echo park. my old stomping grounds. i'm 10 miles north east now in highland park. it's 10 years later. but i still love this part of LA more than ever. it's where i spent most of my 30-something years. strolling around the lake, attending the lotus festivals every year, laying on the grass and reading, writing in my journal, going on picnics. if i go back 20 years i can recall renting a paddleboat with a friend and using our legs to propell us around the lake. as long as i've been in LA this has been an iconic place for me and a few million other angelenos. we love our lake!
the entire lake checked into rehab for a couple of years. she needed it. all the lotus flowers which had once been the stars of the lake were gone. everything was shabby, neglected. the paddleboats lay broken and still in the old boathouse. according to the city list, when they drained the lake they found a phone booth, 2 guns, 20 park trash cans, 6 skateboards, a toilet, several boom boxes, and more crazy shiz. but now it's va va va voom!
the lotuses have been reintroduced to a fresh new habitat. successfully restored thanks to THIS plant thief cum hero. an entire system of wetlands has been constructed. all sorts of lilies and other water plants are thriving. most under the cover of fine nets designed to keep people and pollution out. negotiations are even underway to bring back paddleboats. the best part of all is the grateful people who live near the lake have a clean gorgeous park brimming with life to enjoy. and that's pretty nice i think.
Gorgeous photos. I can’t believe that lady’s outfit! It was like she was modeling for your SEWN class promo!
jeanette sclar says
HA! I hope you didn’t think you could slip two Longears past me by embedding them in a post! It’s entirely fitting that they are high-fiving each other over their latest garden coups! 🙂
mary Stanley says
Love seeing Echo Lake….remember going there with my father and brothers in the 50’s and paddling around while eating treats from the snack shop. A favorite L.A. spot!
What a great story. So glad it is restored. Thanks to the thief hero. Fantastic read.
what gorgeous photos of a beautiful park…and the story about the lotus ‘heist’ was terrific! a happy ending…
Oooooo weeeee! Love those wavy palm trees!!!
I remember the lake back in the mid 1950s when I was a kid. So happy to see it flourishing today. Thanks for the photos — they made me smile. My families history is all around the Los Angeles and Lincoln Heights area.
Susan M says
Visited LA many times…don’t think we were ever in that area…very cool! Oh…have a new book for you…just finished. The Last Camellia by Sarah Jio. You will love it!
Connie Rose says
Yes, it’s wonderful! I have memories of boating with my dad on another L.A. lake, in Westlake Park before it became McArthur Park. That was in the early 1950s and I can still smell the popcorn!
First time I remember fireworks….over the Echo Park Lake…..1956 or so. You used to be able to take a little rowboat on the lake I think. I grew up in Silverlake before it was cool and hip and just a place to live.
Janet Ghio says
the lotus flowers are magnificent!
Marie Danti says
Thanks so much for posting this…the photos are wonderful. My daughter lives very near Echo Park and loves it.
What a fantastic place to hang out! I am glad they found the time and resources to restore such a sacred place for local residence. It’s important for a community to have a pretty place to hang. Come on! paddleboats!!
Erin Perry says
This was my go-to park when I attended college at CSULA in the early ’70’s. Lvoed the paddle boats! Even got engaged here way back when – the marriage sucked but the park was great! It’s great to see it looking so lovely again.
Erin in Morro Bay
Judy H. says
Lotus and lake love.
when I was a little girl my family started going to St. Athanasius church across the street from the boathouse. From 1949 to 1962 I went there every Sunday. I felt so lucky to be by a lake. I even fell in once. Sweet memories….
Lisa Hoffman says
Beautiful little tour. I’ll be sure to add it to my “…things to love in L.A….” list.
Oh, thank Goodness for cities that can still toss some $ at beauty (if it WAS the city). No matter what happens, we NEED places to restore our souls. Great post AS USUAL.
Susie LaFond says
oooooooooo, loved reading this post. Love your explorations in your own backyard and a peek into a place you love so much. The photos are gorgeous as always. Awesome! Simply Awesome.