December 25, 2007

Atwater Chatter: Happy Christmas Edition

Icy Broadmoor Lake, originally uploaded by Atwater Village Newbie.

WE'RE HAPPY TO BE BACK where traffic (not weather) will strand you at the mall and where "storm watches" are issued for half an inch of rain. Here's how people are marking the holidays in and around our little LA neighborhood:
Happy Christmas - It's Christmas Eve in Atwater Village, the Santa Ana's are blowing hard and the modest residents of Atwater (all working class and middle class and brilliantly diverse) have gone to no small trouble to deck their halls. [MilesThink]

TESCO Fresh and Easy - I'd picked up my car from our Atwater Village mechanic at just before lunchtime Wednesday, so on my way home I stopped by the Glassell Park F&E. Liked the selection even more than Arcadia's. [Chowhound]

Bingo Night at Bigfoot Lodge - Bingo, bizarre film projections and beer. [Metromix]

Atwater Village Wine Bar - At last, the wine shop/wine bar has been named. Welcome 55 Degrees to the neighborhood. Let's hope she opens soon, as mama is thirsty. [MilesThink]

It Caught My Eye: Big River Car - Maybe it has something to do with the proximity to the freeway, otherwise I'm not sure how this stretch of LA River's east bank through Atwater Village became a canvas for car art. [screenwriteralex posting a great photo by wildbell]

Fresh Sauerkraut - The best kraut I've found around here is the very good Kruegermann's, made by a German family in Atwater Village and available at various markets around LA. [Chowhound]

December 16, 2007

Bad for the Earth, Good for the Neighborhood

Surely a Winner, originally uploaded by Atwater Village Newbie.
TONIGHT AFTER 5:00PM Atwater Village's holiday spirit shall be judged. The annual lighting contest is, as posited here, the less annoying, more organic alternative to the Department of Water and Power's Griffith Park display. My prediction: judges will drive around till they get to this house at Glenfeliz and Glenmanor, then declare their winner.

December 11, 2007

Winter in Southern California

THE DISNEY STUDIO tree and some kind of foam-like "snow."

December 9, 2007

Coyotes in Los Feliz: Not Bold, Got It?

Griffith Park Coyote, originally uploaded by patrick_cates.

HERE'S A CURIOUS retort to a quote from former Gilmore Girl Lauren Graham. In July, Lauren told the LA Times, "I haven't been to Griffith Park since the fire, but it's been scary around here since then. The coyotes are getting really bold." Five months later, the follow-up email to me:
"As a resident of Los Feliz, please don't spread crap like 'the coyotes are really bold'.... Nothings new with the wildlife except they are misplaced because of the fires and what does bold mean....really stupid comment.

"They are the same as they have always been and will always be, trying to exist and survive in there unique family structures like you and I...what do would you think they would say about people if they had a blog.....would it be truthful and accurate....Perhaps they would tell you this is there home too, that people try to poison, shoot, and harm them....maybe they really should be more bold and fearless ...... I still say she's full of crap."
I, for one, am looking forward to the Coyotes of Los Feliz blog!

Neighborhood For Sale: Atwater on Craigslist

IF ALIENS LANDED today and needed to decipher what this Atwater Village area in Los Angeles was all about and, due to some conversion mix-up in their intergalactic wi-fi scanners, only had access to Craigslist, here's just a taste of what they'd learn:
* Sound familiar? This is the same wine store/bar listed in October for $350,000

December 6, 2007

A Bit Brighter This Year

Glendale Tree Lit, originally uploaded by Atwater Village Newbie.

Atwater Chatter: All Lit Up Edition

THINGS ARE GETTING lit up all over this extreme southeast corner of the San Fernando Valley:
  • Median Tree Getting Lit - Festivities start tonight, Thursday Dec. 6, 6:30pm. Santa arrives via fire engine at 8:00pm to switch on 2,200 lights on the 80-year-old Redwood in front of 3250 Glendale Blvd.
  • Neighbors' Houses Getting Lit - Judging for Atwater Village's Best Christmas Decoration contest starts Sunday Dec. 16, 5:00. (Let's just give it to the house at Glenfeliz and Glenmanor.) [AV News]
  • Writers Getting Lit - WGA members can find $1 drinks at the Griffin in Atwater Village. [LA Times]
  • Attraction to Magnet Schools - "We live in Atwater Village, our home school is Atwater Elementary which is 74.4% Hispanic (so I guess I hear that is 4 points), but is a single track (sounds like 0 points to me)." [LA Times Magnet Yentas]
  • Dipping Toes into E-commerce - Importante Gifts in Atwater Village requested a much needed update with additional e-commerce capability. [Design Directive]

December 5, 2007

Victory for Proponents of Giant Empty Parking Lots

fletchersquare101, originally uploaded by Luis Lopez.

THE GIANT, EMPTY PARKING LOT near Fletcher Drive and San Fernando Road will stay giant and empty a while longer. The Home Depot has been chased away, officially, from developing the old Kmart site. This is a huge win for people who think northeast LA has plenty of jobs and that taggers don't have enough unoccupied buildings upon which to practice. And for people who love California Pizza Kitchen. Yay.

