12) you can purchase items at the yard sale to benefit the EPAA, pick up some free dog food, collars and supplies.

From noon – 4:00 pm, there will be some adorable puppies for adoption!

They are also looking for play yard for the puppies, if you have one to donate for the day please contact the EPAA by emailing

Check it out at 1850 Echo Park Ave.
Visit for more information about the EPAA.

GEPENC posted a press release on the Echo Elysian Neighborhood Council forum, announcing the results of its 2010-11 budget plans. Here’s the press release:


Libraries, Elementary Schools, Public Safety, Community Outreach, Public Improvement, Holiday Parade & Historic Jensen Sign a priority

(Echo Park, CA) The Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council (GEPENC) at a Special Meeting of the Board of Governor’s on Wednesday, June 9th voted 13 – 0 to approve and adopt its Fiscal Year 2010-2011 Budget. The final vote came after two previous public meetings were held and the budget was presented, discussed and comments from the public were taken. The GEPENC Bylaws, Article VIII Section B, requires that the annual budget be adopted by June 10th and forwarded to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment by June 15th.

The neighborhood council was provided with $45,000 from the City to support, fund and sponsor various initiatives, programs and projects in the categories of Outreach and Public Improvement.  The budget sets aside funding to support the six local schools and the two libraries in our area.

The budget also includes funds to support National Night Out, the Echo Park Holiday Parade, the upcoming Lotus Festival, community gardens, neighborhood clean ups, emergency preparedness, the effort to revive the Jensen Sign and support for the Echo Park Business Improvement District.

The new Board of Governors was delayed in taking office 60 days due to a Challenge filed in the March, 20, 2010 election.  The challenge was resolved on May 25, 2010 by a panel of volunteers working with the City Clerk who dismissed the challenge allowing for the seating of the new Board.

“I would like to commend the new GEPENC Treasurer, Mr. Gustavo Moreno, for his leadership and the new Board of Governors for their hard work the last two weeks. Their leadership will allow for GEPENC to continue to provide important leadership and support for our community. The new Board is the most diverse community representation in the history of GEPENC and the adopted budget line items reflect the many different stakeholder funding needs in all five of our districts”, stated Board President Jose Sigala.

To view the 2010-2011 GEPENC budget, please visit our website at

#          #          #

ABOUT GEPENC – the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council, “GEPENC” as the Council is known, was certified by the City of Los Angeles on April 15, 2002, and is the 23rd Neighborhood Council formed under the guidelines of the City Charter.  The purpose of GEPENC is to promote citizen participation in government by serving as an advisory body to the City of Los Angeles. The Mission of GEPENC is to provide a public forum for stakeholders in our neighborhood to express their thoughts, ideas and concerns on community or Citywide issues. For more information about the neighborhood council, please visit our website at

GEPENC* 1572 Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90026 * (213) 250-3400

Click here for the PDF of the full budget. One item of interest to keep an eye out for is the $2,500 allocated for the repair of the Jensen’s Recreation Center sign – the 1,300 red, green and white light bulbs on the historic sign have been unlit for some time now.

The next meeting is the GEPENC Ad Hoc Bylaws Committee, and takes place on Saturday, June 19th at 12:00 noon in the neighborhood council office and community center on Echo Park Blvd. behind the Bank of America. Click here for the meeting agenda.

Contact Lisa Baca, GEPENC CIO, at with questions about the press release above or the next meeting.

New restaurants and businesses:

  • Xoia Vietnamese Eats may open up sometime soon this month (they recently posted Craigslist ads hiring staff). The restaurant took over the old Par Paint location on Sunset Blvd. and Lemoyne Street.
  • Montana LA, a “paint boutique” selling spray paint, is opening later this month in the 1500 block of Sunset Blvd. The Eastsider LA has the full story.


  • Haute Olive is moving downtown from its Echo Park location under the Sunset bridge on Glendale Blvd.
  • Warwick closed up its location at 1461 ½ W Sunset Blvd and is now at a much larger space at 1205 Sunset Blvd.

