Another great post by The Big Map Blog recently shows a map of Los Angeles’ 1906 railway systems. Those systems weren’t lacking in Echo Park, so we’ve zoomed in on the BIG map to show you a little bit of our ‘hood back in the day.

The Glendale Line, which you can see in green, is a” Los Angeles Inter-Urban RY Co.” line that took people between Glendale and Downtown, and possibly even up to Burbank. The Glendale Line ceased to run in June of 1955. The path made by the Glendale line went past Echo Park Lake on the west side of the lake, through “Edendale” and then they had to cut through the hills creating what was known as the “Edendale Cut” (where the 2 freeway is now) and next to Max Sennett’s studio.

The black lines, which you can see going along Sunset Boulevard then up Echo Park Avenue, were the “Los Angeles Pacific R.R.” There’s an old Three Stooges episode of note that shows Echo Park Avenue and the old railway tracks on the road, and you’ll note a lot of existing stairways in this area so that people could easily access the trains from their hilltop homes.

The red lines note the path for the “Pacific Electric Railway Co.” lines, which on the east side of the Los Angeles River took passengers up to Highland Park and beyond to Pasadena.

And finally, yellow – the “Los Angeles RY. Co.” lines, which had a lot of lines into East Los Angeles and up into what is now Elysian Valley.

However, apart from probably different sized trains between each line, I’m not certain on what the exact difference was between each company that handled the different lines. LA Taco has a little more insight on the matter:

At that point, LA was an underdeveloped but rapidly growing city, and rail was the dominant form of intra-city transportation. The yellow and red lines on the map show the two main competing streetcar systems, Los Angeles Railway (Yellow Cars) and Pacific Electric Railways (Red Cars). At this point, both systems were only 5 years old. The Yellow Cars carried more daily riders, but the Red Cars extended farther from the downtown hub. At the height of the Yellow Car’s operations, the system had 20 streetcar lines and 1,250 trolleys, and served the core of LA in addition to Echo Park, Westlake, Hancock Park, Exposition Park, West Adams, the Crenshaw district, Vernon, Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights.

Either way, it’s disappointing that in the mid-50s and into the 1960s and ’70s these tracks were being dismantled. Surely there were politics, power and money involved, but you also can’t help but think about the emerging car culture in those times. People were probably more keen on that new Mustang than getting on a dusty old red car!

Click here to download the full map or visit the Big Map Blog website.

The cheese fridge at Cookbook

There’s only one reason why I’m not a vegan – and that’s because of cheese. There’s nothing better than a hand crafted, melt-in-your-mouth Spanish Manchego, or Humboldt Fog or… well that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

It’s even better when you know your cheese – so Cookbook in Echo Park is hosting a few summer cheese classes for you to impress on your next cheese date. The classes are taught by Los Angeles chef, caterer and “cheesemonger” Amanda Brennan.

The class schedule is as follows:

Class 1, August 3rd, The Mystery of Cheese: including cheese basics such as types of cheese, types of milk, seasonality, how to purchase cheese and more.

Class 2, August 10th, Domestic Cheese: including how cheese in America came about, and the strides American farmers are making today to produce beautiful artisanal and farmstead cheeses.

Class 3, August 17th, Exploring France and Switzerland: including each region’s regulations, terroir, and types of animals.

Class 4, August 24th, Exploring Italy and Spain: again including each region’s regulations, terroir, and types of animals.

All cheese classes will run from 7-9pm on Wednesday evenings in August.

$30 for a single class; $100 for all four.

RSVP by emailing Cookbook at, and indicate which classes you are interested in taking.

Flickr photo by reddawg31

In conjunction with Navy Week in Los Angeles, tonight’s Dodgers game against the Arizona Diamondbacks will feature a flyover and parachute jump performed by the US Navy team, the Leap Frogs. The demonstration is also part of the Navy Appreciation theme that will be taking place at the Stadium this evening.

The game starts at 7:10 pm, so keep your eyes on the sky around 6:50 pm.

Also, in preparation for tonight’s event there will be a similar flyover and parachute jump earlier in the day between 10:30 am to 11:30 am.

Call the Neighborhood Focus Line at (323) 224-2636 with questions or concerns.

Check out a new show at Ballard’s Artwork Framing tomorrow, Saturday July 30, from 8-11:00 pm. They’ll be featuring new works by Diana Creighton, and performances by The World Record at 9:00 pm.

