Tag Archive for: echo park news


For the first time since its start in Los Angeles four years ago, CicLAvia (a free, open streets event in which streets are closed in favor of bicycles and pedestrians) will be coming to Echo Park this Sunday.

The No Parking signs are already posted for the street closures along Glendale Boulevard and Bellevue, just south of Echo Park Lake. At the corner of Glendale and Bellevue is the “Echo Park Hub,” where there will be a DJ, a KPCC booth and food trucks like Fluff Ice, the Grilled Cheese Truck and Mandoline Grill.

Ciclavia will speak Thursday night at the Echo Park Improvement Association Town Hall on the street closures and what else to expect. The major concern with the event is cyclists making their way into Echo Park Lake, where skating and cyclists are not allowed.

The meeting will be held at Barlow Hospital in Williams Hall at 7:00 pm. All are welcome.

Mark your calendars: The Central City Action Committee (in charge of that graffiti removal in our neighborhood as well as after school programs for kids) is having a rummage sale!

They get some awesome, I mean FANTASTIC donations to help raise money for its programs. We’ve heard of prizes that were not collected from The Price is Right get donated here. Vintage items, clothes, toys, furniture, books, household items, and more! A couple of new items include an electric fireplace, an “Abdominal Track System Exercise Machine” (will have to go to the sale to see what this thing is), and a child inflatable jumper.

Check it out on Thursday, February 13 and Friday, February 14 from 10:30 am – 5:30 pm.

Who knows, maybe the Abdominal Track System Exercise Machine will make a perfect V-day gift for your significant other!

The CCAC is located at the old fire station at 534 E Edgeware Road.


This is a bit sad news because we’ve gotten to know owners and Echo Parkians Erich Schlieske and Ellen McAlister (eEvil Ink Design) quite well. Villainy General Store opened in the former Echo Curio space almost exactly two years ago, taking on the challenge of renovating the space and that terribly tiny bathroom. Erich announced the store’s closing on the store’s Facebook page, saying:

THANK YOU ECHO PARK !!! We have met so many very cool and gracious people here. We met lots of neighbors, old-timers, new-timers and for the most part we’ve been well received and we’ve always appreciated that kindness.

Who knew that a Villainy General Store could last for 2 years? More importantly, what is a “Villainy General Store”? It was an experiment, what can I say? I’ve always been intrigued by junk drawers, misfit accessories, vintage curios and funny, odd gifts.

And a curious store it is – but we’ve always found something to take home. Since the store won’t be closing until the end of December, you can still pick up some great and unique gifts, including cheeky greeting cards and (my favorite) t-shirts with hipster sayings like “Echo Park: Where Silver Lake Comes to get Drunk.” After December you can always check them out online at villainyla.com.

What will be next for the storefront on Sunset Boulevard and Laveta Terrace? Perhaps another boutique?


Could it be true? Only a year and week (to the day) after Cookbook owners Marta Teegan and Robert Stelzner opened Cortez in Echo Park, our rumor mill reports that it could be closing for good.

It seams like yesterday the culinary duo took over the 1,000 square foot upscale, American restaurant on Allison Avenue near Sunset Boulevard. The reviews over Yelp! are pretty darn fantastic, but perhaps it could have been the January 2013 review by the esteemed Jonathon Gold that did them in when he wrote in the LA Times:

Tiny portions are great in principle and on tasting menus, but there may be a reason so many of the regulars at Cortez fit nicely into skinny jeans. And by the time you finish ordering, you are going to have spent a shocking amount of money.

Pricey, perhaps –  but delicious from what we’ve heard. Echo Park Now has reached out to Cortez for comment and to confirm the rumor… in the meantime, we hope it’s not true and we wish Cortez nothing but the best!


You’ll have a chance to check out Cortez after all – Owner Marta Teegan responded to our email, saying it is NOT closing. Glad to hear!

The pedal boats are back in business on Echo Park Lake! It’s been around four years since the city shut down pedal boat operations at the Boathouse due to budget cuts. Yesterday the operators of the pedal boats, Echo Park Lake Pedal Boats, Canoe & Gondola, greeted lines of people renting the bright yellow boats on the newly renovated Echo Park Lake.

The boating company is operating on a 90 day pilot program for the summer, after which the city will review whether or not it was successful. The cafe vendor will also operate under the same trial period – Square One Dining is expected to start serving on August 1.

Cost is $5 per child and $10 per adult for both the pedal boats (up to one hour) and canoe rides (the latter includes two laps around the lake with a guide). A gondola ride sounds like a nice date night – a half hour for one couple will cost you $50.

Wednesdays will be a great day to head down and rent a pedal boat – called “90026 day,” local residents can rent a pedal boat for just $10.

Hours right now are Monday through Friday, 11:00 am-7:00 pm, and weekends open at 9:00 am until 30 minutes before sunset. We imagine hours will fluctuate depending on the season.

