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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Echo Park Lake yoga classes have some people bent out of shape

 

Photo and post above from Yoga Echo Park’s Facebook page

When swap meet and food vendors have swarmed over the lawns and pathways surrounding Echo Park Lake, there’s usually an outcry about the improper or illegal use of public space. Now, the same complaint is being heard once again. But this time it’s about yoga.

Since the lake and park reopened to the public this summer, one of the few relatively flat grassy areas of the park near the corner of Echo Park and Park avenues has hosted Yoga Echo Park, a series of regularly scheduled day and evening classes organized by instructor Steven Arcos.  The Yoga Echo Park Facebook page says:

Yoga Echo Park is designed for those that love being outside, being active, and obviously doing yoga. Whether you are new to yoga are a card-holding yogi, you’ll enjoy the newly renovated Echo Park while moving through fun vinyasa flows and relaxing with some gentle meditation. Expect to sweat, laugh, grow, or discover something new about yourself.

But are these yoga classes, which has attracted 25 students, taking up too much room? On the Echo Elysian Forum, one resident observed that a “good sized hunk of the northeast lawn” had been taken over by the class:

This person is probably charging while using prime lawn space at the park.  This is just as bad as the guys on blankets selling used clothing.  How do we stop this?

The yoga classes are not part of a city’s Recreation & Parks Department program  but it’s not clear if permits are needed.  As others have noted, the city’s Recreation and Parks Department often requires permits for private group activities.  The Eastsider has contacted Arcos for details about the classes and about the permit issue.

Arcos does not charge for the classes but there is “a minimum $5 donation suggested,” according to his Facebook page.

Update: Arcos said that as far as he could tell a city permit is not required for this type of activity.

” We started at the end of July and since then have had about 100 people come to classes with an average of about 20 people per class (Thursdays usually 1 or 3 people),” Arcos said via email. “Having grown up around Echo Park, I remember when the park was frequented by gang members and derelicts.  I wanted to make sure that the park never returned to this so I came up with this class.”

 



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112 comments

  1. Hmmm, Santa Monica just went through this. I think as long as the teacher isn’t charging a fee it’s not quite the same. Unlike the swap meet and food vendors it doesn’t seem that the yoga folks are engaging in the same level of commerce. And they certainly aren’t selling food without licenses etc. from the city. Let’s have a discussion about park use and not a class/gentrification/hipster rant. Ok?

  2. “a minimum $5 suggested donation” Grammatically speaking, that sentence makes my brain explode.

  3. A Homeless Gentleman

    I have a problem with this as I sometimes like to take my morning nap on this portion of the lawn. When they are there I am forced to move to the nearby hill. This is especially rough because I am typically drunk at that time.

    Also, that lawn is the way in and out of the park for many who come from Echo Park Blvd. Also, the earlier commenter tried to say that this is not “the same level of commerce” as food vendors. I would really like a clarification on that point. Commerce is commerce. Money exchanged for goods and services. Call it a donation, a handout (I like handouts!) or a fee, but money is exchanging hands.

  4. A park is “public” if someone has a group of 25 people doing yoga then they should be permitted to do so (as long as no $ is asked). I mean there are no complaints about the Familila of 50 having a big a** picnic making a mess and leaving their trash behind!!!???
    As for this guy asking for a “donation” this is just his way of finding a loop hole in the system as to not pay taxes or claim it at the end of the year or get a permit. I think if a “donation” is requested, then the city should get a chunk of it and he should require getting a permit as it does become a private group activity.

    • On another note, I’ll bet if you go regularly and never “donate” any money, he will ask you to leave.

      • Its unfortunate that you think that about me. Anyone who knows me, knows that is the furthest thing from the truth. Many people who come don’t pay and its okay. The suggested donation is there because the first question people ask is “How much is it?” You may or may not know that yoga is usually a very expensive activity, so making it available to everyone is important to me.

        • If that were true, then you would make no mention of a ‘donation’ and just answer by saying ‘no charge’. You are just manipulating the system by stating it’s a donation as to avoid paying taxes and stuff.

          • Yeah because he’s making a killing, right? Leave the guy alone.

