Have you read The Madonnas of Echo Park yet?
If not, do! It’s a magical book that takes place in Echo Park, where author Brando Skyhorse also grew up. Many view it as a commentary on the gentrification of the neighborhood – which is the direction that HBO is taking on developing a series of the novel. But if you’re sick of the “g” word (gentrification) like we are, there’s a lot more to the novel.
Fans of the novel will have an opportunity to get some insight into the book in its original location next week. Skyhorse will be reading excerpts of the novel at Stories Books & Cafe in Echo Park on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 starting at 7:30 pm. He will also join authors Joseph Mattson of Los Angeles and Carlene Bonnivier of Echo Park.
Today is the 4th annual Echo Park Art Walk!
Starting at noon today, there will be art exhibits, sidewalk chalk, workshops, kids activities, live music, food, special discounts in stores, and live performance art all over Echo Park.
Additionally, this year Art Needs Freedom is collaborating with Elysian Heights Elementary School, so there will be a lot of stuff going on there!
So much great stuff going on – the map is dizzying! Click here to download your own map of the festivities.
See you there!
I put together some photos and copy for the latest issue of the Echo Park Improvement Association (of which I am a member) newsletter, EPIAn Ways, on this brilliant Echo Park art installation.
Called Randyland/The Giant Glass Virgin of Guadalupe and located on the 1600 block of Lemoyne Street, this work of art consists of thousands of bottles filled with water and strung together using wire and rebar. It’s flexible, sways in wind and looms 24 feet high over the artist,’s Randlett Lawrences, front yard.
It’s truly dazzling. Check out my full article on the EPIA website!
A couple of weeks ago we met the new director of the Echo Park Recreation Center. We are very excited that he is on board, and he seems very eager to reach out to the community about everything going on at the Rec Center.
First up, the FREE Echo Park Spring Egg Hunt. Families will be delighted with this event, taking place on Saturday, March 30 from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at the play area.
Egg hunt start times/schedule is as follows:
5 years & under: 10:30 am
6 years & 8 years: 11:00 am
9 years & older: 11:30 am
Activities include: Arts n’ Crafts , Face Painting, Music, Egg Hunts, and a visit from The Spring Bunny.
If you’re shopping locally like we are for the holidays, the Echo Park Craft Fair this weekend is a required shopping destination. Although featuring many Echo Park artists, the fair has grown out of its backyard diggs of the past and to a new location in downtown.
Started three years ago by Beatrice Valenzuela and Rachel Craven, it has now grown to over 40 vendors. We know Echo Park’s Tavin will be there, along with lots of local vendors and exhibitors selling home goods, fashion, jewelry, pottery, an candles, and more. Check it out!
The Echo Park Craft Fair
Saturday, December 15, from noon to 7:00 pm
Sunday, December 16, from noon to 5:00 pm
The Storefront Bazaar is located at 821 E. 3rd Street
Colorful murals are not only a common sight in Echo Park, it’s something the neighborhood takes a lot of pride in (depending on the artwork). While we’re not sure the erasure of a mural along Mohawk Street at Sunset Boulevard will capture the protests from the community like the Quinceañera mural did earlier this year, the whitewashing of the wall is a dramatic difference.
Erin West, who own The Hedgehog cafe on which the mural was located, planned on putting up a new, Echo Park themed mural when the wall was painted over, but business got a little busy. Prior to the election, Erin added the Yes on Prop 37 paintings, but some recent graffiti markings by, the tagging claims, the artist themselves protests the “hipster politics” on the wall. “I actually tried to track the crew down to give them a heads up,” Erin wrote in an email, referring to painting over the original mural, “but they didn’t exactly leave a forwarding address when I took over the lease.”
Erin is currently working on hiring a sandblaster to remove all paint from the brick wall. In the meantime, they are asking for any artists who may be interested in the new project to touch base via email at TheHedgehogLA@gmail.com
We have to ask all our readers: Did you like the original mural? Would you like to see a new mural, or is a brick wall cool with you?