December 3, 2007

RIP, Pip (2004-2007)

Pip!, originally uploaded by Atwater Village Newbie.

Pip was a small little bird
with a big voice and a big
personality. He was a great
father and friend to our
other little birds.

-- Mrs. Newbie

November 28, 2007

All About the New Viet Noodle Bar

FROM OUT OF NOWHERE comes the new media darling of central Atwater Village, only a few blocks down from former media darling Canele. At 3133 1/2 Glendale Blvd., it's Viet Noodle Bar:
  • Eat Drink & Be Merry - We headed towards a non-descript brick building with no signage, and only orange lettering on the window identifying the establishment. We found ourselves surrounded by tall white walls in a long and narrow cavity. There were two, long communal-style, wooden tables that extended from the front to the back of the restaurant. Old, beaten-up book lined the right side of the wall – over 250 books.
  • Daily Candy LA - Sometimes it feels like you have to travel to the Far East to get a good bowl of bun chay. Or at least trek to Atwater.
  • Eater LA - Offshoot of Silverlake's Soy Cafe opened today.
  • Eating LA - The new shop will concentrate on noodles, particularly bun and northern style pho - which apparently has flat noodles, no basil, and will come in chicken and vegetarian varieties.
Conversations starting on Chowhound and Yelp, too. Viet Noodle Bar is open 11:00am to 3:00pm, 5:00pm to 11:00pm.

November 27, 2007

I Am Banned from Circuit City Burbank

THIS BUSY SHOPPING weekend I got banned from the Burbank location of a $12.43 billion consumer electronics retailer. A Circuit City employee, identifying himself as the "store director," told me in no uncertain terms that I should take my business elsewhere. Even if my business was asking the company to honor its guarantee for car audio installation. (My left rear speaker works off and on.)

His uncertain terms: "Get the fuck out of my store," and, "If you ever step foot in my fucking store again I will call the cops and report you for trespassing" and, fists raised, lunging at me, "I will take you down."

I wonder if this is what Merrill Lynch means when they report "most customers looked frustrated" at Circuit City stores this weekend. Yes, Merrill, I may have looked that way. But you should've seen how Burbank's store director looked as he chased me out the back.

I called Circuit City's 800 number - five times - to report the incident. Lots of forwarding and disconnecting. I could email Circuit City executives, or file a report with Glendale police. But why bother? That's one Southern California Circuit City store down, 47 to go. Get your banning fists ready!

November 20, 2007

Atwater Chatter: Pre-Thanksgiving Edition

THE LAST REMNANTS of pre-holiday business for our little corner of northeast Los Angeles:

November 18, 2007

Pico and Sepulveda: The Song

THIS WAS THE SONG running through my head nearly all day, 15.6 miles of it, down the length of Pico Blvd. I shot about 500 photographs and am busily assembling the Flickr set.

Favorite Pico Guy

Favorite Pico Guy, originally uploaded by Atwater Village Newbie.

ONE (OF MANY) photos to come from the walk on Pico Blvd. Stay tuned.

I'm building my set on Flickr now.

Meantime, enjoy 165 photos from Wildbell.

November 16, 2007

I've Been Training for It All Week

BY WALKING FROM my cubicle to the office kitchen. And back. What else could prepare me for tomorrow's leisurely stroll, more than 15 miles, along the most culturally diverse boulevard in the most culturally diverse city in the US? From downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean, Pico Blvd., here we come.

November 15, 2007

Walking the Village

ONE WISE NEIGHBOR'S opinion on the most walkable neighborhood in Los Angeles, from Curbed LA:
Gotta say Atwater Village. Where else can you pass 3 coffee spots, a cuban place, two vietnamese places, a taco place, a dive bar, five or six galleries, a water store, a check cashing joint, two banks, multiple new hipster clothing stores, recording studios and a Christian Discount store in three blocks? Seriously.

November 11, 2007

Mural Dedication: Tuesday

Vince's Market, originally uploaded by Atwater Village Newbie.

THE DONE DEAL. Nov. 13, 1:00pm, Vince’s Market, 3250 Silver Lake Blvd.

Atwater Chatter: Post-Diwali Edition

INDIAN SWEETS (and spices) found their way into our home this weekend. We hope they did yours too. Some news from in and around this banana-shaped hood in northeast Los Angeles:

November 7, 2007

The Pico Walk: We're In!

View Larger Map
The entire length of Pico Blvd., nearly 16 miles from downtown LA to the sand in Santa Monica, Saturday Nov. 17, 9:00am. More at

October 31, 2007

Wine Bar Opens Nov. 12, Says Craigslist, and Already for Sale

SURELY THERE IS a strategy behind trying to sell a wine store that has yet to open. Right? From Craigslist:

Date: 2007-10-30, 1:34PM

Wine Tasting & Wine Store For Sale - $350,000


Located in Atwater Village near the communities of Echo Park, Los Feliz and Silver Lake, as well as, the City of Glendale. Great access to the 5, 110 and 134 Freeways with on and off ramps to the 5 freeway less than a .25 mile away.

