This Saturday marks the fifth annual Frogtown Artwalk event put on for studios and art galleries in nearby Elysian Valley area alongside the LA River. The artwalk is free, self-guided, and looks like a lot of fun!

This year you can expect a few things going on other than art exhibits (more than 30 studios are participating), including hula hoopers, DJs, an art and drum parade, outdoor screenings, drinks and live music. One of the films, which will be projected on an inflatable screen in Elysian Valley Gateway park, is about the history of Frogtown, and features photos and interviews with neighbors and artists.

Visit the website for Frogtown Artwalk for more information and a map of participating galleries and businesses.

Frogtown Artwalk
Saturday, August 28
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Press Release

There’s no better way to meet fellow Angeleno book-lovers and authors, and participate in a bar crawl at the same time!

Lit Crawl 2: It’s a F@cking Read-Off is an event put on by Pen Center USA and Stories Books (and in association with LitQuake and Good Reads). It starts at The Echo on Saturday, August 28th at 6:00 pm, where 11 authors will read their 8-minute compositions and the audience judges the work’s “originality, spirit and lyrical transcendence.” The louder the audience, the better the chance that author wins the read-off.

After the main event (which has no entry fee, by the way), the bar crawl starts and you’ll head to El Prado, The Gold Room, The Little Joy and The Shortstop. But you’ll need to know where to go and when, so follow PEN’s Twitter to get live crawl updates.

Stories Cafe is also hosting a couple of different things if you need a break from the crawl. Also at 7:00 pm they are hosting a “Why He’s My Ex” (by Krishna Devine and Jessica Hill) party, signing, photo taking, and Colt 45. At 8:30 pm the Lit Crawl 2 gang swings by for some beer, books and an open reading,

MCs are Laurie Ochoa and Joe Donnelly (editors of Slake Literary Journal) and Carolyn Kellogg of the Los Angeles Times.

Katie Arnoldi
Allison Burnett
Gabrielle Calvocoressi
Dennis Danziger
Samantha Dunn
James Greer
Edan Lepucki
Joseph Mattson
Graham Moore
Neal Pollack
Rachel Resnick

Stories Books and Cafe is located at 1716 West Sunset Blvd.

The Echo is located at 1822 West Sunset Blvd.

The Melba Morris ballet studio has been operating in Echo Park since 1988, but Thursday (August 25, 2010) will be the studio’s last day open.

The message on the answering machine says that the Echo Park location will be closing, and that the future location of the studio is uncertain. Melba may be doing some private coaching but will not likely be teaching on a daily basis.

Ms. Morris has been offering low-cost ballet and dance classes to the area for over 20 years. It’s a little sad to see the studio close, but we wish her the best of luck!

It's hard not to be inspired in Echo Park. Flickr photo via Alysa Pakkidis

Echo Park resident and novelist Tempany Deckert is offering a Beginner’s Novel Writing Class on Wednesdays, starting September 1. While the class isn’t free, you will get to:

Learn to write your very own novel in this fun, informative and inspiring class. Taught by eighteen time novelist, T. Deckert, you’ll learn how to develop characters, plot, structure and most important of all, have the discipline to complete your very own work of art. Anyone can write, but not many people can navigate their way through the entire novel writing process. In this class you’ll not only learn the tricks of the trade, but you’ll complete your very own book over the course of 10 weeks.

Cost of the class is $260, and class size is restricted to so sign up fast!

To reserve your spot, email

Flickr photo via The U.S. Army

Blue Collar in Echo Park has been collecting donations for their Military K-9 Program, in which the business sends military K9s in Afghanistan some much-needed dog items, including beds, shampoos, ear cleaners, medicines, joint support, treats, and grooming supplies. They were also accepting items for the K9 handlers such as bug spray, sun screen,vitamins, coffee, etc. They have had success collecting those donated items, but the boxes have become expensive to ship the items – just two boxes cost $100 to ship to Afghanistan.

