May 31, 2009

Saturday Shooting: Victim Survives, Suspects Caught

Suspect DescriptionLAST NIGHT'S drive-by shooting in the 3200 block of Casitas Avenue ends in stalemate, according to The 40-year-old male victim is expected to survive a gunshot wound to the temple.

And after a 3-hour pursuit that involved helicopters and street closings in South Atwater Village, police found the 3 suspects (alleged gang members) hiding in a laundry room.

Add this one to the list as May goes out with (another) bang.

May 29, 2009

Atwater Village Farmers Market Expands

FROM THE LA Weekly: "The Atwater Village Farmers' Market is responding to the expanding seasonal bounty with an extra row of vendors. The market in the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot (3250 Glendale Blvd.) on Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. added Bolanos Family Sprouts, organic peaches from Naylor Farms, Simms Cherries, and Asian greens from Salacup Farms to the regular roster."

May 28, 2009

'Tis the Season

May 26, 2009

Garcetti: "The Sprinkler is Off"

LOS ANGELES City Councilman Eric Garcetti, responding to my posts about over-watering at 3522 Garden Ave., replies via Facebook today: "The sprinkler is off and we have told Department of Transportation that they need to keep it off except when needed." See Garcetti's Facebook exchange

Intersection Update: Plants!

Plants are Planted
SUMMER HATH brought plants and flowers to the 5-way intersection where Valleybrink, Dover and Glenfeliz meet in central Atwater Village. The plants seem rather drought-tolerant and complete the new look for this $110,000 improvement. But will they slow down drivers and make them think twice before burning donuts in the asphalt? Time will tell.

Smell of Summer Sewer in the Air

STRANGE SMELLS are rising in Atwater Village. From a reader: "I wondered if you could post a note regarding the horrid smell that is coming up Hollydale Drive, and has been for weeks. Has anyone else noticed it? I know the LADWP are planning on replacing the lines along Hollydale at some point, but the smell is horrific! Any comments would be appreciated."

May 24, 2009

May Showers: Now at 120 Hours of Sprinkling

Sprinkle, Sprinkle, Little Lot
NEW PHOTO and an email update from a drought-tolerant reader, as of 11:15am Sunday, May 24, 2009: "Thanks for covering this story. We are approaching 120 hours of continuous sprinkler use on city property. This is a village spectacle. These sprinklers have to be spewing at least a gallon a minute. 4 calls to 311." See it in person: 3522 Garden Ave.

May 22, 2009

This Bed of Dirt Somehow Requires 75 Hours of Watering

FROM A READER: "For kicks, check out the city sprinklers that have been running non-stop for the last 75 hours in Atwater. I've called the city 311 two times and they are still running. The sprinklers are running at the entrance to the city parking lot #711. It is located directly east of 3522 Garden Ave, 90039. Go droughtbusters." Another angle shows the sprinklers aim at a single, leaning branch within a 10-foot bed of dirt and rocks.

Shooters 'n' Smokers: LAPD Update for Atwater Village

Neighborhood FroATWATER VILLAGE update from LAPD  Captain Bill Murphy:
"We had several shootings between the Toonerville gang and the Rascals gang over the past couple of months. We have increased gang deployment in the area and have seen the number of shooting incidents decline (none in last couple of weeks). We are serving Toonerville gang members with permanent gang injunctions.

"Only other issue is with Medical Marijuana Dispensaries (MMD) in the area. We have received some complaints regarding how they operate. We have been involved in several meetings with council district staff from CD 13 and CD 14 and they are aware of the problems associated with these MMD locations."
The good captain adds that LAPD's Northeast area "currently ranks first in crime reduction City-wide (out of 21 police stations)" and that "we are down 576 actual crimes (murders, rapes, car break-ins, etc.) compared to last year."

LAPD Northeast includes Atwater Village, Cypress Park, Eagle Rock, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Park, Elysian Valley, Franklin Hills, Garvanza, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Los Feliz, Mount Washington, Silver Lake and Solano Canyon.

