Echo Park funnels itself into words right and left (Chicken Corner notwithstanding). Some recent books about Echo Park or just set there (I would say “here” except that I am writing from Nashville*, Tennessee, where my daughter and I are visiting family) include:
2) Bohemian Los Angeles by Daniel Hurewitz – published by the UC Press, this L.A. history is about Edendale, as Echo Park once was known. It's about the bohemians on the hill, I believe, and I am not sure if the book is yet available.
More about some of these titles to come. I am particularly interested in the Hurewitz book. While Connelly is in a class by himself as a writer of literary genre fiction, I think he is overrated as far as evocation of place goes. He works hard, studies his Los Angeles maps, he makes his on-site observations and somehow misses the magic. But I haven’t yet read Connelly's "Echo Park," and I do plan to read it because (despite a ridiculous Connelly offering I once read that was set in Venice) he is generally good with people and moral complexity, better than he has to be. This in spite of two marketing gimmicks -- a "voice mail" for the main character, Harry Bosch, and a YouTube interview with same -- that make me leery. Still, maybe this title will come closer to nailing that special Los Angeles something for which he already gets credit.
*One of the ways that Nashville is different: Lettering on the glass entry doors to the glitzy Country Music Hall of Fame reads, "No weapons permitted." Then you go upstairs and see Web Pierce's Silver Dollar Convertible, a Nudie custom job, with a rifle replica mounted on the back and a revolver mounted on the front along with a set of alloy silver dollars that replaces the real ones that used to be there. In fact, it's a terrific museum: pure, modern celebration and entertainment. It has Elvis's gold piano and half a dozen of Ray Charles's sunglasses. It looks like the Getty gone country glitz.