          • He is buying mats and providing them to those that don’t have their own to use. Anyone who cannot afford to pay is absolutely welcome as I have been one of those people a few times. When I do have the $ I think it is more than fair to donate $5 to him for donate his talents, services and time to offer such a thing to the community. “Suggested” means if you’d like to give and can, do. If you don’t want to or can’t that’s cool too. There is a box on the table to slip in $ IF YOU WANT TO. NO ONE is shaking you down or keeping track of who pays because Steve does not care. God, leave the guy alone. He is trying to add something FOR THE COMMUNITY to the park. Something to help people be active and fit, as yoga normally IS a very expensive activity normally to take classes. Why is no one complaining about the cholos who still hold their corners of the park down or all the shady business that goes on. Or as someone mentioned before the big family parties that don’t clean up after themselves.

        • Steve,

          I applaud you for making your community a better place.

  5. see, this is why i hate people. the swap meets lasted all day. the park was taken over by illegal pop up shops (i.e. garbage dumps) that took over the lawn and pathways of over half of the park. there was so much trash left behind. it was very imposing and made me never want to visit the lake. on the other hand, when i drive or walk by the lake on the weekends now and see a small class of people doing yoga i find it very pleasant. there is a HUGE difference between a park wide swap meet and a one hour yoga class. people are enjoying the park for once. get over it!

    • The yoga class is an illegal pop up. My problem with pop ups is that they pay no rent or taxes but compete with business that do pay rent and taxes. If i set up a coffee stand around the corner from Chango and charged less because i pay no expenses, they would be justifiably upset. A local yoga studio trying to pay their monthly expenses might be upset at what amounts to illegal retail competition. Whilst it may seem petty to single out this particular service those who invest in businesses must be protected from unfair competition from pop ups using public space rent and tax free to operate a business.

      • well, i guess i’d rather watch illegal yoga than have 50+ “vendors” selling crap, leaving trash and taking over half the park any day.
        -ST

        • So would I but this is not about our choosing to be being entertained by one or the other of the pop ups in the park. It’s about unfair retail competition.
          To quote Steve Arcos:
          “You may or may not know that yoga is usually a very expensive activity, so making it available to everyone is important to me.”
          I’m sure it’s important to local yoga studios losing business as well.

          • ‘Unfair retail competition’ already exists legally in this city. Chains have driven a number of businesses out and to open an average bar in this city you suddenly need about a million dollars to wade through all of the permitting and licensing fees. Are we a better city because of it? No. Are we a safer city because of it? No.

          • What point I think is being missed is that this is not a “business”. What if a bunch of kids were to host a bake sale in the park to raise money for their school field trip. Would everyone flip out and say they are competing with the local bake shops and they should have a permit? Or if someone offered a book study/tutor group to a small study group in the park and asked for a suggested donation for their time, would everyone flip out? I think you are all missing the point that he is not trying to operate a business. He is trying to make available services to people who cannot afford to ever go to yoga because of those big yoga studios that have to pay rent and charge alot of $. He’s not asking for $. It’s not turned away, but he is not going around and asking each person for $. I don’t understand at what point do you guys draw the line?

      • I will agree to say he would need to have a permit for the yoga classes as soon as every other illegal vendor is required to have one.

    • Yup. This is a perfect example of destructive, community-dividing Eastside NIMBYism.

      When I initially read the email chain that started this whole debate, I actually laughed out loud. The fact that the person who lodged the initial complaint — they called it an “exercise class” and were comparing it to a full-blown Bootcamp-type affair — had the audacity to compare this to the swap meet and junk sellers is absolutely ludicrous. There’s a big difference between unsightly, messy and illegal vending (ie: People selling potentially defective or hazardous products) and a group of people doing yoga (probably the most unoffensive, quiet and unobtrusive exercise activity I can think of).

      I think the person who complained about this is the kind of Echo Park resident that would also complain about people having a picnic or a large birthday party at the park. People are using the park for recreational activities, and they should be applauded! I think the complainer would be only happy if no one sat on the grass or took up space at the lake.

  6. get a permit and pay taxes. some days there are 2 and 3 events scheduled. looks like he’s working the system.

