On January 27, community members, teachers and parents came out to vote on the future of CRES #14, and the votes have been tallied. The League of Women Voters reports the majority of voters chose the Echo Park Community Design Team Partners over Camino Nuevo (see graph above). This information comes ahead of the school board’s decision regarding CRES14 on Monday, March 15, 2011 (note: the date was previously pushed back from February to after the March 8 elections).

Also, according to an email from local resident Windy O’Malley via the Echo Park Improvement Association, a representative from the LAUSD told them in a meeting a couple of weeks ago that 232 middle school seats would be set aside for the “zone of choice (including all of the Greater Echo Park Area). Any school that inhabits the site will have to comply,” she writes. That’s good news for those community members fighting for a place for Echo Park students in the future school, considering it was built in Echo Park where our neighbor’s homes once existed.

The Echo Park Community Partners Plan design team and The Echo Park Parents for Community and Education are hosting a free “pizza party” today at Pizza Buona in Echo Park. Everyone is invited to attend, have some pizza, and learn more! Click here for the organization’s website and on how to get involved.

Learn more at today’s meeting, Monday, February 28, from 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm at Pizza Buona, located at 2100 W. Sunset Blvd.

Rain or shine, check out the 16th annual Community Job Fair Saturday, February 26. Over 100 companies from the public and private sector will be present to greet the over 10,000 expected job seekers.

Some of the companies looking to hire include Amtrak, El Super, Excel Paving, Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles Fire and Police Departments, Levy Restaurants, Los Angeles Unified School District, Pacific Asian Consortium & Employment, Southern California Gas Company, University of Southern California, United States Secret Service, W Hollywood Hotel and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Participants are encouraged to dress in business attire and bring multiple copies of their current résumé.  On-site interviews will occur and many companies will be hiring on site. Additionally, the Southeast Community Development Corporation will have their Mobile Technology Unit on site to provide assistance to the job seekers including formatting and printing their résumés.

Here are the details:

Saturday, February 26, 2011 (rain or shine)
Kick-off event at 9:30 am
Event from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
At Dodger Stadium at the Field Level Concourse
Parking in Lot 6: Parking at Dodger Stadium and admission to the job fair are free. Free shuttle service will also be provided into the stadium from the corner of Elysian Park Avenue / Sunset Blvd. and Elysian Park Avenue/Stadium Way.

The 16th Annual Community Job Fair at Dodger Stadium is hosted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in cooperation with The Employment Development Department, City of Los Angeles, Youth Opportunity Movement, Worksource California, City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board, Central City Action Committee, Levy Restaurants, Congressman Xavier Becerra, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, Senator Kevin De León, Senator Carol Liu, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, Assemblymember Gil Cedillo, Assemblymember Anthony J.  Portantino, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar, Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed P. Reyes and Los Angeles Unified School District President Mónica García.

Click here if you’d like to download the flyer.

Driving on Glendale Blvd. and Berkeley Avenue today, I noticed a crew taking down the flower shop/cigarette shack/bike repair/party rental kiosk thing in the parking lot. It’s a bit of a strange little building and has undergone quite a few… evolutions over the years. Word has it, there’s a 7-11 moving in the shopping center (which will be discussed at the next Echo Park Improvement Association meeting on March 3). Perhaps they are making room to accommodate more parking needs for the chain.

Echo Park Now reader Javier sent us this photo recently, writing: “Its hardly breaking news that Banksy has been running around the LA the last few days throwing up new pieces. But, is this stencil on the north side of Sunset Bridge on Glendale Blvd part of his Spring 2011 beautification campaign!?!”

Rex Picket, author of Sideways, will be at Stories Books and Cafe this weekend reading and signing from his new novel, Vertical.

Check it out on Saturday, February 26 at 7:30 pm.

Complimentary words and wine (for those that are old enough) courtesy of Silver Lake Cheese.

Stories Books & Cafe is located at 1716 Sunset Blvd.

