Thursday, August 30, 2007

Anna's Cuisine on Fountain recently spotlighted Anna's Fast Food Cuisine, an Armenian-Russian eatery on Fountain and Berendo. Anna's, which has been around for nearly 10 years, is situated literally next door to The Food Network-celebrated Square One Dining. The small hole-in-the-wall eatery has kebobs, salads, soups and sandwiches and the article gave it a wonderful review.

Anna's Fast Food Cuisine
4859 Fountain Ave.

Monday, August 27, 2007

EHNC Shows, Tells at Southern California Community Partners Meeting

Representatives of the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council delivered a lunchtime presentation in front of nearly 100 attendees of the Southern California Community Partners quarterly meeting on Monday at the California Endowment's Center for Healthy Communities in Downtown Los Angeles.

The EHNC's Israel Stepanian, Alfredo Hernandez and myself talked about the neighborhood council's formation and unique outreach techniques on how to communicate with and involve a uniquely diverse community using resources like relationships with schools, institutions and the use of technology and multimedia, which was exemplified with the screening of the EHNC's "This is East Hollywood" video presentation.

The three EHNC representatives also joined a panel discussion with representatives from the Empowerment Congress Southeast Neighborhood Development Council, a neighborhood council in the South Los Angeles area.

The meeting's attendees comprised of elected officials, city workers and community leaders from Los Angeles, San Diego, Palmdale, Anaheim, Pasadena, Glendale and many municipalities around Southern California. The event was hosted by the City of Los Angeles' Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which oversees the city's system of 89 neighborhood councils.

The EHNC's delegation also included Election Committee chair Christine Jerian and Independent Election Administrator Stephen Box.

Southern California Community Partners is an affiliate of the nationwide organization Neighborhoods USA, which is a network of agencies, community groups and municipalities from across America dedicated to improving and empowering their neighborhoods.

During our April 19 certification hearing, one of the members of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners, impressed with our outreach efforts, asked us, "Can you take your show on the road?" So I guess this was the first stop on our tour! It was exciting and an honor as well to have our NC - and diverse community - be recognized.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Linoleum City

The plot of land on the north side of Santa Monica Blvd. between Berendo and Heliotrope is shaping up to be a 3-story Linoleum City store, which currently operates about a mile west on Santa Monica and Wilston Place, next door to the big Sears Roebuck store. Though L-City has been a Hollywood institution since 1948, the days of its original location are numbered as the block is making way for the proposed Paseo Plaza mixed-use development coming in '09, so it's moving east.

The new Linoleum City site was formerly Miller Studio Rental - a company that rented props and lighting equipment to Hollywood soundstages and production companies - and an adjoining wreck shop where recently-damaged autos lay in limbo. Prior to that, the property was once home to Pennsylvania Garden Supply Co, which moved a couple miles west to Santa Monica and Las Palmas Ave., where it operates behind the spacious Arena Nightclub.

As a Heliotrope Drive resident, though I don't really have much need for linoleum at the moment, the new development solved a major blight problem by itself -- the small Southwestern-style garden built by the Pennsylvania Garden folks on the parkway on the Heliotrope side. After Pennsylvania left, the "garden" was left unmaintained and was a seriously blighted patch where not only trash, but food waste and human feces were dumped. Now that L-City is setting up shop, the Southwestern garden was removed and will soon make way for a driveway leading to the rear parking lot.

Another added bonus was the maintenance of the seven crape myrtle trees planted there during an East Hollywood Community Association cleanup day in early 1998. I personally planted one of them! After Pennsylvania moved out, the new business owners neglected to maintain the trees, and the roots attracted trash and stray saplings grew from the tree well. Whoever's building the L-City store cut out the saplings and cleaned up the trash! Looks like L-City seems to be a good neighbor so far.

Guatemalteca Restaurant

That "mystery building" on Santa Monica and Berendo is finally unveiled, even after curiously asking my contact at Councilman Eric Garcetti's CD13 office since the building sprang up last year. It's going to be a Guatemalan restaurant called Guatemalteca, which will also sport a bakery, adding to an already ethnically-diverse array of eateries in the neighborhood which include Armenian, Thai, El Salvadoran and Filipino (and countless other) cuisines.