Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
A Los Angeles blog
from Echo Park

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Undesigned/desperately seeking "Echo Park"

Undesigned: the sign in the window has not changed since the chic indie clothing designer's studio and shop at Paul Terrace and Echo Park Avenue closed its doors and moved to Silver Lake about a month ago. The "Undesigned" sign remains in the window behind the curvy wrought-iron bars in the shapes of twigs and leaves.

I have been driving past this space since 1999, when I moved to my present house in Echo Park. I don't recall exactly, but I believe it was a small grocery shop. I first took note when the shop closed and the space was gutted. It was for rent, empty. Then a renovator came along, probably in 2001, when the gallery scene farther down the street was in full swing. It was redesigned and became an art gallery. Later it was renovated some more, and the two-room space became Undesigned. The designer, who lives in the neighborhood still, worked inside while her beagle Dora watched the front door. Then a for-sale sign appeared. And Undesigned moved.

About a week ago, I met the new owners, a couple. The woman was white and her partner was Latino. They told me that one side of the space would be a travel agency. (If you have walked down Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park recently you may have noticed that there are numerous travel agencies still in business. Apparently, not everyone books their flights online.) The new folks weren't sure about the other room -- maybe a vintage furniture slash gallery space, they said. In the last few days a sandwich board sign has appeared in front of the storefront during business hours. It advertises a variety of services, "Autorizaciones," "Tax" "Immigracion." The sign, in bright yellow and black, declares that the English-speaking boho community is not the only viable market in Echo Park.

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