Swap meet vendors return to Echo Park Lake as city considers regulations [updated]

Vendors selling their wares this Sunday at Echo Park Lake | Echo Park resident

ECHO PARK —  The sprawling and controversial weekend swap meet at Echo Park Lake disappeared after the park was closed  up for a two-year-long clean up. But the vendors – hawking everything from toys to clothes – have begun to trickle back into the park a little more than a year after it re-opened following a $40 million+ renovation. Today, a City Council committee takes up proposed restricts and regulations vending in parks and beaches.

The revised ordinance before the city’s Arts, Parks Health, Aging & River Committee is the most recent city effort to deal with vendors in public spaces. Before the lake closed and police began enforcing a state law,  the weekend swap meet at Echo Park Lake continued to thrive despite several attempts by then councilman and now mayor Eric Garcetti to clear out the vendors. While defenders of the vendors say the sellers are only trying to make a living, park advocates and others say the peddlers are taking over valuable space that is intended to be used for recreational – not commercial – uses.

Instead of banning all vending outright as did previous city laws, the proposed ordinance that will be reviewed today includes provisions for “regulating vending in public parks in a manner consistent with recent court rulings,” according to a letter by City Attorney Michael Feuer.

Under the ordinance,  the city would be able to issue a license or permit for a vendor  to “conduct or operate an authorized event, concession, business or trade.”  Other forms of vending that would be permitted are by persons engaged in “traditional expressive speech”  or  artists and writer who are selling items they created. Click here to view the ordinance for all the details.

The ordinance is subject to further review and changes and  requires approval by the full City Council and mayor before it becomes law.

Update:  The committee voted 3-2 in favor of the amended ordinance, with council members Gil Cedillo and Curren D. Price voting against and council members Joe Buscaino, Tom LaBonge and Mitch O’Farrell voting in favor.  Cedillo and Price said they wanted to remove penalties that would make vending in city parks a misdemeanor, which they said could put many immigrant vendors in danger of being deported or being unable to apply for citizenship.

Lawyers from the City Attorney’s office said the city currently has no legal way to prevent the selling of products or services – ranging from food and clothes to yoga classes and pony rides – in any city park. “There is no law that requires anyone to get a permit to vend,” said one city official.  Persons could even sell cars from park property. “They could practically do anything in the park,” an official said of the vendors.

The issue now goes to the full City Council for review.

Related Link:

  • L.A. may soon crack down on unlicensed park vendors. L.A. Times


Clothes for sale | Photo by Echo Park resident

Food vendors crowd area near sidewalk | Echo Park resident

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  1. I understand that these people need to make a living but Echo Park Lake is not a marketplace. This practice of setting up pop-up vending spots is very poplar in Mexico and many Latinos attempt to do the same here in the U.S. It’s a means of survival. In Mexico City and other large cities in Mexico, the vendors are EVERYWHERE; churches, parks & museums. They have destroyed and polluted the streets. It’s disappointing that one can’t enjoy the scenery of those cities anymore because of all the vendor stands.

    I want to go to Echo Park Lake to walk, see the lotus flowers and for picnics. I don’t want to trample over peoples wares.
    This will only cause more litter and pollution and the loss of the serenity of what a park is meant for.

    Get rid of them. Find an alternative location.

    • I totally agree with you Monica. Echo Park is so beautiful, then come the vendors with their trash and annoying vending spots. I cant imagine that they sell that much. I also want to go to the park and relax and take in the ducks, lotus and enjoy the blue skies. I hope the proposed ordinace rethinks this out, and change their mind. Lets keep the park clean and a place to get away from everything

      • I hate poor people too! I hate their smell, the way they dress, the way they walk, the way they talk! Who can understand them? I especially hate when they smile at you and say stuff like “Buenos Dias,” you know that’s some kind of code to rob you! Then they sit around OUR lake and sell things… for what? To buy drugs? We need to make a plan! Let’s have a meeting! We can disguise it as an AIDS awareness rainbow rally; they won’t know what hit them! Oh yea, one last thing, we need a special secret salute so we know who’s on our side!

        • let them use your driveway. If you don’t get it, you never will.

          The poor have different expectations and standards. Open up the border…

          • Unless you can name your ancestors to the original Native Americans of the Americas…we are all immigrants! FYI – and many immigrants of all foreign countries back then were referred to as “poor, illiterate, dirty, disease carriers etc…”

            Is there a need for regulation? Most likely! Is the City of Los Angeles and its leaders proactive on City Ordinances? NEVER!!! Is the City of Los Angeles reactive? YES!!! Is this the only issue that needs to be addressed in City of Los Angeles? NO! What should we expect of LA City Services? First, clean streets, safe communities, proactive Police Force, enforcement of City Laws and great quality of life in our neighborhoods.

          • Bobo Esponja

            Native American? Como?

            They are ‘dirty’ relative to higher income neighborhoods. Go to any ‘mexican’ neighbhorhood, it sucks.

            Hell, educated Mexicans move the hell when they get the chance. By the way, if you want educated Mexicans in Echo Park, clean up the park.

          • Mr. Long,

            there is no need to be racist, but if you hate Mexicans so much please tell us the name of your business so we don’t give you our dirty Money.

          • @Eon Long – How do you know they are Mexican? Is it by the things they sell? By their clothing? How about their speech patterns? Their likes and dislikes? What do you know about Mexicans?

            If the Mexican communities are less than desirable in your opinion, then why do you live among them? I highly recommend you move to Funtucky/Fontana or those other wonderful suburbs you seem to belong in! I’m sure you will find people like you!

            In general most people move for various reasons. For some, it’s location, location, location. For others, finding a bigger, better, home.

            FYI – I know plenty of hardworking Mexicans, some educated others blue collar who chose to stay put in the communities they call home.

