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Neighbors brainstorm ideas for East Hollywood park mural

Emily Perez interviews neighbors of the future Madison Avenue Park.

By BARRY LANK

EAST HOLLYWOOD — Neighbors gathered Saturday to help brainstorm ideas for a mural and mosaic art at the  Madison Avenue Park and community garden that will take shape on a pair of empty lots.

Participants were asked to talk about the neighborhood and to draw pictures that might inspire ideas for the mural on the community garden resource building.

Student volunteers also went around interviewing people — asking what was good or challenging about this neighborhood, which is near the edges of Silver Lake and Los Feliz, just south of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

“People said they liked that everything is close,” said one of the volunteers, Emily Perez, an 18-year-old senior at John Marshall High School. “The schools, the stories, the Metro, library.”

On the negative side – according to another John Marshall senior, Miquel Oh – some residents said they wished the area were cleaner.

The students will be working on designs with the mural artist, Dalila Mèndez, who said she has already been meeting with them every Wednesday.

A combination of a park and the L.A. Community Garden Council’s third-latest community garden is planned for this vacant lot. The garden should open by the end of summer, and the park should be done in a year, according to Julie Beals, the executive director of the garden council.

Originally, both were to be done much earlier. But delays resulted from bureaucratic issues, such as rezoning the lot from residential use, and combining two lots into one, Beals said.

One lot used to have a house on it, and the other had an apartment structure, according to Elson Trinidad, an East Hollywood activist who has been working with L.A. Commons, the organization behind Saturday’s event. Those two buildings burned down sometime in the 1990s, Trinidad said.

Community organizer Elson Trinidad speaks at the future site of the park and garden.

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