Tag Archive for: community

A couple of Saturdays ago on July 10, Echo Park residents put together a “Share Fair” down on Echo Park Avenue. One of our readers wrote up a sort of review/article on the event, and shared it in the comments section of our post. We thought you’d like to read about Thea’s experience at the Share Fair here:

Echo Park Share Fair: What the Heck is a Share Fair?

Saturday July 10, 2010 from 1-5pm the first Echo Park Share Fair was held at the home of Katherine Gladwin and Car Nazzal. What is a share fair? When people come together and share goods or services or good company for the price and profit of enjoyment; the event was created by Echo Park Time Bank Members (a group that is all about sharing) but open to the community.

The house was placed in one of those secret Echo Park type locations; I drove around for a bout 15 minutes, looking for this seemingly made up location. I then remembered how some houses in Echo Park are without road access. I parked my vehicle and walked up the street. I ran into my friend Monique (a fresh transplant from France who hails from the Westside) on the sidewalk. She asked if I thought this place existed, I explained that the City of LA used to have a great public transportation system, and why there wasn’t a need for driveways in yesteryear Echo Park. She replied with a French lilt “L.A. is a very funny place.” I smiled, looked down and noticed the chalk arrows on the sidewalk as promised by the information on Echo Park Now and EPShareFair facebook page.

Monique and I entered the gate, and followed the sidewalk chalk arrows. Half way up the nefarious looking staircase was a young woman and a middle-aged man, the former was drawing arrows and writing “Share Fair a little bit further” and “Share Fair Almost There.” Three-quarters of the way up the harrowing-uneven-shifting-step-size staircase was the house of share.

Upon walking into the urban garden, there was a Share Table at the front of the yard where you could place unwanted items for exchange. There were toys, children’s clothing, and adult clothing. At one point in the day a few fellows started trying on the the kid’s clothing for humor, a few girls walked away with cute clothing items in both children’s and adult size.

Entering the house Breanne Martin (of Brock Real Estate) was teaching knitting. On the patio Car Nazzal (the woman I met on the stairs) a San Francisco filmmaker transplant showed us how to make cyanotypes and provided found objects from the junk drawer and garden. I felt proud one my cyanotypes looked like a helicopter, this was a result of using a decaying leaf, a strip of super-8 film and a small branch. Others used leaves, crystal unicorns, popcorn kernels, branches, stencils, sunglasses. Each print provided a new look into old items, providing abstract images, surrealism and direct representations of objects.

In the kitchen Katherine made and shared delicious vegan berry popsicles and chocolate peanut butter popsicles. The skills I shared were Handwriting Analysis and Hypnosis. I provided handwriting analysis to all who attended, people were amazed at what traits their handwriting revealed and some were a bit taken aback by the accuracy. Neither Katherine or Car had ever been hypnotized, I had been so busy with the writing we barely had time for it. Toward the close of the Share Fair I eased them into a progressive relaxation and into a state of calm. Did I make them quack like ducks? No…Was I tempted?

In the beginning of the event people trickled in and out: by mid-event several people were present and then shifted to a different group of people. The conversations were friendly and amiable. Discussions regarding handwriting, personality traits, dating, cinematography, music, funny psychic stories, veganism, pure land Buddhism and satirical filmmaking filled the air. The plan according to Katherine is to hold a Share Fair bi-monthly. What are you going to share?

Thanks for the review!

A proposal by the Mayor’s Chief Administrative Officer is on the agenda for the City Council meeting on Wednesday, May 26, and will, if approved, eliminate the $1 per year lease subsidies for nonprofit organizations in city-owned buildings. Community organizations all across Los Angeles will be affected if approved by the City Council, just one of many disappointing cuts in light of the city’s fiscal crisis.

Here in Echo Park, the Central City Action Committee is particularly concerned about this program. The organization has taken up residence at the old fire station on the corner of Edgware and Bellevue for the last 10 years. Should the $1 per year subsidies be cut, there is growing concern over the future of the CCAC as all its grant money goes to graffiti removal, and youth jobs and programs in Echo Park and surrounding neighborhoods. In addition, CCAC director MaryAnne Hayashi is concerned that there have been no studies to help determine the negative impact on the communities that this proposal will have.

The CCAC is an important organization in Echo Park (and other neighborhoods of course) not only because of the graffiti removal, but also because of the youth programs it offers to the community. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, the CCAC was honored at Dodger Stadium with a “2010 Good Neighbor Award” baseball bat, The Eastsider LA reported, for its contributions to the youth community.

We need to support organizations like the CCAC and tell the city to support our important non-profits. The original vote was supposed to take place on Wednesday, May 19, but was pushed back another week even though the cut is supposed to take effect on July 1 (which doesn’t give the CCAC much time to prepare). Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Call or email your City Council rep, click here for a list of phone numbers. Tell them to oppose the proposal.
  • Attend the meeting and give public testimony in opposition to the proposal. The meeting is on Wednesday, May 26 at City Hall, Room 340,  200 North Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90012 (for times, keep an eye out for the meeting agenda, but will probably occur between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm).
  • Arts For LA is another non-profit that is campaigning against this proposal. They have provide some detailed information and great suggestions on how to write your letters and word your phone calls to get the point across. Click here.

To follow what’s going on with this issue, you can actually subscribe via RSS feed and get updates when something happens. You can click here or go to the City Clerk website and search for file number 08-2762.

Taking Our Bikes Back

Tonight at Echo Park Cycles, join the conversation on the problems of bike theft, solutions, and resistance 101.

Tonight (November 10) at 7:00 pm.

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