Excellent retail space situated between a Starbucks and H&R Block! The property is located on a major boulevard with over 39,000 cars passing by each day. A total of 3,171 sf of space is currently being built out and will be delivered and ready for occupancy November 12, 2007.

850 sf of ground floor retail space is being built out as a wine store. 2,321 sf of basement space is being built out as a wine tasting bar & lounge, wine cellar and cigar humidifier room.
I'm torn. Why buy a bottle of wine when I can buy the entire store? Oh that's right. Because it's $350,000. And real estate is not included.

October 30, 2007

Name That New Wine Bar

Funny Name for a Wine Bar
AS REPORTED HERE on the Newbie blog, our blogmates over at Franklin Avenue now confirm:
Standing at the Crispy Crust (free samples!), we wound up talking to the man standing in front of the future wine store.

The man - I believe it was owner Andy Hasroun - basically confirmed everything that Atwater Village Newbie mentioned last December. The wine shop will include regular wine tastings (functioning much like Colorado Wine Co. and its small wine bar) in addition to sales; a large wine cellar will be located in the basement.

Hasroun told us he's still trying to come up with a name -- The Cellar or L.A. Cellar are two possibilities.

I'd suggest going the pun route: Atwater Into Wine.
Love it. The nameless-for-now wine bar goes in the Glendale Blvd. retail strip with Starbucks, H&R Block and Crispy Crust. (Home of, by the way, the neighborhood's best pizza, the thin-crust chili con carne.)

October 28, 2007

Atwater Village Halloween Scene

October 26, 2007

Atwater Chatter: Not-So-Scary Neighborhood Edition

NEWS FROM IN AND around Atwater Village, one LA neighborhood happy to have taken in a few evacuees from the latest California fires.

Gang leader convicted - Timothy McGhee, 34, leader of Atwater Village's Toonerville gang, is found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, four of attempted murder ... Verdicts were welcome news here, where "residents feared McGhee would get off after an almost six-year wait." [LA Daily News]

Glendale Boo-levard - Fourth annual "trick or treat fall festival," 3100 block of Glendale Blvd., Friday, Oct. 26, 4:00pm to 5:30pm. [AVNC]

Neighborhood Council Election Final Report - Ouch! "In observation of the numbers of votes (398) that were cast in this election, the Human Relations Commission hopes that the Neighborhood Council will not be satisfied with a voter turnout for this election in a neighborhood council that represents over 20,000 stakeholders." Right, City, call us back when you empower neighborhood councils to actually do something. [City of LA]

The carp are biting - "Yesterday I came across these dudes fishing in the Glendale Narrows ... Here's Jon and Dean with their carp 'Double Header,' around 4-5 lbs. each." [Nature Trumps]

Jim not really a Field Deputy... just a lowly Case Worker - Someone must really hate this guy. [The CD14 Enquirer]

October 24, 2007

The Former Castle Kashan

This weekend I rediscovered a photo I took this summer in Malibu.

I posted this photo and asked aloud, what is this place?

Then this place, Castle Kashan, burned to the ground.

October 20, 2007

Unless the Art Glows in the Dark

YOU MAY WANT TO arrive early (or late) to the Immigrant Punk exhibit tonight, if Black Maria Gallery participates in Lights Out LA.
  • Immigrant Punk - Opening exhibition, Black Maria Gallery, 3137 Glendale Blvd., Saturday, Oct. 20, 7:00pm to 10:30pm
  • Lights Out LA - Turning off all non-essential lighting for one hour, Saturday, Oct. 20, 8:00pm to 9:00pm

October 19, 2007

Drive Over to the Casitas Avenue Drive-In

casitas_ave096, originally uploaded by Luis Lopez.

Things are looking up for Casitas Avenue. Though the south Atwater Village street may not be getting any Star Trek lofts, it is getting in on another trend: cinematic alternative realty games.
"This fall the HEAD TRAUMA cinematic gaming continues. Players will interact with the film's characters; offline, online, and via mobile devices in what is a cross between flash mobs, urban gaming, and ARGs. The game starts in late September ... Then on Oct. 20th, live cinema games will play out in 10 cities across the country. Within the series are clues aka rabbit holes that lead to hidden sites, blogs, social networking pages and media."
Sounds like it might be worth surrendering to the confusion. The "live cinema game" is Saturday, Oct. 20, 11:00pm, in the parking lot of 3191 Casitas Ave. Admission is free.

October 16, 2007

If You Have Something Nice to Say...

...SAY IT ABOUT Atwater Village. Bekka Teerlink takes the east-side Art Crawl X down a few pegs, but makes mom proud with some kind words about our 'hood:
The one discovery I did make is the galleries in Atwater Village. That's what people should be checking out (well, except for JFerrari Gallery - they weren't open so I never got a glimpse.) All these galleries get points from me for being friendly and welcoming - as well as for having something great to look at. If I were in the mood to relocate my studio - that's where I'd go. (And I was told there are empty shops on that stretch aching to be made into more galleries and studios.) Luckily it's still close at only a mile away.
Yes, artists, fill up those empty shops! We could use a few more musicians, come to think of it. The Atwater Village mixtape has had enough Beastie Boys and Black Eyed Peas.

