Now that Halloween is officially over, we’re reflecting on the crazy weekend full of parties, drink specials, and drunken hipsters shouting about the girl’s number they almost got at the Little Joy. We had a lot of fun at a couple of neighborhood parties, ultimately avoiding any questionable driving by staying in the ‘hood.Yet there was something that was just driving me completely nuts about the whole weekend – as The Eastsider LA put it, the “oontz, oontz, oontz” heard all over Echo Park for not just one, but TWO nights through 2:00 am. Not knowing where it was coming from, the incessant repetition of bass got a little on our nerves (yay for earplugs!).

The strongest theory was actually about the Halloween event at the Shrine Expo – sounds far fetched, but we’ve heard events such as the Electric Daisy rave back in 2009 from the Coliseum (no joke). Sadly, the Echo Elysian Neighborhood Council forum thread about the noise turned into a series of finger-pointing and complaining about Halloween parties in the neighborhood.

And the finger-pointing got really specific, listing actual addresses of people who had parties (one of which I know for a fact, spoke to their direct neighbors about the party that they ended at midnight). The “oontz, oontz” noise was blamed on local venues like The Echo and the little tiny art gallery Sancho – neither of which were to actually blame despite really strong call-to-actions against the venues on the forum (we walked around the neighborhood, it wasn’t these venues). It’s really unfair to blame these businesses, asking everyone to call the cops on them.

So all this finger-pointing isn’t unusual for the forum – the noise from the Electric Daisy rave back in 2009 spurred so much debate, one venue actually issued an apology letter (it wasn’t their noise). So is Echo Park really that anti-fun? I mean, does one night of partying for a Halloween holiday put you on neighborhood watch? Should the police be called on you even if you communicate with your direct neighbors? If you had loud parties every weekend until 2:00 am – sure! But some Echo Park residents had some parties, celebrating for one night, so what’s the problem?

The ironic thing after all of this? I was the one who actually started the thread on the forum! But I think next year instead of handing out candy for Halloween, we might deliver some Costco-size packages of earplugs to the neighborhood.

But seriously, read the forum thread and you’ll see what I mean. I just hope next year we’ll all be a little more neighborly.

The Echo Park Farmers’ Market is celebrating Halloween during Friday’s market with a pumpkin decorating contest for kids!

The Fifth Annual Halloween Pumpkin Decorating Contest starts at 3:00 pm, with free pumpkins provided to the first 100 kids. Judging starts at 5:30 pm.

The Echo Park Farmers’ Market is located at Parking lot #663 , at 1146 Logan St. (half a block south of Sunset Blvd.). It runs every Friday from 3-7:00 pm.

Photo via KTLA

You may remember a traffic accident on September 27, 2011 at around 8:00 am in Echo Park, that left three girls ages five, ten and six injured. According to The Eastsider LA at that time, the accident was cause because the driver was blinded by the sun.

If you’ve ever driven down this area – Temple Street and Laveta Terrace – you’ll know that 1) people drive that road like it’s a freeway, and 2) that sun can, indeed, be a problem, depending on the time of day. Well folks, time to slow it down!

Since this is not the first pedestrian accident along that stretch of Temple, improving pedestrian and traffic safety has been a priority for many community members, and especially the Patton Allianza Coalition, which has in the past asked for improved safety on that same stretch. Thankfully in this case, the girls who were injured were okay (according to Echo Park Patch).

Which is why you should join the Coalition and other neighbors for a Community Safety Meeting on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm, at the Betty Plasencia Elementary School. Help neighborhood organizations and city representatives identify problem spots and work through how to solve them, making our neighborhood and its corridors a safer place. Perhaps the LAPD will monitor speeding with a motorcycle cop to help slow things down?

Community Safety Meeting
Betty Plasencia Elementary School at 1321 Cortez Street
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Lots of cool stuff going on today – grand opening parties and other festivities all around Echo Park. Here’s the calendar breakdown in case you missed something:

Día de los Muertos celebration

Holiday altars and vendors along with the Echo Park Mariachi Festival. From 4:00 – 6:00 pm at El Centro Del Pueblo.

The Warehouse Anniversary Party

Starts at 7:00 pm. Live music, beverages, and Delilah’s Bakery cupcakes.

Villainy General Store Grand Opening

Music and refreshments from 7:00 – 10:00 pm.

Sunset Beer Company Grand Opening Party

Music and beer from 6:00 – 10:00 pm

Weekend Music

Origami Vinyl, The Echo, Bootleg, Lot 1 and Taix have some great music tonight and tomorrow.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!