          • Bobo Esponja,

            I see them waiving the Argentine flag so they must be Mexicans.

            People are moving to Echo Park for variety reasons; they can’t afford the west side; the commute; the amenities that are near by or about to be built(LA River and revitalization of the Downtown corridor). An economic arbitrage for those who can see it.

            Educated Mexicans like nice things; they are no different that rich Anglo, Asian or Black Americans. African American athletes remain the in the hood because they love it so much.

          • Joe G

            I don’t hate Mexicans. I hate poor Mexicans who don’t give a shit. Mi Barrio crap.

            I just like community art, sofas, and bed mattresses; I really appreciate the community shopping cars.

            Once again, if you want affluent Mexicans in Echo Park, make it nice because they are moving to Silver Lake, Venice, and Playa Vista.

    • Monica, You are 100% correct.
      While I too have empathy for the economic plight of
      this flea market, homemade food cart vendor….

      The city council needs to protect our park space, and prevent
      the degrading of the land and experience of this beautifully
      renovated public space.

      Ban these vendors.

  2. My fiance and I live right on Park Ave. at Echo Park Lake and this has definitely been a major issue since the lake reopened. We agree that vendors should be allowed to come and make an honest income but over the summer the explosion of vendors has become too much since there is no regulation. It is not uncommon to see 6-8 vendors circling the children’s playground – making it difficult for parents to monitor their children while they play. One vendor even brings two shetland ponies and offers children rides at a cost. The ponies eat the grass and defacate close to areas where food is prepared and children are playing. its disgusting and very unsafe.

    On an average Saturday there are no less than 4-6 food vendors selling on the corner of park and logan. Some even set up chairs and tables. We have seen food prepared on the tops of shopping carts and with inadequate refrigeration making items incredibly dangerous to eat.

    Lastly – The Garbage. Food wrappers, plastics bags, and half eaten corn husks litter the streets monday morning. The trash bins in these high traffic vendor areas regularly overflow on the weekend and blow out into the lake and into the homes lining echo park ave and park ave.

    Again I am all for vendors being allowed to come to the lake and make a living. Its a wonderful addition to the park – but I feel that these vendors need to be regulated for public health and safety as well as keeping the park beautiful for everyone to enjoy.

    • This is what blows my mind: our busiest parks can obviously support vendors and often those same parks are provided with community centers, vending kiosks, concession stands, etc. that are under lock and key. The Recreation and Parks Department needs to become much, much, more entrepreneurial in the way they manage their parks. When you have no regulation of commercial activity, vendors feel like they can sell a kid a juice bar and let the plastic and gooey residue fall where it may. There are no park staff on site during the heaviest use periods – so trash overflows from trash cans and bathrooms are destroyed. Everything gets cleaned up on Monday (maybe) but during the weekend it is a zoo. I can find fault with people trashing a park just to make a quick buck but I can also find fault with the department tasked with managing and maintaining our parks. Hopefully with their new G.M. we’ll get some non-soviet style management.

      • would be nice if people simply did the right thing.. and we didn’t have to depend on the gov’t (workers) to follow people around and pick up/ paint up/ repair up after them. It could all be so simple.

        • I just can’t understand how this is viewed as such a liability when the city should be looking at this as pent up demand being satisfied by the market. The city should be there to support commerce and the good life. Send the cleaning crews by on Sundays. Create a legal framework where the city gets a cut to pay for the cleanup and trash hauling. If there is no economically viable way for the city to make this pay for itself THEN send in the police. But it’s not like we’re going to make money by wasting Police time and criminal justice system dollars on this.

    • DITTO – eastsiderarts. lets get rid of them.. NO SWAP MEET

      • Get rid of all those stupid yoga groups too while you are at it !

        Take your “practice” to a brick and mortar where you have to have a license , insurance and pay rent !
        What makes it ok for people to use the park for yoga on a “donations”.basis…puhleeze..!
        Just as annoying as the vendors !

        I love how the photos are captioned”Echo Park Resident”
        Obviously the vendors bother you enough for you to stop and take photos , so fly your flag and post your name to the photo credit-chicken.

        • someone not putting their name on the internet, Brittney, is not chicken.. it’s smart. There are a bunch of freakin’ loonies and losers out there, especially the knuckle-dragging types with the mentality to call someone chicken on the internet. That’s playground bully kind of talk. Unfortunately, some adult’s mentalities still haven’t graduating from knuckle-dragging methods of dealing with conflict.

  3. Can’t we have nice things?! The park is not for commercial purposes, it’s really disappointing to see this happening again, it’s an absolute blight on a public space.

  4. What I find most annoying about this is that none of this mattered until certain people began to move
    Into the neighborhood. Same thing is happening in highland park and other places I’ve lived all my life. No one cares if mostly poor-minority communities are living in a space. It’s only when those with $$$ come and decide they want to discover it again that laws are enforced. Even more annoying is witnessing the difference that law enforcement treats these people and minorities.

    • I guess it takes “certain people” to move into a neighborhood who care about keeping our public spaces clean and safe and nice, after a huge amount of public funds have gone into revitalizing these places, not to have them become dumping grounds for trash and old mattresses and sofas, and covered in gang tags, and resemble third world countries. If the neighborhoods you lived in all your life looked like crap, who’s fault is that? I guess the “certain people” who are moving into these neighborhoods now are speaking up, making their voices heard at meetings and at a minimum, cleaning up their own properties. It has nothing to do with race or privilege. It’s called giving a shit.

      • Wow, reading that made me very sad. I am saying that trying to understand the community is a starting point. Not merely pointing. Out everything that’s wrong with it. We know and understand and sadly, have become so used to being provided with poor services that it’s a reality. To call a neighboorhood a third world country is pretty disrespectful to those actually living in those conditions.