May 21, 2009

Atwater Village: 'Flat, Friendly, a Little Dull'

Night Street Cleared
REAL-ESTATE BLOG Curbed LA takes a shot at Atwater Village in yesterday's post about an apparently overpriced $775,000 home on Glenhurst Avenue:
If there's one neighborhood that causes people to go ballistic over prices, it's Atwater Village. Maybe it's the geography of the neighborhood: Real estate agents sneakily try and list the homes under "Los Feliz," perhaps thinking that Atwater is the next Los Feliz, the next upscale hood. No, Atwater is just Atwater: Flat, friendly, a little dull.
There's a certain harsh truth to this, despite a spate of recent undull events. But maybe flat (wider streets, easier access, more parking), friendly (neighborly, hospitable, easy-going) and dull (stable, established, predictable) are just what couples and families want on our side of I-5.

I guess when the crazy kids of Los Feliz get real jobs and real relationships and grow weary of waiting for Adrien Grenier to notice how cleverly they ask for Splenda at The Alcove, they might seek something flatter, friendlier and duller.

Till then they should know that Curbed LA is hiring bloggers. I think they pay like $10 per post. Write about 77,500 posts and then maybe rethink that house on Glenhurst.

City Council to AVNC: 'You Do Stuff'

BEHIND THE SCENES of the recent fight to keep funding for Atwater Village Neighborhood Council, as covered in the LA Weekly:
Sitting inside the City Council chambers before last week's budget meeting, council member Tom LaBonge conceded to a concerned neighborhood council representative from Atwater Village, "You do stuff." But, he also told activist Leonora Gershman-Pitts that if faced with closing recreation centers and parks — to date, no such plan has been proposed — he'd cut neighborhood councils first. Gershman-Pitts nodded as LaBonge added, "Don’t worry, you're not gonna walk away with nothing."

May 20, 2009

1,000 Posts and Counting!

collage banner 2THANKS, LOS ANGELES, for humoring me these last 1,000 posts, with your 192,258 visits and 329,614 page views.  It's an honor to still be a Newbie!

May 19, 2009

Neighborhood Council Budget (Mostly) Spared

DESPITE FEARS that the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council annual budget would be slashed from $50,000 to $11,500,word is that LA City Council set AVNC funding at $45,000, just 10 percent off the top.

City of LA Has More Pot Clinics Than Starbucks Stores

ACCORDING TO a new KCET-TV report, the City of Los Angeles now has about 500 medical marijuana dispensaries, more than it has Starbucks stores. Many pot clinics are open without City permission; they've simply applied for a permit and then opened shop. The SoCal Connected video mentions 11 dispensaries in the neighboring LA neighborhood of Eagle Rock, almost triple the number in the entire city of Oakland, CA.

For our part, Atwater Village has 4 pot clinics and only 2 Starbucks shops. See? We're trying to fit in.

May 18, 2009

Little Knittery Move Makes It a Twofer

Moves UptownMOVING ABOUT 1,000 feet north, The Little Knittery rips up its old address (3080 Glendale Blvd.) and stitches together a new space at 3195 Glendale Blvd., next to All Aboard Boutique, its former neighbor down the street. They both inhabit the space where LittleBird Gallery used to tweet.

May 15, 2009

Spend a Couple of Minutes in the Kitchen at Canele

NEW VIDEO about Atwater Village's quintessential neighborhood bistro Canele (3219 Glendale Blvd.) from the LA Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Survey: 62% Want Feds to Pay for LA Infrastructure

A MAJORITY OF citizens who took LA City Council President Eric Garcetti's survey about what to do with $19 million in federal stimulus funds agree with me. A full 62% of respondents want infrastructure (lights, sidewalks, streets) to be among the top 3 priorities for the federal "community development" money.
  • 34% say infrastructure is 1st priority
  • 16% say infrastructure is 2nd priority
  • 12% say infrastructure is 3rd priority
Just so long as they don't shut down neighborhoods to do it.