They are asking for monetary donations or someone with a Postal Service business account to help by funding some of the shipping (they can only ship via USPS). They have four boxes that need to be shipped, and Blue Collar needs your help!

Stop in and talk to the folks at Blue Collar about how you can help.

Blue Collar is located at 1533 Echo Park Avenue.

The corner used to have a gas station. Flickr photo via mr. rollers

This skinny housing development was a topic of conversation at the Echo Park Improvement Association last week when a few of the residents next door to the proposed development expressed their discontent. The eight “live/work lofts” at Echo Park Avenue and Avalon Street tower over the neighborhood at four stories high (45 feet), and design-wise it doesn’t appear to fit in well with the rest of the 1920s-era homes in the neighborhood.

The nearly 8,000 square-foot lot covers both 1910 N. Echo Park Ave. and 1615 W. Avalon St. Each single-family unit is less than 19 feet wide and 39 feet deep, and three stories plus a ground-level parking floor that fits cars end-to-end. Cars pulling in and out of the units will have to navigate Avalon Street, a narrow street always packed with parked cars.

The resident who owns the home pictured directly to the left of the rendering (see above) is very concerned with with the density of the project, saying, “It is a clear abuse of how community planning intended the lots to be used.” The lots are zoned commercial (there used to be a gas station on the corner, pictured to the left), and developer Echo Park, LLC is asking the city to “sub-divide a commercially zoned lot,” allowing developers to build the 1,000 square foot units under the city’s small lot subdivision ordinance.

The neighbors have sent out emails and posted the following call-to-action on the Echo Elysian Neighborhood Council forum: “Avalon Street is used as a thoroughfare for residents of surrounding streets, and families with children walking to our many neighboring schools and day care centers. This proposed development is unsafe as currently planned. Residents surrounding the vacant lot are not against development, just the large inappropriate development currently proposed. Please help protect the character and safety of our Echo Park neighborhood. A quick call can make a big difference!”

September 1 is deadline if you’d like to express your opposition to (or support for) the project on Avalon Street. You can call or email Eric Garcetti’s office and let them know you are a constituent and a concerned resident of Echo Park.

Case number: VTT-70653-SL

Eric Garcetti’s phone: (323) 957-4500

Alejandra Marroquin is the Field Deputy for Echo Park. You can call her at the number listed above or email her at

There are more reasons to oppose this project. Please email if you’d like to learn more.


The City is still accepting official comments on the development. Send an email to Sarah Molina-Pearson at

Related Articles:

  1. “Thin is in when it comes to new Echo Park homes.” August 18, 2010. The Eastsider LA
  2. “Slices of Echo Park life up for sale.” February 17, 2010. The Eastsider LA

Photo via USC Libraries

The Echo Park Shallow Pool in 1958, with the 101 Freeway in the background. This pool (located by the Rec Center) is now closed until further notice, but the Echo Park Deep should be reopening today after dealing with some cloudy water issues.

h/t USC Libraries for the photo!

For the week of Monday, August 23 through Sunday, August 29

Monday Night Residency – Fol Chen, Crocodiles, Woom, Jessica 6 @ Echo
Asss, Bestial Mouth, Tik//tik, White Leopards @ Echo Curio
Sean Carnage presents: Stellaluna, Blood Beach, White Fang, Sexhair @ Pehrspace

Henry Wolfe, Charlie Wadhams, Sunday Soundtracks @ Echo
Gza, Freddie Gibbs, Kendrick Lamar, Toks, Abcnt @ Echoplex
Chelsea Boys, Buffalo Moon, Tan Dollar, The Cosmonauts (Burger Records) @ Echo Curio
Big D (Little Richard Tribute), Thee White Dogs @ Bootleg Theater

Dub Club @ Echoplex & Echo
City Of Progress, Whqles (Both Last Shows!!!), Random Patterns @ Echo Curio
Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses, The Americans @ Bootleg Theater
Live Jazz every Wednesday night at 7:00 pm @ Downbeat Cafe

