Instagram photo via applesauce9mm

Echo Parkians who crave the late-night diner food at The Brite Spot are out of luck for a couple of more days – filming continues on Stand Up Guys, a comedy starting Christopher Walken and Al Pacino. The Daily Mail describes the film as a comedy where “the legendary duo have come together to play ageing criminals on one last nefarious bender, with the tasty twist that one has been hired to kill the other.”

Al Pacino and Christopher Walken sitings in Echo Park have been hitting Twitter, and we have to admit wanting to catch glimpse of the super stars ourselves. As our Twitter follower Marc Vieira tells us of catching Al Pacino, “Definitely my celebrity sighting highlight.”

The Brite Spot will reopen on Thursday, April 19 at 7:00 am.

Follow us on Twitter for film notifications when they come in.

The Echo Park Chamber Of Commerce is hosting a Spring Mixer on Thursday, April 19, 2011 at 7:00 pm.

Join fellow business-owners in Echo Park at the event at Taix Restaurant, bring your business cards to network and your happy faces!

We’ve suffered through Lotus Festivals without dragon-boat races, and the past few years without the lotus blossoms themselves – but a Lotus Festival with no lake?

Planned for July 14-15, this will mark the 34th Lotus Festival in Echo Park – the past couple of years have been “scaled back” versions of the festival (it was canceled completely in 2009). We didn’t expect to have on in 2011, until plans to start the Echo Park Lake rehabilitation project were pushed back until later that year and the fest went on.

This year’s Lotus Festival will not be held at the lake, which is currently empty and completely gated up during construction. Instead, the parking lots between Echo Park Avenue and Lemoyne, south of Sunset Boulevard, will serve as the grounds. This will definitely be a “scaled back” version of the event.

The details aren’t finalized, but one thing’s for sure – there won’t be any Dragon Boat races!

It’s Coachella time, so expect a LOT of shows between the event’s two weekend shows.

For the week of Monday, April 16 through Sunday, April 22

Ghiant, Kim Deal, David Mayfield Parade, Driftwood Singers At Outpost
KXLU and KSPC present Monday Night Residency: So Many Wizards, Wildcat! Wildcat!, Magick Orchids, Jon Barba @ Echo
Atari Teenage Riot, Otto Van Schirach, DJs Emu and Steady (Smog), Outer Source Rebellion @ Echoplex
Open Mic Night @ Tribal Cafe
The John Francis @ Origami Vinyl
Karaoke @ Lot 1 Café
Grace Woodroofe, A House for Lions, Miracle Days, Brandon & Leah @ Bootleg Bar
Religious Girls, Radio Shock, Realization Orchestra, Kyle Mabson DJ set @ Pehrspace
Motown Mondays @ The Short Stop

Neon Indian, Housse De Racket, Friends @ Echoplex
We Were Promised Jetpacks, Chasing Kings, Tristen @ Echo

Wild Beasts, Superhumanoids @ Echo
Dub Club & Delicious Vinyl present: Marlon Asher @ Echoplex
Open Mic Night @ Tribal Cafe
Live Jazz every Wednesday night at 7:00 pm @ Downbeat Café
Emeli Sande, Coco Morier, The Child, The Donnies The Amys @ Bootleg Bar
Monika Santucci @ Taix Lounge

The Big Pink, Io Echo, Ko Ko @ Echo
School of Seven Bells, Exitmusic, Tashaki Miyaki @ Echoplex
Open Mic Night @ Tribal Cafe
CUBITS @ Lot 1 Café
Heywood, Vs Colour, Frank Lenz, Kim Free @ Bootleg Bar
The Cerny Brothers @ Taix Lounge

Lemonade, Bachelorette, DJ Ras Coco, DJ Blake Miller @ Echo
Bearracuda @ Echoplex
Kazha @ Tribal Cafe
The Mummy Jamboree @ Lot 1 Café
The Peach Kings @ Bootleg Bar
Starving Daughters, + TBA @ Pehrspace
Viki Hill, Creekbird @ Taix Lounge

