The photography of Echo Park resident Martin Cox will be celebrated at an Echo Park framing shop on Sunset Boulevard tomorrow, October 1, 2011. The art opening, titled Summer Navigation: Passage though the pastoral (an 18th century English machine in the modern era), will display some of Martin’s latest work and runs through November 5.

Enjoy some English tea and cookies (Martin is, after all, English), along with “cheese and crackers gromit.”

If you’re not familiar with this local photographer – well you’re missing out on some of the loveliest images of Echo Park and Echo Park Lake out there (I have a postcard on my fridge!). Martin also currently has an exhibit nearby at a Silver Lake/Echo Park gallery displaying his images of Echo Park and Los Angeles through November 2.

Summer Navigation: Passage though the pastoral
Aaron Ballard’s Framing & Gallery
1568 W. Sunset Boulevard
Saturday, October 1, 2011 from 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Exhibit runs through November 5, 2011

Flickr photo via Nickels_Photography

Echo Park Branch Library is hosting full-length PSAT practice tests for students (recommended for 8th and 10th graders) – the first of which is tomorrow, Saturday, October 1, 2011. Students wishing to get practice for the inevitable SATs, as well as qualify for a National Merit Scholarship, must pre-register and bring their own calculators. Students will receive results the following week.

PSAT Practice Test
Echo Park Library, 1410 W. Temple Street
Saturday, October 1, 2011: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Saturday, November 12, 2011: 10:00 am – 2:30 pm

Register with Wendy McPherson at 213.250.7808 or

Echo Park Now has a new look!

The website well over two years old now – that’s right, TWO years (the concept… much older). It’s been a labor of love, and we just needed to update our look and the programming a little bit.

As with all changes, there may be a few bugs – so do let us know if you catch any glitches that may happen with the updates.

More importantly… it looks pretty darn good, right? A very big thank you to our buddy and programming guru Sean of Atwater Village design studio Zbra Designs (also my day job) for all his efforts getting this off the ground.

And we’ll take this opportunity to remind any newcomers that this is a volunteer website run by residents who are deeply in love with and committed to the community of Echo Park. We don’t publish ads (not yet anyways…) nor are we sponsored by any of the businesses or organizations we write about. If we are affiliated with any events or organizations, we’ll let you know!

See you out there!

Echo Parkian Amanda found a mother and her kittens in her yard a month ago, and since the only no-kill shelter only takes cats over one-year old, she is searching for a home for them.

“I think the black and white one is a male since he is bigger than the other one; he is very curious and really adorable. The other one is a multicolored kitty who seems like she would be happiest living her life on someones lap. It’s only a matter of time before they start breeding, so the clock is ticking!… They are cute to an insane degree and I wish I could keep them, but I have an elderly cat who despises all non-human creatures.

Please email if interested.

I have to admit, I’m a little bit of a tequila snob – so forget the Gold Room’s tequila shot + taco special (no offense, I’m also a semi-vegetarian but refrain your judgment….). It’s all about AYC.

Tuesday night was the first night of Allston Yacht Club’s newly established nights of TNT – otherwise known as tequila night Tuesdays/Thursdays. $5 gets you a Jalapeno Margarita, a shot and sangria, or a daily special on Tuesdays. Thursdays are $5 for their “ball of infusion” – which is better than it sounds (their infused drinks during the holidays are just an example of why this is good stuff).

Today’s “ball of infusion” featured drinks? Fig Bourbon in their “Yacht Club Old Fashioned,” Peach-Steeped Dark Rum in the “AYC Dark and Stormy,” and finally Blueberries, Ginger, Dragon Chili and Polish Vodka in a Collins, unless otherwise requested.

We also really like AYC for the Wicked Wednesdays – all menu items are $5. Not to mention, it’s a low-key restaurant with plenty of seating at the bar – my favorite view!

See you there!

Flickr photo via Andy Sternberg

On Saturday, October 1, 2011, Echo Park’s own nursery slash lighting store will be the host of 24 Hours on Sunset, an evening of short plays written by the talented Sharon Yablon and music by Thomas Chan. The scenes and monologues performed are about those eccentric characters that populate the long stretch of Sunset Boulevard from east LA all the way to the beach.

But don’t worry, the play doesn’t last 24 hours – “They don’t state what time it is, but the language, setting and tone is suggestive of a certain time of day or night.  The show is somewhat of a ‘day in the life’ of Sunset Blvd., and the variety of people who populate it,” Yablon told the LA Writers Examiner.