Eager to see the Boys in Blue back in action? Dodger fans will get first opportunity to purchase a limited number of Opening Day tickets this Saturday morning at the stadium.

Opening Day will come earlier than usual this year – at 5:00 pm on March 31 as opposed to the usual April 1 – and fans will be in for a good game as Dodgers square off against long-time rivals and (dare I mention) recent World Series champs, the San Francisco Giants. Left-handed ace Clayton Kershaw will oppose Tim Lincecum. As Kershaw put it, “It should be fun.”

The On Sale festivities start bright and early at 8:00 am on Saturday, with numbered wristbands given out to all who arrive. At 9:00 am, there will be a lottery and the chosen fan will get the opportunity to purchase tickets first. After that, tickets will be sold in numerical sequence. As further incentive to get out of bed early, there will be $2 Dodger Dogs, music and trivia contests. Fleese blankets will be given away to fans purchasing at least one ticket.

Tickets will also be available for sale online starting at 10:00 am tomorrow at dodgers.com/tickets or by calling 866-DODGERS.

For those of you unable to cut work early and attend the Opening Day festivities, there’s still some good news. The mighty Vin Scully will call the game for 790 KABC. He’ll be handling six innings (the first and last three), with Rick Monday and Charley Steiner taking over for the rest. The game itself will be shown live on ESPN, but who wants to listen to those guys when Vin Scully is in the house?

Taisha wrote us recently asking about open meeting places for meetings and teach-ins:

My name is Taisha and I work for Advancement Project Los Angeles. Our organization will be moving to Echo Park this summer and I have been asked to do conduct some community research. A few of our program area (our Urban Peace Academy in particular) will be in need of some community spaces to conduct meetings, teach-ins, etc.

I was wondering if there was a resource list, or an individual that I might be able to contact regarding available meeting spaces in the Echo Park area?

Thank you!

If you have any ideas, feel free to share them in the comments field below, or contact us directly and we’ll make sure it gets to right place.

Twitpic by kindkreme

Raw-vegan restaurant Mooi may have closed down in January, but that hasn’t stopped a couple of its former investors to open up a new vegan stop in the same location.

The owners of Millie’s are teaming up with vegan ice cream company KindKreme to open a combo restaurant, Sage Vegan Organic Bistro and KindKreme desserts, in the former Mooi space on Sunset Blvd. and and Logan. While they are technically two different businesses, you won’t have to worry about paying for your dessert on a separate check.

Some new things to expect at the new vegan spot: Raw options are available, but the menu will be also include cooked items, including “vegan comfort food,” as described by Mollie Angelheart of KindKreme. She lists some of the menu items for the Bistro, whose chef once worked at Flore, as “really delicious stuff, really unique food.” Hearing about items from the menu will make any non-vegan hungry: Hearty, delicious items like chili, polenta, portabello mango sloppy Joe sandwiches, falafel, artichoke tarts, mac n’ cheese, salads, and other seasonal food. You can also keep an eye out for Farmers’ Market specials on Fridays.

As for KindKreme, they’ll be tantalizing you with raw cakes and cheesecakes, fudge pies, pudding pies, gluten free cookies from Baby Cakes LA, and even waffles (think turning a vegan waffle into a made-to-order sundae or ice cream sandwich). The only thing she thinks might technically not be vegan in the shop is that they provide honey for your tea – a product Mollie feels particular about as the daughter of an upstate New York bee keeper.

The KindKreme counter will also serve up Groundworks coffee, including cold pressed coffee with house made nutmilk (almond and cocount made at their Pasadena location), fresh juices, espresso, and tea.

Sage Vegan Organic Bistro and KindKreme will be open 11:00 am – 10:00 pm weekdays, open until 11:00 pm on Fridays, and will be offering brunch on the weekends from 9:00 am until 10 or 11:00 pm.

The location could be open as early as this weekend or next week! Like the photo above, they’ve been posting photos of their progress with the renovations on the KindKreme Twitter page. We’ll also keep you posted for their grand opening event once the details are finalized.

And, in case you’re wondering, you can enter the restaurant from the main doors on the corner.

