December 27, 2010

They Meet Again for the First Time

The interview

NANCY RIGG, who lived on Valleybrink Road in Atwater Village in 1980, meets James Ventrillo 30 years later on the Sunnynook footbridge over the Los Angeles River in this photo from SCPR. Nancy's fiancé, Earl Higgins, died rescuing James from the river on this spot 30 years ago. Listen to the amazing story on today's Madeleine Brand Show.

November 11, 2010

Tweet Me Like a Newbie

NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS in 140 characters or less:

  • 3156 Glendale Blvd, former home of Toni's Rolling Pin Bakery, coming next week: Proof Bakery;
  • Big Mista's BBQ, of Atwater Village's farmers market, on 2010 edition of Jonathan Gold's 99 essential restaurants:
  • Theater for short attention spans:

November 10, 2010

Theater for Short Attention Spans

SORRY, WHAT was that? Oh, right. The Atwater Playhouse presents Puppies, Plays, Trains and Family Names, an evening of one-act performances at 3191 Casitas Avenue:

  • Friday Nov. 12, 8:00pm
  • Saturday Nov. 13, 8:00pm
  • Friday, Nov. 19, 8:00pm
  • Saturday, Nov. 20, 8:00pm

One-act plays include:

  • Puppies with Papers by Catherine Pelonero
  • What Play? by Franco D'Alessandro
  • Family Names by Catherine Pelonero
  • Night Train by Gena Acosta

Tickets are $15 each and reservations are required, (323) 769-5808.

October 14, 2010

Which Way Taco Stand?

A READER writes: "I recently noticed that the taco stand on Fletcher and Larga hasn't been at its usual post. Do you have any information on what happened to them?" Anyone know, where did it go?

UPDATE: Chatter on the AVNC forum seems to indicate the late-night tacos have moved, possibly pursuant to neighborly nudging, to Ripple Street.

Tweet Me Like a Newbie

STUFF AROUND the 'hood too good not Twitter about:

October 7, 2010

Best of LA in Atwater Village

THIS YEAR'S Best of LA edition of the LA Weekly says:

The weekly also gives love to neighboring Griffith Park:

October 1, 2010

Crime Time! New Map Gives Locations of Violations

THE NEW-AND-IMPROVED LA Times crime map gives a quick glance at recent criminal activities in Atwater Village. For the week of Sept. 18-24, 2010, the rate of 5.8 crimes per 10,000 people in Atwater Village is higher than in nearby Elysian Valley, Glassell Park, Silver Lake and Los Feliz.

LocationCrimeDate and time
2900 block of Los Feliz BoulevardTheftSept 21, 2:15pm
4600 block of Brazil StreetTheft from vehicleSept 21, 11:30 am
2900 block of Los Feliz BoulevardTheftSept 20, 8:20 pm
2900 block of Los Feliz BoulevardGrand theft autoSept 20, 5:00pm
3900 block of Glenfeliz BoulevardTheft from vehicleSept 19, 8:10pm
Glendale and RevereRobberySept 19, 7:10pm
3500 block of Garden AvenueTheft from vehicleSept 18, 7:30pm
2900 block of Los Feliz BoulevardTheftSept 18, 4:00pm
2900 block of Los Feliz BoulevardTheftSept 18, 1:05pm

Check out the LA Times crime map for Atwater Village.

September 30, 2010

Photos: Fletcher Drive Accident

Fletcher Drive - Accident, originally uploaded by Luis Lopez.

LUIS LOPEZ has posted 45 new photos from this Sept. 9, 2010, accident. A Saturn sedan hit a curb and sped into the driveway of his automotive shop at 2751 Fletcher Drive, crashing into the building. Luckily no one was working in that section and no one was injured.

September 23, 2010

What Happened to Pounder Kone Gallery?

A READER by the tell-tale name of "CC from Pounder Kone" leaves this comment about what happened to Pounder Kone Art Space, the gallery run by actress CCH Pounder ("The Shield," "Avatar") and formerly located at 3407 Glendale Blvd. in Atwater Village:
"We moved to Hollywood, 5825 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1102. A head shop moved into the carpet store next door, the landlord services had changed and times were getting tough so we had to get tougher. But we miss Atwater, Canele, Black Maria, Catherine Dent and son, and the potted garden we created out back. In exchange we have an amazing view of the city and many of the same wonderful customers who followed us to Atwater and now are following us to Hollywood."
Pounder Kone's former space in Atwater Village is now occupied by Dance Garden LA.

September 21, 2010

Tweet Me Like a Newbie

ATWATER VILLAGE news too small to blog, too big to ignore:

September 20, 2010

LA's Emptiest Freeway?

Empty Lanes, originally uploaded by Non Paratus.

NOT QUITE. Here's how the photographer explains this photograph of I-5 in Atwater Village: "This is a fun little trick. With my neutral density filter I can take long exposure shots that make moving objects vanish. I will probably never seen the I-5 freeway empty like this. Actually, there are a few ghostlike trails if you look closely."