October 12, 2007

This Weekend: Art Crawl? More Like Art Sprawl

View Larger Map
COVERING THIRTY-TWO LOCATIONS in Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Atwater Village, the tenth annual Art Crawl is this weekend on LA's east side. (Northeast side? North of downtown-ish side? East of Hollywood side?)

I'm glad to see the quadfecta of Atwater galleries - Black Maria, LittleBird, J. Ferrari, Pounder Kone - all involved. Hopefully other Glendale Blvd. moms-and-pops will stay open late to distract the wandering hipsters.

It's Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-14, starting 12:00noon each day. More at Art Crawl X.

UPDATE: Nearby Eagle Rock's got its own art thang going on, 13 galleries on Oct. 13.

October 8, 2007

Election Over, Forum Returns

NOW THAT THE COUNCIL election is over, the online neighborhood forum - unceremoniously stripped from the Internet a few weeks ago - is back.

It looks like the offending, election-related comments have been removed. Check out the first post after hiatus, and peruse the rest of the forum.

Glad to have it back. Now let's try to behave.

LA Galaxy Wants Second Chance to Steal My Camera

Starting Lineup
FOR THE SECOND TIME since July, I've received voice mail from the LA Galaxy front office. Both were live calls - not pre-recorded telemarketing messages. Both wanted me to know about "exciting" soccer games coming to Home Depot Center, "some" of which "might" include David Beckham.

David who? Isn't he that famous guy who sits in a private box - not on the field with his teammates - during soccer games? Isn't he the token millionaire whose mere image in the lens of an entry-level Nikon gets a visit from a Galaxy goon offering to confiscate my camera? (I call it attempted Grand Theft Photo.)

I doubt the friendly fellow calling now knows what happened last time I dropped $240 into Beckham's coffers. Should I call back and let him know?

October 6, 2007

Now, Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Neighborhood

AT LAST, IT'S OVER. Barring any meddlers from Reseda, these are your Atwater Village Neighborhood Council election winners (with vote totals):
  • Resident North Atwater - Fernando Dejo-Grundy (203), Leonora Gershman (258)
  • Resident Central Atwater - Phillip Alexander (85), Jenn Hoffman (88)
  • Resident South Atwater - Nancy Mejia (106), Ken Osborne (158)
  • Business Rep. - Jeff Gardner (236), Diane Serafino (249)
  • Religious Rep. - Bruce Fleenor (132), Lenore Solis (205)
  • Community/Non-profit Rep. - Christine Anthony (227), Luis Lopez (188)
  • School Rep. - Tim Warner (268)
  • Park & Rec Rep. - Roberta Javier (190)
As one of today's 398 voters, I'm pleased to see most of the people I chose on this list. But there are some I didn't choose who also made it. Term limits, anyone?

October 5, 2007

You Don't Even Have to Live Here

Vote! Vote! Vote!
INTERESTING ELECTORAL TRIVIA: Los Angeles neighborhood council elections are open to all "stakeholders." Who exactly are these stakeholders? The list:
  • Homeowners
  • Renters
  • Property owners
  • Business owners
  • Employees of neighborhood businesses
  • Members of cultural institutions (theater group, art gallery, etc.)
  • Members of religious institutions (churches)
  • Members of service or community non-profit organizations (animal rescue organization, historical society, etc.)
  • Students of neighborhood schools (16 years and older)
  • Members of park and recreation centers (soccer teams, etc.)
So basically if you spend more than a few hours in Atwater Village, you might be able to vote in tomorrow's AVNC election. The entire council could be controlled, for all we know, by Costco employees.

The election is Saturday, Oct. 6, 9:00am to 4:00pm, Holy Trinity Church, 3716 Boyce Avenue. Candidate statements here.

September 30, 2007

Atwater Chatter: So Much Drama Edition

Vote! Glendale Blvd.
Other voices, same neighborhood.

So much drama for such a small village - "Apparently, with the election coming up, someone made a posting that broke the forum's rules regarding etiquette and libel... Why the postings were not simply removed instead of the entire forum shut down, I don't understand.... Full disclosure: I am running for the AVNC." [Atwater Village is for Lovers]

Zagat releases 2008 survey - "Zagat has released its So. California survey results for 2008. Pizzeria Mozza scored highest among newcomers, followed by Atwater Village's Canele." [The Knife]

Hollywood PrivacyWatch - "Dinner at Canele in Atwater Village, saw John Cho or as my friend who spotted him first put it, 'the only Asian actor I recognize, you know, the dude from Harold & Kumar.'" [Defamer]

Atwater Village Offers New Mural to Graffiti Gods - "This weekend we checked out Vince's Market (est. 1939) and the mural is coming along nicely, at least 60% done. Here's hoping $2.50 carnitas sandwiches scare away more bandana bandits than Oscar-nominated songs from Good Will Hunting." [Curbed LA]

REMINDER: Atwater Village Neighborhood Council Election - "AVNC Election day, Saturday Oct. 6, 9:00am to 4:00pm, Holy Trinity Church, 3716 Boyce Avenue." [Friends of Atwater Village]

September 22, 2007

Will There Be Anyone Left To Vote?