Ongoing/Weekly Specials

Footlong_Development & Keistar Productions Present


Friday, June 11th

$11 advance, $15 at the door

Celebrating The Life & Legacy Of Our Greatest Icon!
Honoring Our Most Prolific & Influential Artist

This event centers around the honoring of two of the most eclectic and innovative artists to date, Michael Jackson and Prince! From the inception of this concept back in 1999 the response for SOUL SLAM has been enormous. DJ Spinna sets the tone of this event as he lays down track after track from both MJ’s and Princes extensive music catalogues along with tracks of their cohorts, i.e.; Jermaine Jackson, Vanity, Janet, Sheila E., J5, The Time etc. Soul Slam returns to LA this June!

Last years visit to LA brought out 1100+ people….That night’s event filled with LA’s top taste makers, fashionistas and music fans hit capacity in an hour and a half of the doors opening.

What: A dedication to Michael Jackson & His Royal Clan and Prince & His Disciple. Featuring one of New York’s finest, DJ Spinna. Also, opening set by LA’s own MonaLisa. This is a world-wide event that originated in New York and has reached San Francisco, Japan, Los Angeles & Europe.

Regarded as one of the most versatile and talented producers/DJ’s/Remixers in today’s musical arena. With so much studio work, it’s a marvel Spinna travels as much as he does. The constant globe-trotting performances he’s become equally famed for having brought the DJ as far as Iceland, Australia, and South Africa as well as countless jaunts through England, Europe and the U.S. Not to forget, his hugely successful tours of Japan, where Spinna is held in the highest regard throughout the country for his craft in music. He has produced numerous tracks and remixes for notable artists such as Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, De La Soul, Mos Def, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Pharoahe Monch, George Michael and many more.

Monalisa Murray has been an independent grassroots promoter of quality music and events across the country for the last 20 years. She supported various DJs and musicians in the Los Angeles area before taking her love of music to the tables. She is a member of the KPL All Stars DJ crew and has previously shared bills with DJs such as Spinderella, Garth Trinidad, Vikter Duplaix, Al Jackson, Jeremy Sole, Dam-Funk, Kiilu, Mr. Choc, Babu, Rhettmatic, Coleman, Gomez Warren and Lisa J.

Bneato is having another Organizing Bootcamp for the disorganized on Saturday, June 12 from 2:30-4:00 pm.

The Bootcamp is designed for those who don’t have the time to organize by themselves, can’t afford to hire a professional organizer but need one, and just want a better understanding of organizing and filing. From Bneato owner and Professional Organizer Beth Zeigler:

Scheduling time to organize is half the battle. But once you finally set aside time to get organized you have no idea where to begin (not to mention being overwhelmed). Plus-rounding up supplies that the professionals use is a process of its own. Enter Bneato Organizing Boot Camp. The first of its kind, Boot Camp offers accountability, the trusted help of a pro and tips and tricks to help you reach your goals (all at a price you can afford). Participants bring their own disorganized paperwork to class by placing piles (or files) in a file box.

Email Beth to sign up, or check out the website.
(There’s also a $5.00 off coupon on the website if you refer a friend! Click here)
Saturday, June 12th 2:30-4:00 pm

1226 N. Alvarado Street (in the community room of the United Methodist Church)
Cost is $30

At last week’s Echo Park Improvement Association meeting, officer Robert Hill provided us with an update from the Northeast Division Police Department. Here are some notes from that update:

  • The Northeast Division made three arrests made last week, including a 19-year-old on Valentine Street and two juveniles breaking into a house. Since those arrests, Officer Hill says there haven’t been any similar break-ins since (as of the meeting date, which was on June 3).
  • Since residents cleaned up the Lucretia stairway on May 15, Officer Hill says there are no more “kids” hanging around anymore.
  • Kids and teenagers have been recently experimenting with these plants called “trumpet flowers,” and two or three students (Hill said three, The Eastsider LA is reporting two) were recently found skipping school and appeared to be under the influence of this poisonous plant (by ingesting the plant, some people believe it has hallucinogenic properties, but is actually quite deadly). The Eastsider LA has the full story here.
  • Car break-ins are still occurring around Dodger stadium, especially on Laveta Terrace.
  • There was a narcotic arrest off of Scott Avenue near Portia, in which first responders were responding to a domestic dispute and drugs were found in the residence.