Sunset Beer is hosting its grand opening party today just a month after it opened, the beer bottle shop and bar celebrating with, what else? Beer! They’ve recently added Golden Road Brewing Hefeweizen and the Golden Road Point the Way IPA (which I’ve had and it’s tasty!). There will certainly be some other beer-related shenanigans and some elbow rubbing with the staff and owners, so check it out!

Sunset Beer Grand Opening Party
Saturday, October 15 from 6-10:00 pm
Music by Mr. Cocoon
Sunset Beer Co. is located at 1498 Sunset Boulevard, #3

Also be sure to walk across the street to Villainy for its grand opening today!

Villainy General Store opened its doors just last month, on September 15, 2011, taking over the former Echo Curio space after a couple of different places tried and failed to renovate and rent the space (a coffee shop/bakery type place, the a tattoo shop). After repainting the walls, rehabbing the original floor, replacing the stained glass window at the front (someone had broken it), and thankfully improving the bathroom, Villainy was open!

You can find owner Erich Schlieske by the cash register. He and wife Ellen McAlister started eEvil Ink Design in 2003, producing everything from greeting cards to silk-screened t-shirts, bags, journals, and more. Better yet? They live in Echo Park!

If you haven’t been to the new store yet, you should check it out – and, no, you don’t have to be a hipster to dig it. Some of the items I was eying and will definitely go back for include some of the Giurto’s Vita-Grain, which is a high-quality brand that makes flour, salt, and even organic cereal and polenta. The pancake mix they make is on my next shopping list, so that I can force the hubby make me breakfast one of these days soon.

Also of note (should any of my family be reading this article, hint hint): Peppercorn Bacon bitters for those houty touty cocktail nights, a 5 quart Dutch oven ($60 is a great price on that), lucky horseshoes for a mere $5, cast iron cookware and these really cool wood letter cutouts that I’m pretty sure would at least spell B-E-E-R in some combination (they run from $3-10). And of course, there are plenty of eEvil Ink items to pick up.

For some of these items the price might appear a little steep – but a trip to other specialty item stores like Whole Foods and TJs and there isn’t much of a difference. For instance if you’re into organic floor cleaner made from natural ingredients, you’re not exactly paying supermarket prices. If anything, Villainy is really a great local place to drop in and pick up a unique gift for someone, especially those people who are hard to shop for or already have everything.

And today’s (Saturday, October 15) a great day to swing in – they are hosting a grand opening party, celebrating with refreshments and music from 7:00 – 10:00 pm.

Villainy is located at 1519 W. Sunset Blvd.

Check out our photo gallery below:

Get the flash player here:

The annual commemoration of Día de los Muertos along with the Echo Park Mariachi Festival takes place at El Centro Del Pueblo on Saturday, October 15, 2011. Entrance to the festival is free!

Everyone is welcome to create a free altar in commemoration of Día de los Muertos at the center, which goes on from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Vendor booths are $50.

The Mariachi Festival (from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm) features LAUSD Middleton Elementary School Mariachi and Flocorico Dancers.
Join your neighbors, family and friends for altars, culture, food, free arts and crafts for kids, and plenty of entertainment – including an art exhibit.

This event is co-sponsored by GEPENC, State Senator Kevin De Leon, Assemblymember Gilbert Cedillo and Los Angeles Council President Eric Garcetti.

El Centro Del Pueblo is located at 1157 Lemoyne St.

Contact Lidia Martinez at or 213-483-6335, if you’d like a space for your free altar or vendor booth.

One of our favorite vintage shops in Echo Park is celebrating its one year anniversary! Though owner Justin Warwick isn’t new to the store ownership thing in Echo Park (his first establishment was called Warwick Vintage at a couple of different locations on Sunset Boulevard), he and his team have done a fabulous job turning an empty warehouse into a thriving vintage store called, appropriately, The Warehouse. They also opened The Classroom LA down the street this year, where you can take classes on sewing, jewelry, terrariums, and more crafty things.

And what would be a one year anniversary without a celebration?

Drop by The Warehouse on Saturday, October 15, 2011. Starting at 7:00 pm, there will be live music, beverages, and Delilah’s Bakery cupcakes (uhm… YES!)

The Warehouse is located at 1197 West Sunset Boulevard. Contact for more information.

Also be sure to check out the store’s monthly events, including Movie Nights every third Tuesday, Comedy Night every third Wednesday, and the Echo Park Art & Design Fair every third Saturday. Click here for details on events!