        And yes, it takes money and extra time to commit to speaking up and making changes occur, both things that lack when these conditions arise. Again, I’m not blaming anyone. I’m saying to keep in mind that people were here before and merely excluding them from changes that are occurring is not good for the community. Another comment suggested a parking lot with vendor fees and tax applied, that’s more of a compromise than saying get it of here, we don’t want you here.

        Not attacking anyone, just trying to make all voices of a community heard.

        • I understand you’re not attacking and I apologize if my post seemed that way to you. I’m just honestly tired of hearing about the “community,” meaning the Latino community, as if history began in these neighborhoods when Latinos started moving there. As if white people moving in are somehow encroaching and must pay homage to the real indigenous culture of Highland Park. How many Boyle Heights residents have visited the synagogue there, LA’s oldest, which long predates their arrival? The respecting of culture goes two ways. And I’m sorry, but I don’t buy the argument that working class people don’t have time to clean up their streets and attend community meetings. That’s a cop out. You either make it a priority to you don’t. And I didn’t call Echo Park Lake a third world country — I’m saying let’s not let it become one. The city spent millions to make it beautiful. I think it’s disrespectful of the swap meet people to run rampant over it and turn it into a dump. There I go, attacking again…

          • Here’s the irony. Educated latinos like to live in nice areas. They don’t want to live in a craphole. Keeping the status quo in Echo Park ensures that educated and well to do latinos will run to other nicer areas and abandon the barrio. I know many who live Newport Beach. Pretty cool barrio to live in.

            I prefer educated latinos to homeboys. That’s just me, though…

          • I implore you sir to see that it most definitely has to do with race and privileged.
            I am white and male, and lucky, like Louie C.K. says, “I’m not saying that white people are better, I’m saying that being white is clearly better”.
            This is a fact: when affluent people move into a neighborhood the city responds to clean it up, period. I worked for the city for 30 years, its true. It is the the harsh realty, but poor areas are neglected via lack of bulky item trash pick up, funding for street repair, slow/non response to normal stakeholder complaints.. etc.. I can get the city to come pick up a couch on the sidewalk within 1 week in Silver Lake. When I tried the same in Inglewood it took 2 months. This is just the reality, money talks.

        • Echo Park doesn’t ‘belong’ to you. People are trying to clean up this mess or raise expectations.

          • Im sorry what ? “clean up this mess”
            Why would you move to a place that is a mess?
            I see , got bought out of the Westside so you had mommy and daddy buy you a house in this mess.

            Nice pride in your neighborhood.

          • ihop,

            they can’t afford other ‘preferred’ blocks; the commute(LA freeways suck); the amenities that are about to be built(Downtown corridor/LA river); increase in fuel prices.

            Raising expectations is a good thing.

          • Eon Long, here’s the thing… you and everyone else claim authority a subject it is painfully clear you don’t understand. Best of luck to you!

      • I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been attending the neighborhood council meetings, and there’s definitely a split on what should happen to Echo Park. I think we need to keep the park clean. It’s one of the nicest places to go in the city right now. Let’s keep it that way.

      • Just because you enjoy community sofas, art, and mattress, others don’t.

    • Hi Diane. Do you know why this is? Does the city actually care more about rich folks? well, maybe a little, because they vote more often … but I’ll tell you one thing FOR SURE: the rich folks don’t put up with crap in their parks. Someone does drugs.. cops get called. Someone litters.. they pick it up first thing in the morning. Someone dumps .. city is called. Someone graffiti’s.. they paint it or call the city immediately. THEY DON”T WAIT for the city to discover the problem.. they take care of the problem or get in the city’s ear to fix the problem.

      Some think rich folks are uptight. It’s time, Diane, to get uptight and take back your park.

      • Exactly! People who respect themselves and others do not put up with individuals trashing community property for their own selfish gain.

        When the new Administration Citation Enforcement (ACE) pilot program is implemented in this area violations could be a fine. This will make citing minor “quality of life” violations much easier for the police.

    • Silver Lake, Echo Park, Atwater and HIghland Park are the poster children for gentrification. Gentrification is the best thing to happen to these neighborhooods. Safer communities and better public services. Glendale Blvd, Sunset and York Blvd have seen tremendous growth in regards to business, safety (reduced gang violence) and public amenities (parklets). What is your problem?

      Echo Park lake is beautiful, don’t let illegal vendors ruin it for angelinos.

  5. Also, this is not to set up an “us versus them” mentality. It’s about having a community that has been welcoming and familiar to when many neighborhoods within Los Angeles are simply not. When certain families walk through neighborhoods that seem “too nice” for certain demographics. To
    be allowed to live and thrive in a community is essential for anyone and many of those aspects of the community are being taken away.

    • Diane,
      These neighborhoods were not always like this. Previous generations of immigrants improved their neighborhoods. Bravo to the points true freedom makes above. Do you really think EP Lake should turn into MacArthur Park? If a neighborhood seems “too nice” that’s a reflection on you and not the community. Why do people insist that Latino and new immigrants want to live in trashy, gang ridden, ugly neighborhoods with abandoned couches on every corner? I don’t get it.

      • Enough of transplants taking credit for improvements they had NOTHING to do with. If Echo Park and NELA were “trashy, gang ridden, ugly neighborhoods with abandoned couches on every corner” assorted newbies would’ve never dared move here. It’s ONLY because our neighborhoods improved that they dare transplant and “invest” today. Otherwise, they would take their crusade for neighborhood improvement (aka gentrification) to South L.A. where home prices are cheaper, is nearer to downtown L.A. Aaand the beach. What’s the hold-up community reclaimers and rehabilitators? . . . As IF we didn’t already know.

