Just in time for baseball season, the LAPD will be conducting a DUI checkpoint in Echo Park on Friday, April 1 from 8:00 pm – 2:00 am.

Now in March, the LAPD changed the rules regarding impounding cars of unlicensed drivers – a rule that immigrants rights advocates have said unlawfully targeted undocumented immigrants. According to an article in the LA Times:

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said that police would be required to try to contact the registered owner of a vehicle stopped at a checkpoint. If the owner is licensed and can arrive in a reasonable amount of time, the car will not be impounded. If the owner is unlicensed, but a licensed driver is in the car, that person may be permitted to take it.

The article continues: The Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley found that of all the cars impounded during a three month period in 2009, 55% were impounded for unlicensed drivers, versus 14% impounded for an actual DUI and criminal warrants.

We’ll see if the new policy does it’s job – keeping drunk drivers off the road!

The checkpoint will take place on Sunset Boulevard between Portia Street and Sutherland Street (near the Little Joy/Short Stop).

Since the Dodgers are at this moment kicking the Mariners you-know-whats, it’s time for a Dodgers update.

Thursday, March 31, is D-Day – that is, Opening Day (and the 54th season in Los Angeles!). If you have lived around Echo Park long enough to know how completely insane Opening Day is, well you know how to avoid getting caught up in the traffic. Here’s the deal:

The past couple of years, Opening Day started in the early afternoon. This year, it starts at 5:00 pm. This could be either a good thing or a bad thing:

Good: Fans won’t be blasting music and starting the day off with a little buzz at 7:00 am in Elysian Park. (Trust me, you can hear it pretty early)

Bad: Fans will be blasting music and catching a little buzz starting at 10:00 am in Elysian Park.

Good: 50,000 people across Southern California won’t “mysteriously” call in sick on the same day, instead they’ll be able to take a half day to enjoy the game!

Bad: Traffic, traffic, traffic. Even the non-arteries to the stadium are jam-packed, so expect a bit of a parking lot outside your front door for a little while.

Good: The Dodgers are going to win their first game, and it’s against the Giants (returning from their, uh uhm, win in the world series last season)

There will be a pregame ceremony at 4:30 om, which will include displays on the field and a military flyover. All parking gates will open at 1:00 pm (much earlier than they usually open the gates to accommodate the crowds) and the stadium gates will open at 1:30 pm.

There will be some street closures on Thursday from 1:00 am – 11:00 pm for “staging purposes and game preparations.” Closures include:

  • Scott Avenue between Stadium Way and North Boylston Street
  • North Boylston between Academy and Stadium Way
  • Lilac Terrace between Stadium Way and Lookout to Stadium

And lastly, the Dodger Stadium Express is back! You can get transit service to and from Dodger Stadium using the Metro and the Metrolink trains. Transit from Union Station starts 45 minutes before the start of the game and will stop running one hour after the last out.

That’s it for now – since we have to work all day Thursday, we won’t be planning on getting home until after all the traffic has gone through. Good luck out there! See you at the games.

Xoia (pronounced soy-yah)
1801 West Sunset Blvd.
(213) 413-3232

Tuesday-Thursday: 11:30 am to 10:00 pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:30 am to midnight
Sunday: 11:30 am to 10:00 pm

New items were recently added to the Xoia menu!

Mi Quang Pozole: Traditional Mexican pork and nixtamal corn stew prepared with Vietnamese Mi Quang pork/shrimp stock. Served with a side of shredded cabbage, red onions, limes, salsa and tortillas. $8.25

Vietnamese Hot Wings: Half dozen fresh chicken wings marinated in lime and fish sauce, deep fried and wok fired in caramelized fish sauce, chili and garlic. Served w/ Vietnamese dipping sauce, cucumbers and pickled carrot/daikon. $9.25

House made ice cream/sorbets: All assortments made in-house. Vietnamese Coffee, Hoisen Peanut Sauce, Thai Iced Tea, Lychee, Jackfruit, and Lemon/Lime. $3.50

They have great pho if you’re in the mood, and an always-growing, amazing menu!

A couple of weeks ago, we got an email from an Echo Park resident who noticed something funny at the Echo Park Save-A-Lot located on Sunset Boulevard next to Walgreens: “I went into the save-a-lot today and the shelves and freezers are quite bare. the checker said that owners are denying that it is going to close, but the lack of merchandise says otherwise. do you know if it is leaving echo park?”

