Tag Archive for: opinions

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.

This house has better luck, except for the window... Flickr photo via iamrob

When I first moved to Echo Park, I had just graduated from college and moved into the cheapest apartment I could find. At $550 per month and with a roommate I found on Craigslist, I learned (after moving in) that my very first, very cheap post-college apartment had a bit of a, well, cockroach issue. And then we found the hole the mice were coming through. And the street this first post-college apartment was on had a bit of a crime issue. Suffice to say it wasn’t the best living, and not all streets in Echo Park are like that, but it worked at the time.

(Note: My first day there, with my U-Haul parked out front, an LAPD car pulled up. One of the officers asked us, “Who’s moving in?” I replied in my usual bubbly tone, “Me!!” They shook their heads and continued on… a sign of what to expect perhaps?)

Whatever the cockroach issues or the crime issue, one of the things I could never solve, however, was the LA Times newspaper delivery. While I realized it could be due to my zip code or maybe just because my street was really that bad, that Sunday Times never arrived, and after a couple of months of calling I couldn’t get a straight answer from the LA Times.

One of my fave blog reads, Franklin Avenue, posted about this issue today and revealed that the LA Times is now allowing subscribers to “opt-in” on receiving the LA Times Magazine along with their Sunday paper. Apparently the Magazine was only available in certain zip codes, and, as the blog describes: “…but, ahem, apparently Franklin Avenue HQ isn’t in an upscale enough part of SoCal.” We feel ya!

So now those “undesirable zip codes,” as Franklin Avenue describes it, can no receive both the Sunday Times and the Magazine… That is, if you can get the Times to deliver in the first place.

Flickr photo Theron Trowbridge

For our readers: We recently added an “Opinions” category to the website as a way to separate out our posts from our more, well, opinionated articles. This would be one of those…

Wednesdays are rough days for me. They are not nearly close enough to Fridays, and the heavy workloads usually make me want to start drinking during the week again. But mostly, they are exhuasting as I just don’t get enough sleep in the mornings. They wouldn’t be, except for the lovely sounds of our neighborhood trash trucks.

Now before you comment on this article saying, “Kelly, why do you hate city services?”, let’s be frank. I actually like having my garbage picked up and the streets swept clean for (even if the street sweeping is half-halfhearted and infrequent). But sometimes… sometimes you’re just not so into it.

Here’s why I, and those who live above the alley in an apartment complex can feel me, despise trash day: My street seems to be a main thoroughfare for trash pickup in our part of Echo Park. Dozens of trucks come by, and by around 8 or 9:00 am they’ve all done u-turns below our bedroom window – squeaky breaks piercing through our single-paned windows, “beep, beep, beep” with every reverse, loud diesel engines working hard against the steep hill. It’s like shrill bombs going off every few minutes outside the window (again, single-pane windows).

And the beeps are the worst – because there are so many trucks needed in our high-density neighborhood, they start by 6:00 am, if not a few minutes before. Earplugs always ready by my alarm clock, I typically catch a glance at how early it is when I’m shoving those things in. I keep thinking, there’s just no way these guys can be in Echo Park at 5:54 am, beep-beep-beeping and crashing the heavy plastic cans against the curbs. But they are – and they can.

A quick Google search reveals city noise ordinances allow garbage trucks and such services to operate between the hours of 6:00 am and 9:00 pm. So much for my letter-writing campaign to the LA Bureau of Sanitation.

So some day, hopefully, my dear trash truck drivers: fix those incredibly squeaky, shrill brakes, spray some WD-40 on those arm thingies that lift the cans up and down, and maybe lightly (or less forcefully) place the trash cans on the curb. Then maybe on a Wednesday, I’ll be cheery at work from a nice, uninterrupted night of sleep.