The menu for the cafe has not yet been released, but according to The Eastsider LA will include “park fare” such as hamburgers, hot dogs, juices, and brunch items. Currently the sample menu on the Square One Dining website looks pretty delicious – gourmet cold and hot sandwiches, salads, soups, and more. Hopefully the price tag at the new Echo Park Lake Boathouse won’t reflect that menu – the cheapest lunch sandwich is listed at a whopping $10.50.

Photo courtesy of Josh Anderson

According to some flyers and a new banner posted at a vacant lot near Echo Park Lake, the neighborhood is getting a dog park. Mayyyyybe.

A quick call to the community relations office of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, which is clearly listed on the banner in the photo above, and it turns out they are not putting up a dog park on Echo Park Avenue near Laguna Avenue, or anywhere for that matter.

“The idea had been floated at one time,” said Canon for Community Relations Bob Williams, “but the Diocese has no intention of putting in a dog park.”

So who is really behind the “Coming soon” banners and flyers?

Photo by Javier Cabral via Grubstreet LA

Cookbook owner Marta Teegan has been working for a long time on renovating a 1100 square foot space next to Radi’s Auto and Novak Salon at 1356 Allison Avenue. Grubstreet Los Angeles reports the new restaurant, named Cortez, will be opening up on October 28 for a private dinner with photographer Todd Selby. The menu focuses on “locally procured organic produce, sustainable seafood, and pasture raised meats, along with pickles and charcuterie made in house for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week.”

They did apply earlier this year for a beer and wine license for the 25-seat restaurant operating from 8:00 am – 11:00 pm Sunday through Thursday from 8:00 am – midnight. Email info@cookbookla.com for reservations.

Tonight, the Greater Elysian Echo Park Neighborhood Council (GEPENC) will discuss an application by Echo Park restaurant Señor Fish to add liquor to its existing beer and wine license, as well as to expand its seating to the adjacent building, formerly the tortilleria.

Señor Fish may have opened last May, but it would be difficult to tell if you were just walking by. Though a new sign has been installed on the corner of the roof, the restaurant chain has yet to repair the graffiti-riddled windows. General Manager Jesse Pimentel said in July, in an email, that the windows were to be replaced within a couple of weeks, saying, “The windows will be replaced first. We are also going to put some stools along the counter by the TV and also beautify the interior.”

In an article by The Eastsider LA from late August, the windows were again addressed and the new windows were only a “couple of weeks” away from being repaired:

Ramirez [the restaurant owner] said he has held off  replacing the windows for fear they would get scratched as soon as they get replaced. He said vandals can still scratch or cut their way through the plastic film that has been applied to many windows to protect them against scratches.  Currently, his family is working on a wood screen that would protect the windows at night but roll down and out of the way during the day time and create a wainscoating at the base of the building. If that does not prove practical,  the store will install some other type of metal screen or folding doors. What ever option is selected, expect new windows in a couple of weeks, he said.

Pimentel also mentioned the response to the restaurant opening had been great, but they may not get the community support for a full liquor license and restaurant expansion if the windows aren’t repaired.

The neighborhood council meeting is tonight, Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:00 pm. The Community Center where the meeting will be held is located at 1572 Sunset Boulevard behind the Bank of America.

The meeting agenda also includes discusion of five single family small lot dwellings at 1516 Echo Park Avenue.


We may be used to the car chases being aired on Los Angeles TV networks, but when they come through your own neighborhood things get a little real. It was especially scary that the suspect was not only considered armed and dangerous – he was possibly a murder suspect, and definitely had an AK-47. When that happens:


throw things at the suspect’s car during a low-speed chase through your neighborhood. The suspect may have an AK-47. CBS Los Angeles reported that people were seen throwing items at the suspect’s car in Los Feliz – don’t do it!


watch from your home or work, away from windows, because who knows what will happen and where.


jump out in front of the suspect’s car as it drives through your neighborhood, especially if the media is report the suspect is heavily armed. The driver was suspected of murder, which means they probably will run you over.


watch from your home or work, away from windows.

And while we’re at it, if you;re a murder suspect, are heavily armed, and get caught talking or texting on your cell phone during a normal traffic stops, just pull over. We don’t mean to make light of it – it is a serious situation. Just don’t try to intervene, let the police do their thing, and hopefully, thankfully like this time, there was no loss of life or serious injuries to passer-byes.


Hefty price for Echo Park apartment building

Echo Ten Thirty on the busy intersection of Alvarado and Sunset houses 20 loft-style apartments along with street-level commercial units. It’s only two years old, but the owners have put it up for sale for a hefty $9.3 million. Though the location is pretty darn good (despite the traffic issues at the intersection), you can walk to Echo Park hot spots like Mohawk Bend, or gym it up at the new Crossfit in the building, but rent prices range from $1,495 to $3,555. The Eastsider LA has the deets.

Would you rent an LEED-certified apartment there?

Los Angeles or San Francisco?

