Archive for the ‘Robertson’ Category

Enjoy South Robertson

Ivan Gallery. Art by Barbara Mendes

Sunday June 4, I walked 3 blocks from my home to South Robertson to experience the SORO Fest, a joyous community event in its 20th year, when this usually busy street between Cadillac and Cattaraugus is closed to traffic and SORO residents enjoy walking to the many restaurants and shops in our neighborhood.

I greeted my friends, at the booths for RVNA, SORONC, Hami Garden, and said hello to Barbara Mendes, who was teaching kids how to do chalk drawing on the sidewalk in from of Ivan Gallery.

Fred’s Bakery-Avi Kadmon.

I spoke with Avi, who bought Fred’s Bakery two years ago and recently completed a thorough remodel. This neighborhood favorite was opened in 1949 by Fred and Harriet; when Fred passed away in 1992, his children (Bob, Steve and Cecilia) ran it for 12 year, then sold it in 2005 when Cecilia (Cissy Klein) moved to Las Vegas.

Wonders Kids World. Julia, Natalie

I looked into the window of Wonders Kids World. They were closed today, but a couple of weeks ago I had met with Natalie, from Paris, France and Julia, from Yucatan, Mexico. They are devoted to teaching pre-school children French and Spanish in a fun way, through music and games.

Barbara Mendes painting Angel Wall. July 2012

You don’t have to wait another year to enjoy South Robertson, now dubbed the Great Emerald Blvd. These businesses are open most days of the week. Go have breakfast at Undergrind Cafe, lunch at Dolce Isola, dessert at Monaco Gelato, take home tasty Argentinian Empanadas or a heavenly green chile burrito from Campos. Check out the many programs the Relational Center has to offer. Enjoy art at the Ivan Gallery, decorated with the colorful and intricate murals painted by Barbara Mendes through the years. Explore all the places that she included in the map below.

For a list of our favorites click on the Robertson page of the RVNA website.

Text and photos by Elisa Leonelli

Robertson-Great Street

Tommy's Express Car Wash

Tommy’s Express Car Wash

Many residents were disappointed two years ago when South Robertson Boulevard was NOT included among the 15 “Great Streets” chosen by Mayor Eric Garcetti for transformation.  Last November SORONC (South Robertson Neighborhood Council) leaders applied for a $13,000 matching grant, with letters of support from RVNA (Reynier Village Neighborhood Association) and other community organizations, and on February 3, 2017 the Mayor confirmed that South Robertson (from Cadillac to Kincardine) is one of 7 additional Los Angeles Great Streets 2016.

2512 Robertson

2512 Robertson

I took a walk up and down Robertson a few days ago to see what’s new.  I spoke with Ari Cohen, the new owner of Fred’s Bakery who took over the  business 2 years ago, I checked out Tommy’s Express Car Wash, and I looked at the gated parking lot of 2512-2516 Robertson, a building left vacant for 30 years by an absentee landlady.  We wish she and her son would sell it already and allow a restaurant to open there. It would be a great addition to the existing eateries: Dolce Isola, Argentinian Empanadas, Campos, Monaco Gelato, Undergrind Cafe.

Text and photos by Elisa Leonelli

P.S. For other posts about our “Great Street” click on Robertson under Categories

Halloween

Bedford St (c) Elisa leonelli

Bedford St (c) Elisa Leonelli

 

Reynier Village celebrated Halloween with many neighborhood activities. Residents decorated their homes with pumpkins, skeletons and graves, kids went out trick or treating dressed in scary costumes.  The Relational Center on Robertson held a party for the community. RVNA (Reynier Village Neighborhood Association) organized a costume parade in Reynier Park on Sunday morning.

RVNA parade © Kimberly Villatoro

RVNA parade © Kimberly Villatoro

The history of this celebration is rooted in the Celtic tradition of Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season. People dressed in costumes to disguise themselves from spirits, who they believed came back to life to kill their crops. They went door to door to ask for food to offer the ghouls in exchange for mercy.” (watch video in Time online)
October 31 is the night before All Saints Day, a Catholic holiday set by the Church for November 1 to discourage this pagan belief, thereby the name Halloween is short for All Hallows Eve.  All Souls Day is November 2, when Catholics visit the tombs of their dearly departed.  In Mexico and Latin America the Day of the Dead is a huge 3-day festival.