May 14, 2009

What's Going on Next to Bikram Yoga?

Formerly Thousand Fabrics
A CURIOUS NEIGHBOR shot these photos of the old Thousand Fabrics space next to Bikram Yoga Silverlake on Glendale Blvd. He reports: "The whole place is being re-done. Any ideas of what's going into the new premises?" No ideas! Anyone else?

May 13, 2009

Diabolical! Close Half the Streets, Ticket the Other Half

Parking EnforcementYOU HAVE TO give credit to the City of Los Angeles. If ever there were an unbeatable revenue model, this would be it. First, close half the streets in the neighborhood for "slurry" coating. Force cars to squeeze onto the other half of the streets, most of which happen to have parking restrictions for street-sweeping. Then, start writing dozens of $58 parking tickets. I swear I could see a gleam in the eye of the parking enforcement guy. (The best part? 8:30am and not a slurry truck in sight.)

May 12, 2009

City of LA Holds Atwater Village Hostage Next 2 Days

Street Closure NoticeTHE NEXT COUPLE of days are going to be a pain in the asphalt. Many Atwater Village streets are closed, in part or in full, Wednesday or Thursday, all day, 6:00am to 6:00pm.

Why? The city's Bureau of Street Services (BOSS) is applying a slurry coat seal that "prolongs the life of the pavement by stopping asphalt erosion caused by water and oxidation from the sun."

Great. Does it also absorb stray bullets? Here's the original City notice, left without fanfare (or postage) in neighborhood mailboxes. And here's the City-to-Newbie translation:
  • If you want to pull your car out of your driveway after 6:00am, too bad for you
  • If you want to street-park your car within sight of your home, too bad for you
  • If you want to sleep past sunrise, too bad for you (garbage trucks come first, at 6:00am)
  • If you're disabled and need to be picked up or dropped off at your door, too bad for you
  • If you're working on your house or yard and need a vehicle nearby, too bad for you
  • If you want to water your yard in the next 3 days, too bad for you (the City says runoff would harm the "integrity" of the slurry)
And if your block seems to be in reasonably good condition and you wish Street Services would go do something more useful, like repair potholes and cracks in other parts of the neighborhood, well that's really too bad for you. Take it up with the BOSS office at (213) 485-5667.

Street Closures in Atwater Village Tomorrow, But Why?

Street OnlyPORTIONS OF Sunnynook, Ingledale and Valleybrink, among other streets, are closed all day tomorrow, with City signs restricting curb parking May 13, 6:00am to 6:00pm. This must be more than the usual Wednesday cleaning. If it's street resurfacing, I say redirect to areas that actually need it. (South Atwater near Silver Lake Blvd., anyone?) But if it's speed-hump installation, I say bring it. Too many cars approach 40 to 50 MPH in these parts, and the baby strollers don't have a chance.

UPDATE: Now we know why.

May 11, 2009

Small, Regular, Non-Marijuana Pharmacy to Close

THIS JUST IN, from a reader/informant:
"The CarePlus Pharmacy at 3224 Glendale Blvd. is closing its doors at the end of this month! Having just moved into the area only a few months ago, we were so happy to have a small pharmacy that we could walk to. Not only that, it was also never busy, the staff were always so polite, and it meant we didn't have to deal with the larger CVS on San Fernando! What a great loss to our little village. Let's hope a small Ma and Pa Pharmacy takes over the premises rather than another corporate chain establishment, but somehow I fear it wont!"
Thanks for the report. The way things have been going in Atwater Village retail lately, you might get that "small" medical establishment. But it might not be the kind you're thinking of.

May 8, 2009

What Should LA Do with Federal Stimulus Funds?

