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Remembering Highland Park

Highland Park is one of the oldest communities in the city of Los Angeles.

Highland Park CA - corner of North Figueroa and Avenue 57

Highland Park developed from the Great Southern California Land Boom of the 1880s, from land purchased in 1869 at a sheriff's sale that ended years of litigation over a defaulted $3,500.00 loan that had been placed against the Rancho San Rafael in 1861.

The Great Southern California Land Boom collapsed in 1888.  Many speculators went bankrupt as sales in new subdivisions slowed to a halt.  Real estate people take note:  This is a good example of the cyclical nature of our real estate market.

But this article is NOT about the History of Highland Park.

When I wrote out the title "Remembering Highland Park in Northeast Los Angeles" I was simply pondering how I managed to leave Highland Park off the list of communities in Northeast Los Angeles that I compiled and posted on FaceBook.  Thank goodness, Mabel Jung Taylor noticed the oversight.

To my local friends:  Do you notice any any communities or districts I have inadvertently omitted?  Any that don't belong?

Historical information from the book:  Highland Park by local historian Charles J. Fisher

Los Angeles Marathon Sunday March 21

I do like this year's course:

From Dodger Stadium, through Downtown L A, to Echo Park and Silverlake through Hollywood, Westwood and Beverly Hills, and then on to the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica.

However, I think us folks on the Real Eastside need our own marathon ... Highland Park Avenues, Boyle Heights, East L A, City Terrace ...... I'm gonna think up a Real Eastside Marathon Route and post a map.

(NO, I am not a Marathon runner, but I do like to watch it on TV!)

4.4 Earthquake: Just another day in L A

A 4.4 magnitude earthquake occurred this morning in Los Angeles at 4:04 AM.  No serious damage or injury has been reported.  For L A residents, this is relatively minor event.

I do want to comment on a couple things, though:

First, how quickly most of the regular locals jumped on Twitter and FaceBook to begin talking about the quake.  And the quality of the information reported.

@HLP90042 and @militantangelino had the magnitude and epicenter maps posted on Twitter before KNX Radio.

L A Earthquake on Twitter

And secondly, this came up in my conversation with @HLP90042, and I am intriqued enough to research further.

My 90-something year old house has a two story tall arroyo stone chimney.  That chimney has survived numerous earthquakes without a scratch.  (Knocking on wood as I type that!!)

Arroyo Stone Chimney

@HLP90042 commented that stone chimneys seem to withstand quakes around here better than their brick counterparts.

Yeah, that fits with the empirical evidence.

So, why is that?  I am not an engineer, but my theory is that because the stones are different sizes and irregular shapes, the load/weight of the chimney is distributed in a random manner ... and the resultant object is sturdier than an object built of completely uniform components.

Any engineers here?  Am I on the right track?

Opening at Avenue 50 Studio/The Annex March 13 A Prayer For Juarez, A Curse On The Killers

Opening at Avenue 50 Studio/The Annex March 13: A Prayer For Juarez, A Curse On The Killers
Opening Night Reception:  Saturday, March 13, 2010 from 7-10 pm

March 13 through April 4, 2010


Participating artists:

Alfonso Aceves
Laura Blanco
Angela Briggs
Ismael de Anda
Antonio Escalante
Judithe Hernandez
Cindy Suriyani

The Avenue 50 Studio is participating in A Prayer for Juarez a world-wide call to attention dedicated to uplift and raise awareness about violence against humanity around the world, beginning in Juárez. The main approach is to no longer come from a place of anger, hate or protest, but from a place of love and prayer towards this city and its people.

Anyone is invited to come pray as they do for the sole purpose of casting a light on Juárez: the city and the women there. When police, guns, armies, militias, government and money have not made an impact in saving the lives of the residents in Juárez living amongst violence, hate towards women, and drug wars every day, A Prayer for Juárez acknowledges that the tragedies in Juárez are a spiritual battle, and it will make a stand to tackle this war with the biggest army we as humans have behind us….the power of love and prayer.

As part of A Prayer for Juarez, a network of companion exhibits will take place in March.  Below is the update on places that will be part of this art protest dialogue.