The performances feature Adrian A. Cruz, Jacqueline Wright, Eugene Butler, and Michael Bonnabel. It will start on the street outside of Mi Alma, then move into the space where each short play is set in a different spot (so there will be walking and standing).

Along with the play itself, tamales and sangria are complimentary – but donations are accepted!

Please RSVP by emailing Sharon at

24 Hours on Sunset
Saturday, October 1, 2011
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Mi Alma Gardens at 1901 Echo Park Ave.

Today is National Coffee Day, so we’re happy to report we’ve got a new little cafe being added to our Echo Park places to grab your cup of jo.

According to a single, small sign posted, “Taza Café de Echo Park” is coming soon to a small 200 square foot storefront located at 1825 West Sunset Boulevard – across the street from The Echo near the Sunset Blvd/Glendale Bridge. The last shop to open up at his location was the Blood is the New Black popup shop, which temporarily opened last year. No dates are posted about when things are expected to get going, but we’ll keep an eye out for what the new shop will have to offer.

Taza joins the ranks of quite a few coffee shops and cafés nearby, including Stories, Downbeat Café, Masa, Pazzo Gelato, amongst others. But we always look forward to seeing what and if this new place has something different to offer!

Notice anything new to the ‘hood? Let us know!

Photo by Mario Salazar

Last month, The Eastsider LA posted an article about an owl spotted right on our street of Scott Avenue here in Echo Park. Well, it’s been a couple of months since our neighbor Cecilia’s fiance took the included photo of the Barn Owl, and we’re happy to report it’s definitely still around!

How do we know exactly? Each night after sunset, it makes its presence known by majestically swooping down Scott Avenue followed by a terrifying screeching sound. At first it was alarming, but now it’s routine – we’re used to the beautiful owl and it’s alien-like noises it makes…. Thankfully the screeching is normal, and they eat those teeny and pesky little rodents.

One commenter on The Eastsider LA article notes, “This guy lives in a palm tree on Laveta Terrace. He’s been living here for a couple months now and has a mate with two little ones up in a nest. They may be somewhat noisy neighbors, but they’re beautiful and we’re happy to have them here.”

We’re thinking of nicknaming him, but need some help as we’re not feeling so clever tonight. Suggestions welcome!

Thanks to our neighbors for the photos!

The Echo Park Avenue storefront that housed Echo Country Outpost for two years donned newly hung For Rent signs earlier this month when the folksy store slash gathering space decided to move up to Glendale Boulevard. Owners Erica Forneret and Chris Hajek (newly married!) along with Brendan Missett are very excited to expand their shenanigans to the former and HUGE 2HeadedHorse productions at 1770 Glendale Boulevard, although sad to leave their little corner at Echo Park Avenue.

So in celebration of the move, and a goodbye to their former diggs, the Outpost is having a little shindig. “Love, warmth, beauty, playfulness, bright colors, wooden smells, whiskey drinks and downhome art & music will all be magnified at the new Outpost…,” said the event invite. “Starting at 9pm on the 29th y’all should come over, listen to some good music, spend some time with this version of the Outpost and set a good course for what’s to come.”

See ya there, and good luck to the Outpost on the move!

Echo Country Outpost moving party
Thursday, September 29 at 9:00 pm
1930 Echo Park Ave

In celebration of the annual International Day of Peace, Echo Parenting and Education (formerly the Center for Nonviolent Education) is hosting a free and very family-friendly Peace Day Picnic. Connect with other Echo Parenting and local families and celebrate a world-wide event in Elysian Park!

They will bring water, and noncompetitive games, you bring your picnic food. Art activities will be provided by the Art Zone.

The International Day of Peace provides an opportunity for  individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly.

Visit the Echo Center website for more info, or email

Peace Day Picnic
Sunday, September 25, 2011
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Elysian Park near Grace E. Simon Lodge, 1025 Elysian Park Avenue

Echo Park resident and photographer Martin Cox has taken some pretty stellar images of our neighborhood lake over the years, and now he’s sharing it with us all! Through November 2, you can check out his gallery of images in a show titled “Perfect Echo” at a Silver Lake gallery. According to The Eastsider LA, along with other Los Angeles neighborhood images, the exhibit will display the beautiful Echo Park Lake juxtaposed with sullen images like sunken shopping carts. While the show opened in early September, you still have time to check it out!

The Gallery is located at 3517 West Sunset at the Silver Lake/Echo Park border (enter through Dustmuffin)

Saturday is a day to celebrate Echo Park businesses by shopping locally for the fourth (at least the fourth since its inception n 2009) Echo Park Art Walk and Shop Hop: A Celebration of Community At and Culture. Coordinated by 826lLA, Stories Books & Cafe, and Origami Vinyl, the event promises a ton of local discounts on your meals, wine, and other purchases. But if you or your wallet aren’t in the mood to buy, there are plenty of free art and music-related events along Sunset Boulevard (between Mohawk and Laguna) and even up Echo Park Avenue.