Bootie LA @ Echoplex
Funky Sole @ Echo
Wakarimaren @ Tribal Cafe
Record Store Day @ Origami Vinyl
The Ukulady & Friendsies PARTYShowFUN (free kids’ show) at 3:00 pm @ Lot 1 Café
Thurlow, Steffaloo, Rene Breton @ Bootleg Bar
Heroes and Heroines @ Pehrspace
La Picante @ Los Globos

Grand Ole Echo @ Echo
Rum & Humble And Echo Present: The TourЀ-Raichel Collective featuring Vieux Farka Touré, Idan Raichel, Souleymane Kane and Amit Carmeli @ Echoplex
Part Time Punks Presents: Soft Metals, Silent Diane, Grapefruit @ Echo
Open Mic Night @ Tribal Cafe
French Toast Comedy @ Taix Lounge
Super Soul Sunday @ The Short Stop

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. Visit our Weekly Events page for more neighborhood events, shows and specials.

Echo Park student Jackson Huang at CicLAvia (wearing the white shirt and white cap)

Jackson Huang is Echo Park’s newest bicycling activist – at 13 years old (soon to be 14), he’s taken up a cause that will be beneficial to the neighborhood and beyond.

Jackson, who also happens to be our neighbor, gained some notoriety recently with a letter he wrote to Councilmember Ed Reyes (CD1) after his class at Nightingale Middle School in Cypress Park was visited by CicLAvia and Flying Pigeon LA Bike Shop representatives. The visit taught kids about bicycling, including how to fix a flat and stay safe, but also inspired the kids to write letters encouraging politicians to support a new bike plan that would lead directly to the school. Jackson’s letter reads:

The LA City bike Plan of 2010 states that bicycle lanes of Ave 28 and Cypress Ave will be added. The reason why we need bike lanes is because there are kids in this area that are overweight or obese. Kids can get exercise while riding their bikes home and lessening the risk of obesity.

Councilmember Reyes responded (quote via The Eastsider LA):

I grew up riding my bicycle in Lincoln Heights and Cypress Park and agree that bicycle lanes are critical for the health and safety of our neighborhoods. I have been working very hard with City staff and community members like you to ensure that the 2010 Bicycle Plan is implemented as quickly as possible.

Jackson and his bike team were amongst the 100,000 participants in yesterday’s CicLAvia event in Downtown Los Angeles, where the city announced the new Los Angeles Bike-Sharing program, which will allocate 4,000 bicycles to 400 kiosks around the city for everyone with $6 (the daily charge) to use. Even though Ed Reyes’ office hasn’t provided a date when the bike plan will be implemented, Jackson isn’t discouraged, telling us:

I feel like he [Reyes] is doing a great job in helping us get bike lanes and bridge project because it is safer to go on the bridge than going around to get to the LA river route.

And the council wants kids to be safe, right? We’re proud of our young neighbors who are getting involved and taking action!

Check out Jackson’s letter below!

Published today on our sister website, Atwater Village Now

Normally for tax season, we’d be heading to the H&R Bloc next to 55 Degree Wine for some yearly tax preparation. Last night, we went to the same spot, but to drink beer!

Located in the former H&R Bloc in a small strip mall off of Glendale Boulevard, Links N Hops is a warm, rustic, pub-style restaurant. And through the kitchen aromas, it still smells a little like sawdust – 55 Degree Wine owner Andy Hasroun had a soft opening just a couple of days ago, after battling the city’s parking permit issues.

But unlike a lot of restaurant openings we have been to, there weren’t any hiccups or kinks to work out – the staff was knowledgeable, the food came out promptly, and the atmosphere was just right.