Sage Vegan Organic Bistro / KindKreme is located at 1700 West Sunset Blvd. here in Echo Park.

Masa of Echo Park, along with other Los Angeles restaurants and businesses, is once again participating in Go Eat Go Drink Go Out, a one-day event that raises funds to provide direct and vital support to those impoverished and disabled by HIV/AIDS in our community. This is the fifth year Masa has participated!

On Thursday, February 24 all participating Los Angeles restaurants will donate a portion of their days’s receipts to Aid for AIDs and The Sierra Project. 50% of Masa’s sales that day will be donated.

Please stop by and make a difference!

Masa of Echo Park
1800 W Sunset Blvd
Thursday, February 24
11:00 am to 11:00 pm

All you have to do is stop by and have something to eat or drink, and Rhonda, Rob, Tom and Julie of Masa will take care of the rest!

If you’re an avid reader of Echo Park Now, you’ll know how much I love margaritas. And I love drinking them in Echo Park – especially today, which is National Margarita Day!

The obvious margarita place is El Compadre for the very strong and tart flaming margaritas. If you’re looking to try something new and start a new tradition, you can also check out Allston Yacht Club for the debut of a new margarita, the Tamarita.

For just $6 on Tequila Tuesdays, the Tamarita is made with housemade tamarind syrup and fresh lime juice.

They also have the best Jalapeño Margarita – and trust me, I’ve tried them all over, and they are to die for! Tuesdays are Tequila Tuesdays, so you pay just $6 for either of the margaritas.

Here’s the Tamarita recipe, courtesy of AYC:

2 oz. tequila
1 oz. lime juice
3 tablespoons tamarind syrup

Combine with ice in shaker. Shake madly and pour into highball glass rimmed with salt and garnish with a wedge of lime.

To make the Tamarind syrup:


  • One box Thai tamarind pods, husked, de-veined and seeded, or 3 oz. tamarind paste
  • 3 oz. piloncillo or brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Simmer tamarind paste in at least three pints of water with cinnamon and sugar. If using the pods, push paste through a strainer and discard seeds. Simmer until reduced to a quart of liquid and cool. Syrup will thicken considerably.

At around 7:30 pm last night (Monday, February 21, 2011), a teenage boy was shot and killed in a possibly gang-related incident at North Benton Way and West Temple Street, reports various media outlets. The shooting occurred in front of the old LAPD Rampart Division headquarters.

Echo Park Patch reports the suspects fled in a black Toyota Camry. The suspects are still at large as of this morning.

If you have any information that will help this investigation, call the Rampart Division at 213-484-3400.

For the week of Monday, February 21 through Sunday, February 27

Moth Grand Slam: VIII @ Echoplex
Monday Night Residency: Slang Chickens, Everest, Papa, Young Hunting, DJ Cuz’n Roy, Origami DJs on back patio @ Echo
Jenny O, Harper Simon, Gregory and the Hawk @ Bootleg Theater

Versus, Polls @ Echo
Open Mic (All Acoustic) @ Fretted Frog
Joseph Arthur, Craig Wedren @ Bootleg Theater
Daryl Shawn, Pi Jacobs @ Taix Lounge

The Hood Internet, Kid Static @ Echo
Dub Club Presents: the Meditations with special guests Arise Roots @ Echoplex
Sonos, Chocolate Genius Inc @ Bootleg Theater
Echo Park Juke Joint with The Diamond Light, The Downtown Train @ Lot 1 Cafe
Rich Mcculley, Mark Growden @ Taix Lounge

Fake Four Fest featuring In Felebration of Awol One and Factor’s latest release (The Landmark). Fake Four Inc. and Hipsters Who Heart Hip Hop present: The Shape Shifters, Freestyle Fellowship, Sole and The Skyrider Band, and many more @ Echoplex
Telekinesis, Love Language, One Trick Pony @ Echo
The Lonely Wild Record Release, Sons of August Record Release, Halsted @ Bootleg Theater
The Sweet Hurt, Willoughby, Dave Smallen, Brother Bear Jones @ Lot 1 Cafe
Eugene Edwards @ Taix Lounge