Juliette Commagere, Papercranes, Luke Rathborne, Estelle Raskina @ Echo
Vaud And The Villains, Lil Gizzelle, Rt N The 44s @ Echoplex
Learning Music Residency With Gals, Forget Me Nauts @ Echo Curio
Black Mountain (Jagjaguwar), Lower Heaven @ Bootleg Theater

Club Underground With Little Ones, Downtown/union, Kissing Tigers @ Echo
The Shants, Evan Ap Roberts, Dead Flowers, Ricky Stein @ Echo Curio
Easter Everywhere Presents: Gamble House, Walter Meego, Mystery Claws @ Pehrspace
Shannon Curtis, Jt Spangler, Aaron Beaumont @ Bootleg Theater

Lit Crawl II and Funky Sole @ Echo
Heather Woodbury’s As The Globe Warms, followed by Cinder Cone, Swore, Towards Distant Suns, Snore Tape @ Echo Curio
Cap’n Jazz, Abe Vigoda, The Black Apples @ Echoplex
Cobra Lilies EP Release, Evangina …Daylong Valleys Of The Nile @ Pehrspace
Nate Lapointe Band @ Origami Vinyl

Part Time Punks with Batwings Catwings, Dadfag @ Echo
Pete Swanson, Rene Hell, John Wiese, Robedoor, Infinite Body @ Echo Curio

For more information on weekly musical events like club nights, see our community resource pages.Visit the venue website for more information on the cost and times of shows. Venue information can be found in our community resource pages.

This list may not represent all the musical events happening in Echo Park this week – feel free to add more events in the comment section. All events listed are subject to change at any time. New events announced for the week after this posting may not be included.

6350654.jpgDinner House M
Also known as M bar by many residents.
1263 W Temple Street

Monday – Sunday 8:00 pm – 2:00 am

Young folk, check out Grown club night every Wednesday. See more events on their calendar. They offer a full bar.

Read more

The folks at Gentlemen’s Breakfast in Echo Park got a visit this week from Loney Island, the guys behind the musical parodies like “I’m on a Boat.” The vintage eyewear shop opened April this year at 1101 Mohawk St.

Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Jonah Goldstein

And just because I would never, ever have an excuse to post a video so ridiculous on Echo Park Now, here’s the “I’m on a Boat” video from Loney Island (cover your children’s ears):

When you go out this weekend to see some awesome shows in Echo Park, don’t forget that the Echo Curio is no longer allowing patrons to bring their own booze to the gallery’s shows. Last week the curiousity shop tweeted “changes they are a-coming – ECHO CURIO is going to go dry for the time being… no byob in or out of the shop… sorry for inconvenience.” This week they confirmed the news with a blog post, saying:

We’re now an alcohol-less venue, neither selling nor allowing byob anymore. It is for the greater good, according to the LAPD, so all we can suggest is get your freak on before or after you visit us. Or maybe sneak out in the middle for a quickie… My word!

It seems they were visited by the LAPD on August 9 during a show, and were cited for being a “bottle club.” Co-owner Grant Cape told the LA Times music blog Pop & Hiss: “Funny thing was, we had no one drinking outside, no loud music playing, and maybe five adults drinking inside.” Either way, patrons had to poor out what drinks they did have (for quite a few months now, the Curio hasn’t allowed drinking outside).

So is this the future of venues like Echo Curio, where BYOB or a cooler of Colt 45 will be a critical concern of neighbors and the LAPD? It’s becoming such a common (and expected) part of the “speakeasy” shows in LA, especially in areas like Silver Lake and Echo Park. What once started as an innovative way to bring customers into an art gallery or a record store, now might be a problem. The Echo Curio isn’t as concerned, Cap told the LA Times, “[This] will make it harder to get a crowd, I think, but we’ll see.”

It may not be a holiday weekend, but tonight (Friday, August 20) is another Sobriety/DUI checkpoint in Echo Park, this time on Glendale Blvd. at Berkeley (thankfully not on Sunset Blvd. this time, which usually holds up that outgoing Stadium traffic we all love to hate).