September 7, 2010

LAPD Advice for Atwater Village: "Keep Your Doors and Windows Locked at All Times"

Neighborhood FroTHIS JUST IN from the Los Angeles Police Department's Senior Lead Officer Gina Chovan:
"I just wanted to send out a community announcement regarding increase police presence as well as police perimeters in the Atwater Village communities. Northeast gang units have been conducting enforcement due to increase of gang activity in the area.
"The good news is that after several gang operations, multiple local gang members were taken into custody pending Firearm violations. I can not disclose details at this time due to the ongoing investigations.
"I do want to remind folks that it is important that you keep your doors and windows locked at all times. As these gang members flee on foot they may attempt to enter through open windows and doors that are unlocked.
"I also want to caution folks that if you see police activity in your area involving the police helicopter hoovering over property, stay inside your homes."
  • Emergency call 911
  • City-wide directory 311
  • Non-emergency 1-877-ASK-LAPD
Many neighbors have noticed increased police presence lately, especially helicopters in the wee hours of the night. How is it on your block?

(On the other hand, at least, graffiti has been reduced by 75%!)

August 31, 2010

Tweet Me Like a Newbie

RECENT NEWS too small to blog, too big to ignore, from the Atwater Village Newbie Twitter feed:
  • Atwater Village Neighborhood Council considering whether "anonymous" online forum users need to be vetted in person: (They'd never approve this blog, eh?)
  • "Pick up a fresh baguette, flaky croissant and shot of espresso... plus the doughnut muffin" ... Village Bakery & Café:
  • 25 years ago Atwater Village residents petitioned to close ""smelly, dangerous" tunnels ... Now, are some re-opening?
  • Sat what? Deaf tourists have car towed from Hollywood to yard in Atwater Village:
  • What it's like in the kitchen at Canelé, by one of the "friends" who "cook," J. Paul Higgins, on the Bon Appetit blog:

August 30, 2010

Who Lets the Dogs In?

Pickup Counter, Hugo's Tacos
A NEW WEBSITE for reviewing dog-friendly establishments has only one restaurant listed for Atwater Village. Dogs are welcome at the outside tables at Hugo's Tacos, 3300 Glendale Blvd., the site says. But it's missing at least one other: The Village Bakery & Cafe, 3119 Los Feliz Blvd., where pooches are often perched next to sidewalk diners. Any place else in AV that's this canine-friendly?

August 26, 2010

This Week's Neighborhood Deals

FROM ONLINE coupon aggregator The Deal Map:
  • 55 Degree Wine, 3111 Glendale Blvd. - $50 gift certificate for only $20 at (Valid only at wine bar and tasting cellar, not wine and beer store; minimum purchase of $100, 18% gratuity added prior to discount)
  • Indochine Vien, 3110 Glendale Blvd. - $25 gift certificate for only $10 at (Dine-in food only, minimum purchase of $45, 18% gratuity added prior to discount)

August 25, 2010

Block Party! Thursday, Aug. 26

ONE OF THE top 10 reasons to live in and/or visit Atwater Village is happening again: Summer Nights on the Boulevard, Thursday, August 26, 6:00pm to 10:00pm in the 3100 block of Glendale Blvd., with fun stuff including:
  • Community organization booths
  • Businesses open late
  • DJ and live music all along Glendale Blvd.
  • Ice cream social at Hugo's Tacos, 3300 Glendale Blvd.
  • Handwriting analysis at Revo Cafe, 3134 Glendale Blvd.
  • Dog-treat bake sale at Woof Dog Boutique, 3172 Glendale Blvd.

August 19, 2010

Considerate Vandals? Paint on Garden Ave.

FROM A READER in South Atwater Village today:
I wanted to give you a heads up about vandalism this morning on Garden Ave between Tyburn and Glendale.

It looks like the house on the corner of Tyburn and Garden was being repainted, and someone took a roller of paint and tagged the wall of that house, then went up the block and painted over several car windows.

Seems fairly random, but looked like they got 5 to 10 cars on the block. They only painted over the windows, so I guess they were considerate vandals?
Anyone else spot the mess? Anyone leave their paint supplies out overnight?

August 7, 2010

More Good Places for Atwater Village Updates

JUST IN CASE things are too ... slow ... here on the Newbie blog, here are a few other good places to get updates on Atwater Village:

August 2, 2010

Citysearch: Best Atwater Village Restaurants

LunchtimeACCORDING TO a hyperlocal review at Citysearch (re-published on Huffington Post), these are best places to eat in Atwater Village:

July 12, 2010

Hit-and-Run Accident in Central Atwater Village

Just witnessed a major car accident in Atwater Village! Drive... on TwitpicACCORDING TO this eyewitness, a driver hit a parked car yesterday, July 11, on Valleybrink Road in a heavily residential area of central Atwater Village. See the full-size photo here. Los Angeles Fire Department arrived on the scene, but the witness says the injured driver took off, and no one else was hurt. Still, looks like a mess.

New Pedestrian Bridge Over Untroubled Waters?

