Artists took over public signs at Echo Park Lake to focus on homelessness. A new restaurant and coffee/wine bar have opened. And the owners of Masa of Echo Park are celebrating 15 years in business -- and a love of Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza. Read on!

 Echo Park Scene

Logan Street basketball courts and playground being painted

Workers rushed to finish painting the upgraded playground last weekend at Logan Street Elementary -- now officially known as Logan Academy of Global Ecology -- before the kids returned to class on Tuesday.

News & Notes

Interpretive signs around Echo Park Lake are normally devoted to information about wildlife, the environment and the history of the park. But those signs were covered up by different signs last weekend as part of a guerilla art installation devoted to homelessness, The Eastsider reported. The bilingual signs mimicked the graphic style and colors of the regular signage. But instead of talking about flora and fauna, the temporary signs featured information about homelessness, calls to activism and instructions on "How to be a Good Neighbor."

The number of auto thefts in Echo Park went up slightly during the first part of the year, The Eastsider reported. Thieves stole 75 vehicles during the first six months of 2019, which amounts to a 1.4% increase over the first six months of 2018, according to researchers at USC. This rise is dwarfed, however, by increases in places like Lincoln Heights (up 35.5%) and Cypress Park (plus 16.1%).

Masa of Echo Park is still thriving after 15 years at Sunset and Lemoyne and the owners, Rob Rowe and Rhonda Reynolds, tell The Eastsider about their lives, the business and the passionate opinions about Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza. "Rob’s mantra is that the deep-dish pizza is like your mother’s meatloaf," said Rhonda of her husband's pizza philosophy. "Whichever one your mom made is the good one."

Speaking of pizza .... Triple Beam Pizza --  where pizza slices are weighed and then charged by the ounce -- opened this week in the former Two Boots pizza space. Noted chefs Nancy Silverton and Matt Molina are involved in Triple Beam, which will also be selling slices inside the adjoining Echoplex and The Echo nightclubs. Triple Beam is at 1818 W. Sunset.

A new coffee and wine bar has opened up in the neighborhood. Bar Avalon, which The Eastsider wrote about earlier this year, has opened its doors in the Mohawk Collective (the shopping center with Habit Burger and Starbucks). With their beer and wine license still pending, the focus is on coffee and snacks during the morning and afternoon, with evening hours to be added later. Bar Avalon is at 2112 W. Sunset Blvd.

A story on LAist/KPPC about walking to Dodger Stadium included a look at ideas by architect Daveed Kapoor to encourage more pedestrians to make the trek. One idea includes creating a switchback path that would start at Lookout Drive near the 110 Freeway and then zig-zag up a steep steep hill to a pedestrian-only entrance to the stadium property. "I think it's a fascinating idea," said Janet Marie Smith, who oversees Dodger real estate development. But she wondered if it would attract enough pedestrians to make it economically viable.

A controversial proposal to build affordable housing on a recreation yard continued to move ahead at City Hall. The City Council's Homelessness and Poverty Committee endorsed Councilman Mitch O'Farrell's proposal, which now heads to the full City Council for a vote. Opponents vowed to keep up the fight, wrote L.A. Times reporter Emily Alpert Reyes.

It's far from finished but the wood framing of the 5-story apartment building at Glendale and Aaron is already dominating its low-rise surroundings. The 70-unit project, which is affiliated with the Canadian developer Aragon Properties, will have live-work units on the ground floor, townhome units on the top floor and several units reserved for low-income tenants. No word yet on rents or a completion date. Take a look here at the latest renderings.

A small brush fire was knocked down Wednesday afternoon after scorching about an acre on the eastern edge of Elysian Park near North Broadway, said The Eastsider. The slow moving fire, which was reported at about 4 pm, was burning uphill before it was extinguished in about 30 minutes.

Are you free on Sunday? The Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park is seeking volunteers for Elysian Park Cleanup Day on Aug. 25. Details here


Events

Friday, August 23: Echo Park Farmers' Market

Friday, August 23: Shonen Knife - music

Saturday, August 24: Branching Out - Edendale Library presents a show at Echo Park Lake

Sunday, August 25: BUSted! True stories about getting around L.A, without a car

Thursday, August 29: LA Air - film screenings


Crime

Crimes this week included two assaults near Park and Lemoyne, a robbery near Sunset and Beaudry, and six thefts within a few blocks of each other on or near Sunset, according to CrimeMapping.com.

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