The Warehouse LA is holding their “biggest sale ever” to make room for some new stuff, so make sure to stop by tonight and through Sunday, July 31, to take advantage.

In a week they will also doing some remodeling, so expect a new look once the work is done.

The sale includes 40% off clothes and 20% off all other items in store, including housewares, furniture, and accessories.

Check out The Warehouse LA at 1197 W. Sunset Blvd.

They are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, and Sunday from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

A giant lobster sculpture isn’t exactly your typical “pizza place, enter here” type of signage, but what the heck – it’s Echo Park. Unfortunately for this lobster, which has taken up residence outside of Two Boots on Sunset Boulevard for some time now, not everyone appreciates its grandeur.

Last November, the sculpture appeared spic-and-span in the following photo:

Mr. Lobster, November 2010

Last night, it’s obvious there are few appendages missing. Perhaps the work of vandals? I suppose noone appreciates true art…

Mr. Lobster, present day

Poor lobster…

While we’re pretty used to the Echo Park stereotypes by now, it’s still funny to read these breakdowns on how to spot an Echo Park hipster. And while I have been known to wear torn jeans and attend The Echo on occasion, I don’t necessarily subscribe to any specific “look.” Like my style, don’t take the following article too seriously.

LA Weekly takes a stab at the Echo Park “look” in an article titled, Six L.A. Neighborhoods With the Most Distinctive Fashion Styles. The purpose:

Why do we always see the same aviator shades on guys driving SUVs in Glendale or clusters of cupcake tattoos on pink-haired Culver City art tarts, for example? Is it the tipping-point effect? A subconscious monkey-see, monkey-do thing? And how does it evolve within certain places?

Here, we present some of these familiar neighborhood looks. Yes, some are stereotyped composites, but we’ve included a peppering of emerging trends that are moving these looks to new places.

On to our neighborhood stereotype, deemed the Echo Park Shagster (what happened to hipster?):

Uniform: Beards are for bears (big boys), but shadows and fuzz imply “I don’t care” best; retro-referencing T-shirts and tops in surfer, skateboarder or preppy style (Op, LaCoste shirts); pants cut off into Bermuda shorts; vintage white belt; street-beat black Chuck Taylor shoes; Ray-Bans with lenses punched out; script tattoo featuring words to favorite song or inspirational motto; beanie to cover up the greasy grow-out

Shops at: Origami Vinyl, Rose Bowl Flea Market, Salvation Army, legal marijuana dispensary

Hangs at: The Echo, Cha Cha Lounge, the Gold Room, Taix, Chango

Listens to/watches: Every band on the FYF Fest bill

Trending: Carry-alls of all kinds, from fanny packs (for the weed) to big manbags (to carry records or laptop for that DJ gig)

Fashion philosophy: Too cool to shampoo

Click here to read more LA neighborhood looks, including the “East L.A. Greaser/Goth” from LA Weekly.

Cat burrito.

This is the only event you’ll ever have to go to where admission requires that you’re holding a burrito.

Tonight at The Machine Project – Burritos n Beats (and not the other way around) starting at 8:00 pm in Echo Park.

Since LA is the city of burritos (remember this article?) bring a burrito from one of the many establishments just around the corner (El Flamin’ Taco, Taco Zone, Tacos Arizas, Burrito King, whatever floats your boat) and enjoy “cumbia, Nortec & LA-centric beats” from Julián of Culture Remixed.

And, just to drive this point home (from the event notice): Note: to be admitted to this event you must bring a burrito. Anyone with hamburgers or sandwiches will be turned away at the door.

Machine Project is located at 1200 D North Alvarado.

Apartment Therapy Los Angeles got a look inside the home of an amazing Echo Park cottage for an article published yesterday. The home happens to be owned by Isabelle Dahlin, who just opened the Swedish-style boutique deKor in Echo Park last month, and boyfriend Brandon Boudet of Little Dom’s.

Checking out the photos and the article will make you want to make friends with Isabelle and Brandon:

Mixing an abundance of vintage and Scandinavian furniture with collected artwork, this home was designed for comfort, friends and the ultimate feeling of being “at home.” Isabelle and Brandon love to entertain, and they certainly have the space to do so. With a dining table outdoors, a fireplace, a projector and movie screen- it’s no wonder that guests (and house tour photographers) are in awe of all their space.