    • Ruth, we only meet three times a week: Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday. When the space has been occupied by other events, such as the Lotus Preservation Society event, we have used another space or cancelled. This is meant to be a positive, community, experience, something that promotes health and happiness.

      • Thank you Steve A. I think it’s a great service to the community and a $5 donation is much less than a 3rd of what I usually am happy to pay…though I realize not everyone can afford that. An hour long class of 25 or so people stretching is hardly an inconvenience and I am grateful to Steve, the city and all of the supporters.

      • I don’t think you can say ONLY 3 times a week. 3 out of 7 days is over 40%.

        • But, if it’s an hour-long class, that’s only 3 out of 168 total hours in a week, less than 1.8%.

          • to be fair, the park is only open 6am-10pm, or 112 hours a week. so he’s there a whopping 2.7%!

            also, once all the grass is healthy and the fences gone, there will be plenty of more space for all.

          • Context people, you lost the forest for the trees. He said he’s ONLY there 3 days a week, thats 3 out of 7 days. Is he there the majority of time the park is in operation, no but none made that claim. The point was that he’s holding a class practically every other day.

      • I think it is great that you are politely addressing the concerns of, uh, concerned people.

        Don’t let the bastards grind you down, Steve. Puritanism comes in many forms, but at its base is the suspicion that somewhere, someone is enjoying life. (Paraphrased from H. L. Mencken)

      • Steve – if you need people to back you up from these Nimby lunatics sign me up.. let us know where to go to show our support. Because I’ve had it with these guys. This whole Complaining about a Yoga class it’s like watching some parody on YouTube but sadly it is not. I have only occasionally seen the classes on my way home and just love that the park is being used for this.. and not hawking hello kitty tees shirts.

      • $5 bucks is a deal!! What time do you all meet?

  7. fair is fair: the guy needs to move out of the park and get a yoga studio (or do it at his house). by the same toke, the guys selling red hot frito’s and corn on the cob need to leave as well. it’s a park, not a mini mall.

  8. You’re doing something positive and enlightening that is affordable and practical.

    Get out.

  9. A Homeless Gentleman

    After reading these comments I have changed my mind. I now vehemently support yoga in the park!

    Now, the issue is settled. Move to another comment board.

  10. I believe soccer is prohibited in that area for the same reason — to preserve space for other park-goers. But the answer is not to ban such recreational, noncommercial activities — that’s what parks should be about. It’s obvious that more park space is needed.

    It’s a shame that we got an apartment building in front of the Belmont Tunnel — where there used to be a lot of soccer-playing going on in an empty lot — instead of another greatly-needed park.

    • soccer takes up a lot of space. there is also the matter of potential injuries to those playing as well as a stray flying ball injuring those nearby. the yoga class takes up like 10 square feet , every so often. again, not the same thing. even if the guy had a permit i’m sure you’d still all be freaking out. i would be more concerned if there was increased gang activity or drug dealing in the park than a few people doing yoga in the morning. and don’t compare this to the swap meet. that swap meet was the worst! it made the area look like a big city dump.

      • I was not attacking the yoga class. I specifically said “the answer is not to ban such recreational, noncommercial activities.” There is no reason to set up what I said as a soccer-player vs. yoga-practitioner argument.

  11. Twelve Words or Less

    Permit is needed, even if donation based, so says EPRecCen (213) 250-3578

  12. If it’s a regular thing, and he’s taking donations, than he should have to pay a minimal permit fee. But the bigger problem is the lack of flat, public green spaces in Los Angeles. If every neighborhood had access to an urban park or two, than you wouldn’t see so much trash and competition for limited space at Echo Park.

  13. Why argue over these issues?
    Its a public park who ever gets to the grass first can chill there as long as they want.
    Why does it concern you people that he is not paying taxes ?
    These Eastsider articles are fuckin silly.

    • Yes, it is public but when you are making money in a public park the rules change. It appears you are obviously not a tax payer because If you did pay taxes then you would care. Actually, this is a well worthy article.

    • Thank you! My exact thought!

