Epic Fact-Finding Journey to Echo Park to Document What Will Be Lost if the Proposed BID is Established and Call to Political Action!

If the BID is established forget about food trucks.  BIDs freaking hate food trucks.  Especially if they're near a restaurant, like this one on Logan Street North of Sunset is.
If the BID is established forget about food trucks. BIDs freaking hate food trucks. Especially if they’re near a restaurant, like this one on Logan Street North of Sunset is.
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about little old ladies selling flowers, like this one on Sunset Blvd. just West of Echo Park Avenue.  BIDs freaking hate little old ladies!
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about little old ladies selling flowers, like this one on Sunset Blvd. just West of Echo Park Avenue. BIDs freaking hate little old ladies!
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about signs like this.  BIDs freaking hate signs on the sidewalk.
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about signs like this. BIDs freaking hate signs on the sidewalk.
If the BID is established in Echo Park say goodbye to RVs around the Park itself.  BIDs freaking hate RVs.
If the BID is established in Echo Park say goodbye to RVs around the Park itself. BIDs freaking hate RVs.
Due to some kind-hearted click bait1 bestowed by loyal FOMs Esotouric, my colleagues’ recent post on the resurgence of the long-dormant proposed Echo Park Business Improvement District has turned out to be one of our most popular posts of 2016. The colleagues left out some absolutely essential information and so I’m following up on their behalves. Also I used the whole situation as an excuse to ride the 704 Eastbound to Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Blvd. to check out the situation on the ground.

First the essential info: This thing is on the agenda for the Economic Development Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 10, in room 1010 in City Hall. You can go tell them what you think about it. Unfortunately I have other commitments, and I’m sure approval is a foregone conclusion, but there’s the info if you want it.

Second, as you can see from the images accompanying this post, if the BID’s approved a lot of stuff is going to change out there. They’re going to chase off taco trucks. BIDs hate taco trucks with a passion that’s hard to understand. They even, believe it or not, hate taco trucks parked on private property. Showing an astonishing ignorance of the rights of property owners in a free society, they’ve been known to express amazement that they’re not against the law.

If the BID is approved, sidewalk signs have got to go. BIDs freaking hate sidewalk signs. In fact, one of the very first things Kerry Morrison did in the 1990s after the Hollywood Entertainment District BID was established was to go after businesses with signs on the sidewalk. Why? Who the hell knows? It offended her sense of order or something. Why should Echo Park expect anything different.

If the BID is approved forget about frutateros in the park.  BIDs freaking hate fresh fruit, at least if it's sold by human beings to human beings.  This kind of bullshit is probably perfectly acceptable.
If the BID is approved forget about frutateros in the park. BIDs freaking hate fresh fruit, at least if it’s sold by human beings to human beings. This kind of bullshit is probably perfectly acceptable.
If the BID is established, probably this sign will stay, along with some armed minions to shackle and chain people who ignore it.
If the BID is established, probably this sign will stay, along with some armed minions to shackle and chain people who ignore it.
If the BID is established forget about bacon dogs and other yummy hot food cooked right to order.  BIDs really really hate bacon dogs.  Why they don't just freaking move back to America if they don't like it here I don't understand.
If the BID is established forget about bacon dogs and other yummy hot food cooked right to order. BIDs really really hate bacon dogs. Why they don’t just freaking move back to America if they don’t like it here I don’t understand.
If the BID is established forget about homeless people sleeping in the park.  You may not like to see homeless people sleeping in the park, but they have to sleep somewhere.  And BIDs don't mind kicking you out of a park if it lets them keep kicking homeless people out.
If the BID is established forget about homeless people sleeping in the park. You may not like to see homeless people sleeping in the park, but they have to sleep somewhere. And BIDs don’t mind kicking you out of a park if it lets them keep kicking homeless people out.
Probably Angelus Temple will be just fine if Echo Park gets its BID.  BIDs are perfectly happy with weirdo religious cults as long as they pay their assessments.  The East Hollywood BID sometimes even holds its Board meetings in Big Blue.
Probably Angelus Temple will be just fine if Echo Park gets its BID. BIDs are perfectly happy with weirdo religious cults as long as they pay their assessments. The East Hollywood BID sometimes even holds its Board meetings in Big Blue.
Tell the truth, here's a picture of one of my major motives for zipping up to Echo Park this afternoon.  The Brite Spot is a treasure of this city, and it's especially pleasant during the late afternoon, when the atmosphere is not spoiled by the intensely irritating neighborhood denizens.
Tell the truth, here’s a picture of one of my major motives for zipping up to Echo Park this afternoon. The Brite Spot is a treasure of this city, and it’s especially pleasant during the late afternoon, when the atmosphere is not spoiled by the intensely irritating neighborhood denizens.