ALTHOUGH ITS precise location has yet to be planned, and its precise cost could range from $2 million to $30 million, depending on designs, Glendale City Council wants to connect its city with LA's Griffith Park by building a new pedestrian bridge over I-5. LA Times reports:
Residents from Glendale, Burbank and Atwater Village — especially local equestrians and bicyclists — have also expressed support for the proposed bridge.
The bridge is planned as a future third phase of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk along the Los Angeles River. (With any luck, it'll connect the industrial east bank with the well-tread bike path across the river.) The riverwalk's first phase breaks ground this summer, upstream from Atwater Village, just past Flower Street, behind ABC-7 and Dreamworks studios.

July 8, 2010

Tweet Me Like a Newbie

River RocksNEIGHBORHOOD NEWS too small to blog, too big to ignore, from the Atwater Village Newbie Twitter feed:

July 6, 2010

Follow Sasha's Story, From the End

TRAGEDY STRUCK an Atwater Village family last week when 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez, a high school student and drill team member from the neighborhood, died after attending the Electric Daisy Carnival rave. While funeral services are planned for today, July 6, 2:30pm at Forest Lawn Glendale, the LA Times has been following the aftermath of Sasha's death, including policy changes at LA Coliseum. Catch up here:
Friends and family have organized a funeral fundraiser on Facebook and a fundraising dinner Saturday, July 10, 5:00pm.

June 30, 2010

Schedule: Atwater Village Outdoor Movies

SEE SOME CLASSICS this summer under the stars of Atwater Village. The annual movie series takes place at the Los Feliz Municipal Golf Course, 3207 Los Feliz Blvd., where blankets and picnics are encouraged, but tall chairs, pets and smoking are rightly shunned. Gates at dusk, showtimes at dark.
  • July 9 - Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
  • August 13 - Young Frankenstein (1974)
  • September 10 - E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

June 29, 2010

Summer of Food Trucks and Wine

Grilled Cheese TruckBASED ON THE round-the-lot blockbuster success of a recent visit from the Grilled Cheese Truck, 55 Degree Wine announces a summer month's worth of gourmet food trucks coming to the parking lot at 3111 Glendale Blvd. above, with wine and beer pairings in the cool basement tasting room below.

June 23, 2010

New Short Film Shot in Atwater Village

SHOT IN Atwater Village, the new fiction short film, "Through the Window," is written and directed by Regina Gomez, and features the song "Pray for Death" by Pawz1. The cop, played by Gomez, shows up at the 4:30 mark to deliver the twist ending.

June 21, 2010

Reporting Graffiti? There's an App for That

Los Feliz Blvd., Eastbound, As Seen from the Baum Bicycle Bridge

NO FLYING CARS just yet, but Los Angeles city government is at least going futuristic with its latest citizen reporting mechanism: iPhone apps. So reports the LA Times:
"It's like having a city official in your pocket," said John Chuldenko, who recently used the app to report graffiti he spotted while strolling through his Atwater Village neighborhood. He was floored when the graffiti was gone a week later. "I've never been the type to report all these things," Chuldenko said. "But now that it's so easy, I do it all the time."
In addition to council district 13 residents using the "Garcetti 311" iPhone app, citizens all over LA can report graffiti and other city government issues the old-fashioned way by calling 311.

(Council district 2 has similar apps for iPhone and Android.)

June 16, 2010

Tick Tock, Food Truck

THE GOURMET FOOD truck Vizzi (menu, tweets) rolls into Atwater Village for pre-show dining before the Saturday night performance of "Tick Tock" at Atwater Playhouse, 3191 Casitas Ave. Truck's at 6:30pm, play's at 8:00pm (tickets $15).

Jamming in South Atwater Village

A VICTIM OF the United States Postal Service posts on the AVNC forum: "Is anyone else having problems with our mailman (south Atwater)? Today I arrived home to find our mailbox completely destroyed inside the house. This is because he continues to forcibly jam as much mail as possible into the small mail slot at once, rather than a few pieces at a time (like a normal person would). I get that he has a lot of houses to visit, but a little patience on his part would have saved me from having to replace my mail slot and fix the interior wall. I'm going to complain to the postmaster (for whatever good that'll do), but wonder if others have a similar experience so I can be armed with more information."

June 12, 2010

And She Doesn't Look a Day Over 80

REMINDER: The Atwater Village Centennial Street Festival, marking 100 years since a field of poppies became a genuine subdivision (named after Harriet Atwater Paramore), is Sunday, June 13, 2010, 11:00am to 4:00pm in the 3100 block of Glendale Blvd. Expect the usual: food, music, dance, arts, crafts, family fun, entertainment, all your neighbors out and about.

June 9, 2010

All Worth the Wait

THREE LINES tonight: one to order @grlldcheesetruk, two to pickup @grlldcheesetruk, three for table @55degreewine.

