Echo Park resident Art Meza spotted a bear in a tree on Park Drive along Elysian Park earlier this week. Neighbors say it’s been around for a while.


We get a little verklempt with this story because it brings up memories of my own childhood dreams of being an astronaut (or a ballerina, but that’s another story). But whether or not you shared the same ideas as a kid, it was an awesome site to see the space shuttle Endeavor fly across the sky over our little Northeast Los Angeles neighborhood today.

We snapped a couple of photos on the ol’ cell phone from Atwater Village, but residents with some handier equipment and higher up views got some even better ones. Enjoy!

Flickr photo via Laura Birek (iwriteplays)

Instagram photo via pocketofgreen (taken with Nikon D40 and zoom lens)

Facebook photo via Los Angeles Dodgers

Occasionally we do get our computer-addicted brains off the couch and outdoors (where it’s hopefully not as hot as our air condition-less home), and stretch those legs on the adjacent Elysian Park trails. Along the paved roadway of Elysian Park Drive (the lower road after crossing Morton) are the crudely formed piles of dirt – perhaps having been left behind by Park Maintenance.

By the looks of the tracks over these tightly compacted mounds, it’s like a playground for people on foot, dogs of all sizes, and a few bicycles. Although technically mountain biking isn’t allowed in Elysian Park’s walking trails, we keep thinking it would be like playing a game of Excitebike (80s children, you know what I’m talkin’ about?). Except in this game, you’re probably face-planting and not having as much fun.

Still, wouldn’t it be a blast taking a little BMX at full speed over some hills? It’s not considered mountain biking, right?

At the FYF Fest over the weekend, surrounded by so many dang hipsters you wonder where the heck they all came from (Austin?), we found  a little bit of Echo Park amongst the vendors. It was great to see Echo Park businesses at the fest, including Origami Vinyl (with a giant booth!), Backside Echo Park, Blood is the New Black, The Warehouse and The Classroom.

We snapped a few photos of their booths at the fest:

Backside Echo Park

Origami Vinyl

The Warehouse & The Classroom

Blood is the New Black

And lastly, our friends Chromatics had a HUGE crowd

About 100 interested locals (including politicians, volunteers, and candidates) spent the morning in LA City hard hats amongst the dust and debris behind the fence of Echo Park Lake. Guided in small groups by project manager Marlon Calderon, our 9:00 am group (the first one!) got a close-up look of the North side of the Lake where Lady of the Lake statue will stand, the “boardwalk” alongside the wetlands and bridge, and the Boathouse – inside and out.

The project is about 60% complete, and come February, it should be full with water. The 60 construction workers are working on Saturdays to beat the rainy season, which will hopefully just fill the lake up naturally without any help from the city water sources. Our guide Calderon mentioned that with the Lake being the lowest point in the Silver Lake / Echo Park area, 26 million gallons of water can fill the lake in three hours – so there shouldn’t be any issues getting the water in there.

The Lake’s historic and widely known bridge

The Lotus plants will actually be planted in the next two months – a “berm” (like an under water dam) surrounding the Lotus bed on the North side of the Lake will keep all the water for that area in.

While many trees were removed due to disease, there are 400 trees currently being maintained and watered, and 200 more are expected to be added before the Lake’s grand opening in Spring 2013.

The Boathouse has yet to have an official concessions company, but the kitchen is high-end and fully stocked (leaving many of us to hope for something along the lines of Homegirl Cafe taking over). They’ll also be adding in a new boat dock, while bringing up the entire Boathouse to compliance to make it fully functional (that means paddle boats, people!).

More photos and info after the jump!

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For those of you lucky enough to be outdoors today, the “rainbow in the clouds” event produced some impressive photos all over the social media networks. A savvy Facebook fan pointed out that the phenomenon is known as a “circumhorizontal arc,” or “fire clouds.”

A Wikipedia article has educated us on the phenomenon: Taking place usually when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, producing not fire nor a rainbow, but reflections from ice crystals in high cirrus clouds. This one wasn’t a full arc, but just a small, patchy fragment.

Check out the photos collected from various sources and followers below!

Near Chango. Instagram photo via fcvc

From the LA Dodgers Facebook fan page.

Twitter photo via @yyys0

Instagram photo via elphcstl

The streets of Echo Park early this morning were quiet and calm – a drastic difference from last night’s 4th of July festivities. Just a few bits of the fireworks littered the street pictured here, along with some charred relics burned into the pavement.

We fared better than a vacant house on Fargo, which caught fire from the roof and may have been caused by a firework.