THE GOOD NEWS about this attempt at an Atwater Village Neighborhood Council election is the record-qualifying candidate turnout: 34 candidates for 14 seats. (PDF here.) Signs for the Oct. 6 election, in English and Spanish, are unavoidable. And we have a candidate forum, Oct. 4, 6:00pm at Glenfeliz Elementary School Auditorium (3810 Hollypark).

The bad news is the other forum, AVNC's online forum. Official word is it was "closed by the Independent Election Administrator because of 2 (extremely) inappropriate postings in the Election category."

Sound familiar? This Administrator is getting good at shutting things down. Like the last election. In its entirety. In February Walt Sweeney trashed $12,000 of election prep over grammar corrections on the AVNC Web site.

This time, grammar it ain't. It's the AV Enquirer, who comments sometimes on my Newbie blog, and may have penned the "inappropriate" posts at AVNC.

I read those posts. (Didn't save them, sorry. Google cached an old July post.) They seemed no less appropriate than some of the other claptrap on the forum. (Starbucks didn't exactly shutter the site over anti-corporate coffee comments.)

But if the posts were libelous or revealed personal information, let's say, why wouldn't the Administrator just ask for them to be deleted? Why shut down the entire forum?

The forum is as much about nannies and pizza places and crime than this election anyway.

September 21, 2007

Artistic Self-Promotion Passed Along

A KIND NOTE from an excited neighbor:
Dear Newbie, I am excited to present a new show at LittleBird that I have curated. This is my curatorial debut and would love it if you included something about the show in your blog! The opening reception will be Sat. Sept 22, 7-10pm. Thanks! Alicia Cheatham, LittleBird Gallery
LittleBird Gallery is at 3195 Glendale Blvd., in the hipsterist strip of Atwater Village. More at

Locked Out! AVNC Removes Forum

WHAT WAS AN OFTEN lively if sometimes petty and etiquette-free neighborhood forum has been "removed." The host site belonging to Atwater Village Neighborhood Council offers no explanation.

Please say this isn't election related. It's one thing for candidates to fire potshots at each other. It's another thing to shut out all 8,000 voters.

Do we have to cancel another election, or are we all gonna play nice this time?

September 17, 2007

New 76 Ball, and Red

PREVIOUSLY: Changing of the Balls

September 11, 2007

Gunfire Expected on Brunswick This Week

NOTES TAPED TO SOME doors and gates warn of impending shootings on a movie set in Atwater Village this week. The "single shot" gunfire is expected indoors and outdoors on Brunswick Ave.

For anyone who didn't get the note from Film LA: duck!

September 5, 2007

A Campaign Cycle Even Obama Could Love

ONLY 30 DAYS TO hawk yourself to your neighbors. Just a month to convince fellow Atwater Villagers that you should represent them in Neighborhood Council. You can't miss the election signs on nearly every corner of the hood. What's your excuse? (Mine: here.) On your mark...
  • Candidate Application: Due Thursday September 6, 5pm (PDF Form)
  • Candidate Forum: Thursday October 4, 6pm, location to be determined
  • AVNC Election: Saturday, October 6, 9am to 4pm, Holy Trinity Church, 3716 Boyce Ave.
  • More:

September 4, 2007

The Summer of Upscale Invasion

HAS ANYONE ELSE noticed a new flavor to businesses opening in Atwater Village this summer? Call it Gentrification 2.0, but it seems big chains (like, um, Starbucks) have green-lighted more upscale mom-and-pops:
  • Amelia Fitzwater - Moved its high-end gift shop from Santa Monica to Atwater Village, next to Via Romi Salon (3129 1/2 Glendale Blvd.)
  • The Little Knittery - Moved from Los Feliz to Atwater Village, where Creative Grounds Cafe used to be (3042 Glendale Blvd.)
  • Woof Dog Boutique - Moved from Burbank to Atwater Village (3172 Glendale Blvd.)
  • The Griffin - Expanded from Fremont Street in Las Vegas to open a second location, this one in Atwater Village at the old La Strada restaurant site (3000 Los Feliz Blvd.)
And what's that clothing shop moving into the old Mini Melt comics and toys location on the LFB?

August 29, 2007

Turns Out There Is Really Is Crazy Shit Going Down on Sunnynook

WE'D ALWAYS NOTICED strange goings-on around a particular house on Sunnynook Drive, but we did nothing. You'd think my LAPD community police training would have me reaching for the phone every time a shadow rustled, but I erred on the side of benefit of the doubt.

I didn't report the massive amounts of garbage. Or the grown men sitting on bicycles under trees. Or the Morse code whistling at night.