Expect the traffic stop to occur from 7:00 pm to around 12:30 pm. We will have to find out after they set up whether or not it’s directed at north-bound or south-bound traffic (or both) on Glendale Blvd.

Be safe out there!

Aimee Semple cutting herself a slice of Angelus-Temple-shaped birthday cake.*

Echo Park might not immediately strike people as an evangelist hot spot, but in the 1920s, it was the home base of fiery female evangelist and radio sensation Aimee Semple McPherson. She is the woman behind the Angelus Temple at the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (that giant, white amphitheater-looking building at the intersection of Park and Glendale).

Aimee was born into a farming family in Ontario, Canada in 1890. It was a religious household, but Aimee came to evangelism of her own accord. She began preaching in 1913, traveling throughout Canada and the United States and holding tent revivals. She became known as a faith healer, and became so popular that her gatherings began to fill to over capacity.

In the late 1910s, Aimee decided to settle in Los Angeles with her mother and her two children. She bought a plot of land next to Echo Park Lake which she described as “heaven on earth.” It was here that she decided to build a church from which she would spread the Foursquare Gospel, the name that she gave to her teachings after experiencing a vision.

While preaching in Oakland in 1922, Aimee had a vision similar to the one in the first chapter of the book of Ezekiel. She saw a cup, a dove, a crown and a cross and believed they symbolized (respectively) healing, baptism, the Savior and the Second Coming. She believed that these four symbols corresponded to everything that was important in society and in one’s own life. She named her teachings, with their focus on these four pillars of life, the Foursquare Gospel.

It took less than two years to build the church (1920 to 1922), and it was dedicated on January 1, 1923. It was built entirely with donations that Aimee collected from her followers which is believed to have amounted to 1.2 million dollars.

Read more

Tweetphoto via brookiescookies

Just when the heat is starting to get to us all, it looks like the Echo Park Pool is closed for at least today. The message phone (and the sign pictured above) says the pool is closed for safety reasons – the pool pump and filtration system is broken, and the water is so cloudy they can’t see the bottom of the deep part of the pool. No word on when the pool will reopen, but definitely not today.

Call the pool phone at (213) 481-2640 before you go to the pool this weekend and make sure it’s open!

Before you head off to Sunset Junction this weekend (and especially before you hit the beer garden), stop by the Doll Factory in nearby Historic Filipinotown and donate some blood!

The L.A. Derby Dolls and Eric Garcetti’s office have teamed up to host a FREE Blood Drive and Health Fair tomorrow, Saturday, August 21, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Get there early – they expect over 500 residents!

Besides the blood drive, they will be offering free services, including:
Mammograms (email for an appointment)
Blood Tests – St. Vincent’s Hospital
Diabetes Testing – St. Vincent’s Hospital
Body Fat Testing – St. Vincent’s Hospital
STD Testing – Planned Parenthood
Birth Control Information – Planned Parenthood
Referrals for Clinical Breast Exams and Gynecological tests – St. Vincent’s Hospital
Bone Marrow Registry – Be The Match
6 massage therapists – Royal Thai Massage
Doll Repair Team – medical staff of Chiropracters, Physical Therapists and Acupuncturists, led by Dr. Rick Fox
Self Defense Workshop – Johnathon Blank
Body image Workshop – Hollywood Chapter, National Organization for Women
Proper Dental Care workshop – Western Dental
Nutrition Workshop – YMCA
Making Healthy Tamales Workshop – Mama’s Hot Tamales
Free Food and Refreshments – Brooklyn Bagels, Masa, Mama’s Hot Tamales, La Guerra Tamaleria, Ex Drinks, Tropical Cafe, Gigi’s Cafe
MediCal Enrollment and Low Cost Insurance – St. Vincent’s Hospital and Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic
Information on Free/Low-Cost Services – Department of Mental Health

The Derby Dolls will also give you a half-off coupon for the all-star bout on September 11 when you come to the Fair!

Second Annual Free Health Fair
Saturday August 21, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Doll Factory located at 1910 W. Temple St.
email for more info