      • Let’s do the math… let’s say the minimum $5.00 “donation” x 20 people = $100 a day x 3 days a week = $300 per week. x 52 weeks EQUALS $15,600 a year!!! Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against someone making an honest living but when you are not paying your taxes, let alone not getting a permit, then I have something against that.

        • Should we all pay taxes when it comes to selling online, from garage, even craigslist?! People are becoming so addicted to money money money, that they cant even see the benefit when its staring at them in the face! The kid may make a few bucks here and there but it wont make him rich. Nor will the govt miss out on his taxes. You want to enforce someone to oay taxes?! Well then i urge u to look into rich people and how they hide their money from paying a dime to govt.

          • Lovelife, actually, the feds are actually trying to make a bill that would require people to pay taxes for re-selling their stuff on line and/or garage sales. I don’t agree with this because I already paid taxes for the stuff when I originally bought them! Two different things here. In as much as Steve A. is making an “honest” living and doing a good thing, for which I am not condemning, I just believe since he is using up space at a park for which WE pay taxes to maintain it, then he should have to either pay taxes or get a permit (but someone already showed that he doesn’t need a permit). That’s all I am saying is to pay his taxes for additional income.

  14. Thank you Steve A. I think it’s a great service to the community and a $5 donation is much less than a 3rd of what I usually am happy to pay…though I realize not everyone can afford that. An hour long class of 25 or so people stretching is hardly an inconvenience and I am grateful to Steve, the city and all of the supporters.

  15. Excellent headline.

  16. Great, NIMBYs turning Echo Park into Santa Monikkka. This guy isn’t SELLING old used trash or E.Coli laden popsicles. He is offering a *free* community oriented *healthy* activity to local residents. I think Yoga Steve should be applauded. And I will put a dollar in your hat when I walk by. Yoga is not my thing, but carry on.

  17. I’m so sorry to come here to see Steve getting this undeserved flack. I’ve attended a few of his classes and would gladly donate $20 instead of $5 each time to him. But even if I didn’t give him a penny, I know he’d still encourage me to come back. He’s doing something extremely positive for the community. To the complainers – is a small group of quiet people on the grass, 3 hours out of the entire week, really inhibiting your EPL experience? Maybe you should stop by and join us sometime. You might even like it.

  18. Take it up to Elysian every other sesh. Tons of room up there and you can give people a break at the lake from your stretching class. Move it around a little and no one will ever complain. Tweet your location. Text.

  19. The complainers are obviously the ones who’d rather sit on their couch with potato chips on hand while watching their television. So funny to even hear anyone complain about a public park that isnt owned by them and a yoga class thats beneficial to many. Another reason why so many Americans cannot mind their own business! Chill America! Enjoy life. Smile and take a walk! The park wasnt even attravtive before. Not that it is now… Still needs tremendous amount of work. But please, neighbors, dont be jealous of someone fit, happy, and actually doing something with his/her life.

    • Actually the park is owned by the taxpayers of Los Angeles, as we are the ones the fund it. If a yoga instructor is making a profit (even from “suggested donations”) he should have to pay some sort of tax or fee for the use of the space. It’s not about jealousy, but about selfish and self righteous people thinking that rules shouldn’t apply to them.

    • Well said lovelife. Some people feel so guilty about being happy, they project their negativity on everyone else.

  20. This used to be a nice neighborhood…. now this new yoga gang is “taking over” the entire north lawn. This donation policy is clearly evidence of some sort of racket. I am amazed the LAPD has not cracked down on this unlawful cult/gang. When they all arrive with their mats rolled up like weapons they are very intimidating to the park.
    Don’t get me started on the guys selling ice cream and chips to the kids on the playgrounds either! This ice cream and chips epidemic is ruining the entire park experience and jeopardizing the next generation of park goers. I think we can all agree that sitting in the lawn of a park eating ice cream should not be tolerated, and is nothing close to what your park experience should be. Most of these hate filled frozen sugar and cream mobile dispensaries are also equipped with the sound of the devil with their high pitched bell sounds. I feel these bells are a direct mockery of the church bells just across the street.

    It’s all downhill from here people…..

    • Ice cream is a gateway drug. But this is a side issue. The important thing is that people don’t ruin this park by actually using it. If I had my way, people would only be allowed to look at the park from the sidewalk.