No Stopping, No Sign
CITY COUNCIL president Eric Garcetti, in a series of citizen surveys, wants to know "what LA's priorities should be as we prepare for the arrival of funding from the federal stimulus package." Specifically, how should the City of Los Angeles allocate $19 million for community development purposes?

Here's what you can do with the money: Do your job. As in, the job you already have:
Now is not the time to launch new, flashy projects that the City will someday ignore in favor of newer, flashier projects.

May 7, 2009

Message from the Captain: We're On It

FROM THE Northeast LAPD newsletter by Capt. Bill Murphy:
Atwater Village: The long-time gang conflict between Toonerville and Rascals continues. We had a murder in this area approximately one month ago and there have been several shootings back and forth between these gangs.

Our NOE gang units have been spending a lot of time in this neighborhood and we have implemented several other crime strategies to reduce the violence.
Also, the Captain reports, "numerous complaints" have come in regarding medical marijuana dispensaries in Atwater Village, Highland Park and Eagle Rock. Armed suspects have robbed 2 dispensaries in the last month.

All Aboard Boutique Scheduled to Re-open Today

IN ECONOMIC NEWS, All Aboard Boutique completes its move from 3040 Glendale Blvd., and is scheduled to re-open May 7 up the block at 3195 Glendale Blvd., former home of LittleBird Gallery.

May 6, 2009

Update: It's a Gang Gang Gang Gang World

GUNSHOTS HEARD 'round central Atwater Village early this morning were indeed gang-related. At least one victim is injured.

Round the Corner 2According to Officer Gina Chovan, detectives are investigating, and heavy LAPD deployment continues. For your shooting scorecards:

Gunshots in 90039: Nearly 20 Shots Heard at 2:30am

RUDE AWAKENING: We reported as many as 20 gunshots, in 3 rounds, around 2:30am, Wednesday May 6. Within 10 minutes, a Los Angeles Police helicopter started circling central Atwater Village and the LA River. LAPD cruisers soon followed, lights and sirens down Riverside Drive on the opposite side of the river. More gunshot reports on AVNC forum.

River at Night3:00am: Chopper searchlight seems to focus on river area between Sunnynook Drive and Glendale Blvd.  And May seems to be shaping up much like April.

3:10am: Explanation from an officer at the scene, as posted on the AVNC forum: 2 individuals were drinking at the river, possibly at the bench near the Sunnynook footbridge. They were confronted and shot at by one or more suspects. The 2 victims ran toward Valleybrink Rd., got separated. Police found one victim, shot in the buttocks, at Glenmanor and Valleybrink.

(Mere steps from where Joey Romo was shot down.)

This is literally becoming a pain in the ass.

May 5, 2009

Intersection Update: Nice Cones!

More Options for Peds
WORK SEEMED to stop a few weeks ago on the 5-way intersection where Valleybrink, Dover and Glenfeliz meet in central Atwater Village. New concrete and curbs have been in place (in an apparently futile attempt to prevent street donuts) but landscaping seems to have stopped at orange and brown. Are there some nice bushes and trees and flowers and stuff on the way? We hope so.

May 4, 2009

What About Public Art in Atwater Village?

THE FOLKS AT, an event producer and public relations firm, have a fine start on mapping the locations of pieces of public art in Los Angeles.

Muffler MenNo surprise, most public art is displayed in downtown and west of the 101. But don't we have a few mapworthy art pieces right here in northeast Los Angeles?

Though not quite the scale of LACMAs Urban Lightinstallation, we have Lopez Automotive's Muffler Men installation.

And while Chinatown enjoys the Gate of Filial Piety, Atwater Villagers get to pass through the Great Heron Gate.

Let ForYourArt know what "iconic, definitive, historic, and quirky works of art" you'd like to see added to the map by sending your suggestion to

May 1, 2009

'Charming Bits of People and Their Places'

In the BeginningAN EXCELLENT photographer and blogger named Jessica shows us the inside of a fellow Atwater Villager's home.

And, in my own Flickr photo gallery, who wants some bundt cake?