June 3, 2010

June Events in Atwater Village

NOT ALL is gloom in June in our slice of northeast Los Angeles:

  • Wednesday June 9, 7:00pm to 9:00pm: The Grilled Cheese Truck is parking at 55 Degree Wine, 3111 Glendale Blvd.
  • Saturday June 12, 8:30pm: Famous actor Joel McHale introduces a performance of Violators Will Be Violated, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., and hosts a party to help send the show to the New York International Fringe Festival this August.
  • Sunday June 13, 11:00am to 4:00pm: Atwater Village Street Festival, celebrating neighborhood's centennial, 3100 block of Glenadale Blvd.
  • Sunday June 13, 11:30am: Return of the Homemade Cookie Contest (check out 2007's winner) during the Atwater Village Street Festival, 3100 Block of Glendale Blvd. Prizes awarded at 1:30pm.

June 1, 2010

World Premiere of "Tick Tock" at Atwater Playhouse

OPENING THIS weekend: Atwater Playhouse, 3191 Casitas Ave., presents the world premiere of Tick Tock, written by Roland Allen and directed by Jamie Paolinetti, running Fridays and Saturdays, June 4 to July 10, 8:00pm. (Extra matinee Sunday, July 11, 3:00pm.) General admission tickets are $15 each, $10 each for seniors and students.

May 28, 2010

Tom Hanks is Filming in Atwater Village

The location is perfect!  Hanx on TwitpicAS NOTED elsewhere, including the mega-star's own Twitter feed, Tom Hanks is shooting night scenes this week in front of Club Tee Gee on Glendale Blvd. He's directing and starring in Larry Crowne, a 2011 release with Julia Roberts and Brian Cranston, among others. One neighbor noted the production has given the vintage Atwater Villlage bar some "weird awesome windows."

Not all's rosy in Hanksville, though, as reports came in last night that the production is "in the middle of Glendale Blvd causing traffic." (See the director's own kvetching about night shoots here.)

Hanks is also causing traffic this week along Los Feliz Blvd., at locations including the "Hollywood landmark" Tam O'Shanter Inn.

May 25, 2010

Photo of the Week: Traffic Trails on the I-5

Traffic Trails on the I-5, originally uploaded by Non Paratus.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER writes: "Traffic on the Golden State Freeway snakes around the hills of Griffith Park (on the left). The freeway marks the border between the neighborhoods of Atwater Village and Los Feliz. Taking this at twilight, I was able to capture the traffic trails and the deep blue of the sky."

May 15, 2010

Welcome, Forbes Readers

Holmby Park

THIS WEEK Forbes published an article on America's most expensive homes, using my photo of the Spelling Mansion in Los Angeles. (With Creative Commons permission, I might add.)

The magazine was kind enough to give me credit and link to my Flickr page. So far more than 2,400 Forbes readers have clicked through to see my original photo, shot on a helicopter tour of Los Angeles. A good portion of them have also clicked through to my May 2009 post about Candy Spelling's listing of  the mansion for sale.

So, welcome Forbes readers. This blog is primarily about Atwater Village, an 8,000-resident neighborhood in northeast LA. We have a Costco. And a wine bar. You might also be interested in 280 more photos from the helicopter tour.  Stay a while, look around. Enjoy!

May 14, 2010

The House That Goes Boom

COULD THESE be the same parties responsible for those screechy fireworks displays in the LA River in Atwater Village on May 6, May 1, April 22, April 23 and 24?

This house in the 3400 block of Lambeth Street, across from Mulholland Fountain, is just blocks from the River, and was visited this morning by LAFD, haz-mat and bomb squads responding to an explosion. (With news helicopters circling till at least 9:00am.)

KTLA reports that authorities expect to make arrests in connection with an illegal fireworks operation in the house. Let's hope this puts an end to the riverbed tests.

New Parenting Center on Glendale Blvd.

AN ATWATER VILLAGE resident is out to heed the needs of breeders with The Cradle Company at 3042 Glendale Blvd. Brandi Rouse, MSW, runs the baby boutique and parenting center, offering pediatric sleep consultations, doula and nanny placements, mommy and me groups, childbirth education, and more.

May 11, 2010

Photo of the Week: Eat!

Eat, originally uploaded by Non Paratus.

GREAT NOTE from the photographer: "The sign for the Los Feliz cafe in Atwater Village couldn't be any more direct. It seems to be a throwback to cafe signs of half a century ago."

May 7, 2010

City Shuttering 4 Marijuana Dispensaries on Atwater Village's Glendale Blvd.

OF THE 439 medical marijuana dispensaries being shut down under a new Los Angeles City Council ordinance, 4 are in Atwater Village:
  • Accurate Services Medical Dispensary, 3429 Glendale Blvd.
  • Friendly Collective, 3405 Glendale Blvd.
  • LA Collective, 3401 Glendale Bl.
  • Atwater Alternative Care Collective, 3106 Glendale Blvd.
LA Times reports they must close by June 7. Also on the list: Tender Love Collective, just over the freeway at 2439 Riverside Drive.

Not on the list: America's first "cannabis college," Oaksterdam University, 3153 Glendale Blvd., former home of the casket store.