A Sculptural Installation, Albuquerque, NM Contact

Honoring the Women of Juarez and the West Mesa Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala
Contact: Renata Luna E-mail:

Fort Worth, Texas Producing group: Sound Culture
Contact: Tammy M. Gomez Email:
Phone: 817.924.9188

Juarez City No More Femicide
At the International Women's Day Rally at the Sydney Town Hall
Sydney, Australia (March 13, 2010 from 10 am to 3 pm
Sydney Action for Juarez Concert Contact: Liliana E Correa Email:

Priéres de femmes pour Juarez
Biblioteque du mile-end,
l'exposition dÌmages de femmes
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Montréal Longueuil, Québec, Canada
dans le dadre de Contact: Claudia Cortés Email:

A Prayer for Juarez
Casa 0101-  Los Angeles, California
Contact: Josefina Lopez & Victoria Delgadillo

March 12th –  April 10th  2010 – Opening March 12th 7:00 – 10:00pm
Contact: Mia Roman, curator (
Abrazo Interno Gallery:  Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center
107 Suffolk Street , New York , NY 10002

Citizan Divas:  Women, Art and Social Justice
A Panel in celebration of International Women's Day
MOCA - Museum of Contemporary Art, Auditorium
250 So. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA  90012
Free of Charge, open to the public
Organized by Nancy Buchanan, Christine Wertheim and students from CalArts ID 517
This symposium focuses on social, geographical and conceptual arenas where the power of women to speak on behalf of themselves and their peers is strongly, radically asserted through works of art and activism.
12.00-12.30 - Introduction by artist Andrea Bowers
12.30- 2.30 - Lourdes Portillo will discuss the making of her film, Senorita Extraviada, Missing Young Woman, a documentary examining the mystery of the hundreds of young women murdered in Juarez, Mexico. For further information:,

Barcelona, España
Contact: Susana García Medrano Email:

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact: Sandra Román

Mexico City, DF Contact: Pilar Aranda Email:

NELAArt Second Saturday Gallery Night, March 13

Saturday, March 13, NELAart presents: SECOND SATURDAY GALLERY NIGHT

WHEN: The Second Saturday of Every Month  7:00-10:00p.m.
WHERE: Highland Park and surrounding neighborhoods.

NELAart Second Saturday Gallery Night is a free self-guided tour of the galleries, non-profits and artist run project spaces located in Northeast Los Angeles (NELA).

NELA has a tradition in the arts that dates back to the early 1900s.

The tradition continues with new spaces opening regularly. NELA is now one of L.A.'s most exciting destinations to view contemporary art. 

Individual gallery hours may vary:

Avenue 50 Studios, 121 North Avenue 50

Cactus, 5434 Eagle Rock Boulevard

Cafe de Leche, 5000 York Boulevard

Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, 2225 Colorado Boulevard

Drkrm, 2121 San Fernando Road

Future Studio, 5558 North Figueroa Street

hi tree, 131 North Avenue 50 (behind Avenue 50 Studio)

Jose Vera Fine Art, 2012 Colorado Boulevard

Judson Studios, 200 South Avenue 66

Kristi Engle Gallery, 5002 York Boulevard

Land of Odd Gallery, 4690 Eagle Rock Boulevard

La tierra de la Cuebra, 240 South Avenue 57

MorYork Gallery, 4959 York Boulevard

New Stone Age Mosiacs, 4532 1/2 Eagle Rock Boulevard

Outpost for Contemporary Art, 1268 North Avenue 50

Sea and Space Explorations, 4755 York Boulevard

She Rides the Lion, 133 North Avenue 50

Toros Pottery, 4962 Eagle Rock Boulevard

2 Tracks Art Studio, 135 North Avenue 50 (Next to Avenue 50 Studio)

Verbre Studio and Gallery, 4540 Eagle Rock Boulevard 

York Studios, 5029 York Boulevard

NELAart is based in Highland Park and consists of galleries and art organizations located in Northeast Los Angeles who are dedicated to increase the visibility of the thriving arts community in the area. Northeast Los Angeles has a long tradition in the arts. Many working artists now continue this tradition by making their homes and having their studios here. The neighborhood is also home to many galleries, alternative arts spaces and arts organizations. NELAart provides a resource to share information and ideas, and assist in promoting galleries and organizations. Please join us in celebrating the arts in Northeast Los Angeles.

"The product of pure whimsy..."

Here in Northeast Los Angeles, we have amazing homes of every size, style and description; from small cottages built in the 1800s, to mid-century modern and newly built contemporary.

In my quest to properly name the styles of homes in my neighborhood, I have been buying and reading architectural textbooks.

One small volume I bought is titled "What Style Is It" and there are a couple sentences in the introduction that so perfectly describe the homes in Northeast Los Angeles, I just had to quote them here:

"Many buildings defy stylistic labels.  They may represent transitional periods when one style was slowly blending into another; they may exhibit the conscious combination of unrelated stylistic elements for a certain effect; or they may be the product of pure whimsy or eccentricity."