Having lived in the same place in Echo Park for just a few years now, we’ve seen the ups and downs of the 4th of July celebrations in the neighborhood. Echo Park Lake used to be the fireworks war zone, with roman candles, bottle rockets, spinners, even home-made bombs in this synchronized madness that’s hard to imagine now. And if you couldn’t tell from the loud booms and screeches and car alarms, this year has proven that the streets all over the neighborhood are just as crazy.

First up, chilling out with some beach chairs and our cameras at an Elysian Park road for views of the Dodger Stadium annual 4th of July fireworks. It’s one of few places in Echo Park where long-time families/neighbors and even hipsters come together to clap and cheer for the show.

A short walk around the corner and the best street fireworks are being set off every other minute. It’s easy to enjoy because, hey, they’re legal in some US state right?

It’s past 11 pm and things have quieted down, and the cats can relax a little bit. Hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July!

A couple of candles and flowers decorate the Dick Clark mural on Glendale Boulevard, under the Sunset Bridge, in Echo Park.

Flickr photo via Carlos Ontivero

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

“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!


This morning’s drive to work wouldn’t be complete without driving by our local bakery, La Espiga, on Scott Avenue and Glendale Boulevard. The wall along the Scott side usually gets pretty tagged up (they are always quick to remove it), but we noticed today it’s gotten a little bit of a different look. We like it – it’s a nice, warm color, and the artwork is all hand painted, down to the Facebook logo!

Make sure you Like them on Facebook, because everyone needs to be liked!

Before (ignore the graffiti, this was from a while back)

The streets of Echo Park on Baxter are infamous for being some of the steepest outside of San Francisco, but nobody told this limo driver.

Today the limo awaits a tow truck after being stuck at the apex of Baxter Street, which isn’t uncommon for this corner – a school bus attempted the climb a couple of years ago, and we’re sure there are more undocumented attempts.

Saturday’s lunar eclipse ended up being probably the coolest thing I have ever done in Los Angeles.

Despite the 4:00 am wake-up call, I managed to grab some coffee and a few layers of clothing before heading off to Griffith Park to witness a complete lunar eclipse from the Observatory. It was, of course, PACKED with people, so parking was pretty crowded and I ended up lugging my tripod, camera, and all the other necessities about a mile up the windy road before arriving at the Observatory lawn. News crews, Angelenos, and tourists crowded the area, but I some how managed to find an okay spot to test out my new Nikon DSLR.

Somehow, I managed to catch a few decent shots – although I am by no means a professional photographer (in fact, I’m hoping to sign up for a class next spring). Although it was frustrating I couldn’t get a great shot of the shape of the actual moon as it was eclipsing (the clouds diffused the light and I didn’t have much of a lens for it), I had to try and not condemn the point-and-shoot photographers for using their flash when taking photos of the moon (yep), thus interrupting my own images.

The crowd and flash photography aside, this was one of the coolest things ever. By around 6:00 am, you’d seen everything the eclipse had to offer, so it was time to move to the other side of the Griffith Observatory to snag a good spot on the balcony for nighttime Los Angeles skyline photos, and to watch the sun rise. I am happy to report that I now officially feel like a true Angeleno. And if you haven’t done sunrise at the Observatory yet, better put that on your LA bucket list because it is a required activity.

Click here to check out the full Flickr set (including shots from the sunrise) from our early morning adventure!

We hate to admit this is only our second Echo Park Community Parade that we’ve been able to attend, but so far it’s our favorite!

There were over 60 entries in this year’s parade, themed “‘Tis the Season.” In addition to local schools, drill teams, cheer squads, and elected officials, there were a few Echo Park businesses and organizations participating in the parade lineup. Amongst those were The Echo Park Time Bank, Edendale Library Friends Society (ELFS), The Warehouse and The Classroom, Mi Alma, 826LA, and others. Maryanne Hayashi of the Central City Action Committee was accompanied by three generations of her family – her daughter, grand-daughter, and her two-year-old great grand-daughter!

Community members that have greatly contributed to our Echo park were give special recognition as ambassadors. Mitch O’Farrell from Eric Garcetti’s Office was honored as the Grand Marshal. Parade Ambassadors included Holly Calhoun of the Echo Park Farmers’ Market, the Echo Park Improvement Association, Masa of Echo Park Bakery & Café, and Albert Torres of Recreation & Parks.

And, as parade committee members told me today, everyone was a winner! All entries received a trophy for participating. It would have been hard to pick any winners, all the entries were fabulous!

Check out our photos below:

Get the flash player here:

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