          • You are predictably without any response to the challenge of why you don’t simply improve(?), clean-up(?), and otherwise civilize(?) truly “trashy, gang ridden, ugly neighborhoods with abandoned couches on every corner”? Answer: you and your ilk wouldn’t know where to start because you’ve NEVER accomplished that feat in ANY neighborhood but particularly OUR neighborhood. You’re just an opportunist with no grit for the hard work it takes to reclaim and rehabilitate urban and neglected communities. That’s OUR forte. It’s the primary reason why the likes of you ever dared leave the stale and sterile community you obviously emerged from and insisted on dropping into OURs.

    • How about setting them up in a large parking lot, charging a vendor fee and sales tax?

  6. @eastsidearts
    “Why do people insist that Latino and new immigrants want to live in trashy, gang ridden, ugly neighborhoods with abandoned couches on every corner? I don’t get it.”
    I don’t see where this is stated or implied in any of the statements above, and unless you have data to back up your statements, may be you shouldn’t make them. This makes you appear to be a biggot.

    • you should parts of santa ana, garden grove, and anaheim where there is a high number of mexicans. it looks like crap.

      • I travel to Mexico City and Puebla for business quite often, there is hardly any noticeable difference now, Mexicans sure love a scruffy neighborhood.

  7. Diana- your comment about certain families not being comfortable walking through a neighborhood because it is “too nice” is a total disrespectful not just to Latinos but all minorities living in these communities. You make it seem like minorities want to live in filth and don’t want nice things. Do you yourself a favor and get a life and quit representing these “families” .

  8. This is not some sacred custom or anything. The city cracked down on the swap meet before the park got renovated. It was the right move then and it’s the right move now. It’s not even like they’re doing such brisk business that they’re supporting themselves. From what I’ve seen it’s a lot of used clothes and junk electronics (like power cords with no appliance). We shouldn’t allow one of the city’s best neighborhood parks to look like a Goodwill store. Have a yard sale at your own place.

  9. Geez, again not saying anything negative about anyone. I am simply stating that saying a neighborhood is trashy or filthy or any other derogatory remark disrespects those already living there. Also, when I say ” too nice” I mean that people of color can be hassled by others when in a more affluent neighborhood. It has nothing to do with cleanliness. It’s about having a sense of home that is viewed as not good enough and being excluded from it’s development.

    • We get it Diana. Newbies and transplants intentionally don’t. It’s easier to address their latent guilt by claiming that they(?!?) are the ones improving and civilizing (i.e., sterilizing) OUR neighborhoods. At which point, they will forget why they ever transplanted. After all, the novelty of one and two-bedroom homes is already getting stale with the first wave of transplants.

      • Thank you! Your comments reflect what I meant. I really appreciate your understanding.

      • Oh God, for the millionth time, they are not YOUR neighborhoods. They belong to all of us. Your post, as usual, smacks of racism. Imagine white people in Sherman Oaks complaining that the Mexicans are moving into THEIR neighborhood and disrespecting the indigenous white culture. Just listen to yourself.

        • If it’s not a gross, racist comment, it’s not a ‘proper dos’ comment. Get off his lawn!

        • Who ever mentioned race? That is YOUR guilt-trip that you never fail to vomit-up in typical guilty-white fashion.. Otherwise, I’ve always asserted the long-time diversity of NELA where immigrant and working-class asians, hispanics, and whites have co-existed for decades, Indulging in all of the urban experiences that many of you ignorant yahoos seems to exclusively attribute to “Mexicans”(?). Buy a clue already. The tagging currently afflicting our communities is NOT gang-related, Gangs are a conspicuously American tradition NOT “Mexican”. Not a single “Mexican” was caught among the various vandals and prowlers recently caught by a home-security camera in Silverlake. Neither are “Mexicans” among the panhandlers all over NELA but particularly the intersection of Alvarado and Glendale Blvd. There are “Mexicans” working those corners but not panhandling. In fact, the city WE founded and settled is now 50% “Mexican” and the safest and cleanest that it’s ever been. Btw, Mexicans are of native-American stock with a healthy dose of colonial DNA blended-in. Accordingly, whether it be the original inhabitants or the original european colonizers, “Mexicans” were here FIRST. About time you transplants finally learn to assimilate and speak the language but leave your racial-hangups and guild whereever you came from. In Los, we are only interested in preserving the cultural integrity of our barrios, which has always included ALL of the people of L.A. not just “Mexicans”, whatever that means(?). although I’m certain it’s not positive or inclusive, i.e., typical arrogant and ugly-American xenophobia and bigotry.

          • Still not YOUR neighborhood, sorry.

            The only thing that’s yours is what you OWN. That’s about it.

            You could own many blocks of apartment buildings and just try to rent to Mexicans or whoever, but you would be be put out of business for discrimination.

            Because that’s the thing – you can’t control who moves in or who wants to live where in this country.

            Which sucks for Mexican racists like you.

          • The only visible tagging in the pictures above is gang related. The only tagging adorning my children’s elemntary school is gang related. The only God damn tagging I’ve had removed 10+ times from my garage is gang related.

            You sir, are a putz of the highest order.

          • Yeah Wrong, what makes you an expert on gang-related graffiti? Or is all graffiti automatically gang-related? In fact, please take a long look at the graffiti covering the retaining wall above Riverside Drive between Fletcher and Glendale Blvd. According to your experience(?), is that gang-related graffiti? If not, what is it? Do you have a clue? Or are you as I suspect F’n Clueless? . . . NEXT?

          • Proper Dos,

            Take a chill pill pocho.

            Nice strawman.