    • LOL @ Adam, I think you are blowing this out of proportion, by saying yoga is a cult/gang. I would rather much see a group of people doing yoga over a group of hoodlums tagging, drinking, and doing drugs and just running amuck intimidating others. Also, your statement that selling ice cream and chips is really dumb as these ‘vendors’ aren’t taking up a big space of the park for a long period of time.

    • …and clearly they are SWIMMING in cash from their entrepreneurial endeavors!

  21. I just looked up the law. It appears that the section of the Los Angeles Municipal Code that might have regulated this has been suspended. Therefore, it looks as if they are free to do yoga, run a class, collect a donation. I think that’s okay. This sounds like a very nice use of the park. It also looks like mostly women participating. Males have for so long dominated every park space and have had fields nearly always under their control. Giving women some space in a park should be rejoiced, not stopped. Here is the law section:

    3. [Suspended until further action by Ord. No. 176,929, Eff. 10/1/05.] No person shall rent or offer for rent, or sell or offer for sale any commercial merchandise, or any article or thing of any kind or nature whatsoever; or practice, carry on, conduct or solicit any trade, occupation, business, or profession, except by contract with the Board, Department, Commission or their authorized representatives. Nothing in this subdivision, however, shall prohibit the sale or offering for sale of newspapers, periodicals, books, pamphlets and other forms of communication except that said sale of offering for sale is prohibited in museums, in those portions of a park to which access is restricted by the payment of an admission fee or in those facilities which are operated under contract with the Board, Department or Commission. (Amended by Ord. No. 159,064, Eff. 7/16/84.)

  22. I think Elysian Park is the only park in Los Angeles that DOESN’T have free Yoga in the park. Walk/drive to many of the other parks and you’ll see lots of yoga. And please move to Elysian! Way more space and it’s always empty during the week plus lots of parking. And it’s closer to my house.

  23. You people kill me!

    So what? It’s a yoga class. Oh, they’re ruining the grass! Golf courses seem to survive with 100x the daily traffic.

    I don’t do yoga, I don’t care about yoga but I don’t think its fair to attack this instructor.

    Big deal! He’s charging 5 buck donation. If you think someone is looking for a “loophole” in the system hustling people out of 5 dollars while providing a service and thinking they are killing the system, please skip the next yoga class and step in front of a bus.

    Jesus! It’s not like he’s trashing the place, and like someone mentioned. What about the families that picnic at the park or the people that think its their own soccer field? Have you seen what that does to parks?

    Friggin Retards!

    Enjoy some culture, go outside, smile and stop being such damn babies.

  24. This is an easy one. It is a park – the purpose of which is fresh air and exercise.

    The class is using the park for its intended purpose – exercise. . .and some of them pay this guy to instruct them in their exercise. I can also hire a personal trainer to go for a run with me and I am simply using the park for its intended purpose and trying to improve my practice.

    Selling “instruction” is a lot different than selling food or broken appliances.

    Thanks for spreading the word- I am going to give it a try.

  25. I think its completely absurd anyone has any kind of issue with this. How could someone complain about such a positive thing? The neighborhood should be happy to see what was once such a gang and drug infested park turning into a park where they can feel safe and people are there to do something positive for themselves. I have attended more than a few of these classes and yes it is donation based and I can promise you Steven Arcos never has once mentioned the donations or asked anyone to leave for not donating. That is completely absurd and very opposite of what yoga and what yoga echo park is all about. I do hear people thanking him for his classes and talking about how they live in the area and it’s wonderful to have Yoga in their backyards. Yoga is a very expensive practice so if his facebook page suggest a $5 minimum donation then not only is that the cheapest yoga class you will get to go to but it is still only “suggesting” a donation which means it’s optional. So if someone leaves class feeling happy with their experience and want to thank him with a few bucks what’s the harm? and if they leave class and donate no money I can guarantee you the next time they showed up Steven would greet them with a smile and say welcome. I understand people feel the need to jump on any opportunity to complain about something but honestly please complain about something that actually has a negative affect on your community and the neighborhood should feel blessed to have such a great thing going on at what is now a beautiful park. Thank you Steven Arcos for helping give this community a brighter future.

