Frogtown is named for frogs. It’s the neighborhood – also known as Elysian Valley – that tucks between Riverside Drive in Echo Park/Silver Lake area and the Los Angeles River. It’s residential and industrial, one of those margins in the city that non-participants often blink away as they drive past (in this case the 2 and 5 freeways). Though you’d have to have your eyes close these days not to notice the resurgence of green space along the river, thanks largely to the efforts of Friends of the LA River. I am writing about it at this moment because tomorrow evening there is going to be a free, self-guided tour of fourteen designers’ and artists' studios and other alternative/green ventures such as Lovecraft Biofuels that have found space in the valley of the frogs. Friday, from 7 to 10 pm, doors will be open.
Right, frogs: In the 60s, according to local lore (and fact, no doubt) there was a deluge of frogs along the banks of the river in Elysian Valley. (I once saw a similar scene in Oklahoma, during a heavy rain when hoards of toads fled a nearby river and hopped to the Holiday Inn where I had also taken refuge during a road trip.) The name Frogtown stuck.