        • “Imagine white people in Sherman Oaks complaining that the Mexicans are moving into THEIR neighborhood and” etc., etc., “Imagine’? Just listen to yourself(?!). Otherwise, bigotry and discrimination towards non-whites has been the historical norm in this country. And that is after having displaced the original inhabitants that are no longer welcome in “your country” at gunpoint. Really. Some people have no business commenting on race relations in this country.

          • After the Mexicas exploited other local tribes. Exploitation isn’t a white thing. Evil the virtous Mexicas were exploiters. It’s part of history.

            The year is 2014; if you were circa 1964, I would see your point. One warning, don’t dress like a cholo when shopping in Rodeo.

      • Azlan is so nice.

    • Diane, all of the neighborhoods you are talking about are still very diverse if not majority Latino. It’s really your own private issue. I’m not showing disrespect, which certain people seem to think they automatically deserve by geographic right, I’m actually asking why people think it’s ok for certain demographics to put up with trash in the streets, tagging, gang activity, run down properties and general ugliness. Why? Is that the culture?

      • poverty has a culture; it’s passed down from generation to generation. let’s hope some deviate from this cycle.

        • “poverty has a culture; it’s passed down from generation to generation” among ALL poor Americans regardless of race or ethnicity, e.g., “ghetto” is not a “Mexican” term.

          • The Mexicans who come here are mainly poor and educated.

            It is what it is. Peoplet wouldn’t have a problem living near Carlos Slim. By the way he is Mexican. He’s an educated Mexican.

          • I grew up among plenty of equally poor and working-class whites. Including gang members, arch-criminals, drug dealers and users. After all, the whites who came to Cali were poor and uneducated working-class folks like my parents and not the Bill Gates type.

          • Proper Dos,

            Knowing your history and context means a lot…

            When the poor Anglos moved to CA, the American economy was so much different. In fact, an uneducated, poor, less skill white guy could get a job at a factory. Today, a poor . uneducated white dude couldn’t not survive in the new economy which demand an educated work forces. In other words, the old economy was built for unskilled labor. Social mobility was possible.

            Today, if more uneducated people come to CA, the probability of creating slums is very high. Many latinos who come to CA are uneducated.

  10. These people need to be”educated” that in order to make an income in this city you have to apply for a sellers permit and pay taxes like the millions of other hard paying citizens. This isn’t effin Mehico. Fine them hard and see how fast the problem will go away.

    • I agree but they don’t pay fines though, look at the driving license situation, we all know people who have been in accidents with uninsured Hispanic drivers who then suddenly disappear, it happened to me on Soto & Olympic, the guy called someone and they just drove him away from the accident, i was dumbfounded.

  11. that guy looking at you

    we should really focus on kicking out those people that sing and play terrible music along echo park ave at night in front of the boat house. that noise pollution./ terrible music and screens that play ridiculous videos are an eye and ear soar. LAPD needs to come in full force and pepper spray and shoot them with sand bags like they did those peaceful protesters years ago in Mc carthur park. If you wanna play terrible music go to your dirty druggy houses and jam out in a your aunt and uncles old clothes. you all look like filth buckets singing koom bi ya.. actually koom bi ya is a good song. The lake isn’t your private studio or the silvelake bar. if I wanted to hear music I’d put on my headphones. At least with the vendors I can buy some decent clothes for you hippy looking bum’s.

    • So we should offload the burden of dealing with these people on the criminal justice system? That just sounds like bad business. Running folks through the courthouse mill is expensive. Law enforcement eats up the largest share of our city budget. Let them tackle bigger things while we use bureaucrats and civil servants to take care of this one.

  12. A park is not a place for a swap meet. No way! Most legal swap meets take place in places like a large parking lot of a school like PCC or Glendale College. Why don’t we move it to the large play area at Many of the public schools in the area on a Sunday, charge a fee to each vendor, pay for a clean up crew, etc. The school could raise much needed funds. A lot of swap meets take place in drive in movie theaters where vendors pay a fee and it is regulated. A park is NOT a proper place for a swap meet. It is ridiculous to even begin to think so. Parks are meant to be places where we escape our urban woes and relax in nature, not be bombarded by commerce! Stop the swap meet on park land!!!!

    • Why does every movie that visits a park in a happy scenario always feature a hot dog vendor, a balloon seller, a merry go round, rental boats, cafes, etc.? Because parks are ideal settings for concessions. Swap meet? No, not a good use of park space. Vending and commercial activity? Sure. Just make sure it happens properly.

  13. I just want to clarify something rockineagle said.

    “How many Boyle Heights residents have visited the synagogue there, LA’s oldest, which long predates their arrival?

    This is not true.
    California was Mexico before it was part of the US. Boyle Heights was called Paredon Blanco while it was Mexico, so the Mexican community does in fact predate the Jewish synagogue/community. Please get your facts straight.

    • You are completely missing my point. All I’m saying is, there were Jews in Boyle Heights before the current wave of Mexicans. My question is, do most Boyle Heights Latino residents know or care to learn about the Jewish history in their neighborhood? Or did culture begin when they arrived? It just seems to me, judging from comments I often read when the subject of gentrification comes up, that to SOME Latinos, the only culture that matters is their own, and all the white “interlopers” coming in need to respect THEIR culture, as if the so-called gentrifiers don’t have a culture as well that ought to be respected.

      • “All I’m saying is, there were Jews in Boyle Heights before the current wave of Mexicans.” but NOT before “Mexicans”. Btw, I’m probably more interested in Jewish culture than they are in Mexican culture. Should I be offended? Outraged? Also, Mexicans are the direct descendants of the originators of civilization and high culture on this continent. That’s not opinion. It’s historical fact bolstered by science but never mind who was here first. What is irrefutable is that certain groups of people arrived second and last. Mexicans can not be included in either of those categories. Meanwhile, please enlighten me about the redeeming qualities of “gentrifier culture” (?). Otherwise, the culture(?) of partying, drugging, and drinking was established long before the currrent wave of gentrifiers arrived. I believe it was called “sex, drugs, and rock and roll”. Is that the “culture” you speak of?

