In this issue: Another protest at Echo Park Lake. Starbucks is moving into a drive-thru. And Grammy Award nominee Maggie Rogers bought a $1.3 million house in the neighborhood.
Echo Park Scene
News & Notes
A group of homeless rights activists returned to Echo Park Lake Monday night out of concern that police might try to arrest homeless individuals for staying in the park after hours, The Eastsider reported. Activists gathered by the lakeside encampment that is home to an estimated 60 people. The feared arrests never materialized, according to L.A. Times reporter Emily Alpert Reyes. "As of 11:45, no arrests or citations at the park, as people in the homeless encampment had feared," she said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Councilman Mitch O'Farrell is proposing to set up a storage facility for the homeless in a city parking lot a half block north of the lake on Glendale Boulevard. It's the same parking lot where O'Farrell wants to see housing for the homeless constructed, an initiative that has generated a lot of controversy. The motion needs to be approved by the City Council before an evaluation begins.
Echo Park native Danny Trejo has been formally honored by the L.A. City Council for his community service, NBC reported. The instantly recognizable actor from such films as the "Machete" series continues working as a drug counselor for at-risk youth. At the ceremony honoring him, Trejo said a commitment to altruism may have helped keep him sober when he was incarcerated. "I love this city. I adore this city,'' he said. "In 1968, in Soledad (prison), I promised our lord, 'Let me die with dignity. I will say your name every day, and I will do whatever I can for my fellow man.'"
Pop star and songwriter Maggie Rogers, a Best New Artist nominee at the last Grammys, has purchased a home in the neighborhood for nearly $1.3 million -- $215,000 over the asking price, Variety reported. The 25-year-old performer bought a renovated 3-bedroom/2-bathroom from photographer Victoria Smith, who blogs on the SFGirlByBay site.
A new wine bar is finally opening up in the restaurant complex at 1507 Echo Park Avenue, Eater LA reports. Called Tilda, it was originally supposed to have opened last November. Now the opening is promised for February 6 - today! The owners have also promised lunch and dinner service, with light bites.
The old KFC/Taco Bell on Glendale Boulevard at Montana Street looks like it's on the way to becoming a drive-thru Starbucks, The Eastsider reported. After a photo of a sign posted on Yelp! said that the store's lease was not being renewed, building permits have been filed describing Starbucks TI [Tenant Improvements] inside the building. The Eastsider has contacted Starbucks to confirm the opening of the Echo Park drive-thru, which would be the company's second outlet in the neighborhood.
The Aphasia Book Club at Echo Park Library got a visit from the L.A. Times. Reported on by The Eastsider in 2017, the weekly gathering offers reading and discussion for people with aphasia - a condition that limits or deprives them of the ability to speak or write. It can result from anything from disease to stroke to an accident. L.A. Times writer Louise Steinman notes that "When I join the group, I practice listening, not racing ahead."
Thursday, Feb. 6: League of Women Voters March 2020 Ballot Education
Friday, Feb. 7: Echo Park Farmers' Market
Sunday, Feb. 9: Bad rom-com event - "VIBES" (1988) - 5% rating on RottenTomatoes
Monday, Feb. 10: Songs and Stories at Stories
Thursday, Feb. 13: Carey Fosse's jazz night
CrimeMapping.com is still kaput in the Echo Park area this week. We'll try again next time.
What do you love about Echo Park?
EP Weekly offers subscribers the chance to share their thoughts on the neighborhood. If you live in Echo Park and are interested, please answer the questions below:
- What's your name?
- What do you do? (optional)
- How long have you lived in Echo Park?
- What's the best thing about living in Echo Park. What do you enjoy doing here?
- Please recommend a favorite hangout or overlooked gem (business, park, landmark, etc.)
We look forward to your responses.