May 3, 2010

Neighbor Goes Solar, Eliminates Electricity Bills

Solar HouseA 10-YEAR RESIDENT of Atwater Village recently converted his house to solar electricity. This is his story (and his photos):
"Last week I had 20 solar panels put on my roof that cover 100% of my electrical usage! DWP [Los Angeles Department of Water and Power] covered half the cost! I would love it if you could blog about it as I think there are loads of houses in this neighborhood that would be perfect for solar. You cannot even see them!

"Basically I generate enough electricity that I cover my electricity needs - so I will no longer have an electricity bill! I will only be paying for natural gas which is next to nothing. I have no batteries. The current goes into the neighborhood grid. The meter spins one direction when current flows in from the grid and the opposite direction when I am putting power back on to the grid. I only pay if I generate less than I use. My system is designed to generate 110% of my average usage based on my bills for the last two years.

"The company who did my install [Mimeos Sustainability Consultants] was great. They did all the paperwork for the rebates, handled the contractor and made the whole thing completely painless and transparent."

May 2, 2010

LAPD Responding to Shots Fired, Possibly Machine Gun, at Glendale-Hyperion Bridge

TONIGHT THE Los Angeles Police Department is responding to shots fired from Glendale-Hyperion Bridge in Atwater Village. Up to 4 cycles of what sounded like machine-gun fire, 8:45pm Sunday.
UPDATE 8:50pm: LAPD helicopters, cruisers, searching LA River bed. Police vehicles racing toward River along Sunnynook Drive.

UPDATE 9:10pm: Still activity around Glendale-Hyperion bridge. Police lights on Riverside Drive. Neighbors tracking events on AVNC forum: "at least 15 police vehicles and lots of suspects in handcuffs."

UPDATE 9:15pm: Lights, sirens, choppers gone. Nobody else reporting. Time to finish Sunday night TV shows. Y'all are on your own.
Second round:
UPDATE 9:50pm: Great, 4 more shots and/or pops and/or explosions. Maybe guns, maybe fireworks. Does it matter? Are we really going to let them have Atwater Village?

UPDATE 10:25pm: Helicopter returns, spotlight on River.

May Day at the Rally: First 12 Photos

Canine Legalization

BACK FROM a day downtown, where Los Angeles rallied for May Day in favor of legal immigration and against Arizona's new "show your papers" policy. See the first 12 photos from the rally, with many more to come.

April 30, 2010

Arrests and Explosions Do Not a Pattern Make

DESPITE HIGHLY visible arrests this month on Sunnynook Dr., Glenfeliz Blvd. and Los Feliz Blvd., and despite multiple neighbor complaints of at least 3 fireworks explosions in or around the LA River, the latest Northeast LAPD email newletter proclaims:
Atwater Village: Looks pretty good. Only a few property crimes - no patterns or trends.

April 29, 2010

Photo of the Week: More Than Meatballs

EVERY SUNDAY from 10:00am to 2:00pm it's not just about the bacon-wrapped meatballs at the Atwater Village Farmers Market, 3250 Glendale Blvd. Sometimes we get a little music with our meat.

April 23, 2010

More Heartbeat, More House

THE ANTICIPATED studio expansion opens next week at Heartbeat House, 3141 Glendale Blvd. The neighborhood dance and exercise studio opens an expanded lobby and studio floor, adding 450 square feet where Black Maria Gallery once kept its Under the Table store. Heartbeat House improvements include a new bathroom and shower, and new sound-proof windows and doors. The studio will be closed April 29-30, with a grand re-opening Saturday, May 1. For the big event, Saturday classes will be $5 each. Expect raffles and heart-healthy snacks, too.

Arrest at Del Taco Parking Lot

AN EAGLE-EYED READER reports: "Hey Newbie, I just passed by the Chevron Gas Station on Los Feliz today [April 22] around 7:45pm. I saw a police crackdown. I saw a Latino getting arrested in the Del Taco parking lot [3020 Los Feliz Blvd]. Unfortunately I could not take a picture because it was dark." First Sunnynook Drive, then Glenfeliz Blvd., now a fast-food joint on Los Feliz Blvd. Increased LAPD presence? Or just more obvious?

April 22, 2010

On Camera: More LAPD Action in Atwater Village

Glenfeliz Police Action
JUST A WEEK after dozens of officers took over Sunnynook Drive, yesterday a reader caught a more limited LAPD action just around the corner on Glenfeliz Blvd., sending along photos and this eyewitness account:
"Newbie, around 3:35pm today [April 21] I drove by this arrest and car search going on on the corner of Glenfeliz and Ingledale Terrace. The guy was cuffed sitting on the side of the road with tattoos on his neck and looked Hispanic with a thin mustache. Not sure what he did but for the cops to search his car they must have had probable cause. Thought you might like to know... At least the cops are doing something!"
See something our Atwater Village neighbors should know? Send it to the Newbie,

April 21, 2010

Northeast LA: Lock Your Doors, Windows, Bicycles

Suspect DescriptionDUAL WARNINGS tonight from Northeast division of the Los Angeles Police Department:
  • During recent review of "Hot Prowl" burglaries in the areas of Los Feliz, Franklin Hills, Silverlake and East Hollywood, it was determined that burglary suspects entered several homes during early hours of the morning (2:00am to 3:30am). The burglars entered while home owners were at home sleeping. Victims were awaken by noises in their homes and actually confronted suspects as they fled from their residents. The method used to enter the homes were open garages, open windows and open sliding doors. We strongly recommend that you check your windows and doors prior to going to sleep.
  • The bicycle thefts are still occurring. Suspects are removing bikes from open garages and cutting chained locks. Please keep them in locked homes and garages.
As always, report emergencies to 911, non-emergencies to 1-877-ASK-LAPD.