Get the flash player here:

The food – oh, the food – best vegan dog I’ve had in a long time. Meals come out of the kitchen in baskets, served on a metal kitchen tray. I ordered the Frankfurter (organic tofu, onion, tomato, apple cider, paprika) with an entire roasted Jalapeno and sauteed onions, my dinner date ordered the Spicy Italian (pork, onions, fennel, red pepper flakes) with onions. Required for this type of dining are Belgian Fries with a side of spicy ketchup (other options include dijon mustard, 1000 island, or ranch). Mustard and ketchup readily available, we dug in without a second thought. The bread is perfectly toasted, and unbelievably fresh – it came from a local bakery, completely hand made, and made only for Links N Hops. It makes you realize the hot dogs or sausages you’ve had before were overpowered by heavy, thick bread – not this time!

Beer choices are well-rounded, with 23 beers on tap (and room for growth – they will soon have more). Local favorites include Golden Road Brewery’s IPA, but international choices like La Chouffe Belgian Pale (so good) and lots of other California faves like North Coast Brewing’s Scrimshaw Pilsner. I’m also a sucker for Ellie’s Brown from Avery Brewing (Colorado), which matched perfectly with a really cold night and a basket of delicious sausages.

The only regret I had after leaving is that we didn’t order more Belgian Fries!

Other menu items include Andouille, Turkey Mole, BBQ Pork, Chinese Roast Pork, Spicy Italian, Hot Smoked Chicken, Wild Boar with Marsala, Pheasant with Cognac, and Rabbit with Wine for meat eaters. Andy told us he really wants to focus a lot on vegan options as well, and the current menu has some great options: Frankfurter, Beerbrat, Smoked Apple, Vegan Italian, and Spicy Pepper (really spicy, fyi!). Don’t skip out on those fries!

Links N Hops is open daily for lunch and dinner, from 11 am to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 11 am to 1 am on Saturdays. If you’re in a rush for lunch, they do offer take-away!

Location is 3111 Glendale Blvd., Ste. C, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Check out the restaurant’s Facebook page for more info.

Flickr photo via Carlos Ontivero

Hello Dodger Stadium, and WOW. This amazing shot came up on Flickr tonight from Elysian Park. Bravo Carlos, bravo.

Photo Credit: Daniel O'Connell

Sticking around Echo Park this weekend instead of roughing it up at Coachella?

There’s a brand new salon in town that wants to celebrate its opening with you – Folklore Salon just opened up its doors on Mohawk Street near Sunset Boulevard. They are kicking it off with a block party on Saturday, April 14 from -8:00 pm, with all the neighbors!

Participating businesses will be offering up discounts in support of the event, including: Spit Fire Girl, Gentlemen’s Breakfast, Myrtle (drinks & snacks, 20% off store), 8 Limbs, The Hedgehog (formerly the Coffee Pot), Kelly Green, DeKore, Iam8bit, Lux DeVille. The SweetBeats Truck will be serving up beats and ice cream on the corner, so you can’t miss it!

Congrats on the opening!

If you’re not the superstitious type, and you live to save a buck, and you’re down for some ink, head to El Clasico Tattoo. Today is Friday the 13th, so you can get a pre-designed tattoo for just 13  bucks.

What does a $13 Friday the 13th tattoo look like? How about a spooky black cat, an evil eye, a third eye, or a bicycle?

El Clasico Tattoo is located at 1610 Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park.

The corner of Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard has a new addition – an approximately nine foot banner stretched across the intersection with the words, “Celebrating ten years of community service.”

The banner was installed in advance of the ten year anniversary celebration for the neighborhood council, taking place on Monday, April 16 at Taix Restaurant. The celebration has been a bit controversial because of the cost – they plan to spend $1,000 for the “outreach event,” and what one board member called “inappropriate and in bad taste, especially now in these times.” (The anniversary party is a free event that will feature founding members, and past presidents and members.)

The cost of the banner? Approximately $1,000 was allocated (they came “under budget” according to CIO Lisa Baca-Sigala), and while the city waved the installation fees, it’s a pretty penny for a tax-payer funded organization facing budget cuts.

But we don’t mean to complain outright – we don’t attend GEPENC meetings or participate in the neighborhood council (usually only two people show up to their meetings). Maybe it’s time for everyone to get involved so we can have a say in these types of expenditures?

“Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine at night, June 1, 1962.″ From the USC Digital Libraries.

It’s a bittersweet anniversary, but today marks the 50th year Dodger Stadium has been open. The above photo gives us a little glimpse into the past – and though the cars a little different, the full parking lot and packed freeways aren’t too different from today!

The new season of baseball at Dodger Stadium (with new owners!) is also going to be it’s 50th year – that’s right, the stadium opened in 1962 after bulldozing a whole neighborhood in Chavez Ravine.

But we all know about that – so here’s what you can expect in Echo Park if you’re new to the whole Opening Day hoopla at Dodger Stadium, taking place on Tuesday, April 10 at 1:10 pm in a game versus Pittsburgh:

  1. Pre-gaming: Tailgating has started as early as 7:00 am, loud music for us neighbors to hear included. But the LAPD will be in full force, arriving as early as 4:00 am to the command post, to crack down on any debauchery.
  2. The Scott Avenue gate will remain open this season for outgoing traffic only on high traffic days (it was just re-opened a few years ago after being closed for a decade).
  3. Gates open at 10:00 am – which could be a good thing or a bad thing.
  4. Pregame ceremony starts at 12:30 pm, and will include a military flyover 10 minutes before the start of the game
  5. As in past years, the Dodger Stadium Express Metro service will run. Service will run from Union Station every 10 minutes, starting 90 minutes before the start of the game, after which it will run every 30 minutes. Ticket-holders ride free, or it’ll cost you a mere $1.50 (better than the $15 parking fee!).
  6. Traffic, traffic, traffic: Department of Transportation personnel will be deployed to certain intersections to help mitigate traffic issues. Since the game is pretty much sold out, the 50,000 fans that descend on Elysian Park will certainly cause some heavy traffic before and after the game, so plan appropriately!

As we mentioned, the LAPD will be out in full force to keep everyone under control – it’s been just over a year since Bryan Stow was beaten to near death by some trouble-makers in Dodger gear, so we hope the same tragedy won’t be made again.

Be sure to call the Neighborhood Focus line at 323.224.2636, or the command post at 323-344-5707 if you any issues.

Opening Day is upon us, make sure you mark your calendars and take advantage of the goody give-aways for kids and adults! We’ve definitely got our share of Dodger gear – the “sleeved fleece,” blankets, bobble heads, and more!

Friday Night Fireworks are also back – so every home game on a Friday there will be fireworks for everyone to enjoy (we have a super secret spot near our house where we watch the show!). There will also be fireworks for the 4th of July celebration.

A Dodgers "sleeved fleece." Yes please!

Opening Day / 50th Anniversary of Dodger Stadium
Tuesday, April 10 at 1:10 pm vs. The Pirates

Clayton Kershaw Cy Young Replica (Cy Young Award Presentation)
Wednesday, April 11 at 7:10 pm vs. The Pirates

Dodger Stadium Replica
Saturday, April 14 at 6:10 pm vs. The Padres

Kids Jackie Robinson Sweatbands
Sunday, April 15 at 1:10 pm vs. The Padres
Also: Kids Run the Bases, Viva Los Dodgers

Sleeved Blanket
Tuesday, April 24 at 7:10 pm vs. The Braves

Bobblehead #1: Don Drysdale and Maury Wills
Saturday, April 28 at 6:10 pm vs. The Nationals

Kids Clayton Kershaw Replica Jersey
Sunday, April 29 at 1:10 pm vs. The Nationals
Also: Kids Run the Bases, Viva Los Dodgers