Forget the Giants versus Dodgers rivalry (which, by the way, the Dodgers are at AT&T Park tonight for a three-game series), this is a debate about the city. Unfortunately, one SF Travel author has it all wrong in an article titled “Choosing between LA and SF: 9 Reasons to Head to San Francisco.” The author doesn’t think the Los Angeles has any nature (hello beaches? mountains?) or good food (our plethora James Beard award-winning chefs don’t seem to matter?), and apparently we’re not hipster enough (have you been to Silver Lake?).

Thankfully LAist has our back, giving Echo Park a shout-out for our great food, the hipster factor, and our neighboring Downtown’s own Angels Flight cable car. There are many other reasons to vote for LA, check out the LAist article and decide for yourself!

Echo Park for newbies

How would you describe Los Angeles neighborhoods to a newbie? The Native Angeleno takes on this challenge in an article titled, “LA Neighborhoods: An Introduction for Beginners.” The site’s description of Echo Park isn’t exactly how we’d put it:

There are 347 definitions of the word Hipster at Urban Dictionary, and next to each one is a picture of someone who has lived in Echo Park, from artists and independent thinkers to trust fund bohos and delusional space cadets.

We think they may have meant that one for Silver Lake. The other problem is we think they have organized the list into regions then neighborhoods, as we’re pretty sure K-Town is NOT in the Eastside. Okay, no another border dispute about Eastside versus Westside versus East LA. Check out the article for yourself.


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!

Read more

Echo Park Rising returns to the neighborhood for its second year of hosting and organizing free music, art and fun events.

After the sudden shut-down of Sunset Junction last year, Liz Garo (Spaceland Productions) and other community members decided to fill the void, offering bands and other artists a place to perform at different venues. Thus was born Echo Park Rising in 2011.

Now that the event organizers have had a bit more time to get organized this year, the festival has now become a grass roots neighborhood effort focusing on Echo Park’s arts, culture, music and small businesses.

So far, there will be music and/or DJs at: iam8bit, Fretted Frog, Raffa’s Lounge, Echo, Origami Vinyl, El Prado, Stories Books & Cafe, Sancho Gallery, Fix Cafe and Short Stop.

There will be a main stage in the Taix parking lot, and inside the restaurant. Lineup for the main stage includes Youngblood Hawke, NO, Dante Vs Zombies, Gothic Tropic, Hott MT, Robert Delong and Lavender Diamond.

The Echoplex will have a record fair, book fair, on site t-shirt silkscreening, and workshops on creating a fanzine plus more. The Echo Park Chamber if Commerce will be hosting a Movie Night Under the Stars on the Citibank roof at 7:00 pm that evening. Your $5 for adults, $10 for families donation goes to area youth groups.

Business that wish to participate should email neil@origamiorigami.com with information about what you’re doing (store discounts, music, etc.).

For more information, visit echoparkrising.com

Flickr photo via funkgab

Tonight, the LAPD is having a sobriety checkpoint on Sunset Boulevard at the corner of Reservoir from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am. In addition to checking for those driving under the influence, they will be making sure each driver has a valid driver’s license.

There will be an increased amount of traffic because the Dodgers play the Padres starting at 6:10 pm.

Stay safe, leave the car at home if you plan on drinking!

Echo Park is on the radar for a new “high-concept coffee bar,” reports Eater LA. Behind the concept: Intelligentsia’s former VP of Strategy Kyle Glanville, and current lead trainer for the Intelligentsia Venice location.

The two told Eater LA that they “have a strong preference for the Eastside, in an underserved locale such as Echo Park.”

While the coffee bar doesn’t have a permanent location yet or even a name, it will focus on using NO disposables – including napkins, cups, coffee filters, etc. We certainly like that! And we really don’t mind the whole coffee trend Intelligentsia represents in the area – as a coffee snob myself (but a realistic and budget-conscious one), that coffee is really, really, really good and is a nice treat every once in a while.

For now, the duo will be soon opening a pop-up shop for a few months, but no indication of where as of yet.

The stabbing of two long-time Echo Park residents on May 24 have sparked not just community-wide concern over safety, but also condemnation after the LAPD announced it was considering the crime a hate crime.

On Tuesday, June 26, the Echo Park United Against Hate Crimes have organized a town hall meeting featuring community groups, elected leaders, and LAPD representatives to address the hate crime issue.

The town hall is co-hosted by El Centro Del Pueblo, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 721, Assemblymember Gilbert Cedillo, Los Angeles Councilmember Eric Garcetti. Captain Murphy of the LAPD Northeast Division will also be providing a special report.

The LAPD are categorizing the incident as a hate crime, and, as the town hall flyer states, “we are calling on the Echo Park community to declare that a hate crime against any one member of our community is a hate crime against the entire community.”

Echo Park United Against Hate Crimes Town Hall Meeting
Tuesday, June 26 from 6-7:30 pm
El Centro Del Pueblo, located at 1157 Lemoyne St.

Please RSVP to conradoterrazas@roadrunner.com or 213.200.6161

Dinner and childcare will be provided.