July 28, 2009

When Does Atwater Village Get Mobile Ice Cream?

HERE'S A CALL to that architecture-themed ice-cream truck-about-town, Coolhaus. How about showing some cool, sweet love to your hometown neighborhood? According to Pasadena Star-News, one of the Coolhaus co-founders is an Atwater Village native. Does this mean we might see some Frank Behry or Mintamalism ice-cream sandwiches at the next Summer Nights event? I think it's worth asking. Let's all hound them on Twitter.

UPDATE: D'oh! They were here last Thursday. How could I have missed them?

Next Summer Nights Event: August 27

ANYONE STROLLING along busy Glendale Blvd. during last Thursday's Summer Nights on the Boulevard event could tell it was a success. Restaurants hopping, music on every corner, stores actually selling stuff! Atwater Village Chamber of Commerce was quick to announce the next Summer Nights event is Thursday, Aug. 27. See a lot of you there.

July 25, 2009

Illegal to Fish in the LA River? Don't Let That Stop You

July 24, 2009

Atwater Village's Haircut: Labonge Calls It River Glen

View River Glen or North Atwater Village? in a larger map

THE NORTHERN TIP of Atwater Village has the neighborhood's last remaining strip club, and now the whole area might be stripped from the neighborhood.

Not that anyone really lives in this concrete industrial stem at the top of Atwater Village's banana, but Los Angeles City Councilman Tom Labonge has taken to renaming it River Glen.

The new moniker appears on the LA River Revitalization Plan and other City documents, according to the Friends of Atwater Village blog. Labonge has also been using it in emails to describe development initiatives in the area.

Never mind the name. (Not much Glen-like about it.) But splitting it from residential areas of Atwater Village seems rather arbitrary.

Exchange and CutterAre we saying industrial and residential don't mix? Or could this be a clever ploy by Labonge's office to locate a waste treatment facility in North Atwater Village without approval from our usual stakeholders, like neighborhood council?

The "River Glen" area is also adjacent to the Chevy Chase Park area, where LAPD recently raided Toonerville gang compounds and promises continued cleanup of the area. I suppose neighborhood stakeholders could want continued say in how both areas are governed.

I only spent time in "River Glen" once, at a furniture sale. (Didn't buy anything.) But I wouldn't be surprised if people through it was part of the City of Glendale anyway.

July 23, 2009

Tonight: Summer Nights Festival on Glendale Blvd.

SUMMER NIGHTS on the Boulevard, tonight, Thursday July 23, 6:00pm to 10:00pm, in Atwater Village along Glendale Blvd., from Glenfeliz to Perlita.

July 22, 2009

Tomorrow: Summer Nights Event on Glendale Blvd.

TOMORROW MARKS the return of the street fest to Atwater Village. In 2008, our neighborhood enjoyed an April "Artwater" art festival, a June sidewalk festival, an October trick-or-treat event and a December holiday tree lighting festival. But this year, with anticipated budget cuts to neighborhood organizations, it looked like we'd get through all of 2009 without taking to the streets. No worries, now. Enter the Atwater Village Chamber of Commerce:
Summer Nights on The Boulevard
Thursday July 23, 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Glendale Blvd., from Glenfeliz to Perlita [see map]
Live music, dancers, stores open late, sidewalk dining
  • The Complex, 3015 Glendale Blvd., live bands, dancers, art exhibits
  • Parking lot, 3111 Glendale Blvd., DJ, art exhibit, massages, dancers
  • Madera bumpout, 3147 Glendale Blvd., 10 bands, live dancers, CD release party
  • Little Knittery, 3195 Glendale Blvd., live music
  • Hugo's Tacos, 3300 Glendale Blvd., live jazz
  • Woof Dog Boutique, 3172 Glendale Blvd., pet adoption

July 19, 2009

Top Chef Winner Cooking at Canele This Tuesday

NOT TO MISS: Top Chef season 2 winner Ilan Hall takes over the kitchen Tuesday July 21, 5:30pm to 10:00pm, at Canele, 3219 Glendale Blvd., in Atwater Village. Hall's 3-course prix fixe (price TBD) Scottish-influenced menu is predicted to include:
  • roasted mushrooms with walnut-marrow vinaigrette
  • chicken Haggis with braised corn and pureed potatoes
  • shortbread lime bar with Bustello condensed milk

July 18, 2009

Toonerville Gang Raid: By the Numbers

Toonerville, originally uploaded by KID DEUCE.