Photo of the Week: Gotta Get Around

Atwater Village, originally uploaded by Girl, Narration.

April 19, 2010

What's in a Name? Neighbor Disappointment

A READER OF my post about a new massage joint moving into the Silver Lake Video space in Atwater Village has a geographical grievance:
The Thai Massage place located at 3206 Glendale Blvd. has put up a sign that says Glendale Thai Massage. I'm really disappointed with the name chosen for this establishment. Although it is on Glendale Blvd., I find that the name of the place will confuse people who are not from Atwater Village, implying that they are in the city of Glendale. Atwater Village is actually part of Los Angeles, with its own rich history and thriving community.
On local TV news, I've heard reporters often call Atwater Village "Glendale." Not that I have anything against Glendale, but we have a really good chance at making Atwater a very special place in Los Angeles. A small town neighborhood in the big city of Los Angeles.
I feel a better name for the business might be Atwater Village Thai Massage. I know that the business owner has every right to call it whatever he/she wants, but if the name is bothersome to you, the way it is to me, why not mention it to them in a nice way. Maybe it will do some good.

April 16, 2010

More Photos from LAPD Raid on Sunnynook Drive

Four-Part SubdueIN THE CHAOS of yesterday's Los Angeles Police Department raid on Sunnynook Drive yesterday, I managed to snap a few photos:
Eventually at least 6 suspects were lined up, seated, in cuffs. Though another witness said, "the handcuffs were removed and they all just wandered off through the neighborhood." Sunnynook was closed for at least an hour while neighbors looked on. See all my photos of the raid.

April 15, 2010

Major Police Action on Sunnynook Drive This Afternoon: My Eyewitness Account

Sunnynook Arrest

WHAT LOOKED a raid that started with plain-clothes officers subduing at least 2 suspects turned into a complete takeover of Sunnynook Drive in central Atwater Village today by dozens of Los Angeles Police Department officers. It happened suddenly, this afternoon just before 6:00pm, involving undercover vehicles, LAPD cruisers and helicopter support.

And guess what house was at the center of the action? Yup, the so-called Sunnynook Meth House, the same one police raided back in summer 2007.

Your humble Newbie was there, unintentionally, literally caught in the middle, driving up Sunnynook when one undercover officer brandished his weapon and told me not to move, lest my vehicle get in the way of an arrest in progress. (More of my photos here.)

Could this finally mean the end of the Sunnynook Meth House menace?

UPDATE: Other eyewitnesses counted 13 LAPD units and, 3 hours later, saw a half dozen more arrests elsewhere in the neighborhood.

Where the Streets Have No Slurry

REMEMBER ALL the street closure signs posted in central Atwater Village last week? The City's closures and crews have come and gone, and left behind a nice smooth resurfacing (one might call it a slurry coat seal) on streets that, frankly, already seemed quite smooth and resurfaced. Now, how about some love for these remaining bumpy concrete lanes in south Atwater Village, something neighbors have been asking for 4 years? (Sorry, make that 10 years.)

April 14, 2010

Yes, Lots of Neighborhood Businesses Do It

Breaks All Kinds of Rules
IN REACTION to my post about Los Feliz Car Wash and its policy of demanding $8.99 minimums on credit-card transactions, here's a gentle bit of criticism on the AVNC Forum:
"Newbie conveniently didn't mention several other businesses in Atwater that have minimums for credit card charges. Whether or not their practices are legal, I won't mention them here by name because I like them and, from reading the posts on these forums, so does everybody else."
Yes, many businesses in Atwater Village and Southern California, especially non-chain, mom-and-pop shops, post credit-card minimums. And yes, I've mentioned others, like El Buen Gusto on Glendale Blvd. and Marlene's Beachcomber in Santa Monica, for enforcing them. Baracoa Cuban Cafe does it, and I love me some Baracoa. I bet the majority of retailers in Atwater Village, outside mega-chains like Best Buy and Starbucks, do it.

But no, credit-card minimums are not illegal. They send no one to jail. They simply violate merchant agreements with credit card issuers, like the agreement with Visa:
"Visa merchants are not permitted to establish minimum transaction amounts, even on sale items. They also are not permitted to charge you a fee when you want to use your Visa card."
(In 10 states, California included, a credit-card surcharge or card checkout fee is flat-out against the law, and should be reported. Los Feliz Car Wash at one time charged a $1 checkout fee. Word is Kailyn Nail Spa still does.)