        • Who was here first? LOL! Are you talking about your great, great, great grand daddy who was from Europe and probably took advantage of some local girl.

          You are mix friend.

          Since you are taking the tone of exploitation, the Mexicas exploited other local tribes. That’s why the Mexicas were conquered by the Spaniards. The Spaniards had help from other locals.

          Locals exploiting locals. Don’t leave that out in your narrative…

          • Btw, “sorry” to crush your assumption that we would like to be considered “white”. That has never been an ambition or advantage growing up in NELA where a culture of Mexican superiority prevailed. We were the cool kids, the tough kids, the jocks. There is no self-loathing here. Only pride that it takes a nation of millions to hold us back but we keep on coming . . . back.

          • @proper dos : you might want to see someone about your schizophrenia before the nation of millions, which is plotting against you, makes you eat any more lead paint chips.

          • Proper Dos,

            Never said you wanted to be white.

            What is a Mexican? Don’t leave out the white part in your silly little agenda driven narrative.

            I thought you were victims of white priviledge. Get your stories straight.

          • “schizophrenia”? enslavement of Blacks; genocide of native-Americans; invasion of and land-grabbing from Mexico; the Chinese Exclusion Act; Japanese (not German or Italian) internment; institutional discrimination towards all non-whites; wholesale deportation of immigrants and citizens; and a little something called the Civil Rights Movement should at least hint at something rotten in this country’s historical and recent past, e.g., intimidating a busload of minors in Murrietta. This country’s treatment of non-whites is a matter of historical FACT that only the intentionally ignorant would rather ignore or forget but the educated and informed don’t forget lest we repeat the crimes of the past.

          • “What is a Mexican?” According to SCIENCE, a mestizo of native-American origin and european descent. Otherwise. you might as well declare Irish to be British or Spaniards to be Moors. Both are and were occupied centuries longer than Mexico was occupied by Spain who Mexico booted out of the Americas first.

          • Broken Spears,

            Calm down, You are getting too emotional. Who is denying that didn’t take place in American history?

            You are creating a straw man agruments.

        • “Don’t leave that out in your narrative”. Why would I include it? I wasn’t comparing, I was establishing a chronological order and NO. Mexica is a Nahuatl term NOT a european term, The eagle on the Mexican flag is a Mexica symbol NOT a european coat of arms, which means that as early as 1810 Mexicans chose to self-identify with their indigenous past NOT their colonial occupiers. DNA studies recently published in the L.A. Times reaffimred what was already obvious: Mexicans are of native-American origin and only display evidence of european conquest and colonization NOT european origins. In fact, I dare you to promote the argument that Mexicans are actually white. If only to make yourself a laughing-stock of glaring ignorance. Stay in your lane, gringo. You have ZERO say in the narrative of OUR history. Nobody cares.

          • Proper Dos,

            OK Mr Broken Spears.

            Long live Azlan…

          • Broken Spears,

            Mexicans are what? The have no Euro heritage.

            You don’t know yourself. Mexican culture celebrates its European side. Look at the actors, very Euro.

            Mexicans love Euro.

            Why do you hate your Euro side?

          • First of all, you’ve got it twisted. We’re proud of our native origins and indifferent to your cynical euphemism of “euro heritage”, i.e., colonial legacy that originated with violent force and resulted in colonial oppression. Also, aside from Catholicism, I can’t think of a single instance of european culture being celebrated in Mexico(?). Anyway, Mexico’s native origins figure much more prominently when it comes to honoring the Mexican identity. Also, the only Mexican actors you’re apparently aware of are those that American media considers palatable. Otherwise, I directly challenge you to identify the blonde, blue-eyed Mexican actor that all of Mexico is swooning over? If you’re referring to novelas, they are meant to be no more real or authentic than American soap operas and other shows that also project a very narrow and inaccurate image of American society, e.g., I’ve been to beaches up and down the Cali coast and have yet to encounter a single bunch of Baywatch babes ensuring my safety. In fact, would you suggest that foreigners watch American soap operas to get an idea of what real American society looks like? FYI, the classic standards of Mexican beauty in cinema are represented by Maria Felix, Dolores Del Rio, and Columba Domínguez; Benito Juarez and Emiliano Zapata are the most venerated historical figures; and Mexico’s patron saint is the conspicuously non-white Virgen de Guadalupe. THOSE are the figures, customs, and traditions celebrated in Mexico. NONE of which are of european heritage.

          • Broken Spears,

            You might hate your Euro side but Mexicans respect and adore the Euro side.

            Look Mexico’s history. There was a native American president who over years began to look more Euro in his portraits. The actors are very Euro looking. The elites in Mexico

            Syncreticism has taken root.

            You are in denial to say that Mexicans adore Euro culture.

          • “Also, aside from Catholicism, I can’t think of a single instance of european culture being celebrated in Mexico”

            Except when you’re celebrating Mexico through German Polka music.

          • Bad out-of-key German Polka Music to boot, or is that “Das Boot?” Sounds like fingernails scratching across a blackboard. The only relief from it is to drink warm Sotol, eat guacamole laced with Peyote powder, and read Fray Bernardino de Sahagún by moonlight in the coolness of the Sierra Madre.

      • No I got your point but it was so presumptuous and has such a fundamental lack of understanding of the people that you were referring to that I didn’t feel the need to dignify it with a response. So instead I merely chose to clarify your inaccurate historical facts.

        • I see. You are part of the whole reconquista crowd.

          Sorry amigo but your forefathers lost the war. It’s Estatodos Unidos now.

          • You make false assumptions.