For the week of Thursday, October 13 through Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wild Beasts, Ema @ Echoplex
Manimal 2011 Showcase with Papercranes, Cameras, The Child, Guineafowl @ Echo
Family of the Year EP Release Show, Maniac, Black Flamingo @ Bootleg Theater/Bar
Missions, Black Mambas, John Carpenter @ Lot 1 Cafe
Flying Platforms, Heart of Gold and Brian Kenney Fresno @ Taix Lounge
Thursday Night Residency: Sucker for Pumps, Aftergloam, Matthew Sikora, DJ sets by Alex Pastor & Andrew @ El Cid

Pure X, M. Geddes Gengras, Strangers Family Band @ Echo
Buraka Som Sistema, Oro11, DJ Panamami @ Echoplex
Aan @ Origami Vinyl
Katie Herzig, Butterfly Boucher, Amy Kuney @ Bootleg Theater/Bar
Ashtray Boy, The World Record, The Honey Loving Cells @ Lot 1 Cafe
Barbara Manning, Circe Link @ Taix Lounge

Back to School: Booking And Touring (How in the hell do I get a show?) @ The Echo
The Hold Steady, Jesse Malin @ Echoplex
Funky Sole @ Echo
Capsula @ Origami Vinyl
The Inevitable Backlash, Kozmonaut, Help, Wreck Of The Zephyr @ Bootleg Theater/Bar
Lantern, Haunted Tiger, So Wrong, Mikki and The Mauses @ Lot 1 Cafe
Patrolled By Radar, Son Ark and Friends @ Taix Lounge

Part Time Punks with Street Chant, Cool Moms, Neonates @ Echo
Walls, The Urxed, David Scott Stone @ Bootleg Theater/Bar
Correatownm Peachy Keene, The Remainers @ El Cid

Visit the venue websites for more information on the cost and times of shows. Feel free to add more events in the comment section. All events listed are subject to change at any time, and new events announced for the week after this posting may not be included.

A house fire broke out early this evening up near Douglas Street and Montana Street, north of Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park.

There was a huge response to the densely populated neighborhood by the LAFD. Over 74 firefighters responded along with two water dropping helicopters, according to the LAFD Twitter.

As of 6:15 pm, the fire is under control. The official address/area is 1400 block of North Elysian Park Drive, cause unknown but apparently there was heavy fire in the basement and attic. When we took these photos, you could hear the scary popping sounds as the fire grew.

Echo Park and Elysian Park smells heavily of smoke, so close your windows and stay inside if you can!


The home is owned by actress Ann Robinson, who is known well for her role in the ’50s movie War of the Worlds. Nearby neighbors rushed to their homes to keep an eye on pets and close windows, including restaurant owner Rhonda of Masa (it was laundry night, so we got to say hi at our favorite Echo Park hub tonight). Thankfully, nobody was harmed.

And the popping noises we all heard? Actual ammunition! Check out our video below:

The LA Fire Department posted some more information about the blaze on the morning of Thursday, October 13. Of note, 165 firefighters ended up responding. The owner was evaluated on scene but was not injured nor taken to the hospital. The house is also not a total loss, but they estimated a loss of $300,000 (includes $50,000 in contents, which included movie memorabilia as mentioned on last night’s news).

Los Angeles-based artist Artemisa wants you to think about all the haunted spaces of the Echo Park neighborhood. We know you’ve all got Halloween on the brain, but it’s not the typical haunting you might be thinking of.

Artemisa is putting together a book as a personal project the “haunted” spaces in and around Los Angeles. “I’m not necessarily looking for somewhere haunted by the undead,” she told us in an email, “rather, I’m interested in spaces that, when you pass by, go inside of, or even think of, remind you of a specific event, memory, person, etc. This project is about documenting lingering personal hauntings within Los Angeles that affect its residents.”

If you’re a nostalgic-type, perhaps this would be great for you! Examples would be:

  • a school across the street from an old lover’s house who loved waking up to the sound of children playing
  • the empty panels on the side of the LA river that used to be covered with a memorial for someone who died on the 5 there

We’re not so sure about the specific memory, or person… but we can think of a couple of spooky spots: Angelino Heights has a long history as one of the oldest neighborhoods in LA, not to mention all those old Victorian mansions. There was a murder in 1904 in Elysian Heights that might have left some ghosts behind. We’ve also read stories of an old bottling plant up near Echo Park Avenue and Baxter called Elysian Springs Bottling House, where one day a boy was killed by a truck driving in the road.

Okay we’re getting a little off topic, after all – she is looking for something about the everyday people of Los Angeles’ past, rather than the “undead” haunting. If you’re interested in contributing or just learning more about her project, check out Artemisa’s blog.

