Archive for the ‘RVNA’ Category

Freeway Garden

Blue Lupines

This warm sunny morning, only one week away from the beginning of spring, I took a walk from my house to meet up with my neighbor Steven, who wanted to show me the colorful flowers blooming in his freeway garden.  For years now he has been planting a variety of native flowers, such as orange California poppies and blue lupines, inside the fence of the Santa Monica freeway next to his house. In 2003 our local journalist Martha Groves saw him engaged in this labor of love and wrote an article about him for the Los Angeles Times: Splendor blooms on the inhospitable ground next to Santa Monica Freeway.

10 Freeway: Bottlebrush

More often than not in our neighborhood the embankment along the 10 Fwy is littered with beer bottles thrown over the fence or illegally dumped bulky items. Several times during the past few years the dedicated volunteers of the Reynier Village (RVNA) and Helms Neighborhood Associations (Helms NA) have organized community clean-ups of this fenced area that is maintained by Caltrans. Click here to read a post on this blog.

Morning Glory

Steven says: “I hope people realize that, like the L.A. River before it was rediscovered, the freeway borders can be much more than an unused byproduct of a transportation system.  It’s valuable land that most people ignore.”
Take a walk along Regent Street between Cattaraugus and National, bring the kids for  a botany lesson, enjoy the super bloom of our Southern California spring after the heavy rains.

Text and photos by Elisa Leonelli

Freeway Garden: Lavatera bi-color


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

Robertson clean-up

Crestview clean 1s


The Crestview Neighborhood Association organized a cleanup of Robertson Blvd, from Pickford to Sawyer, Sunday September 7 starting at 7.30am.

Today at 10 am the Reynier Village Neighborhood Association sponsored a clean-up of the Fwy embankment outside and inside the fence of Beverlywood St between Garth and Holt. In less than an hour, with twelve RVNA members and volunteers working together, the area was free of garbage.

We would like to remind Reynier Village residents that it’s every homeowner’s responsibility to clean the parkway and sidewalk along your property.

Thanks for your help in keeping our neighborhood free of trash.

Text and photo by Elisa Leonelli
RVNA Communications

Neighborhood clean-up

Helms 14-1s

Sunday August 17, the Helms Neighborhood Association organized a community trash clean up and tree trimming of the Santa Monica 10 Freeway embankment along Regent Street. Cal Trans workers were also there replacing parts of the old fence.  More than 50 residents showed up to volunteer for this effort.  Councilman Herb Wesson’s office provided the tools.  3 members of the Reynier Village Neighborhood Association removed garbage from the Freeway embankment and alley between Cattaraugus and Bedford.
LA City street sweepers and Cal Trans crews are not sufficient to keep our neighborhoods clean, so residents should get together and do it themselves. It’s good practice for when we will have to help each other in case of an earthquake, since fire and police departments will be too overwhelmed.

Please support RVNA, become a member. Thanks

Text and photos by Elisa Leonelli
RVNA Communications

Helms 14-6s

Reynier Village-South Robertson

Mural by Ricky

Mural by Ricky (c) Elisa Leonelli

Reynier Village was featured on Departures-KCET, an online exploration of Los Angeles neighborhoods.
See above the murals in the alley between Reynier Ave and Shenandoah Street.

South Robertson was also explored.
See below Barbara Mendes painting a wall of her gallery at 2701 Robertson Blvd.

Barbara Mendes

Barbara Mendes

For a list of businesses with addresses, phone numbers and websites, see the Robertson page of our Reynier Village Neighborhood Association website.

Have fun with the interactive mural, watch photos and videos, read about the history of the Santa Monica Fwy, the Beverlywood Swim School, Hamilton High School, explore our nearby neighborhoods Beverlywood, Castle Heights and more…

Watch 6 videos of Doug Fitzimmons, SORO NC President.

Text by Elisa Leonelli


The Reynier Village Neighborhood Association hosted their annual Halloween party in Reynier Park today.  A jazz band played and lead the costume parade, pizza was served, kids had their face painted and hit the pumpkin-shaped piñata full of treats.
If you live in Reynier Village (see map) and would like to be notified of neighborhood events, please send an email to
Check out our website for membership information

Text and photos by Elisa Leonelli
RVNA Communications


Barbara Mendes

The Annual SORO Community festival celebrated its 15th anniversary this year, on Sunday June 3, 2012.  A new coordinator, Mark Fielder, and many volunteers worked really hard to organize this exciting event, that attracts throngs of neighbors to a Robertson Boulevard without cars, between Cattaraugus and Beverlywood, and is sponsored by SoRo Inc. and South Robertson Neighborhood Council.
Many local vendors and artisans display their wares, community organizations distribute information about their activities, dance and music groups perform on stage, gourmet food trucks serve lunch.
This year we checked out the booths of jewelry designer Phoebe Neil, who is President of our Reynier Village Neighborhood Association, and of artist Barbara Mendes, who owns a Gallery at 2701 Robertson and designed the blue SORO Fest tee-shirt that everyone was wearing.
Doug Fitzsimmons, President of SORONC, presented the Susan Bursk Community Service Award to Beth Ryan, President of the Crestview Neighborhood Association, and organizer of summer programs for kids at Stepping Forward LA and RAL (Robertson Activities League).
Pico Cleaners received the Green Leadership award for their environment-friendly methods used in their business.

Text and photos by Elisa Leonelli

Phoebe Neil