If the BID is approved, forget about RVs around the Park itself on Echo Park Avenue. BIDs (and the LAPD) freaking hate RVs. Including, I suppose, that trippy purple one pictured about, which was parked on Echo Park Avenue this afternoon, its windows filled with books on conspiracies and religious cults,2 just sitting there looking quintessentially Los Angeles and not at all like something wanted in a BID.

If they get their cursed BID in Echo Park, say goodbye to bags of yummiest watermelon and mango for only five bucks. BIDs hate frutateros with a hatred which passeth understanding.3 They hate them even more than they hate heladeros4 and they REALLY hate heladeros.

If the BID is established forget about bacon dogs, tamales, pupusas, elote, and other yummiest cooked food in the Park there. BIDs hate all that stuff with a passion. And they don’t even care if you like it. They don’t care if a majority of people who actually live somewhere like it. They want to outlaw it anyway. And they will.

If Echo Park gets its BID I will bet good money that the first thing they do is to start rousting homeless people off the lawn. BIDs freaking hate homeless people in parks. They hate them so much that they will illegally kick everyone out of a park just so they can keep on kicking out homeless people. They hate them so much that they will illegally arrest homeless people in parks even when they are not violating any law.

But, you know, maybe I’m in the minority in this city. Maybe Echo Park is dying for a BID. In 2009, the Eastsider5 ran a story on the BID and came out in favor of it themselves. In 2010 they ran another favorable story. Both articles did, however, quote a business owner who didn’t want a BID. Too bad no one cares what business owners6 think about it, eh? After all, they’re not property owners for the most part. Evidently in 2009 and 2010 the Eastsider didn’t have a commentariat, but by 2014, when they were reporting on a crackdown on vendors in the park, they got more than 100 comments from Echo Parkies, most of whom sound like the racist ahistorical idiocracy that the BIDs in Hollywood have been spending beaucoup bucks and much effort to bring in as residents, because they don’t fucking know anything about anything. For instance, this guy:

I guess it takes “certain people” to move into a neighborhood who care about keeping our public spaces clean and safe and nice, after a huge amount of public funds have gone into revitalizing these places, not to have them become dumping grounds for trash and old mattresses and sofas, and covered in gang tags, and resemble third world countries. If the neighborhoods you lived in all your life looked like crap, who’s fault is that? I guess the “certain people” who are moving into these neighborhoods now are speaking up, making their voices heard at meetings and at a minimum, cleaning up their own properties. It has nothing to do with race or privilege. It’s called giving a shit.

It’s actually really hard to stop people who will make their voices heard at meetings, yo. So, yeah, maybe it’s time for Echo Park to get its BID, and maybe there’s nothing we can do about it but rage, rage against the dying of the light. Well, that’s where my talents lie, anyway!


All images ©2016 MichaelKohlhaas.org.

  1. It was actually their facebook post that really drove traffic our way, but there’s no way in hell I’m linking to facebook from this blog. You can surely find it yourself if you’re the type who’s looking for it.
  2. I am not making this up. It seemed too intrusive to take pictures, but it’s true.
  3. See here for what these BIDs are missing.
  4. I don’t really know if this is true or not. I’m just putting it in here for rhetorical effect. Even if it didn’t happen that doesn’t mean it ain’t right.
  5. I’m not even going to go into the abject idiocy of the Eastsider’s name. They seem to think that Echo Park is literally the East Side. Why don’t *they* move back to America? And take their entire readership with them when they go?
  6. As opposed to property owners.
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One thought on “Epic Fact-Finding Journey to Echo Park to Document What Will Be Lost if the Proposed BID is Established and Call to Political Action!”

  1. HI MIchael, thank you for this. I am a long time resident and am horrified at the idea of this racist diatribe against the things that I love the most in Echo Park. I would like to help- there are many people in this area who are desperate to save the flavor of Echo Park. I am on FB- maybe PM me there and we can collaborate with the people I know? Annie Sperling

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