  26. I fully support Steve Arcos.This is a positive experience for everyone! Maybe all these crazy ass people who seriously have nothing better to do then to complain about a positive activity should join in on it . I agree with love life so many people are obsessed with money it makes me so sick! Every one have a fabulous day see you at yoga ;)

  27. You people BITCH too much about pitty stuff. I rather have healthy, happy people using public space to RECREATE than have F’n gangsters and street vendors destroying our parks. I didn’t grow up in L.A., I come to L.A. by way of the OC, and the first time I visited this park, many years ago, I was disgusted by the sight of homelessness, drunks, gang bangers, and vendors trashing the park. Leave Steven alone. He’s doing a good thing. He’s offering a practice that is not affordable to many people because yoga is too new to the Western mind, and thus, a lot of people are priced out from the overly expensive yoga studios. Mr. Arcos is dedicated to sharing quality yoga that is inclusive, sincere and blissful to build personal and community healing and well being.

  28. I am a yoga practitioner, and of course support more people doing yoga. But “suggested donation” is really commerce, sorry. Unless Mr. Arcos offers class for “no charge” I don’t think it’s appropriate. How would folks feel if the clothing vendors ask for a “donation” for their wares? I think this yogi could find a cheap or free space (like St. Johns church) that could offer a space for class for the community members who are in need of a free or “by donation” class.

    • Exercise is absolutely appropriate for the park.

      People selling half used cosmetics, old extension cords,
      piles of worn shoes and crappy vhs tapes- do not.

      Joggers and down doggers belong.

      Illegal vendors selling hotdogs
      and morons leaving their picnic trash
      all over the grass- do not.

      Ban Vendors & Flea Markets.
      Welcome Yogis.

      • Nobody is disputing that exercise is an appropriate use of the park. Rather the issue is the “suggested donation” which turns a recreational activity into a commercial one. If the instructor is making money by using the park as his place of business he needs to pay a permit fee.

      • Hmmmmm “morons leaving their picnic trash”? how about energy hogs driving cars while alone and pumping 5 tons of co2 litter in the air per vehicle per year? do you really care about a few wrappers on the ground and don’t care about 5 TONS of litter in the air? car exhaust is LITTER. wake up.

  29. Jesus aka Eastsider, look at all these comments. Look at what you do. Look at what your inspire in people. You can do better with your blog my man, I know you can. You are better than this.

    • I read all of the comments when there were 61. I printed them and see about 59% positive, 26% negative & 14% or so as indifferent. Shouldn’t the headline be changed to: Echo Park has some people Happy about yoga! Do the right thing Eastsider.

    • Bingo. This story was teed up as a yoga-vs-sidewalk-vendor contest, and it attracted a bunch of comments. But it’s a total distraction unless and until massive classes become a real problem.

  30. I grew up a few blocks from this location. I remember all the crime that came with this location. I can’t really grasp what all the fuss is all about. As a child I saw gang banging, theft, drugs, drinking and just about any other illicit activity you can think of. A $5 “donation” is a very minimal amount for what you are getting. I am sure Mr. Arcos spends plenty of his personal time and money preparing and heading these classes. I applaud him. I now live in Baltimore, Maryland. Our local park also has yoga as well as zumba classes. It is a big hit here. I do not think I have ever seen less than 50 people attend. I have not heard any negative reactions from our community. In fact, they embrace it. It seems to bring together a lot of people from different ages and backgrounds. Unfortunately, weather makes it tough to do year round. Angelinos are very lucky to have this opportunity available to them. I think Mr. Arcos need to be commended.

  31. Pray Kitten, how might Jesus and a public comment board such as this on be ‘regulated’?

    Hope you’re speaking tongue-firmly-in-cheek. And I support positive things in the new park, instead of what was the park and lake’s sad fate for too long: trash, pollution, illegal vending and crime.

  32. I think it’s a positive use of public park space and 1 hour 3 times a week isn’t a major intrusion on other users of the park. However, if he’s going to accept money, then he should pay for and obtain a permit. It’s only fair.

