Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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Measuring the week in inches

On Wednesday night, my daughter and I returned from Boston, where I was awed by the "emerald necklace" of public parks designed by Olmsted and couldn't help wondering if Los Angeles can grow the political will to create anything even remotely similar along the L.A. River banks.

So, we were gone a week, fell completely and happily down the rabbit hole, but were glad to get back. A week is just long enough to measure changes. It's certainly long enough to create the need to catch up. On return, I found that the cinder blocks at the dismal Chicken Corner construction site had been moved toward the south end of the site. My tomato plants (given to me by my neighbors Joe and Heather) had grown no fewer than six inches. Parts of the old deco kit gas station that I had hoped would become a landmark had been removed, in prep for more condos. McDonalds had bought space at the (possibly illegal) faceboard in the yard space at Ewing and Echo Park Avenue -- in Spanish the ad dares you to "fill up your tank" with their food. New couches have been abandoned. Also a wicker chair below the McDonald's ad -- the chair looks so perfectly at ease it seems wrong to move it. I missed my court date for walking my dog in Elysian Park without a leash (I had forgotten about the citation, probably because it seems so fair and right to walk friendly low-key dogs off-leash on the western trail); I return to discover I am an outlaw. Paw prints and a layer of dirt coated my car.

Those were a few of the outward shifts in Echo Park. In my inbox:

I found a clip from KTLA on the Lotus Festival at Echo Park Lake, featuring Chicken Corner's very own waterfowl and lake correspondent, Martin Cox.

There was a reminder of the Echo Park Historical Society's first bike tour of Elysian Park points of historical interest. It takes place tomorrow.

The Echo Park Historical Society launches it's first-ever bicycle tour on Saturday, July 19 at 10 am. Hit the historic highlights of the park's western edge on this guided tour of Elysian Park (the route is limited to paved roads). The 90-minute tour organized by Matthew Dubois will include stops atBarlow Hospital, the old Navy Armory and Police Academy. Space isextremely limited. The tour is free to EPHS members and $5 for all others. Please reserve a spot by sending an email to

Neighborhood Council president Jose Sigala emailed a neighborhood list serve that the city clerk has denied requests for a recount in the recent weird election.

There's more of course, little bits of news and things people said and wrote. The news some friends are moving out of town. A week offline is a long time. It would take years to catch up on it all.

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