          • Eon does but it’s an intentional ploy to marginalize fellow Americans who don’t fit his profile of what we should look like or feel and believe in but we’re here and reclaiming the culture and land on OUR American terms. I consider myself to be American+: born, raised, and educated in the U.S. but of native origins with a distinct sense of our place in history. Everyone else are just your standard garden-variety “Americans” . . . ho-hum.

          • Although, I am encouraged that Eon is stretching his bilingual skills beyond a taco-truck menu with the use of “Estatodos Unidos”. Unfortunately, two words and he got one completely wrong BUT it is evidence of how we are influencing society to accommodate our cultural priorities . . . “Gracias”.

          • Broken Spears,

            We tried it your way. It sucks. Too much garbage; too many gangs; you way sucks.

          • Broken Spears,

            if the Anglos don’t clean up your shitty blocks, the asians will. they are doing it right now in midway city, santa ana, and buena park.

            sorry Broken Spears but living around a bunch of home boys suck…

          • @proper dos : Not sure how much of your postings stem from schizo and how much from a “superiority complex”

  14. “Cedillo and Price said they wanted to remove penalties that would make vending in city parks a misdemeanor, which they said could put many immigrant vendors in danger of being deported”

    Heaven forbid we have elected officials willing to enforce the law! Haha this place is a joke!

    • The very last group of people who should assume the moral high-ground on border or immigration issues are those (or That) group that arrived and displaced everybody else at GunPoint. “Sovereign borders”, tribal boundaries, and domestic or international law be Damned.

      • LOL! The Spaniards displaced the native population; it’s the cycle of history.

        What if asians moved into the barrio, would you be having a hizzy fit? Garden Grove was becoming a Mexican shithol until the Viethnamese made it better. Little Saigon is very clean and ethnic; very little crime; no TJ sytled vendors.

        By the way, the Koreans are cleaning up Buena Park too. They too don’t like empty shopping carts laying around.

        • “it’s the cycle of history” then WTF are you pissin and moanin about? Direct yourself towards the Exit and prepare to be steamrolled before you even take a step. “What if asians moved into the barrio”. Asians have always been in the barrio. Buy a clue, newbie. L.A. is 50% “Mexican” and the cleanest and safest it’s ever been. You really need to consider going back to Oklahoma, Arkansas, or whatever “shithol” county you came from. This is Cali, son and your type is not welcome but you already know that, don’t you?

          • LOL! I see you are a wannabe rapper.

            I love it when people use their opinions as fact.

            What’s your tag? PS. I will be looking for your community art project when I grub at Guisados in Echo Park.

        • Your comments about Asians moving into the barrio is a non sequitor. Asian populations have been living in and around Mexican barrios in Southern California for a long, long, time.

          • I know asians live with, near, and around latinos. Why isn’t an issue when asian displace latino businesses in Little Saigon or Buena Park? You know asian investors are displacing middle and upper class families in Irvine. For example, the Orchid Hills area has by gobbled up Chinese investors. Do you see white people bitching about being displaced.

            Echo Park doesn’t belong to Mexicans.

            There’s a rule in real estate. Keep driving until you can afford it.

          • You’re the only one obsessed with “Mexicans” in Echo Park. Otherwise, as I and others have repeatedly informed you, Poor and working-class asians, hispanics, and whites have been co-existing in NELA from the very beginning. Btw, “Do you see white people bitching about being displaced?” Yes. They were “bitching” for decades in places like Monterey Park, Alhambra, and San Gabriel. It’s laughable that you cite “whites” as the model of acceptance, tolerance, and inclusion of new ethnic and immigrant groups in this country. You’re not one of the educated ones, are you?

    • Maybe we should just issue immigrants a special card that allows them to break whatever laws they choose Can’t have them getting deported now, can we?

      I swear, the LA city council is a sick joke.

      • They already have these cards, stolen Social Security and fake Drivers Licenses.

        Try Huntington Park in the parking lot of Curacao at Pacific and Slauson if you want one, the Police don’t do anything about the transactions going on here.

  15. How Ironical. The clothes for sale (in the last pic shown) is being hung on the sign that says “no vending without a permit”

    To be fair, the sign is in English…

  16. Those of you who suggest that street vendors are treating Echo Park like it’s Mexico are flogging a red herring. Street vendors *are* regulated in Mexico just as they should be here in Los Angeles. There are over 60 regulatory groups that manage street vendors in Mexico City alone. The real victim here is Rec and Parks who literally have to clean up the mess that our city council members refuse to responsibly manage.

    • I really feel like it’s Rec and Parks who are at fault here. They are the city agency tasked with managing the parks and they can’t be bothered to figure out a legal and logistical framework to make some money off of this vending thing AND keep the parks nice and clean.

  17. oh hell no. They need to go. Send some cops to give away tickets that will keep em away

  18. It’s really unfair to our parks department to let people vend without paying for a license. They trample the grass, block sidewalks and leave garbage, yet contribute nothing to help pay for park maintenance. Meanwhile, the folks that rent the boathouse for the coffee shop are paying big buck to the city for that space. The “flea market” people are even worse, leaving unsold crap and lots of garbage behind in the park; it’s disgusting.
    These issue has nothing to do with the nationality of the illegal vendors and everything to do with keeping Echo Park a nice place for residents to relax.

    • Hillster is absolutely correct.
      The “mexican vendor” name calling is a red herring.
      (As is comparing yoga classes and hipster musicians to
      illegal vendors.)

      Yes, these vendors happen to be Latino – but it wouldn’t
      matter if they were Martian. These vendors are destroying
      the park.

      They are selling garbage and leaving litter.
      They block sidewalks and surround the children’s park with
      carts packed with dollar store flimsy plastic toys, that further litter
      the park with product packaging and flotsam.