  33. He’s asking for a “suggested donation” because he’s running a private business (a concession) on park property and he knows that, legally, he is supposed to have a contract or a permit to do so. Here’s the information:

    The Department of Recreation and Parks is an independent department created by the Charter of the City of Los Angeles. The Department is headed by a Board of Commissioners, comprised of five citizen members, appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. The Board sets Department policy and oversees the actions of the General Manager and his staff.

    The Charter empowers the Board to contract with private parties to operate concessions on Department property. A concession is defined as a private business operated on Department property by contract or permit. Examples of such businesses include food and beverage operations, tennis and golf lessons, driving ranges, pro shops and gift stands, equestrian centers, electronic game arcades, amusement rides, bicycle rentals, vending machines, batting cages, etc.

    With few exceptions, the City Charter requires that all contracts be offered to the public through a competitive bid or competitive Request For Proposal (RFP) process. The process is open to public scrutiny to ensure compliance with the law and that the best interests of the City are met. The RFP process allows the Department to thoroughly evaluate the proposers’ qualifications and has been developed within the parameters set by the City Charter, City Administrative Code, and City Policies and Ordinances.

    The Concession Program is managed with two goals: (1) Provide the public with the best and most satisfactory service from the concessions, and (2) Ensure that the City receives adequate and appropriate compensation from private businesses allowed to operate on park property.

    The Administrative Resources Division prepares concession RFP’s and contracts, and oversees all Department concessions Citywide. For further information regarding the Department’s concession program and opportunities, contact the Administrative Resources Division at (818) 243-6488.

    To be notified of concession business opportunities, please complete the Concession Interest List Form PDF

    Concessions Request For Proposals (RFP) Power Point – PDF

    SUMMARY OF RESPONSIBILITIES FOR CONCESSION OPERATIONS – PDF

    http://www.laparks.org/dos/concession/concession.htm

    • Gang Tagging.

      A neighborhood blight to get worked up about.

      Yoga in the Park.

      Send Steve a thank you card for his positive
      contributions!

    • GloriaG, thank you for offering the phone number to the Administrative Resources Division. I just called to try and get some clarification. I spoke with Raymond Chan and he just told me that as of right now, there is currently no regulation surrounding stretching or yoga classes. He pointed out that for a long time Runyon Canyon yoga and stretch classes have been operating without a permit. It apparently hasn’t seemed to be high on the priority list, for obvious reasons. It’s a healthy use of the park. If you call Echo Park’s Recreation center and speak to the Director, Juan, he will tell you as well that as of now, no permits are needed or being issued for this type of practice. He said “technically” they shouldn’t be using the park but there’s no rule he can point to that enforces it. Back to R.C. from the Administrative Resources Division, he said clearly there is regulation for what is oultined such as golf lessons, tennis, etc… but not for this sort of practice. A matter of fact, I’ve been to the driving ranges in Encino and they have signs clearly posted, no outside teachers allowed.
      Hope this helps. I’m just trying to get facts.

  34. Everyone on here who is so against this yoga class needs to do themselves a favour and kindly go get a life and stop fighting battles that need not be fought. Echo Park has MUCH bigger problems that a yoga class in the park. How is it possible so many of its residents are too dimwitted to recognize that? Do you honestly think this guy is getting rich off of this? Bunch of pedantic babies, jeez.

  35. It is so embarrassing and sad that so many people have such small minds to sit and complain about yoga in the park…really people? Steven is improving the lives of many for a very minuscule fee. Most yoga classes that I’ve been to are $20 dollars per class. If you do the math, this won’t even cover his living expenses. I live in Santa Monica and wish I had Steven on my side of town to offer his services in the park. Bottom line, pick your battles. There are far worse things people can be doing in the park. Rock on, Steven! Keep shining your light.. The world needs more beautiful souls like you!

  36. I am a passionate yogi, but agree that taking a donation makes this inappropriate commerce. Even though it’s way better than a lot of other things. Sorry, do it for free with no donation, OR find a way to get a permit.

    • Echo Park resident

      Is everyone here choosing to ignore the fact that MULTIPLE commenters have pointed out there is no law or rule within the City of Los Angeles that requires a permit for this activity? Even Steve, the yoga instructor in question, called multiple city departments and they all said it was OK to hold yoga classes, whether for donation or not.