Text by Elisa Leonelli

Gelato on Robertson

Luca Monaco 1w

Monaco- Fabbrica di Gelato finally opened on Friday September 2 at 2633 Robertson Blvd. 203-979 6346.  Their hours are Thursday to Sunday from 12 noon to 8pm.
Residents of Reynier Village and Castle Heights already love walking over there to taste this delicious ice-cream freshly made Italian style, in flavors like Cappuccino, Hazelnut, Tiramisu, Gianduia, etc.
Many neighbors contributed to the Kickstarter campaign that by May 2 had reached the $10,000 goal in only 2 weeks. The work to refurbish the old store was completed 4 months later.
This is a labor of love from a passionate young man, Luca Monaco. He was raised in Montreal by his French mother and Italian father, and now lives in Santa Monica.

Welcome Luca. Benvenuto.

Text and photo by Elisa Leonelli
P.S. Winter Hours: Thursday to Sunday from 1pm to 5pm

Tommy’s Express Car Wash now open

 

Yes, I was a bit hesitant to take the plunge, so to speak, since I had mixed feelings about this new establishment. You may recall that the old car wash closed quite some time ago and this one has been “under construction” for what seems like a very long time… and has been a source of friction to the neighborhood due to the amount of work and associated noise coming out of that corner of our neighborhood. During this car wash hiatus, I was really appreciating just how quiet my street (W 25th) could be. That is, when there is no car wash AND no school in session, but that’s another story.

In any case, I was pleasantly surprised about the whole experience. The noise, that I thought would thunder-through the neighborhood upon the opening of the new car wash,  was really a non-issue as the whole thing is self-enclosed except for the vacuums. But, I do live in the middle of the block, away from most of the noise. I am interested to hear how the neighbors, living right  next to it, feel about the whole thing.

This is a self-service car wash as opposed to the previous incarnation which was a hand wash type of business. So those jobs all just disappeared, sorry to say. But it does keep the cost of operating down and translates into a $7 basic car wash and free vacuuming, not a bad deal at all. In fact, I challenge anyone to find a better deal anywhere close by.

As far as the actual experience, it is a bit tricky to get your left front tire into the small track when pulling in. There is a mirror directly in front and above you to help with that. The other thing is that you need to have the car in neutral for it to engage properly. But after that “wonky” entrance, the rest was a breeze. Speaking of breezes, my only issue so far is the lackluster dryer. It leaves quite a bit of water on your car. I brought that up to the friendly attendant and she said “not to worry” they use spot-free additives to the soft water. The car should dry spotless, so she says.

Now, I am hoping that this does not cause any traffic issues during their busy time and all has been smooth, as far as I am concerned, these last 2 days. Hoping for the best.

Oh, and they are open until 8 pm every day.

 

– By Joseph Martinez

SORO Fest

Fire truck

Today we participated in one of our neighborhood’s most popular events, the 18th annual street festival on South Robertson Blvd.
The LA Fire Department was out in force with 2 giant firetrucks parked on Beverlywood, and numerous firemen talking to people and distributing information about their free CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) classes.

We bought some plants from the HAMI Garden booth.

We talked to the many volunteers from the Relational Center, that recently moved to 2717 Robertson: 323-935 1807.  You should definitely check out the many programs they offer, counseling, yoga, mediation, etc.

We had a healthy bowl of superfood like kale and quinoa from the Green Truck: 310-204 0477.  At last year SORO Fest they received the Outstanding Green Citizenship Award, from SORONC Green Team.

Check the Art Map below and support the businesses on South Robertson all year round!

Text and photo by Elisa Leonelli

 

Robertson map

SoRo Art Map-s

We just received this lovely map of the businesses on South Robertson Blvd, designed by our local artist, Barbara Mendes.

Check out the alphabetical listing in the Robertson page of our Reynier Village Neighborhood Association website.

Patronize these shops, galleries, eateries, in walking distance of our home.

Email us your comments.

Thanks!

Elisa Leonelli