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Bear spotted in Echo Park / Elysian Park

Echo Park resident Art Meza spotted a bear in a tree on Park Drive along Elysian Park earlier this week. Neighbors say it’s been around for a while.

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Angel City Brewery hosting Echo Park street cleanup Saturday

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As part of a series of community events and cleanups, Angel City Brewery is organizing a cleanup in Echo Park this weekend on Saturday, February 8.

The cleanup area will focus on Sunset Boulevard and adjacent streets in the area around the Short Stop (toward the eastish end of Echo Park).

Want to help out? Meet at 1:00 pm at Sunset Beer Company to pick up trash bags, gloves, trash grabbers, and a volunteer t-shirt. Angel City staff members will also be providing Trash BINGO boards for you to mark off what you find on the streets – the winner gets an Angel City gift certificate and goodies.

The cleanup will go until 2:30 pm, at which time we’ll end up at the Short Stop for some post cleanup up beer and snacks.

Email Emily at Emily@angelcitybrewery.com to register, and let her know your t-shirt size.

See you Saturday!


Music video: Can you spot Echo Park?

We’re pretty sure – pretty sure – Echo Park is in Pharrell’s music video, “Happy,” quite a bit. After all, there’s definitely Atwater Village, Downtown Los Angeles, Los Feliz, Highland Park…. And while we’ve only watched the short version of the music video shown below (there’s a 24 hour long version), a few months ago the video shoot was spotted in at least one spot. Here’s a couple from Baxter:




See if you can spot any Echo Park locations on the video below, and do share all your finds in the comments!


h/t The Urban Hillsides


A little bit of Echo Park in a Super Bowl commercial

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Notice the vintage boomboxes in the background of the RadioShack commercial aired during the Super Bowl yesterday? The items on the shelf in the background had to look a little more like the ’80s for the commercial’s throwback theme (remember those music playing devices called a “boombox”?).

A few of these items on the shelf came from Echo Park’s vintage electronics store Rewind Audio, the store said in a Facebook post. In addition to selling great audio equipment, some items are available for renting for things like video shoots (shameless plug: you’ll see one such Rewind Audio boombox in my husband’s own music video).



Echo Park storefronts transforming

A wave of recent restaurant and storefront closures (Villainy, Barragans, and more) in Echo Park has many wondering about the changing face of the neighborhood. But there’s been some new activity in those sad, dusty storefronts that will hopefully make Sunset Boulevard feel a little less empty.

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Photo via Villainy General Store

Former Nuvia’s

This restaurant space, formerly Nuvia’s and then La Botana, has been closed down for nearly two years. Located on the north side of Sunset between Laveta and McDuff, we thought we were getting a gastropub in the space back in 2012. But The Eastsider LA reports some new activity in the space – unfortunately the owners did not provide any details on what kind of restaurant. One things is for sure – we hope it’s not another pizza joint.

The owners expect to open in four months.

Dinette

Owner of Cafe Stella in Silver Lake, Gareth Kantner, purchased the building on Sunset where E’Pack Family Clothing Store plus the Sunset Snack stand is. Well, was. Recently the construction wall (what the heck do they call those?) went up around the storefront, a sign that the transformation into new take-out and dine-in sandwich shop has begun.

Kantner told The Eastsider LA they expect to open in February of this year. In addition to sandwiches like Lobster Rolls and Po’boys, there will be grilled meats, vegetarian dishes, and oven-baked pizzas.

Lassen’s

FINALLY something is being done to the former Save-A-Lot store next to the Walgreens at Sunset and Logan. The grocery chain shut down in March of 2011, and has been sitting vacant ever since. There were pipe dreams of a Trader Joe’s, and what appeared to be decent traction on a Fresh & Easy until the company went bankrupt.

Although we knew Lassen’s Natural Foods & Vitamins was taking over the location back in June, there is now some signage and a lot of activity in the building. We’re not sure when the store will open, however we’re not sure how well-received the location will be in Echo Park – the Lassen family has in the past made donations in support of Prop 8, which many aren’t happy about.

Trencher

Still a work in progress, despite hopes to open in December, Trencher took over a former Mexican/Salvadorian place (before that Phnom Penh’ Vietnamese) on Portia and Sunset. Expect pulled pork sandwiches, open-faced sandwiches, tofu banh mi, sliders, and more. We’re standing by for the opening any day now.

Barragan’s

Barragan’s held it’s farewell party in December, and the change of ownership notification lists The Lost Knight as the new business name under the control of Alan Moore. We’ve been hearing a lot of rumors about what this space will bring… what do you think? For now, the front doors of Barragan’s sit quietly in the shadows.


Echo Park Lake Christmas Bird Count on Sunday

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Join fellow bird lovers on Sunday, December 29 for the annual Christmas Bird Count at Echo Park Lake!

Bird lovers in Echo Park have identified over 70 species of birds over the last ten years. You can expect to find species such as mallards, great-tailed grackles, robins, American coots, sparrows, finches, great egrets, black-crowned night herons, green herons, blackbirds, hawks and various gulls and doves, and more.

Beginning birders, including children, are welcome to the free bird walk. Binoculars are strongly recommended along with a bird guide if you have one.

Meet at the Boathouse at 8:00 am for the two-hour count.

Following the Echo Park Lake bird count, at about 11:00 am, is the Vista Hermosa bird count. Vista Hermosa is a small park just a little west of downtown Los Angeles. Meet at the parking lot at 100 Toluca Street, just north of First Street. Time about 1.5 hours. Terrain mostly level, some slight elevation.


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