Beauty Box in Echo Park is a great example of the giving spirit of our local businesses. Since 2006, just a few months after opening the store (its original location is where Rock Paper Scissors is now), owners and sisters Vanessa Arce-Mendez and Lydia Guido were inspired to give back to their Los Angeles community by doing what they do best: Beauty!

After the makeover, with Erica (at right). Photo courtesy of Beauty Box

After chatting with a client who was working at Homegirl Industries, they all came up with the idea to donate their time to young teenagers and women who needed a little pick-me-up, inside and outside.

Homegirl Industries, a part of Homeboy Industries, provides at-risk and gang-involved youth with a chance to “contribute” to their communities by getting jobs, experience, and education. Beauty Box gives the girls makeovers, an opportunity for Lydia and Vanessa to help give them a day where they would “just feel good!”

Since Homegirl Industries helps with job placement, Vanessa and Lydia started with volunteering their hair and makeup services once a month to two women from the organization to help them prepare for job interviews. As the shop grew, and they moved to its current location across the street on Sunset Boulevard, they were able to add one more volunteer service with each additional staff member that was hired.

Vanessa wanted to give back, especially to women in Los Angeles, because she was a teen mom. While she had lots of family support, Vanessa knew a lot of girls her age, in her same circumstance, who didn’t have the same support. “I thought, one day when I can,” she said, “I will help other people as soon as I could do it.”

Beauty Box just recently decided to switch things up a bit, and is now going to start volunteering with a client who helps women develop interview skills and get appropriate clothes for job interviews. In addition to volunteering their services for hair, the women will leave with a goodie bag to help them maintain the new look.

Keep up the great work!

Beauty Box Salon & Nails
1498 W Sunset Blvd.

Pizza lovers rejoice! We’ve got a new pizza place joining the ranks of new Echo Park restaurants – this time, however, on the other side of Sunset Boulevard.

Taking over an empty storefront in the same mini-mall as Beauty Box, Sunset Beer, and the computer repair shop, the new restaurant promises to fill in a pizza gap for those of us on the other side of the neighborhood.

We’re taking precautions announcing the people and the name behind the new place for now – the last we heard they were in the process of ending their lease at the current location, so we’ll refrain for the time being (we certainly don’t want to get anyone in trouble!). But let’s just say the menu will delight both hipsters and non-hipsters alike – vegan options, and even a pupusa-style pizza that we’ve heard is amazing.

And what great timing – how awesome would it be to grab a couple of slices to enjoy next door at Sunset Beer with a seasonal microbrew?

Glenn Hill with his first of many Halloween decorations, made from recycled materials

As an overworked adult these days, it’s easy to forget about the Halloween holiday. Not to mention, there are fewer decorations than the days of growing up in a small town, our mini suburbs full of kids trick-or-treating and haunted houses (remember the house that gave out full-size candy bars?!). Thankfully, however, we’ve got our very own resident bringing the Halloween spirit alive to one pocket of Echo Park.

I first noticed this house a few years ago when I lived in a dark little apartment across the street, my first Echo Park pad. As the Halloween holiday approached, we watched as an enormous figure took shape in front of our neighbor’s home, its giant arms reaching out over the sidewalk and a vague grotesque expression on its face. It was completely made out of paper and tape, surprisingly surviving our street and the weather. It turns out the papier-mâché figure was one of many, and certainly not the last.

Hoping to catch a glimpse of more of these figures, we met up with the artist himself, Glenn Hill. He’s lived in his Echo Park home on Douglas Street near Beverly Boulevard for about nine years now. Five or six years ago, he started hosting Halloween parties for fellow 12-step program members at his home – and what would a Halloween party be without decorations? Read more

The Irey House, built in 1887, now on Carroll Avenue

Too old for trick or treating? Gone are the days of booze-filled costume parties? Well even if those don’t exactly apply to you, here’s another way to celebrate the spooky Halloween holiday this month: The 3rd Annual Haunts of Angelino heights!

Taking place on Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, the event is a “haunted” scavenger hunt in the old neighborhood filled with century-old Victorian homes. There’s a lot of history in the neighborhood besides the old houses – after all, the “Thriller” music video was filmed there, along with the “Charmed” television show.

Hosted by Out of the Box Events and the Los Angeles Conservancy, the event promises to explore the “spirits, secrets and legends of one of the oldest neighborhoods in LA.” Perhaps you’ll capture something spooky, so bring a camera! Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the LA Conservancy. Tickets are $30.

3rd Annual Haunts of Angelino Heights
October 22 and 23, 2011
4:00 – 6:30 pm
Click here for tickets