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Friday, October 30, 2009

Eastside Shopper & Diner

If you don't read them, wear them: recycled newspaper and magazine costumes at Tavin in Echo Park.

All books 10% to 70% off at Skylight Books anniversary sale this weekend.

Decorate your home for Halloween for $6.58 at the Silver Lake 99 Cents Only store.

Another reason to give up drinking: House of Spirits liquor store in Echo Park raises the minimum purchase on credit cards to $20.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Echo Park landmark makes room for a new restaurant *

Several of the storefronts in the landmark Jensen's Recreation Center in the heart of Echo Park's business district have been vacant as the building undergoes an extensive renovation. One of the empty spaces had been a high-profile corner spot at Sunset Boulevard and Logan Streets. But that space, a former medical clinic that has been transformed into a dramatic two-story space (pictures above under construction) has apparently been leased out to vegan and raw cuisine caterer Stephen Hauptfuhr of Mooi Food.


Hauptfuhr has been looking for a space to open a vegan-raw food restaurant earlier in the year nearby on Glendale Boulevard where it passes underneath Sunset Boulevard, according to Daily Dish. But he ended up in a much more high profile location in the historic 1924 structure. Hauptfuhr said by email he will provide more details about the restaurant later today. News about Mooi moving into Jensen's comes after another local restauranteur, Gareth Kantner of Silver Lake's Cafe Stella, abandoned plans earlier this year to open a restaurant in the same building.

* Update: Hauptfuhr said his vegan-raw food restaurant might be as open as early as December on a limited basis for private parties before a grand opening early next year. He does not use animal products - not even honey. The tentative plans are to serve sit-down dinners on Wednesday through Saturday, featuring affordable meals - priced from $25 to $40 a couple -as well as more expensive specials. During the day, Mooi would focus on selling deserts, snacks and ice cream (based on cashews) during much of the week.

"This place is perfect," said Mooi. "It's just an amazing space."

Mooi (pronounced moy) means "beautiful" in Dutch, said Hauptfuhr who is half German.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Eastside Shopper & Diner

Dodgers lose but fans win with a weekend sale on team apparel at 4th Quarter Shop in Highland Park. (h/t to 90042).

When did fanny packs come back? In green for $17 at American Apparel in Echo Park.

Who needs meat? Vegan ice cream on sale at Figueroa Produce in Highland Park; Vegan Happy Hour at the Short Stop in Echo Park.

Half off organic printed t-shirts with purchase at Feeding Birds Boutique in Echo Park.

Class is in session at Barbrix in Silver Lake.

Strange name, good deal: $8 dinner at It's Thai Hometaurant in Echo Park.

Start the morning with a clean car. Early birds pay $8.99 from 8 AM - 11 AM at Echo Park's Car Wash on Sunset Monday-Thursday.

New businesses on the block: The Future, apparel for young men and women, is coming to Echo Park in November; Bobbie, an apparel and accessories for women, opening in the former Peron Antique store on Sunset by early December.

Thumbs up for Witch's Fingers at the Village Bakery in Atwater.

Image from 4th Quarter Shop

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Who would you honor on the Day of the Dead?

Would it be the memory of a beloved family member, teacher, pet or barista? It's your decision what you want to do with a 10' x 10' altar space at a Dia de Los Muertos celebration being organized by El Centro del Pueblo in Echo Park. No fee is required for individual altars but space is limited and burning candles are not allowed. Click here for the application.

Image from El Centro Del Pueblo

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Eastside Shopper & Diner

Handmade bunny and animal buttons on sale at $18 each at Home Ec. in Silver Lake.

Butter Tart in Glassell Park gets a new owner and a new menu with corned beef hash and "heirloom" grits for breakfast.

American Apparel in Echo Park celebrates its 6th anniversary with 20% off selected items and an after-hours party on Sunday.

It pays to eat early: Taix in Echo Park serving three course meals from 5 pm to 6 pm for $12.95.

Beginners banjo class (5 sessions for $62.50) at Eagle Rock Music Studio.

Antigua coffee to brew once again in El Sereno.

More wine and beer to begin flowing soon after Costa Alegre in Echo Park opens a patio bar.

Cocktails as well as coffee to be served at LA Mill in Silver Lake.

Photo from Home Ec

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day of the Dead celebration to make more room for the living

By Ana Facio Contreras

The people who plan to attend next month's Dia De Los Muertos celebration organized by Self Help Graphics and Art won’t have to worry about having enough elbow room or finding a parking spot on the side streets. What they will have to worry about is making sure they head for the right location. For the first time in more than 10 years, the Dia de Los Muertos celebration will be held away from the Self Help Graphics building at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Gage Avenue in East Los Angeles. Instead, this year's Day of the Dead event will be held at the East Los Angeles Civic Center on 3rd Street near Mednik Avenue. The idea is create more room for the estimated 5,000 to 8,000 revelers who attend what organizers call the longest running Day of the Dead celebration in the county.
After Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina’s office offered the civic center and Belvedere Park for the Nov. 2 event, the non-profit Chicano arts center decided to change the venue, said Evonne Gallardo, Self Help Graphics and Art executive director.

“They sort of extended the offer, and it came at a really great time because we were thinking about all our space constraints and our desire to make it more comfortable for our attendees,” Gallardo said.