Mount Angelus Neighborhood, Highland Park, Northeast Los Angeles

Pure Whimsy and Joyful Eccentricity abound in Northeast Los Angeles.  Enjoy!

Opening at Avenue 50 Studio March 13 “Cuentos de Hadas” (Fairy Tales)

Rapunzel - Esau Andrade     

Mercedes Gertz and Esau Andrade reinterpret fairy tales

with photographs by Elizabeth Beristain

Opening Night Reception:  Saturday, March 13, 2010 from 7-10 pm

The Avenue 50 Studio is proud to present “Cuentos de Hadas” (Fairy Tales), an exhibition of works by two contemporary Mexican artists.  Through a narrative language, Gertz and Andrade portray the female vs. male versions of fairy tales.  The exhibit opens with an artists’ reception on Saturday evening, March 13, 2010 from 7 to 10 p.m. and closes on Sunday, April 4, 2010.

Mercedes Gertz. Using humor and sensuality, Gertz’s fairy tale series asks us to consider where women are in the 21st century.  Her heroines are unapologetic symbols of female confidence.  We sense in them a comfort with the body, with play and decoration.  They confidently own the sensual, and relish in being a woman in charge.

These … fairy or folk tales … recur over and over through millennia in the guise of innocent stories telling us time and again that the docile, young body gets the prince, that the girl brave enough to venture into the woods—the space of men--meets her fate at the hands of the big bad wolf. Peter Pan lives forever as a boy, Wendy must grow up--it is her calling, her duty, her essential nature. -- Marlena Doktorczyk-Donohue, Art Critic, Essayist, Poet

Esau Andrade.  Following in the footsteps of the Latin American surrealists, Esau Andrade twists reality, creating canvases bursting with color that are pop in nature.  He instills a childlike exuberance into his delightful paintings. Andrade comes from a folk art background, as both his mother Guadalupe Valencia and brother Raymundo Andrade are also artists.  He is mainly a self-taught painter, although attended La Escuela de Artes Plasticas de la Universidad de Guadalajara.

Unlike the candy colored confections of his more stylized folk art paintings, these other works by Andrade place him firmly in the surrealist tradition shared by many Latin masters. He retains a naiveté and originality with quirky images that are both charming and serious, and also remain indebted to his rich culture for visual symbols that are vivid and intense.  -- Kathy Zimmerer, Artscene 11/2004

Elizabeth Beristain.  Elizabeth was born in Mexico City.  A graduate of the Escuela Activa de Fotografia and staff photographer for “El Reforma,” one of the top national daily newspapers in Mexico, she moved to Los Angeles as a freelance photographer and later became Photography Editor for the cultural publication Latino Weekly Review.  A product of her Mexican mother’s artistic sensitivity and her Portuguese father’s decidedly more adventurous side, this subtle mixture of Old and the New World influences are germinal elements of Elizabeth’s artistry. Additionally, in devising the art direction of her own work, a wider range of crucial creative features shine through, from the world of opera, painting, music, and cinema, in a vision where a unique sense of artistry never intrudes with a boundless appreciation of our common humanity.  Elizabeth has participated in various collective and solo shows, both in Mexico and Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband, cinematographer Gabriel Beristain ASC, BSC, and their two children Max and Victoria.  She is currently at work on her new series, entitled Crowned Nuns.

March 13, 2010 through April 4, 2010

Avenue 50 Studio, Inc.
131 North Avenue 50
Los Angeles, CA  90042

Avenue 50 Studio: Closing Event for Here is My Heart: March 7

Artists and Friends:  Sunday, March 7, from 1-3 pm, the Avenue 50 Studio will hold a special closing event for our exhibits Body Language and Here is My Heart.   Our Heart fundraiser in the Annex Gallery has been very successful with many of the hearts already sold, but there are a few very special ones that still want to be adopted. 

Avenue 50 Studio, Highland Park: Here Is My Hear

Please bring your friends to our closing event from 1 to 3 p.m. when the auction closes, take home a beautiful heart, and enjoy a last look at the art of our Body Language artists Judithe Hernandez, Jose Lozano, Louie Metz, Willie Middlebrook and Andres E. Montoya.

Light refreshments will be served

Avenue 50 Studio, Inc.
a 501(c)(3) non-profit art gallery
131 North Avenue 50
Highland Park, CA  90042