It's our choice to patronize businesses that violate agreements and laws. If our desire for cheap tacos outweighs our need for consumer protection, then go for it. If we don't mind not knowing how much stuff we'll have to buy ($5? $10? $8.99?) before our credit cards become valid forms of payment, then keep supporting these bad business habits.

Otherwise, like I'm doing with my car washes, go elsewhere!

Or just pay cash.

Gang Member Girlfriends, You're on Notice

All Paint and No Play 4ACCUSED GANG member Vincent J. Vigil filed an appeal yesterday in a case convicting him of misdemeanor assault, felony assault with a deadly weapon, and 2 counts of corporal injury. One conviction involves gangs from our little neighborhood of Atwater Village and an injury to Vigil's girlfriend, Adelita Telles. From the prosecution's case:
On February 18, 2008, Dr. Thuc Bach treated [girlfriend Adelita] Telles at the Huntington Memorial Hospital for a six-inch, superficial, "bleeding" cut that was "very clean" and "very precise" and that was probably delivered in a "straight slashing action." ...
Telles said that she did not want to talk to the police about her injury and that she afraid of the person [appellant Vigil] who hurt her because he was an Avenues Gang member. Telles was with appellant who accused her of dating and having sex with someone from the Frog Town gang in Atwater Village.
Vigil's appeal was filed in Court of Appeals of California, Second District.

April 13, 2010

Landlords Strike Again! Casket Store Moving

Median Living IIIN WHAT SEEMS to be a post-recession pattern, another Atwater Village retailer is relocating to avoid higher rent.

Last month the Violet Willow boutique left its space at 3127 Glendale Blvd., and the space was subsequently offered at $1,450, about $2.07 per square foot, per month.

Now, California Casket Company has wheeled its coffins a block away, from 3153 Glendale Blvd. to 3229 Glendale Blvd., to avoid an alleged rent hike to $4,500 a month.

Are retail landlords seeing signs of recovery that lead them to believe richer tenants are just around the corner? They may be right: Alias Books is a big get. But they may not: The old Violet Willow space has been discounted, and is now listed for $50 less per month.

April 12, 2010

Sirens, Helicopter Respond to Accident, I-5 at Glendale Blvd. in Atwater Village

LAFD reports traffic accident with possible fatality, 10:54pm, southbound I-5 at Glendale Blvd. in Atwater Village. "Major traffic blocking all lanes, 4 patients total, 2 kids (6-year-old girl with burns), CPR on one of the patients." Rescue vehicles and helicopters converge after 11:00pm. Southbound I-5 issued SigAlert, lane closures north of Fletcher Drive, 11:29pm. Glendale Blvd. on-ramp also closed. Blow by blow from
  • Green BMW Possible in #2 Lane 10:32 PM
  • Reporting Party Called to Advise His Vehicle Was Blocking Lanes and to Ascertain If Assistance Was En Route 10:51 PM
  • Party Was Holding for Spanish Translator; Sound Like Vehicle May Have Been Hit, Line Went Dead 10:53 PM
  • Vehicle Has now Been Hit 10:54 PM
  • Message Delivered LA Fire Department 10:54 PM
  • CHP Unit on Scene 11:00 PM
  • Possible Fatality 11:02 PM
  • All Lanes Closed for now 11:03 PM
  • CHP Unit on Scene 11:04 PM
  • CHP Unit on Scene 11:22 PM
  • CHP Unit on Scene 11:23 PM
  • Glendale On Ramp Will Be Closed for Unknown Duration 11:26 PM
  • Sigalert for All Lanes with Traffic Only Getting Thru in #1 Lane for Unknown Duration 11:26 PM
  • #1, 2 Lanes Open 12:21 AM
UPDATE 12:12am: LAFD offers news on the 4 patients: 40-year-old female in cardiac arrest, 35-year-old male in serious condition with possible head injury and burns, 6-year-old female with leg burns. All transported to hospitals. 22-year-old male, minor injuries, not transported.

April 9, 2010

Video of the Week: Atwater Village, 1971

THIS HOME movie, Up the Pool in the Petito's Backyard, comes from Atwater Village, Los Angeles, 1971. Nice basketball moves in second half. Commenter says this might've been on Seneca Ave.

Feeling Restricted

A READER WANTS to know: "Any idea why there are loads of parking restrictions on this upcoming Monday, 6:00am to 6:00pm? All over Griffith View, Sunnynook, Glenfeliz." Good question. Could it be street resurfacing? Speed hump installation? Alien invasion?

Something Pink and Brown on the Sidewalk

Our new Pink & Brown outdoor chairs and tables! Aren't they s... on TwitpicPERHAPS PREPARING to be a tasty neighbor to that new indie bookstore coming soon to central Atwater Village, dessert shop Sweets for the Soul set up some sidewalk seating in front of its window at 3169 Glendale Blvd. "Our new pink and brown outdoor chairs and tables," the shop posted. "Aren't they so ... sweet?" Sweet as a $4 brownie.

UPDATE: Sweets for the Soul follows up: "We got those fabulous chairs and tables from Pot-ted, right here in our neighborhood on Los Feliz Boulevard."