Here are some of the crimes that have occurred since June 1:

June 1: Two violent robberies, one theft from vehicle

June 2: two thefts from vehicle, three personal/other thefts

June 3: one theft from vehicle, one violent robbery, two aggravated assaults

June 4: four thefts from vehicle, one personal/other theft

June 5: One theft from vehicle, two aggravated assault

June 6: One aggravated, one personal/other theft, two thefts from vehicle, one violent robbery

June 7: Two thefts from vehicles, one aggravated assault, and one property burglary.

June 8: One theft from vehicle

Be safe out there! Keep any “stuff” out of sight in your cars as the usual electronics (iPods, phones, computers) seem to always be the target.

You think there’s gonna be a protest against Arizona’s new immigration law?

This Saturday, June 12, the Los Angeles Aftershockers face off against the Arizona Derby Dames at 1910 W. Temple St. Cost of admission is $17.00 online and $20.00 at the door. They suggest that you purchase your tickets online as they “WILL SELL OUT.” Doors open at 6:00 pm. Cash only at the door. Event is 21+. Parking is $8 at the Silverlake Medical Center.

Once again, the Echo Park Film Center’s Filmmobile is taking movies to the streets! This eco-friendly bus drives around L.A. every summer and screens films for free in public locations around L.A. “Angelenos are invited to discover and explore their changing urban landscape when the Filmmobile projects an array of classic films at (actual or implied) cinematic locations across the city.”

Here are the films that will be screening in June. The screenings are free and open to everyone, but the locations aren’t revealed immediately. Be sure to check their Twitter to find out where these films will be playing.

Friday, June 11 @ 8:00 pm – THE DECAY OF FICTION
Pat O’Neill’s haunting meditation on The Ambassador Hotel. “If there were more experimental films as entertaining as “The Decay of Fiction,” Pat O’Neill’s luminous Hollywood ghost story, the notion of a thriving avant-garde cinema might not be so intimidating to the movie-going public. The 73-minute movie is a semi-abstract film noir shot largely in the empty corridors and bare peeling rooms of the Ambassador, a once-grand Los Angeles hotel that went spectacularly to seed after closing in 1989. The Ambassador was the site of some of the early Academy Awards ceremonies in the 1930’s and of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.” — Stephen Holden, The New York Times INTRODUCTION BY FILMMAKER PAT O’NEILL!

Friday, June 18 @ 8:00 pm – KING KONG
The 1933 classic King Kong, remembered for pioneering special effects using stop motion models and evocative images of the giant gorilla atop the Empire State Building.

Friday, June 25 @ 8:00 pm – LADY SINGS THE BLUES
Tonight’s screening is Lady Sings The Blues, the 1972 Billie Holiday biopic starring Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams.

Photo by Eric Fischer via Flickr

You may or may not know that when you upload your photo(s) on Flickr, you can “geo-tag” them, providing a location for each photograph. Photographer Eric Fischer has taken the geo-tagged information and turned it into maps that indicate tourists that have posted photos (the red lines and dots) versus the locals (the blue lines and dots). The resident photos are determined by those who posted photos in the city “dated over a range of a month or more,” while the tourists are “people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month.” The yellow dots and lines are those who can be either tourist or a resident, and it couldn’t be determined which was which.

The map above shows a zoomed-in view of the “Los Angeles and Pasadena” map. Quite a few tourist shots going on there! Click on the map to view the full map and more of Eric Fisher’s geo-tag maps for other parts of Los Angeles.