“I think what Self Help Graphics and Art is really about is that we’re not about being in a building; we’re about community. And so wherever we go, I think our community will go with us, and that includes our 36th Annual Day of the Dead event.”

Gallardo said the last time the event was held outside the arts center was in the 1990s at the Ford Amphitheater.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The cultural and environmental legacy of an Occidental College poet

The poetry of Robinson Jeffers is in the spotlight as Occidental College hosts a series of events celebrating one of its most notable alums (class of 1905) who wrote extensively on the environment. On Saturday, Jeffers poetry will be part of several events - including a reading, sculpture dedication and garden opening - at The Southwest Museum in Mt. Washington and the Lummis House in Highland Park. The events will continue through early November as part of The Big Read: Jeffers and the Ecologies of Poetry.

Jeffers, who died in 1962, is best known for his poems inspired by the Western landscape, the Central California coast, in particular. So, why should his work be of interest to modern day Angelenos, particularly those who live in the Eastside? Occidental College professor Thomas Burkdall said Jeffers' words and sentiments still resonate with Americans living far from the Pacific.

"Even though Jeffers did focus his work on the Central Coast of California, I see his poetry as relevant to all of California ecology and, indeed, much of America," Burkdall said in an email. "In his poem, Carmel Point, Jeffers observes:

'This beautiful place defaced with a crop of suburban houses-
How beautiful when we first beheld it.'

Whether this is the Carmel coast or the Verdugo Hills, I think we can all understand this nostalgia for a pristine landscape," Burkdall said. In the wake of the recent fires that swept through the nearby mountains, Burdall offered up this Jeffers poem titled Fire on the Hills:

The deer were bounding like blown leaves
Under the smoke in front of the roaring wave of the brush-fire;
I thought of the smaller lives that were caught.
Beauty is not always lovely; the fire was beautiful, the terror
Of the deer was beautiful; and when I returned
Down the back slopes after the fire had gone by, an eagle
Was perched on the jag of a burnt pine,
Insolent and gorged, cloaked in the folded storms of his shoulders
He had come from far off for the good hunting
With fire for his beater to drive the game; the sky was merciless
Blue, and the hills merciless black,
The sombre-feathered great bird sleepily merciless between them.
I thought, painfully, but the whole mind,
The destruction that brings an eagle from heaven is better than men.

- Robinson Jeffers

Portrait of Jeffers by Remsen Bird/Occidental College

Friday, October 2, 2009

Echo Park's Gold Room gets polished up

The Gold Room was one of a string of Sunset Boulevard dive bars - such as El Prado, Little Joy Jr., New Hollyway and The Short Stop - that attracted the loyalty - and ire - of Echo Park residents. Those bars have either closed or been transformed into havens for hipsters. Locals have been debated whether The Gold Room, which was long popular with Latino immigrants and working class drinkers, lost its dive bar status long ago. The bar's owners insist it's still a dive bar despite a recent renovation that left it with more of a lounge-like look, complete with a glowing wall of gold, a new banquette and furniture, sound system and digital jukebox. But what about the free peanuts, tacos and the $4 beer with a shot?

Don't worry - the prices and specials remains the same, said general manager Lionel Ledezma, who used work down the street at The Echo. "We are just trying to bring out the gold in the Gold Room. I think people are going to love the change."

But things have not changed too much, he cautions. "It still has the vibe of a dive bar."

The Highland Park man behind Mountains & Myths

The future role of the Southwest Museum remains unclear amid an ongoing dispute between the Autry Museum, which controls the Southwest, and residents. But the historic Mt. Washington cultural center remains open - on a limited basis - and continues to stage exhibitions. This weekend, artist Raoul de La Sota closes an exhibit of paintings - Of Mountains & Myths - in the museum's Plains Gallery. The exhibit of about three dozen paintings is a good opportunity to explore the work of De La Sota, a long time Highland Park resident, whose work has been exhibited in 15 countries.

The show at the Southwest Museum came about after De La Sota staged a smaller exhibit at museum's Casa de Adobe on Figueroa Street. The Mountains and Myths show focuses on the connection between the mountains and myths and believes of Native Americans, said De La Sota, who has lived in Highland Park since 1977.

De la Sota will be at the museum on Saturday after 1 pm to discuss the show and his work.

Photo by Katrina Alexy

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Scenes from East of the River

Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park will hold a closing reception tonight for
East of the River – Images from the ‘Perdido en Califas’ Series, featuring 41 Polaroid photos by John Tapia Urquiza. The region covered by the exhibit extends from the banks of the Los Angeles River east to the desert. "The southwest prints evoke an era long past while the objects and scenes of East Los Angeles recall childhood memories," said a gallery press release. The closing reception and "Happy Docent Hour" mixer will be held from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Urquiza, who grew up in El Sereno, lives in Eagle Rock.

Photo: Beat 64/By John Tapia Urquiza

Eastside Shopper & Diner

Apparel by Whish and other designers will be sold at 15% to 40% off this weekend at Feeding Birds Boutique in Echo Park.

Now serving bacon scones at the Village Bakery & Cafe in Atwater.

Shop and eat green with the new Eastside Green Guide.

Pescado Mojado celebrates 25 years in Echo Park with 50% off selected items on Monday through Friday, 3 pm - 6 pm.

Beauty Box to offer manicures and pedicures after it moves to its new Echo Park location at 1498 Sunset Blvd.

Photo from Feeding Birds Boutique