      People. Move on. This is such a non-issue. Why don’t you channel this negativity into something worth addressing — like Echo Park’s underperforming schools, the trash problem, the graffiti problem, etc?

      • True Echo Park Resident. Although, it raises thoughts such as unreported income to the government. Now, as for the underperforming school problem… that’s the State’s problem which we all know will never be address and/or resolved. trash problem… that’s the city’s problem, again same comment and graffiti problem…again city won’t bother with that.

        • Echo Park resident

          OK, but since when were we granted the authority to poke into people’s personal financial decisions and how much/how little taxes they pay? If someone chooses not to report some income, that’s their business — not yours, not mine, not anyone complaining here. That’s between the individual and the government. (It’s funny you brushed off all my suggestions for causes that could use community input as being “the government’s issue,” and yet you feel it’s the communities responsibility to point fingers and let everyone know about the Big Bad Yoga Instructor making $50 every few days.)

          It’s beyond petty. There’s a great saying that applies perfectly here, and you’re probably familiar with it’s underlying meaning: People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

          • actually, if someone does not report some income, it IS our business.
            Tax dollars fund the various government functions. Cheating the gov’t out of tax dollars, cheats us all.. either in the form of reduced services or increased taxes on the rest of us.
            Sure, the amount of money that we are talking about here is miniscule in the grand scheme of gov’t spending, so really this about the principle, the ethics. Ethics are sorely lacking in our society, and we should not turn a blind eye to unethical behavior. A well functioning society requires that the majority of people adhere to rules, certain social mores, and ethics.

  37. i was sitting in that spot, and they came to me and say, “We have a community program” can you please move!! and I did no questions ask, but now that I’m reading all this I should stay in my spot,

  38. People complaining about happiness in a park…Palm in hand…Maybe you should take up yoga.

  39. next thing you know someone will try to sell juice to the yogadoers in the park

    there goes the neighborhood

  40. The Echo Elysian Forum is a seedbed of Nightmare People.

    • Echo Park resident

      I like to call it “Old White People With Nothing Better to do Complaining About Things.”

      It really is a great source of comedic relief.

  41. when are you cry babies going to pass a yoga injunction. now that you heard that there’s no law/rule against this you can try and pass something. get your queen bee o’farrell to help you out.

    you guys are the kids that no one wants to play with in the playground.

  42. <>
    Um. It is a Yoga class. A bunch of people quietly stretching, meditating, trying to do something to improve themselves, then leaving. The don’t leave behind beer bottles, empty 402 dispensers, corn cobs, wads of used napkins and paper plates, empty pizza boxes and beer boxes, half inflated balloons, or tag up the joint like “others” who use the park — you know who you are. If you complain about a fucking Yoga class occurring on a lawn (unless the guy has set up a booth, blocked off access to that section of the park to others and is charging admission to enter) you have way too much time on your hands. You and your fellow gripers can’t be moved out of the neighborhood fast enough. I find this NIMBYism to ANY change by the same few loud mouths just disheartening.. it’s like you’re the Ted Cruzes, Sarah Palins, Michele Bachmans of Echo Park horrid, narrow minded, nasty little “human” beings stuck in some warped version of what the world should be. What’s sadder is that you can’t argue Crazy. Crazy just keeps on spouting with no receptors to fact, reason or compromise or reality.

  43. Most yoga houses do offer $5 classes, but they are usually bounding over and there’s hardly any room, so I would venture to say they don’t have an issue with Steve’s class in the park. Usually these types of classes exist at the beginner level and are usually only an hour long, they’re kind of like a sampler of yoga. Then as students progress they end up taking the more in depth one-and-a-half hour classes that which cost more money. I myself find Echo Park to be very pleasant pretty much no matter what is going on. I haven’t seen the swap meets, but they do sound annoying. The only questionable thing I ever saw was a man with a synthesizer and large speakers who was broadcasting his music very loudly across the park. That was annoying. A quiet yoga class though, is not a problem for me. I myself don’t like being on display when I practice yoga so I wouldn’t attend such a class, but hooray for those who do :)

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