We couldn’t find out for sure what was going on until today, when reader Sven wrote us (and sent the following photo) about the store’s definite closure:

“What happened to the Save-A-Lot on Sunset in Echo Park? I found the place closed, the windows covered with paper and this odd note from the landlord on the door, in which he explained having changed the locks on them?”

The letter reads:

“It has come to the Landlord’s attention that Subtenant has ceased operating from the Premises. In order to protect the integrity of the Premisess and Landlord’s interest therein, Landlord has changed the locks and entered the Premises to inspect name.”

We’ll try and find out what’s going on, stay tuned!

On Saturday, March 26, LA Works is partnering up with the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council to accomplish a unique community service project in honor of Cesar Chavez’s March 31 birthday.

Expert muralists, volunteers and civic leaders will oversee volunteers and LAUSD students in the creation of five to ten community justice and human rights-themed murals. The murals will be donated to schools and libraries around Los Angeles.

Andres Chavez, grandson of Cesar Chavez, will be a guest speaker at the event. He was “raised in the tradition of the farm worker movement that his grandfather, César Chávez, founded. He has participated in United Farm Workers’ marches, rallies, picket lines, union conventions, and political campaigns, including those for immigration reform.”

Former State Senator Richard Polanco (who helped make March 31, Chavez’s birthday, a state holiday in 2000) will also be a guest speaker.

The program begins at 9:00 am on Saturday, March 26 at Echo Park Lake. Full details and directions are provided to you after you register. You can register to volunteer by visiting the LA Works website.

The Echo Center (formerly the Center for Nonviolent Education and Parenting) here in Echo Park is hosting a new class called “Raising Girls Master Class” on Thursday, March 24.

Here’s the class description, from The Echo Center:

From a very young age, girls are inundated with messages that they should “act like a lady” at the expense of their own unique self.

Helping to empower girls to be authentic, feeling, thinking people who are confident and loving means developing and expanding our own ideas about gender and power.

This session offers concrete tools to help adults support girls.

The class takes place from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at a local Echo Park residence. Address will be provided upon registration. Space is limited, so register now!

Fee is $50 per person, $75 per couple. No one will be turned away for lack of

To RSVP: Contact Azucena Ortiz at 213.484.6676 x.311 or email aortiz@theechocenter.org for more information about the class.

Visit The Echo Center website to learn more about the non-profit.

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

Monday Night Residency: Spirit Vine, Mi Gu, Wet & Reckless, Sister Crayon @ Echo
Slumberland and Origami Vinyl Present: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart Belong premiere party @ The Echo Patio
Honeyhoney, The Dead Trees, Yellow Red Sparks @ Bootleg Theater

Aquarium Drunkard, FYF and the Echo present:  the Strange Boys, Fresh & Onlys, Natural Child @ Echo
The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Nico Stai @ Echoplex
Esben and the Witch, Julianna Barwick, Native Fauna @ Bootleg Theater
Open Mic Night @ The Fretted Frog
The Health Club, Best Supporting Actress, K-Tel’79, Evan apRoberts @ Lot 1 Cafe

Liam Finn, The Luyas @ The Autry
O’death, David Dondero, Franz Nicolay @ Echo
Dub Club @ Echoplex
Ponderosa, Black Apples @ Bootleg Theater
Echo Park Juke Joint: Downtown Train @ Lot 1 Cafe

Wye Oak, Callers @ Echo
Appleseed Cast, Muscle Worship @ Echoplex
Aaron Roche, Chris Schlarb @ Origami Vinyl
The Hours, Army Navy @ Bootleg Theater
La Underground Presents: Saint Sea Hat, Fort Wife, Hot TV, Time Of Wolves @ Lot 1 Cafe
EZ Tiger @ Taix Lounge

Say Hi, Parson Redheads, Yellow Ostrich, Blair @ Echo
Passion of the Weiss Presents Rainbow Arabia, Spoek Mathambo, Matthewdavid, Unknown Mortal Orchestra @ Echoplex
Tecumseh, Rale, Pedestrian Deposit, Ezra Buchla @ Pehrspace
Duzheknew, Cousins @ Origami Vinyl
Bobo House Sessions: Kissing Tigers and DJs @ Dinner House M
Moondog Orchestra, the Ross Sea Party, Dead Dawn @ Lot 1 Cafe
Azalea Snail, Rough Church @ Taix Lounge

