Saturday, October 22, 2016

Neighbor Spotlight: The steep streets are a challenge but this long-time resident remains a fan of Echo Park

Cheryl Revkin

Cheryl Revkin

ECHO PARK — Cheryl Revkin has established deep roots in Echo Park and neighboring Silver Lake since moving here in 1972.  She raised her daughter in a home on one of Echo Park’s steepest streets while running her chiropractic practice for more than three decades in Silver Lake, where she also founded the chamber of commerce.  Revkin, 67, may have retired from her business but she remains active, whether it is serving as a city commissioner, helping count whales or spending time with her grand child.

Revkin answered some questions about her life, work and neighborhood.

How did you end up in this neighborhood?
I had a boyfriend who moved to L.A. to do a big trial. He decided to stay and buy a house. He heard Echo Park was a great neighborhood. I came to live with him and decided to stay after he left.

Tells us about what you do?
I was a chiropractor in Silver Lake for 33 years. I had to retire due to a health condition 5 years ago. I was also a community activist, primarily in Silver Lake, and have continued to be involved even though I retired from professional life. I was the founder and president of the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce for over two decades. I am now a consultant to the chamber. I have been the co-chair of the Silver Lake History Collective for over 10 years, and I am on the Board of the Friends of the Silver Lake Library. I am a volunteer with College Path LA at Marshall High.

I also am an L.A. City Commissioner (Disability Access Review Board Commission). I volunteer for  LA’s Neighborhood Justice Program [and the] Center for the Study of Political Graphics as an archivist of political posters. I am a participant with the American Cetacean Society’s Gray Whale census. I am on the Board of Automata, a puppet theatre in Chinatown. I am the grandmother of 9-month-old Emil Ryan, a Silver Lake resident.

Where do you like to hang out in the neighborhood and why?

I take my dogs to Elysian Park (Elysian Fields) every morning for a walk. I love taking my friends and godchildren to visit the rescue horses at the Atwater House’s stable and corral. I love Echo Park Lake and enjoy having lunch at the Boathouse. I love to go out on the lake in a peddle boat. I miss Barragan’s restaurant! I eat at Taix, El Rodeo and the Brite Spot. I like to walk the Silver Reservoir with Emil. I love the meadow. I love the installations at M&A on Silver Lake Boulevard.

What’s your home like?

I have a Mid Century stucco home on Cerro Gordo Street. I have a beautiful view of L.A. from my back door. I raised my daughter here. She had a darkroom in the basement space during high school. I have a yard and a “summer kitchen” extra-space in my back yard. Cerro Gordo is very steep where I live.

What’s the biggest challenge of living/working here?

My hill! If it’s raining, cars get stuck going up the hill. It’s hard to walk my hill, carry things up the hill, get deliveries of big objects. It’s impossible to ride a bike up here. Lately the traffic has gotten worse on Echo Park Ave. I’m sorry about that.

What this neighborhood needs is a … ?

I don’t know! I’m happy here. All seems good.

What kinds of people have you met here? Anyone standout?

My practice allowed me to meet a broad spectrum of people who have and continue to move here. I hope the neighborhood remains diverse, though it’s doubtful it will. I have known celebrities, artists, domestic workers, designers, movie industry people, lawyers, undocumented workers, bartenders, future mayors(!), waitresses … you name it. I love living among them all.

What’s the best part of living/working here?

The diversity of cultures and class of the residents. I also love the proximity to DTLA as well as having nature so close (Elysian Park). I love Echo Park Lake.

Describe an only-in-Echo-Park moment

I had a patient who was an MTA dispatcher. One day I heard his voice from my front yard. An MTA bus on Echo Park Avenue missed a turn and tried to turn around at Cerro Gordo St. The grade is so steep that the front and the back of the bus got stuck. My patient was called in to dislodge the bus. It took hours. I brought him a six pack of beer to calm his nerves.

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  1. Cheryl Revkin fixed my back once, years ago. I’ve loved seeing her around the neighborhood ever since!

  2. Thank you for sharing Cheryl Revkin’s story. It was fun to read.

  3. I’m a home owner on Vestal Avenue since ’85. Yes, the neighborhood has changed, for better and for worse! I too love the peace, quiet and serenity of our hilly hideaway. Lately I keep seeing a caravan of confused drivers around 6pm getting lost on our hills and dead ends. I can only blame Waze, as they search hopefully for that magic shortcut from DTLA and a freeway on ramp to take them back to Santa Clarita!

  4. Absolutely, Cheryl Revkin is a valuable community person. I appreciated that you featured her. And she is right, the diversity of Echo Park and Silver Lake is a big plus for being part of this community,. and I have lived here since 1966.

  5. Michael Masterson

    Great interview with Cheryl! I’m the other co-chair of the History Collective and we’ve worked together for years and still learned a lot about her here. Thanks!

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