Spaceland Productions presents: Justin Townes Earle, Dawn Landes @ The Autry
Echo and Club Underground present: How To Dress Well, Shlohmo, Death Kit @ Echo
Aquarium Drunkard Presents: Sebadoh performing Bakesale, Quasi @ Echoplex
Dirt Dress, Traps, Ps, Siblings, Cosmonauts @ Pehrspace
Pepper Rabbit, Chain Gang of 1974, Hands @ Bootleg Theater
Go Motion, Priory, Castaño, The Black @ Lot 1 Cafe
Insect Surfers @ Taix Lounge

Death, Rtx, Sic Alps @ Echoplex
Funky Sole @ Echo
Count Fleet (Record Release), Boxviolet, Odd Modern @ Pehrspace
Alexi Murdoch @ Bootleg Theater
Lunts, Furious Seasons @ Taix Lounge

Leftover Crack, Retox (members of The Locust), Manhattan Murder Mystery, Graf Orlock @ Echoplex
Part Time Punks with Love Grenades, The Holloys, Guest DJ Maurice De La Falaise (from Automatico) @ Echo

An Angelino Heights resident was surprised to find a hole in his front yard where there once was a beautiful fountain. He posted this warning on the Angelino Hieghts neighborhood Yahoo! forum:

Last night [Saturday, February 19], between 7:30 and 11:00 pm our beautiful, antique fountain was violently ripped-out and looted from our front yard at 1411 Carroll Avenue.

It will be missed not only by us who have so much enjoyed watching the birds drinking and bathing and listening to the sound of running water but also by all the birds, dogs, children and adults who pass by and for whom it has given so much pleasure.

Please contact us if you saw or heard anything. Also, if anybody has a spare fountain lying around in their back yard please let us know.

We’ve read with concern the many recent posts about thievery in our neighborhood. Just so you all know, it’s getting worse.

I’ve had some pretty surprising stuff stolen from my yard (including a VERY heavy rock sculpture). It’s amazing someone will go to such lengths to steal your stuff!

A group of parents, community members, and teachers are throwing an “information party” so people can learn more about the plans for CRES#14, the new school being built on Alvarado and Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park. Members of the design team, teachers and community members will talk about the Echo Park Community Partners Design Team plan.

The Echo Park Moms for Education group is circulating a petition in support of the Echo Park Community Partners Design Team proposal, as opposed to adopting plans from the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy.

Here’s an excerpt from the petition:

We want our community voices heard collectively through this petition because we want this school to be governed by the community. Of the two plans proffered for CRES 14, only the LD4 & Echo Park Community Plan allows for a degree of direct governance of the school by the community. We believe that having decision making power for both parents and community members is essential in both terms of self determination and direct participation.

If you’re interested in discussing this issue with fellow Echo Park community members, regardless of which proposal you are in support of, check it out:

Saturday, February 19 from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon

The Episcopal Cathedral Congregation – St. Paul
840 Echo Park Ave., in the meeting room

Coffee and treats will be served.

Related articles:

  • “CRES #14, a New School in LAUSD & An Interview With Windy O’Malley of Echo Park Moms For Education.” K-12 News Network, February 16, 2011.
  • “Lobbying Around Leadership at Echo Park’s New School Heats Up.” Echo Park Patch, February 15, 2011.
  • “Get involved: Almost time to vote on new Echo Park school.” Echo Park Now, January 25, 2011.

Hey bird-lovers! The 13th annual Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up on Sunday, February 20, 2011. Meet at the Echo Park Lake Boathouse at 8:00 am.

Discover the birds in your backyard, schoolyard or park. It’s fun, it’s free, and it helps the birds. All ages and skills welcome. Your checklist will contribute valuable information for science and conservation.

The bird count lasts about two hours. For more information, contact Judy Raskin at judycalifornia@yahoo.com or call (323) 663-6767.