Let this be a lesson. In the last 24 hours, Sunnynook Drive has seen an unusual amount of police activity and neighbor interest. And today I get the scoop from Atwater Village's Director of Animal Welfare.
Sunnynook Meth House: Animal Update

"A notorious drug house in Atwater Village was recently raided by the LAPD. The owner and his partner were arrested; owner is in the hospital, partner is in jail. In addition to drugs and assorted mayhem, the house was of major concern to many neighbors because of the cats who lived there. The house is absolutely filthy (soon to be condemned by Building and Safety), the cats have been neglected and/or abused.

"So here's the situation right now: 6-7 cats, several doves, lizards, assorted reptiles and one small dog were confiscated by Animal Control this morning. They are being held as evidence and are not available for adoption by the public or rescue groups at this time.

"[Atwater Village DAWs] will be keeping tabs on them; when they become available, we will alert everybody.

"There are conflicting reports about kittens - possibly 5-6 kittens were taken by Animal Control yesterday. We do not know if they are being held as evidence or not.

"There are still approximately 6-7 cats left at the property.

"The property is still occupied so no one should go near it. While the owner and his partner may be gone, there are at least four 'tenants' and a constant parade of visitors. These people are all addicts and/or criminals.

"However, the immediate neighbors will assist in trapping the remaining cats. These cats will need foster/permanent homes ASAP!

"The Atwater Village DAWs can provide cages and other equipment for anyone who can foster. The cats all appear young, some maybe 6-7 months old, and friendly. They will not be too difficult to place. Please contact me or Jeannie if you can help."
Nothing brings out the Joneses like a half-dozen kitties in a meth lab.

Changing of the Balls

A FREQUENT NEIGHBORHOOD visitor caught some mid-morning excitement from her vantage point at Starbucks on Glendale Blvd.

She reports the old orange rotating 76 ball at the gas station across the street is gone.

It has been replaced not, luckily, with one of those new-fangled blister-pack two-dimensional ConocoPhillips signs.

But with a new red rotating 76 ball.

August 21, 2007

Tricked Into the Press Kit

REMEMBER WHEN WE all got excited that there might be a new falafel joint opening along Glendale Blvd., only to find out it was merely the set for a Tony Shaloub movie? Well, our collective delusion hasn't gone unnoticed. From the AmericanEast production notes:
Principal photography for AmericanEast began in July, 2006. Shooting primarily took place in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, the location of the film's main set - Habibi's Cafe.

Because much of the story takes place at Habibi's, it would have been impossible to close down a real Middle Eastern restaurant for such an extended period of time, so, instead, the design crew, led by production designer Frank Bollinger, converted a vacant, storefront retail property into a kawha that would look familiar to anyone who ever sipped an Arabic coffee in downtown Cairo.

In fact, both the exterior and the interior of the building was so convincing that Atwater Village residents from time to time strode onto the set expecting to order falafels and kebabs. The smoky, hothouse look brought to the set through the lighting and lensing of director of photography Michael Wojciechowski added to the location’s Middle Eastern feel.
Ha ha on us. Maybe Shaloub and company can make it up to us by opening an actual falafel joint. Till then, with AmericanEast in the can, we await the film's release date.

Atwater Chatter - Rock and Roll Edition

SOME OF THE LATEST and greatest Internet tidbits concerning our 8,000-resident sliver of Los Angeles, just one of 173 official LA neighborhoods.

ROCK #1 - Beastie Boys at The Greek Theatre - "All of the old magic is there: Adrock is still the charmer; ad-libbing at the end of 'I grabbed two girlies and a beer that's cold! And it was LOVELY!!' (from 'Paul Revere') and remembering to give LA's Atwater Village (home of their old recording studio) a proper shout-out. [Popwatch Blog]

ROLL #1 - Metrolink to improve security at crossings - "The crossing at Chevy Chase Drive near the Atwater Village-Glendale border already sits locked and gated - a grim reminder of its tragic past. On Jan. 26, 2005, Juan Manuel Alvarez allegedly deserted his Jeep on the train tracks... The 28-year-old has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of capital murder and awaits trial." [Whittier Daily News]

- Arthur Magazine Goes to Press This Week - It's back! No. 26 of Atwater Village-based cultural icon is available for pre-order. []

ROLL #2 - Elysian Valley Art Ride - "When I biked the LA River Ride last June from Griffith Park to Long Beach we ventured south of Atwater Village on through Elysian Valley ... And having seen a lot of cool artsy muralsy things along that stretch south of Fletcher I've since then wanted to go back with my camera..." []

August 20, 2007

Conchords Land in Northeast LA?

LAST MONTH WE CAUGHT Bret and Jermaine, New Zealand's fourth most popular folk-parody duo, arriving for late dinner at Cliff's Edge in Silver Lake. Then, last week in Atwater Village, a demi-spotting by neighborhood informant Swirl Syndicate:
Don't know if you watch Flight of the Conchords, but it's my current No. 1 show...

So, imagine my complete shock when I'm ... at the Atwater library and Bret [on left] walks in with a hipster girl and starts browsing the shelves. They were checking out some videos. (How random, right!?)