Why the Shop Hop? “By taking advantage of special discounts offered by Stories LA, the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, E.P.I.C., and others, you’ll support the thriving economy of a uniquely-creative Los Angeles community. And by making contributions to neighborhood non-profits who are opening their doors to participate in the Art Walk & Shop Hop on the 24th, you’ll continue their great work (which you’ll be able to see all day long).”

Make sure to visit the event website and Facebook page for a full list of discounts, events, and activities to participate in! The website will be updated live as there are new activities to share.

Echo Park Art Walk & Shop Hop
Saturday, September 24 from 12:00 noon to 10:00 pm
Between Mohawk & Elysian Park
For more information and/or questions, contact Shannon at

1984 draining, via Gloria Sohaki and The Eastsider LA

Despite all the negative aspects of the Echo Park Lake rehabilitation project (the length of closure, the loss of a park, the sights and smells of the construction process), it’s fascinating to witness how thoroughly documented this entire process is. A lot of in-depth research online (we are limited… we admit) brings up little photographic evidence from past lake drainings prior to the 1980s, but we were excited to see images on a recent The Eastsider LA article displaying a very empty lake bed during the draining prior to the 1984 Olympics. Not only had the story’s contributor Rory Mitchel dug deep into the LA Times and Los Angeles City records, but Echo Park resident Gloria Sohaki had also contributed these photos from that last draining.


Photo by Conor Collins, uploaded today

Additionally, every day it seems there are more images of the status of the Echo Park Lake draining – this one today from a resident with a higher up view, and a whole website of daily images documented by resident Conor Collins. Add in the hundreds of tweets we’ve seen since the start of the lake rehabilitation project in August, and a webcam on capturing hundreds of images every day, and we’ve got stellar documentation of the draining for the history books.

We’ve also been keeping a close eye on things, uploading photos to our Flickr page, and even joined up with the Odor Monitoring Committee to help with the process. In October we’ll learn about all the things they’ve find in the lake, so stay tuned!

Want to contribute? Feel free to share your photos on our Facebook page!

Photo by Emma Cunningham

From Manny Castro's Facebook page

The Eastsider LA first brought this to our attention last week: just up the street from where we live, a mysterious pair of glittering red high-heel shoes and a trophy cutout were noticeably hanging from power lines. Then they popped up in Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Hollywood -the trophy cutout bearing the words: “This Hollywood Life.”

And before you think it, it’s not one of those signs of gangs and drug dealers marking their territory (unless they really love Hollywood glitz and glam). Nor is it the genius ad campaign for Wicked returning to Los Angeles. In fact, we think the case has been cracked.

It’s the work of artist Manny Castro, basically an ad for his upcoming show at new Echo Park Gallery iam8bit. The gallery started off with a bang last month with its show featuring 80’s video game inspired artwork, and with all the guerrilla art going on, this new show is bound to have the same effect. We’ll share more info about the show once we learn more!

Manny’s show, This Hollywood Life, starts September 29, 2011 at iam8bit, located at 2147 W. Sunset Boulevard

Logo by Evan Spiredellis of JibJab Media

Last night we were thrilled to be a guest at the pre-opening party for Echo Park’s newest addition to the neighborhood beer craze – Sunset Beer Company. It’s been about a year of transformation and lots of anticipation in the 2,000 square foot space, a former ladies gym on the 1400 block of Sunset Boulevard.

Behind the labor of love: John Nugent and wife Jennifer Morgan of Colorado Wine Company, along with partners Jenna Miller-Von Ah and Drew Von Ah (also investors in Eagle Rock Brewery). Joining them is beer- and wine-lover Alex Macy as the manager – he’s who you’ll normally see around the shop running the day-to-days.

The shop itself, from what we can remember of last night’s festivities, is warm and minimalist. Treated concrete floors, candles, eclectic art hanging on the walls, and dark leather arm chairs give it a library meets beer meets romance atmosphere. It’s certainly not a liquor store or your average beer store, and the tasting area offers plenty of time to lounge, sip, people watch, and chat with your new friends seated nearby. Designer Rick Crane will take credit for the design of the store, as well as nearby Colorado Wine Company. In the Sunset Beer Company press release, they wanted “an environment for beer that doesn’t feel stuffy but also takes the idea of beer and beer appreciation seriously.” We think they accomplished that!

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