JULY 9 gang raid in North Atwater Village is being hailed, not least of all by the raiders themselves, as an unqualified success. The numbers, from Northeast LAPD:

  • 21 locations searched
  • 19 suspects arrested (murder, attempted murder, narcotics trafficking, weapons violations)
  • 2 additional arrests on scene (weapons violations)
  • 63 firearms confiscated (48 in one house alone)
  • 3 ounces of meth/cocaine confiscated
  • 32 ounces of marijuana confiscated
Authorities sell the raid as the beginning of a turnaround for the residential area around Chevy Chase Park. Expect continued patrols, anti-gang programs and community outreach, similar to post-gang Drew Street in Glassell Park. Maybe even a street party.

Key to the long-term success of the raid will be preventing rival Rascals gang from filling gaps where Toonerville once reigned.

Involved agencies were Los Angeles Police Department, LA County Sheriff’s Department, City Councilman Eric Garcetti, Glendale Police Department and Drug Enforcement Agency.

July 16, 2009

Morissette, Silverstone Stroll Down Glendale Blvd.


IN THIS NEW spoof indie movie trailer from FunnyorDie, Alanis Morissette and Alicia Silverstone spend some time (the first 30 seconds or so) strolling through Atwater Village. Get brief glances of Glendale Blvd. landmarks like Kaldi Coffee's red umbrellas and the vacant storefront where Coldstone Creamery used to be. Watch My Mother's Red Hat.

July 14, 2009

Friday Night: Goonies at the Golf Course

THIS FRIDAY at dusk our fellow Atwater Villagers gather under stars at the Los Feliz Municipal Golf Course to watch young stars like Sean Astin and Corey Feldman in 1985's The Goonies. The movie's free, the parking's free, the neighborly blanket-snuggling is free. Keep your eyes peeled (on the screen, not the green) for a 13-year-old Josh Brolin.

July 9, 2009

AVNC Forum Post Was Right! LAPD Map Underreports Crimes

EVEN AS WE appreciate full disclosure on this morning's Atwater Village gang raid, the LA Times finds not all's illuminated inside the Los Angeles Police Department.

The LAPD's online crime map excludes nearly 40% of serious crimes in the city. The LA Times credits one-time Atwater Village resident Jason Insalaco for shedding light on the map problem with his February 2009 post on the AVNC forum. "Numerous robberies, burglaries, homicides, and aggravated assaults have occurred in the village in recent months," Insalaco wrote. "You will not find such data on the LAPD crime maps."

Though it has better navigation and histories, the EveryBlock map of Atwater Village crime relies on the same misreported data as the LAPD map. Catch up with the developing story:

Raid! Toonerville Gang Taken Down in North Atwater Village

Suspect DescriptionFROM THE LAPD: "Today, the Northeast Division of the Los Angeles Police Department conducted a focused and deliberate raid on the Toonerville Gang in the Northern part of Atwater Village including the Chevy Chase Park Areas surrounding the Community Center.