He was totally approachable, if not a little skittish...

Just thought I'd forward this so you can add on to the Gilmore Girls tidbits-type thing. (I've seen her over here, too, BTW ... at Kaldi.)
No telling why a New Zealand duo with an HBO show about New York spends so much time in northeast LA. Maybe helping other neighborhood artistes find funnier rhymes for lumps and humps?

August 16, 2007

Mrs. Newbie's First Earthquake

SHE GETS EMAIL earthquake alerts. She checks the USGS LA quake map. But today was the first time Mrs. Atwater Village Newbie felt a good ol' Southern California shaker - a 3.5 centered near Chatsworth - first hand.

She was working 15 miles away in Sherman Oaks when things starting falling off shelves. A few people screamed, and she had to mute a conference call for a few seconds.

A few seconds. That's all it was. She was shaken, not stirred.

Mr. Newbie, on the other hand, in an office in Glendale, felt nothing.

I'll wait, thanks.

August 10, 2007

Redrawing the Cocktail Quadrant

THERE'S A NEW BAR in the hood, adding a fifth wheel to the quadrant of Big Foot Lodge, The Roost, Tam O'Shanter and Club Tee Gee.

The Griffin is at 3000 Los Feliz Blvd., where La Estrada used to be. I haven't been, but Thrillist and Yelp already recommend the LA incarnation of this Vegas establishment.

Bunch of Animals Out There

This Dog Would Like You To Know That Your Passing Has Not Gone Unnoticed
AND THEY NEED your help:
Hello Atwater Animal Lovers! I have been one of the Directors of Animal Welfare here in Atwater for about a year and a half. It has been a truly wonderful experience to advocate for the animals and help animal owners and concerned residents wherever I could. Unfortunately, I will be moving out of state very soon...
Volunteer position description and contact information on the AVNC Forum.

Run Early, Run Often

I HAVE HIGH HOPES for the next Atwater Village Neighborhood Council election. Not just because election volunteers asked me, the Newbie, a.k.a Mr. Pink Lady, to run. (I respectfully declined. My political aspirations are about as deep as the LA River in a drought.)

I have high hopes because, darnit, this is AVNC's fourth attempt at an election. And if third time is supposed to be charm, fourth time must be beyond charmed. Run, neighbors, run:
AVNC Election Candidates
  • Candidate Form: Download PDF
  • Info Session: Aug. 29, 6:00pm, Atwater Village Library, 3379 Glendale Blvd.
  • Filing deadline: Sept. 6, 2007, 5:00pm
  • AVNC Election: Oct. 6, 2007, 9:00am to 4:00pm, Holy Trinity Church, 3716 Boyce Ave.
  • More:
All 14 seats are open: two each from north, central and south Atwater Village; plus representatives for nonprofits, community groups, businesses, churches, schools and parks.

August 8, 2007

A Little Bit of Iowa in the Heart of LA

Farmer's Market
THE LATEST MAP FROM Gridskipper compiles seven of their favorite Los Angeles farmers markets:
Atwater Village Farmers' Market - 3250 Glendale Blvd. - Atwater Village is a little bit of Iowa thrown into the heart of LA. People stroll slowly up and down the wide, tree-lined sidewalks, window shopping at the brick storefronts. The market is just as wholesome as you'd expect in this little slice of Mayberry, and the crowd looks appropriately wholesome and corn-fed.
Surprising to learn that Iowa is now 47.9% Hispanic. Come meet these corn-feeders every Sunday, 10:00am to 2:00pm, in the Wells Fargo bank parking lot.

August 5, 2007

So What's the Second Best?

Clean Sweep, originally uploaded by Atwater Village Newbie.

DID ANYONE KNOW the phrase "Best of L.A." was a trademark - nay, registered trademark - of Ennis Communications, the Indiana-based corporation that puts out Los Angeles Magazine? From the August 2007 "best of" issue:
Walk Along the L.A. River: The L.A. River is at its renegade best where Los Feliz Boulevard crosses the 5 in Atwater Village. Here at the Glendale Narrows, cement paths for jogging, walking, biking, and horseback riding line the river’s green expanse. Herons and egrets fish for spawning carp among willows and palms. Access the northern path where the EATZ Cafe abuts the Los Feliz Municipal Golf Course parking lot - and don’t ever again question whether the river is authentic.
Yes, we all know the river is authentic. And so is that American cheese on the omelettes at Los Feliz Cafe! (Formerly EATZ Cafe, LA Mag, who's fact-checking?) But who cares, as long as you get breakfast next to a putting green for less than 10 bucks.