The house itself is a tiny cottage with only one bedroom and one bathroom. After purchasing the home, they underwent many renovations and additions to the entire property. They built a multi-level back yard that houses the chicken coop where they get fresh eggs. Brandon has a mid size kitchen with classic features like the old stove, and nice outdoor deck with a barbecue for fresh grilled meals. Isabelle needed a space to do her painting and sculpting, so they built a small studio space right out back. She told us that it is her favorite place in the world.

Great job guys, and feel free to invite us over any time!

Get the flash player here:

You may have noticed yesterday (hopefully you didn’t drive all the way from the West side) that despite reports from various news sources, Mohawk Bend did not open its doors yesterday. But last week we did get a sneak peak at the space, the food, and the ever so delicious booze at a pre-opening party for press and friends.

Owner Tony Yanow has had great success with Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank – with an extensive and really great beer list paired with an equally delicious vegan and non-vegan bar fare. He’s clearly doing something right, because Mohawk Bend is impressive. Plus it really helps that he’s a really nice guy, has an equally awesome family, and has done a great job with the former Ramona Theater after over 20 years of collecting dust.

Spacecraft Group designed the interior of the building (the exterior is protected by historical guidelines), telling the crowd at the pre-opening party that they were inspired by a ’70s bar vibe, hence the vintage neon bar signs decorating the second story of the large main room. Polished concrete floors, exposed brick (the formal dining room is all original), a two-story glass wall, and lacquered panels of wood are features of the recreated space.

Read more

For the week of Monday, July 25 through Sunday, July 31

The Echo, Sesac, and Origami Records present Monday Night Residency: Crystal Antlers, The Fuse!, The Lovely Bad Things, Manhattan Murder Mystery @ Echo
Races (Frenchkiss Records), Guests TBA, Pageants, The Neighborhood @ Bootleg Theater
Slutever, Crystal Antlers @ Origami Vinyl
Tom Tom Magazine Residency Every Monday @ Lot 1 Cafe

Wu Lyf @ Echo
Langhorne Slim, Henry Wolfe, Amanda Jo Williams @ Echoplex
La-Underground Presents: Peter Pants, Slutever, Cool Moms @ Pehrspace
Morgan Murphy, Deon Cole, Adam De La Pena, Morgan Nadler @ Bootleg Theater
Woolen Residency with Incan Abraham & Starving Daughters @ Lot 1 Cafe

Cults, Guards, Writer @ Echo
Dub Club @ Echoplex
Paris Loves La, Victor and Penny, Leftover Cuties @ Bootleg Theater
Live Jazz every Wednesday night at 7:00 pm @ Downbeat Café

Spaceland Under The Stars with Geronimo Getty, Judson @ Pershing Square
Pink Dreams Presents Upsilom Acrux, Kill The Capulets, Ghetto Blaster, Grand Elegance @ Echo
Heavy La @ Echoplex
Echo Park Jazz Benefit Show for 826la With Slumgum and La Sirene @ Lot 1 Cafe
Ben Sollee, Thousands, J Irvin Dally @ Bootleg Theater
The Exxtras, The Atomic Sherpas @ Taix Lounge

Rollo & Grady Present Those Darlins, White Arrows, Motopony @ Echo
Inc. plus special guests, DJ Total Freedom, Nguzunguzu, Sfv Acid and more @ Echoplex
Club Underground @ Echo
Body Parts (Record Release), Touché, Masxs, Geoff Geis @ Pehrspace
Tha Boogie, Dez, Kids and Explosions @ Bootleg Theater
Eleanor Friedberger @ Origami Vinyl
Moris Tepper, Joel Jerome, Lead vocal/guitar of DIOS @ Taix Lounge

Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles: Camper Showcase 2011 @ Echoplex
Lord Huron, DJ Boom Bip @ The Getty Museum
Echo, Iheartcomix, Media Contender present: Check Yo’ Ponytail 2 with Metronomy, Nite Jewel, Sisu @ Echoplex
Funky Sole @ Echo
Dntel, The One Am Radio, Geotic @ Echoplex
Seasons (Video Release), Spirit Vine, Saint Sea Hat, The Neighborhood @ Pehrspace
The Black Ryder (Mexican Summer), Eddie Berman @ Bootleg Theater
When I Was 12 @ Origami Vinyl

Part Time Punks with Craft Spells, Seapony, Grave Babies, Young Prisms @ Echo
Bear Hands, Lesands @ Bootleg Theater
Les Blanks @ Origami Vinyl

Visit the venue websites 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.