Read more

For the week of Monday, April 9 through Sunday, April 15

KXLU And KSPC present Monday Night Residency: So Many Wizards, LA Font, Dream Panther, Habits @ Echo
Neon Gold & Hit City present: Popshop West with Haim, Wildcat! Wildcat!, Ko Ko, Guns in the Sun, Captain Cut, Hit City DJs @ Echoplex
Monday Night open mic night hosted by David & Jayson @ Tribal Café
Sean Carnage presents: The Koreatown Oddity, Jon Barba, Johnnie Jungleguts, Walter Gross @ Pehrspace
Grace Woodroofe, Jenny O, Louise And The Pins, Tall Tales & The Silver Lining @ Bootleg Bar
Karaoke @ Lot 1 Café
Motown Mondays @ The Short Stop

Dante vs Zombies, The Hallucinations, New Life, Daybeds @ Echo
Check Yo Ponytail 2 presents: Oh Land, Blood Orange, Trust @ Echoplex
The Iron Giant open mic night  @ Tribal Café
Wreck of the Zephyr, TS and the Past Haunts, Neon Hymns @ Bootleg Bar
Buzzbands.LA: Ethan Gold, The Record Company, Laura Meyer, Boys School @ Lot 1 Café

Dorian Wood, Tommy Santee Klaws, Scott Matthew, Ghiant @ Echo
Dub Club @ Echoplex
Mike Doughty, The Book of Drugs (Reading, Concert, Q&A), Mike Viola @ Bootleg Theater
Derde Verde Residency with Tes Elations, Last American Buffalo @ Lot 1 Café
Live Jazz every Wednesday night at 7:00 pm @ Downbeat Café

Echo & Dubfrequency present: J*Davey With DJ Duh Kid, DJ Funk The Fresh, Random Citizens, Def Sound @ Echo
Madeline Spooner open mic night @ Tribal Café
Woody Frank @ Taix Lounge
Sucre, Whispertown, The Honey Trees @ Bootleg Bar
Reese Richardson, Azniv, The Sweet Hurt @ Lot 1 Café

Acid Mothers Temple With The Phantom Family Halo, Pond, Hepa/Titus @ Echo
DJ Paul V. 30th Anniversary Mixtape Retrospective @ Echoplex
The Landers & Guests (tba) @ Tribal Café
Moris Tepper, Jon Wahl, The Amadans @ Taix Lounge
Boom Chick, Wake Up Lucid, Kera and the Lesbians @ Bootleg Bar
KXLU presents: Siddhartha, Tes Elations, L.A. Girlfriend @ Lot 1 Café
Old Time Jam @ Fretted Frog

KXLU presents: Pontiak, All Tiny Creatures @ Echo
Funky Sole @ Echo
Stone Soup At The Tribal Cafe, Edgar Ruiz & Friends @ Tribal Café
Shaq Jizz: The Presence Group Art Show @ Pehrspace
Raerae @ Taix Lounge
Damien Jurado, Peter Wolf Crier, Churches @ Bootleg Bar
John Isaac Watters Music Video/ Newburg + Watters Art Opening, Backseat Bingo, John Carpenter, Bikos, The Sundowners @ Lot 1 Café

Part Time Punks Presents: Minimal Wave Nite With Geneva Jacuzzi And Guest Dj Veronica Vasicka [Mw Founder & Dj] @ Echo
Tsunamedy Open Mic @ Tribal Café
Hand, Brent Rademaker (Of Beachwood Sparks), Amy Blaschke  @ Bootleg Bar
Snow Angel, Kit’n’tenders @ Lot 1 Café
Super Soul Sunday @ The Short Stop

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. Visit our Weekly Events page for more neighborhood events, shows and specials.

Via Heart Street He(art) Tumblr site

Earlier this week we asked the question: What’s up with the bears hanging from power lines around the area?

Well some of you guessed it: It’s some hipster art/event/act promotion. The people behind it are called Hearts Revolution / Hearts Challenger – an ice cream truck turned music group turned bedazzled ice cream truck playing music… we think. Some of the bears on their Tumblr site bear the words (get it?) “Fuck the Hype” and “Ride or Die,” which probably has something to do with a new album or… something. Not sure how the bear thing comes in, but hopefully they’ll message us back and clue us in!

h/t Atwater Village Newbie