"Your NOE LAPD Officers and Detectives were able to arrest suspected gang members that were recently served with warrants since the Toonerville Gang Injunction was enacted into law in Los Angeles County."
  • LA Times reports police made 20 arrests, including 4 murder suspects, confiscating 58 weapons.
  • Glendale News-Press quotes LAPD Capt. Bill Murphy saying Toonerville had "terrorized" Chevy Chase Park and that ongoing police programs are going to "turn that neighborhood."
  • 89.3 KPCC also says police will remain in the area – as they did when they targeted the nearby Drew Street Gang.
And at least one reader of this blog was caught in the fray. Via email: "I heard gunshots at 4:00 am and a helicopter was circling my street with the spotlight shining into my windows. Then, when I went to leave this morning, the freaking SWAT team was on my lawn. They told me the whole neighborhood was on lock down and that I couldn't leave... They finally let me leave around 9am..."

Tonight officials from LAPD, City Council President Eric Garcetti's office, and the LA City Attorney's office will discuss the raid and ongoing anti-gang activity in the neighborhood. Atwater Village Community Meeting:
  • Thursday July 9, 2009, 6:00pm
  • New Hope Chapel
  • 2861 Los Feliz Blvd.

Could Silverlake Video Be Next Neighborhood Shop to Close?

Silverlake VideoUNFORTUNATE RUMORS are pegging Silverlake Video, 3206 Glendale Blvd., as the next Atwater Village retailer to close. No official word, but in the age of Netflix and DVRs and digital downloads, it makes sense that a neighborhood video rental store might have a limited shelf life. It's a good store, with staff enthusiastic about film, so let's hope they have a happy ending after all.

July 8, 2009

Half Off Anything at 55 Degree Wine? Sold!

THANKFULLY THIS is not another going-out-of-business announcement. But it is a deal too good to pass up. Today you can buy a "Groupon" for $40 worth of wine, beer, cheese or whatever from 55 Degree Wine, 3111 Glendale Blvd., at the low, low price of only $20. The offer is good till midnight tonight only on the Groupon website.

July 7, 2009

Michael Jackson Funeral Passes Through Atwater Village

I-5 South is Cleared
THE FUNERAL PROCESSION for Michael Jackson passed through Atwater Village this morning, southbound on I-5 from Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills to Staples Center for the public service. Starting with the ramp from Los Feliz Blvd., police closed this section of the freeway entirely in advance of the procession.

Leading the Procession
Los Angeles Police Department officers led the Jackson funeral procession on motorcycle.

Jackson Hearse
The hearse, presumably carrying Jackson's body, was the second vehicle in the procession. (A van, unassociated with the Jackson proceeding, had pulled to the right shoulder just as the freeway was closed by LAPD. Seemed like a sly paparazzi move, but was probably a legit breakdown.)

Procession Heads South
The procession continued south on I-5, passing under the Glendale-Hyperion bridge between Atwater Village and Silver Lake.

Bridge Onlookers
At least a dozen fans and photographers gathered on the pedestrian bridge between Griffith Park and the Los Angeles River bike trail. See all the pictures in my Jackson Procession gallery.

July 6, 2009

Early Monday Morning: Gunshots? Or Just Fireworks

RUDE AWAKENING at about 3:20am this morning with what sounded like the methodical, rhythmic snapping of 6 to 8 gunshots in Central Atwater Village. (Not the pop-fizz of fireworks, at least to these ears.) LAPD had a patrol car in the area within 5 minutes, but apparently officers' searchlights turned up no reason to call for backup or air support.

Let's hope it was merely the final revelry of this Independence Day weekend.

July 2, 2009

New Speed Humps Installed in Atwater Village

New Speed Hump, originally uploaded by Atwater Village Newbie.

AS FORESHADOWED by new street signs last month, the City of Los Angeles is installing lovely speed humps today and tomorrow in Atwater Village.

Till now Valleybrink Road suffered one of the longest unregulated stretches of residential asphalt in the neighborhood. Commuters on shortcuts to and from Glendale Blvd. bolted along 1,600 feet of zoom room. And it seemed like nothing (kids, dogs, seniors, parked cars, palm fronds, trash bins) could keep them from besting 25 MPH.

But now, word is, these humps will work. Drivers will be forced to slow down to 15 MPH, thanks to long-term and determined efforts of our neighborhood petitioners and city reps.