Los Angeles Aussie BBQ Showcase with Maniac, Andy Clockwise, Dan Brodie and The Grieving Widows, Grand Atlantic, The Level Spirits, The Boat People, Wagons, Dogs, Dash and Will, Novocaines, Hungry Kids of Hungary, Sampology @ Echo
Men, Psychic Friend, DJ Paul V @ Echoplex
Funky Sole @ Echo
Sunshine Factory, Seasons @ Origami Vinyl
Art vs Science, American Royalty, Florrie, DJ set by Scribbly Jim @ Bootleg Theater
Jaxart presents: Cousins, Duzheknew, Birdhand, Basement Babies @ Lot 1 Cafe
Lawndale, Sylvia Juncosa @ Taix Lounge

Variedades @ Echoplex
Part Time Punks: Factory Records Night with a live performance By boy Division (doing Joy Division covers) @ Echo

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. 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.

The LA Times takes a close look at some of our favorite Los Angeles neighborhoods (including, of course, Echo Park!) in a video titled, “My LA: Four locals tell all about Echo Park, Griffith Park, Los Feliz, and Silver Lake.”

Included in the video is Shannon Losorelli, store coordinator at 826LA’s Echo Park Time Travel Mart.

FYI, the video ends with a list of places mentioned in the video, including Masa. The restaurant’s website is listed incorrectly – make sure to go to masaofechopark.com if you’re interested…!

The 26th Annual LA Marathon takes place this weekend, on Sunday, March 20. An exciting tradition, but there will also be some road closures and parking restrictions along the routes. Make sure you pay attention to those overnight “no parking” sings along the route – including a lot of parking real estate in Echo Park and Angeleno Heights.

Runners are expected to exit Dodger Stadium (the start of the marathon) as early as 7:00 am, with Echo Park streets expected to reopen by 11:00 am.

New to the experience as an Echo Park resident? Skip breakfast at a local restaurant (although they’ll be open!) and stay in bed for a little while longer on Sunday morning before heading out for errands. It can get messy if you try to drive around the neighborhood with Sunset Blvd. closed!

Click here for the PDF of the full map.

AYC's Chef Mike D. Photo courtesy of AYC.

Allston Yacht Club

AYC is open at noon today, serving up house-cured corned beef to get you in the mood for St. Patty’s Day. Sandwiches are $7 throughout the day, $10 for dinner (includes corned beef and cabbage). Guinness is $5 all day!

Masa of Echo Park

Starting at 5:00 pm, Masa will have a Corned Beef Brisket with Colcannon special (cabbage and potatoes), and Rhonda is baking her family’s Irish Soda Bread.


Green beer, apple martinis, and $5 Jameson shots. Happy hour goes from 3:30 to 7:00 pm, with a DJ from 6:00 pm – midnight.

City Sip

It might be a wine bar, but they also have beer!

Lot 1 Cafe

“Kewl Beanz” Opening Ceremony and St. Patrick’s Day Celebration starting at 7:00 pm

The Park

Murphy’s Irish Stout on special for $5, and since it’s Thursday all bottles of wine are half price.

We’ll update this posting throughout the day as we hear about more St. Patty’s Day festivities. Click here for the week in music article if you’re hankering to go out on the town for some live music.

Flickr photo via Mary-Austin & Scott

Tonight is the Echo Park Historical Society Quarterly Meeting, and if you’re into Echo Park history this is definitely the one to check out!

Favorite local author Charles Fleming (he wrote the Secret Stairways book I’ve been carrying everywhere with me) will be talking about his book at the stairways of Los Angeles. I’ve also heard there’ll be a short tour of the remnants of the Egyptian themed mural in what once was the bowling alley (see awesome historical photo above.

EPHS will also hold its annual Board of Directors election. Members in good standing (paid memberships) will cast ballots during the quarterly meeting. Candidates will have an opportunity to make a brief presentation before ballots are cast.

The historical society meeting takes place TONIGHT! from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the Rec Center Studio, located at 1161 Logan Street.

Visit the Echo Park Historical Society website for more info, or email ephs@HistoricEchoPark.org

All day today, you can stop by Dodger Stadium to help raise money for the American Red Cross Japan earthquake and tsunami relief effots.

According to a press release, Dodger alumni Bobby Castillo, Kenny Landreaux, Rudy Law, Al Ferrara, Jimmy Campanis, Derrel Thomas and NBC LA on-air personalities will be on hand to take donations. Donors who give $20 or more will each receive two tickets to an upcoming Spring Training exhibition game at Dodger Stadium.

The event started at 5:00 this morning, and ends tonight at 7:00 pm at Dodger Stadium, in parking lot 1.