Also – shoutout to LAist for its article today on the maps!

Super 8 films from San Francisco! Intimate Observations is a collection of moving collages, left-field narrative and cinema vérité committed to the confines of small gauge celluloid. Filmmakers include Phoebe Tooke, Christian Bruno & Natalija Vekic, Paul Clipson, Daniel Gorrell, Jim Granato, Miles Montalbano, Douglas Schultz and “King of Super 8” Danny Plotnick. The second half of the show will feature Exquisite Corpse films. Each of these films was created using a 3 minute cartridge of Kodachrome super 8 film and was assigned a topic chosen by the group, with six 30 second opportunities to describe the subject. The filmmakers edited their contributions ‘in camera’ and the films are presented as they w ere shot. Live music by Don Black of GHIANT and Eric McCann of the New Amsterdams will be featured to score the 2nd half of the show (Exquisite Corpse).

Saturday, June 12 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm – SENIORS DIGITAL DROP IN CLASS
EPFC invites neighborhood seniors to join us for our FREE Introduction to Digital Filmmaking Drop-In Classes. Learn how to use digital cameras and basic computer editing software to make your own movie in a relaxed and informal setting. All materials and equipment are provided by EPFC. No previous filmmaking experience necessary.

Another evening of bizarre, surreal, and wonderful animation from around the globe presented by John Cannizzaro and Cosmo Segurson. This evening’s screening will feature work by local animators including Colin Barton, Norwood Cheek, Nancy Jean Tucker, and co-presenters Segurson and Cannizzaro; as well as rare, 16mm classic animated films including THE HAND (Jiri Trnka 1965), CANON (Norman McLaren 1964), SCIENCE FRICTION (Stan Vanderbeek 1959); as well as LIVE MUSIC and refreshments. EVENT IS AT THE NEW EPFC ANALOG ANNEX… CALL OR EMAIL FOR DIRECTIONS!

We found this video on the Huffington Post, called the “Edible Landscape of Los Angeles.” Click here for the article or check out the video below to watch:

While the video above might take place in nearby Silver Lake, there is a LOT of fallen fruit in Echo Park to explore.

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Photo courtesy of Roland

I’m not gonna lie to you guys; I don’t know a damn thing about guitars. But that’s okay because Roland does. Roland is the owner of The Fretted Frog, Echo Park’s newest “alternative acoustic guitar store.”

Roland is a musician/former corporate accountant from Toulouse (southern France), but his story is similar to many Americans’. When the recession hit, he was forced to re-evaluate what he was doing with his life. When his job as a corporate accountant ended, he decided to pursue his other passion: music. He had spent some time in southern California and chose Echo Park as the location for his store because, according to Roland, it has a much more down-to-earth vibe than many other southern California neighborhoods.

Photo courtesy of Roland

Roland runs the store with two other guys, Colin and Aaron. When I stopped by to visit the store the other day, Colin and Roland were seated opposite each other in one of the stores open spaces, jamming. Guitars, banjos, mandolins and ukuleles cover each wall, but every instrument is given a certain amount of space creating the impression that each one is a work of art. Roland has done on this purpose in order to distinguish himself from warehouse-like stores such as Guitar Center. He wants every customer to wander the space, pick up whatever catches their eye, play around with it and, in the end, make their own decision. He’s not a fan of guitar store employees telling customers what to buy.

Again, I don’t know a damn thing about guitars, so if this piques your interest, I suggest stopping in and meeting the guys. Their hours are slightly abbreviated for the next couple of weeks until their grand opening (we’ll let you guys know when). They’re open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. They are located at 1200 N. Alvarado St. (right next to where Sunset meets Alvarado.

The Grill ‘Em All truck frequents Echo Park, so it felt right to post its awesome menu.

Click here to follow the truck on Twitter for locations. For the website click here.

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