      This issue isn’t complicated. They are damaging public property,
      they are unlicensed, they are selling unsafe/unregulated food,
      beverages and flea market discard debris. They are a public
      health hazard – and a HUGE LEGAL LIABILITY TO THE CITY.

      Ban Vendors from Echo Park Lake.

  19. Adios swap meet.

  20. Let’s stop talking about race and who owns what neighborhood. A hundred and some comments and no one is using any kind of creative imagination about this issue. A couple of people suggested setting up a real swap meet in a parking lot or schoolyard. It might just work. Logan St. School seems ideal for this. It’s big enough, and close enough to the park that vendors could benefit from park traffic. Park vendors could be limited to licensed food carts on the perimeter of the park only. Please, people, stop screaming and insulting each other and start thinking of a win-win solution to this problem.

    • Missuebee, if everybody applied your can-do attitude to this and other community needs and problems, this message board wouldn’t resemble a session of the U.S. Congress. Unfortunately, there are too many who consider people to be the problem and not a lack of communication, resourcefulness, and ingenuity.

  21. Keep Our GreenSpace

    This is a link to a 2010 video of the vending at Echo Park Lake…City Councilman Gil Cedillo CD1 supports this type of vending at our lake……Keep Our Green Space


  22. I think the appropriate place for a swap meet would be where ever they already have a farmer’s market. Days could be alternated with farmer’s market days.

    People are creatures of habit. Training them to go to the same place for commerce is smart and efficient. Commerce in public parks are a conflict to recreation. Which is the point to parks. Let’s keep commerce with commerce and recreation with recreation.

  23. Can’t we all get along . I am a native Indian ” Mayan” we where here before any one was here , & we will always be here ! I love EP so stop your BS racist remarks ., why don’t you go back to your Midwest inbreed town & take your idiot thinking with you .

    • A Mayan calling someone else an inbreed? How big do you think that tribe was dude? Especially in the beginning. Do you you know the definition of inbreed?

  24. Hola blue iris,
    Is that your red neck name ? WOW you are a Mayan historian ? and my ” Tribe ” we were all over the Americas , not just one little inbreed hick town , Yes I know the definition of inbreed IT’s YOU !

    • You don’t know that indian’s belong to tribes dude? You’re a bad indian.

      I guess you think you all just appeared out of thin air by the millions? HAHA maybe some indian magic? It started with two. Two mayans. Inbreeding. No offense, that’s kinda how everyone started. Just like to point out that thought you had about calling other people inbreeds was a little ironic.

  25. The only right answer is NO SWAP MEET in the park. It is a park for recreation, it is a park for wildlife. It is not a retail location. Allow vendors to be there yes, but 1) license them 2) limit vending to specific areas in the perimeter of the park 3) limit the number of vendors that can be there. 4) require the vendors to clean up their area, the food vendors in particular (the general public already is bad enough with littering the park) — Every weekend, cups, plates, corn cobs everywhere – what the hell people. the park isn’t a trash bin.

  26. The Reality =
    1. No vending = increase in crime to support the family.
    2. Spending city funds to fine/control vendors instead of finding real solutions is a lazy policy.
    3. In Portland Oregon they streamlined the process to attain a vending license form 12 steps to 1 step. This has led to a thriving culture of regulated vending in designated areas. The “food vending scene” is a celebrated treasure of the city now. This is possible in LA.
    4. Let’s stop all this exaggeration about Echo Park Lake being ruined by vendors. I am retired and read the paper there every day, it is not a circus, it is not overrun, trashed, and tarnished by vendors.
    5. This is a multicultural city, we must celebrate diversity and find innovative solutions that allow everyone to live here, not simply think of our own vision for a park without people.

  27. this is why the park was such a sketchy dump years ago. the items sold aren’t unique or useful. all the “vendors” were just doing weekly garage sales of crap.

    • on second thought, I have a bunch of old crap in my garage and old clothes in my closet. Now I can bring it to the park and throw it on a blanket to sell. this is awesome.

    • El Tigre is absolutely right.

      The “swap meet” was filled with people trying to sell used cosmetics,
      old extension cords, worn shoes, VHS tapes, broken trinkets, used toys,
      -etc. Absolute garbage, strewn all over the grass.
      These people destroyed the park.

      Its’ unfortunate that cart vendors selling food
      have to be linked with “swap meet” people in the same
      legislation – but really, – they have to be.

      And there is absolutely no place in a city park for
      carts hovering around children’s playgrounds selling
      dollar store toys – or some guy with ponies setting
      up shop for uninsured pony rides.

      Come on City Council. Wake up.

      The best move the city can make is to ban all illegal vending.
      It’s not fair for legitimate brick and mortar stores, who have to go
      through inspections prior to opening & pay rent, taxes, etc, to
      allow illegal vendors to sell uninspected, unregulated goods.

  28. First it’s the gangsters, now its the NON Gang related hard working Hispanic park venders. They have never hurt, robbed, or been aggressive, or bothered anyone before. Like someone else posted earlier; we live in a multicultural community., why is it such an issue to see these vendors selling their toy or pony rides?? It’s for the children and for the public, how are they bothering you? Its seems that the real goal here is to eliminate all Hispanics from Echo Park unless you are a hipster. Latinos enjoy buying their corn on the cob from the man with the shopping cart. If it is unsafe for you to eat, you are not required to buy one. Not everyone lives and thinks like you and that is okay, but to try to eliminate them because they disgust you is just selfish and racist.

  29. all you people are a bunch of racial people and eastsider is not to far behind you say for people not to attack each other have you heard all the negative remarks that the eastsider allows i think alot of you need to start going to church i thank god thath you dont live next to me but on the serious side i have always been told if you do not like something just leave

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