Monetary donations of cash and checks will be accepted. Checks should be made out to American Red Cross with “Japan Tsunami Fund” in the memo line.

Congratulations to Gabriella Charter School! The Echo Park school was recently awarded the 2011 Music Center Bravo Award!

“As Dance Coordinator Chippy Zuniga noted in accepting the award,” said the school in an email, “there are students at Gabriella Charter School who have never attended a day of school without a dance class.”

The Bravo Award was established to recognize teachers and schools for creativity, innovation and excellence in arts education. Winners receive a sculpture and cash awards.

Check out some Gabriella kids in action at a December 2010 flash mob in Downtown LA:

For the week of Monday, March 14 through Sunday, March 20

Monday Night Residency: Spirit Vine, Dark Moon, Dante vs Zombies, Rumspringa, Origami DJs on the back patio @ Echo
Honeyhoney, The Wild Feathers, Milo Greene @ Bootleg Theater

Alpine Decline, Residual Echoes @ Echo
Iheartcomix, Media Contender, & La Record Present Check Yo Ponytail 2 With The Death Set, The Gas Lamp Killer, Ninjasonik, Zowie, Biker Daughter, Franki Chan @ Echoplex
Family Band, Papercranes, The Moor @ Bootleg Theater
Daniel Ahearn With Johny Goraj And Toby Burke @ The Fretted Frog

Echo and Echoplex SXSW Throwdown featuring: Creep, Hanni El Khatib, Superhumanoids, Other Lives and Special Guests @ Shangri-La
Dub Club with Prezident Brown, Quinto Sol @ Echoplex
Linda Draper, Old Toy Trains, Chief Nowhere, Dominic Campanella (Quarter After) @ Bootleg Theater
Echo Park Juke Joint with The Downtown Train @ Lot 1 Cafe

Wye Oak, Callers @ Echo
Appleseed Cast, Muscle Worship @ Echoplex
“Kewl Beanz” Opening Ceremony and St. Patrick’s Day Celebration @ Lot 1 Cafe

Say Hi, Parson Redheads, Yellow Ostrich, Blair @ Echo
Passion of The Weiss Presents Rainbow Arabia, Spoek Mathambo, Matthewdavid @ Echoplex
Lava Band @ Bootleg Theater
Foot Foot @ Pehrspace
Bruises, Satellite Sky @ Taix Lounge
The Neighborhood, Haunted Tiger, Shoenberg Knife Fight Ensemble, Zaptra @ Lot 1 Cafe

Los Angeles Aussie Bbq Showcase With Maniac, Andy Clockwise, Dan Brodie & The Grieving Widows, Grand Atlantic, The Level Spirits, The Boat People, Wagons, Dogs, Dash & Will, Novocaines, Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Sampology @ Echo
Men, Psychic Friend @ Echoplexsaturday 03.26.11: Funky Sole @ Echo
Funky Sole @ Echo
Wild Up, David Shane Smith @ Bootleg Theater
The Only Michael James @ Taix Lounge
Walk, Stellaluna, Rumble Rumble, & The Kris Special @ Lot 1 Cafe

Ariedades @ Echoplex
Part Time Punks: Factory Records Night with live performance by Boy Division @ Echo

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. 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.

Twitpic by RosalineMae

You may have read that Echo Park’s famous goose Maria (made famous by an OK Go music video, then a Facebook page, then the brilliant snowball effect that comes with celebrity life in Los Angeles) was moved to the Los Angeles Zoo in preparation for the upcoming Echo Park Lake rehab project this summer. Well, as it turns out, Maria is actually a boy! The Zoo learned of the official gender while doing a checkup after the gander arrived. Dominic Ehrler told the LA Times, “He’s Mario now. But I’ll call him Maria if he doesn’t respond to Mario.”

In case you’re wondering, Dominic will be able to visit Mario/Maria.



Street Art Pop-Up Store opened last Friday, March 4 at 1461 1/2 W. Sunset Blvd. (formerly Warwick Vintage Store). The temporary art space will be featuring new artwork daily from a variety of artists, including Bigfoot, Robots Will Kill, Evil Design, Shepard Fairey, and more.

The temp shop is open daily from noon to 7:00 pm. Check out the video about from LA Taco.


We found out on Tuesday this week that Writer Brando Skyhorse’s “The Madonnas of Echo Park” won the Hemingway/PEN Award for first fiction.

Congrats to Brando Skyhorse! And yes, the book is still on my New Years Resolutions to-do list, but I’ll be stopping by the library fairly soon to grab a copy.