April 7, 2010

Tom Hanks: As Seen in Atwater Village

Location scouts at night?? The work never stops. Hanx on TwitpicAS MENTIONED in his Twitter feed, Tom Hanks was hanging in Atwater Village, hunting locations for a new movie. Dude has 14 movies in development, including one called How Starbucks Saved My Life, which might explain this photo he posted Monday night around 7:30pm. He's across the street from our local Starbucks on Glendale Blvd., and it looks like he standing in front of the Artology 101 gallery or, perhaps, the medical marijuana dispensary next door. Hey, no one's judging.

UPDATE: Other Hanks photos seems to indicate he's scouting for Larry Crowne, co-starring Hanks, Julia Roberts, Brian Cranston; due out 2011.

April 6, 2010

Eat, Play, Sip at Atwater Playhouse

IT'S AN ITALIAN combo Friday night in Atwater Village, starting April 9, 6:30pm, at Atwater Playhouse, 3191 Casitas Ave.
  • Vesuvio, LA's first and only Italian food truck, serving grandma's Southern Italian recipes like $3 arancini stuffed with smoked mozzarella and $7 sandwiches
  • Two Rounds, the acclaimed Italian play brought to the US by Atwater Playhouse, tickets $15
  • Trilussa Wine, importer from Northern California, with tastes of their Italian wines

April 4, 2010

Found: Dog Wandering Central Atwater Village

Maltese Before & AfterDO YOU RECOGNIZE this dog? Maltese mix, seen wandering central Atwater Village for at least the last 3 days, white fur, quite matted. Nervous but friendly. Definitely someone's pet! Please pass along.

Contact info on this Craigslist post.

April 2, 2010

Los Feliz Car Wash Has $8.99 Minimum Charge on Credit Cards; Don't Like It? No Wash for You!

No Car Wash for You!

THEY OFFER a $5.99 express service as Los Feliz Car Wash, 3013 Los Feliz Blvd. Exterior only, no vacuum, no dash, but they hand wash and dry. Seems like a deal. But this Atwater Village establishment insists on cash.

"Is the credit card machine down?" I ask yesterday. No, I'm told, Los Feliz Car Wash enforces a minimum charge of $8.99 for credit-card transactions. I tell the cashier his demand violates credit card merchant policies and would be reported. Then I relented, offered cash. (Hindsight? Should go elsewhere. But my car's in the queue.)

Car Wash Guy takes my $10 bill, gives me change, but then suffers an abrupt about face. He tells me Los Feliz Car Wash would not be honoring my transaction, even with cash. And recognizing the physical manifestations of a man becoming unhinged, I start shooting video. Mostly as protection and eyewitness, though I see how someone might be antagonized by the business end of a cell-phone lens.

He starts to explain:
Car Wash Guy: I just don't want your business, that's all.
Me: How come?
CWG: It's a free world and it's a free business.
Me: You don't want my business because of the credit card policy?
CWG: No sir, I just don't want your business. It's because I don't like your attitude.
Me: You don't like my attitude, you said?
CWG: Yes sir. I'm an entrepreneur. I've got that right.
Indeed he does have a right to refuse service. But it gets more personal. About me. And about my camera phone:
CWG: Get that thing off my head before I knock it off.
Me: Did you just threaten to damage some property of mine?
CWG: All right, so let me get your money back, sir. Go check your head.
Me: What do you mean, like with a psychiatrist or something?
CWG: I don't know, I'm not in psychiatry business. I'm in car wash business.
Debatable. He refunds me $6 on the $5.99 car wash. Then, personal gets weird:
Me: Thanks for the extra penny.
CWG: I know you need it. I can tell.
Me: You can tell?
CWG: Yes sir. Have your car out of here or I'll have it towed.
Me: Are you the owner?
CWG: No. I'm an illegal alien.
Me: Oh, you are?
CWG: Yes. Go report that to immigration.
Beefy SecurityOn it goes, 3 or 4 minutes. CWG calls me a "f***ing son of a bitch." Without seeming to enter a phone number, he reports to his cell that there's a "disturbance" by someone with a "junky" car.

Then some beefy security guy shows up wearing a badge that looks like a toy. He's not employed by Los Feliz Car Wash, just wants to call me a "f***ing idiot." (And let me know my camera doesn't intimidate him; he's been on TMZ!)

Alas, I take my "junky" car a few blocks up to California Car Wash, 3940 San Fernando Road. Express service: $6.99. Credit card: accepted. No questions asked. No obscenities hurled.

ARCHIVE: Back in September 2008, Los Feliz Car Wash charged $1 to run credit-card transactions of $8.99 or less. A practice like that seems to violate merchant policies and possibly California law.

April 1, 2010

Video of Police Chase in Atwater Village: March 30

THIS INTREPID videographer captures a police chase in Atwater Village, as it passes the post office at Glendale Blvd. and La Clede Ave. on March 30. Not sure whom they're chasing, other than someone who saw fit to jump off a motorcycle and try to escape on foot.