Yelp photo by Ed A.

The sudden closure of the Save-A-Lot store at the end of last March has prompted a ton of speculation of what should replace the grocery store. Trader Joe’s vs. Fresh & Easy vs. Petco vs. my favorite, a locally-owned farm-to-table type of place.The debate has even given birth to a Facebook page called “Bring Trader Joe’s to Echo Park.”

While we haven’t had any official confirmation of what store is going into the space, located next to the Walgreens at Sunset Blvd. and Logan, the pro-Trader Joe’s Facebook page admin was told by a Walgreens employee that Fresh & Easy is, in fact moving in:

I have gone in and spoken to different employees there [Walgreens] for several months and gotten updates. I just called and they said that Fresh and Easy did in fact get the space and they are going to try to open sometime in December. So it’s cool that there is going to be a market we can all shop at in Echo Park but it would be a little sweeter if there wasn’t some controversy around how they treat their employees.

We’ve contacted Fresh & Easy to confirm this possibility, for now we’re filing this as rumor until we know for sure!


We asked the Fresh & Easy Facebook page about coming to Echo Park, and here’s what hey had to say: “We add ‘coming soon’ Clapples on our “where we are” map on our website when locations are officially planned and announced. We then announce grand opening dates a few weeks before that event when we’re finally ready to open the doors on a location. As for a location in Echo Park, I don’t show anything on any official lists of ‘coming soon’ locations. But we do love the area and, as with lots of locations, hope to be there someday!”

Tonight, Echo Park’s Green Beacon Foundation in Elysian Heights is hosting the first of many sustainable supper club events called “Food For Thought.” The Foundation is teaming up with Large Marge Sustainables Catering and City Sip LA for the exclusive event (only 16 seats!) where 100% of the proceeds are donated to food related charities. Tonight’s proceeds go to Medicines Global.

Of course, both the food and the drink will be all organic, farm-fresh and sustainable (the wine, they describe, is “viticultural-conscious”). You’ll get a tour of the Green Beacon space prior to the multi-course meal and wine pairings served by City Sip owner Nicole Daddio.The menu for tonight is as follows (h/t LAist):

  • Chilled Straus yogurt Persian cucumber soup with Kanon Organic Vodka served in martini glasses
    Sweet melon carpaccio with mint, jalapeño, lime juice, sea salt and Verni’s California extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic-hardwood-roasted pork from Jimenez Farms, white beans in cumin-mint-cilantro chutney, grilled peaches and zucchini on house baked corn tortilla
  • Vegetarian/Vegan option: Marinated-grilled portobellos, white beans in cumin-mint-cilantro chutney, grilled peaches and zucchini on house baked corn tortilla
  • Coconut rice pudding with grilled caramelized mango, pistachios and citronge

The cost is $65 per person. Click here for directions on how to purchase tickets (if it’s not too late…!) and for where to go and when.

LAist brings this 2007 video to our attention after the news of Amy Winehouse’s death. According to the article, the video titled “Tears Dry on Their Own” was shot in Hollywood as well as partly in Echo Park, so we’re posting it as well because, of course, Echo Park rules. Enjoy the video (see if you can spot our ‘hood anywhere, it’s brief) and enjoy your life being healthy and happy and appreciating the ones you love!

Stop by the Echo Park Farmers’ Market today and welcome a couple of new farms to the ‘hood: Maggie’s Farm and Weiser Family Farms. From the Farmers’ Market email we received this week:

In the heat of summer, nothing quite satisfies like a salad. Maggie’s Farm is well known for being one of the first farms to bring European-style salad mixes and fresh herbs to California. We can’t wait to enjoy their ‘stellar mix’ this weekend.

Paired with a baguette from La Boulangerie, you won’t need to leave Echo Park to enjoy a taste of Europe this summer! But you will need to finish up the meal with something sweet. Weiser Family Farms are especially known for their colorful array of heirloom potatoes and carrots. At this time of year, we are most excited for their unusual variety of heirloom melons! Read more about their melons and start tantalizing your taste-buds here.

Speaking of those heirloom melons, it looks like the Weiser Family Farms are expected to bring us a couple of new ones this week, The Ogen and Baby Canary. I’ve never had an Ogen (aka Israeli Cantelope) but I’m a Baby Canary fan!

There will also be story time at 4:00pm with Edendale Branch librarian Langdon Faust.