August 1, 2007

Neighborhood Lockdown in Atwater-Adjacent

Neighborhood Lockdown
LET'S NOT QUIBBLE OVER neighborhood boundaries. Just because Atwater Village ends, more or less, at the railroad tracks, doesn't mean this situation couldn't have seeped over from Glassell Park. First the setup from ABC7:
A neighborhood is on lockdown as a suspect has barricaded himself in a home near Estara and Drew in Atwater Village. Detectives who were doing some undercover work and came across a suspect they were looking for. They say they have one person in custody, but now are asking for the SWAT team for help with a barricaded person. If you are in the area and see any police activity, please stay inside your home.
Right. Stay inside your home. Unless, of course, some crazy person just barricaded himself inside it. It turns out the apartment's residents did actually abandon it post-haste. Follow-up from CBS2:
A more than six-hour standoff in Atwater Village ended Wednesday evening when a parolee wanted for failing to report to authorities surrendered without incident... at 7:35 p.m., Los Angeles police Officer Jason Lee said.
Well done, Glassell Park, passing off your lockdowns and standoffs on Atwater Village. Let's hope they correct it before the next round of crime stats.

July 27, 2007

Our First Summer Art Walk

MONTHS AGO, COVERING the proliferation of artistic venues along Glendale Blvd. in Atwater Village, I mused, "If only they could schedule their openings on the same nights..."

Voila, the first summer Atwater Art Walk, Saturday July 28, 4:00pm to 8:00pm. Go get your art on.
jFerrari Gallery - 3015 Glendale Blvd. - Now showing a group exhibition of landscape paintings, Earthly Delights. Live music and live paintings by artist Dan Wooster.

Black Maria Gallery - 3137 Glendale Blvd. - Opening reception for The Re-run Show, featuring works from memorable past exhibitions. Open bar and food, with a DJ spinning cool afternoon tunes and even maybe a surprise performance piece by Ladyspoke.

Little Bird Gallery - 3195 Glendale Blvd. - Solo show featuring new works by Thomas Mulvane. Open bar and live music.

Pounder Kone ArtSpace - 3407 Glendale Blvd. -Closing reception for Fully Fledged, an all women group show, including Artis Lane, Pamela Mower Conner and Dominique Moody.

July 20, 2007

Neighborhood Author Crosses River to Sell Book

GRAPHIC NOVELIST TOM NEELY from here on the east side of the Los Angeles River has apparently decided not to make furniture out of 142 boxes that arrived at his house last month. Instead, he's opened the boxes, lovingly hand-wrapped belly bands around hundreds of books, and is releasing The Blot tonight:
An evening with Tom Neely
nd his new book The Blot
The Secret Headquarters
Friday July 20, 8:00pm
3817 W. Sunset Blvd.
Silver Lake, Los Angeles
Go help him make sure no one tries to lounge on one of his books.

July 18, 2007

Thrones of Southern California

Throned Again
WE'VE BEEN PLAYING TOURIST this week with out-of-town friends and family. Both photographs were shot in the County of Los Angeles, but not in the City of Los Angeles, for submission to Guess Where LA. Any guesses?

July 17, 2007

The Photos the LA Galaxy Tried to Confiscate

Bend It
IT COULD BE A CLEVER BIT of reverse psychology. Threaten fans, the strategy might go, and make them think their David Beckham photos are worth something. Maybe they'll post them on Flickr. But the suit who approached me at tonight's LA Galaxy game probably isn't that clever.
Suit: Getting good shots?

Me: They're OK.

Suit: I'm have to confiscate that camera. You're not allowed to have that kind of camera here.

Me: What kind of camera?

Suit (pointing at the D50 on my Nikon D50): The number means that it's professional.

Guy in front of me with a cheap-ass camera being no help whatsoever: Yeah, it's nothing like my camera.

Me (knowing that D50 is strictly an entry-level consumer digital SLR and calling the suit's bluff): This is a personal camera. I'm on vacation.

Suit: Are you media accredited?

Me: No.

Suit (giving up): Well, keep the camera pointed at the field.
One would think that the LA Galaxy would take time to realize: a) it scored the first genuine soccer star in three decades, b) it brought him to a city obsessed with photography, c) the future of Major League Soccer may depend somewhat on DINKs with $120 to blow on back-row seats, and d) these very same DINKs could have half-decent cameras and blogs with only slightly less of an audience than the "accredited" media willing to have every shot micromanaged from a sideline pen.

Or maybe it is all reverse psychology. Ha! I guess the joke's on me.

Here's the complete gallery on Flickr.

July 10, 2007

Putting the Rock Back in Eagle Rock

Number One
EXCEPT FOR THE HORCHATA STAND, this outdoor concert could have been in Anytown, USA. But this was in the New York Times-beloved northeast Los Angeles (NELA), the first of a summer series at Eagle Rock Recreation Center.

Councilfamily Huizar
LA city councilmember Jose Huizar dragged some children (probably his own) on stage to boast about the five-month old NYT coverage and give out platitudes to Chamber of Commerce people.

(Lemongrass somehow didn't win Longest Wait for a New Restaurant.)

As you can see, fun was had by groupies of all ages. See all 21 photos of the event in my Eagle Rocks set on Flickr.

July 7, 2007

Fish, Yes. Game, Not So Much

A NEW REPORT FROM the Atwater Village Fish and Game Club: "LA River fish are not fit for human consumption; all fish were released back into the river."