Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sunday at the Getty

Pictures from a visit to the Getty
The Getty Center in Los Angeles presents the Getty's collection of European and American art from the Middle Ages to the present against a backdrop of dramatic architecture, tranquil gardens, and breathtaking views.
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, California 90049

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Finally Some Good News for Echo Park

Fresh & Easy keeps quiet about Echo Park store

It’s been more than a year now since the Save A Lot discount grocery store in Echo Park shut down, leaving behind a large empty space next to a Walgreens drug store. Now, it looks like the Fresh & Easy grocery store chain has scooped up the space at Sunset Boulevard and Logan Street.  A real estate executive with Walgreens, which handles leasing for the building, informed city officials earlier this month that  Fresh & Easy had signed a  lease and was preparing to file for permits with the city in  anticipation of opening a store in as soon as six months, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

The Eastsider contacted the Walgreens executive as well as Fresh & Easy officials for more details.  But several phone calls and emails have not been returned. Last July, a Fresh & Easy spokesman said the chain was “looking at the site but can’t confirm anything past that at this point.”
If  Fresh & Easy does open a store in Echo Park, it will join Vons as the second chain supermarket to operate in Echo Park.  Fresh & Easy would operate out of the same building  that was once home to Pioneer Market, which closed in 2004 after more than 60 years in business.
El Segundo-based Fresh & Easy operates about 200 stores that feature prepared food and self-service check out aisles.  Despite growing rapidly, the chain  has failed to turn a profit  for its British owner, Tesco, which has invested about $2 billion since it established Fresh & Easy about five years ago.  In addition to failing to meet financial targets,  Fresh & Easy has also been criticized  by unions that have been trying to organize the company’s workers.
 Tuesday, July 24, 2012 from TheEastsiderLA

Monday, July 23, 2012

$90 for dinner? Welcome to Echo Park’s new dining hot spot

It was only a short time ago that you would have had a hard time to get foodie friends to dine out in Echo Park. That’s changed with the arrival of some new and upscale restaurants, the most recent being a temporary restaurant called The Vagrancy Projectwhich has taken up a summer “residency” on Monday and Tuesday nights at Allston Yacht Club.  Foodies and bloggers have been buzzing and snapping photos of such dishes as rabbit liver ravioli and a raw oyster served with kimchi gelĂ©e  In addition to expanding the culinary horizons of Echo Park’s dining scene,  24-year-old chef Miles Thompson is also pushing the limit of neighborhood restaurant prices.
The prix fixe, five-course meal at The Vagrancy Project will set you back about $90 when tax and a 18% mandatory tip are figured in. (The base price is $70.)  Add another $50 if you want to pair your courses with specially selected beverages. Then, there is also a separate bar menu, that one night included a $175 Stemple Creek Ranch bone-in ribeye steak, according to the L.A. Times.   Reviewer Jessica Gelt described the steak as “buttery” and hailed Thompson’s skills:
The juxtaposition of Thompson’s serious food — including a clever dish of John Dory on a black-bubble bed of miso tapioca “risotto” in aromatic candied shiitake butter — with the unpretentious familiarity of his staff and the laid-back atmosphere of AYC makes for a playful dining experience tailored for lazy summer nights.
Of course, this being Echo Park, those who can’t or don’t want to spend a $175 on a steak on a lazy summer night still have plenty of options. Directly across Echo Park Avenue from The Vagrancy Project, Little Caesars is hawking a large pepperoni pizza for $5 while the menu down the block at Los Burritos tops out at $8.25 for an Asada Burrito Plate.
From TheEastsiderLA 7/23/2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

Echo Park Lake goose and feathered friends are doing fine after flocking to MacArthur Park

 Ross, in the foreground, with buddies at MacArthur Park. Photo by Judy Raskin

Maria, the famed Echo Park Lake goose, has been living the L.A. Zoo for more than a year now after officials grew worried about the bird’s safety and as the city prepared to drain the lake for a two-year-long clean up. But there were plenty of other not-so-famous birds and geese that called Echo Park Lake home, one of them being a relatively small, three- pound goose named Ross. While Ross lived in quietly in Maria’s shadow, the small goose  with black wing tips was well known to local birders, including Judy Raskin, who first noticed Ross in 2006. Where is Ross today now that Echo Park Lake has been drained for one year? Raskin reports that Ross – who, not coincidentally, is known as a Ross’s Goose – and a flock of other Echo Park Lake avian refugees are doing fine in nearby MacArthur Park.

Ross is certainly not living a protected and “luxe life” as is Maria at the zoo, said Raskin, who been observing the birds at Echo Park Lake for more than a dozen years and helped organize numerous annual bird counts.  Ross and the other birds hang out in the open at MacArthur Park Lake, where he frequents the lawn facing West Seventh Street near Park View Street area and a little island on the Alvarado Street side of the park south of the boathouse.
Like other Ross’s geese, the Echo Park Lake Ross now living in MacArthur Park has a small head, tiny yellow bill. It’s mostly white but adults have black wing tips that you can see when the bird is in flight. When on land,  and the bird just resting  with its wings folded,  Ross would appear to have black tail feathers but they are actually the wing tip feathers that have been folded back, Raskin said.
Weighing in at about 3 pounds, Ross is about half the size of domesticated white geese like Maria, said Raskin. Maria also seems more comfortable around humans, probably because of her close and much publicized relationship with Dominic Ehrler.
The domesticated geese “will also snap at you if they feel threatened,” said Raskin of the territorial birds. “As for Ross, my experience is only with our one lone Echo Park Lake resident. But I do not see it as aggressive in the way the domesticated white geese are. Whenever I’ve tried to get real close up for a photo, Ross moves away and gives a little squeaky call.”
Raskin said that Southern California is at tail end of the migratory route that Ross’ and some other goose species follow in winter and summer between here and the Canadian Arctic.  Why did Ross decide to make Echo Park Lake his year-around home? No one knows for sure. Raskin speculates that Ross got separates from its original flock as a young bird and was too inexperienced about making its way up north. “Inasmuch as it was inexperienced and didn’t know the route home, it remained at Echo Park Lake.”
At first,  Ross seemed to be a loner among the geese at Echo Park Lake, Raskin said. Or perhaps the other birds were keeping their distance from the newcomer.
“With a passage of time, however, Ross became part of the flock of the white domesticated geese that populate the lake.  In particular, it has 3 close buddies and I frequently saw the four of them waddling around. ”
When it came to relocate the birds from Echo Park Lake birds, Raskin, who advocated for the safety of the birds as officials prepared to drain and close lake for a $65 million clean up, recommended that Ross and its buddies be sent to MacArthur Park, which is close enough so Raskin can keep a close eye on him.
So, do Ross and other Echo Park Lake birds seem to be enjoying their new surroundings?
“As far as I can tell, they are doing fine,” Raskin, who was interviewed about the bird relocation by Hear In The City. ” Go down there and see for your self.”
July 13, 2012 from theEastsiderLA

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

Echo Park corner can be yours for $1 million

The two-story brick building at  Temple Street and Edgeware Road is one of those classic Eastside commercial structures that anchor countless street corners with a combination  of ground floor shops and apartments above.  Here, in the southern edge of Echo Park, the corner of the 1924 building is notched at the intersection to create a prominent entrance for George’s liquor store and market (In the 1930s, the Edgeware Pharmacy occupied the same space).  White glazed brick frames the windows and dresses up  a simple design. One of the two storefronts below is vacant  while there are four apartments above, according to the Redfin listing. How much will it cost to own this classic commercial building? The asking price is $1.095 million.
From theeastsiderla