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Eric Garcetti's Top 10 Best Cultural Products From Council District 13 in 2006

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Council President Eric Garcetti represents the Thirteenth Council District which includes all or part of the communities of Glassell Park, Atwater Village, Elysian Valley, Echo Park, Historic Filipinotown, Silver Lake, East Hollywood and Hollywood.

Otherwise known as LAist's 'Hood.

Because we're represented brilliantly, when we sent our councilmember a request to take part in this collection of Best Of lists not only did he respond quickly and wonderfully, but he reached behind our ear and pulled out a shiny silver dollar.

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Here now are Eric Garcetti's Top 10 Cultural Products of Council District 13 in 2006:

Where better to have the Crossroads of the World than in the truly global cultural intersection that I represent? From indie film and music in Echo Park to Thai parades in Hollywood, here are ten top cultural emanations from the proudly eclectic 13th council district from 2006. Some will cross the globe. Others exist for the enjoyment of the neighborhood and its visitors. Rankings are scientifically calculated to express the order in which I wrote things down.

10. Meet the new Netty’s: reservoir. Neighborhood activist and restaurateur Netty Carr sold her landmark Silver Lake Boulevard restaurant to renowned local chefs Gloria Felix and Elizabeth Belkind. The new owners have already offered a few “pilot” brunches; I’ve tried and enjoyed every single thing on offer. Netty, of course, could have captured this award on her own, and we are sad to see her go. (This is more properly a 2007 sneak preview.)

9. The completed mural by the Silverlakers at Thomas Starr King Middle School and the brand-new mosaic at Mayberry Elementary by Pilar Reynaldo. Urban schools need dazzling art that makes students’ surroundings more interesting and embellishes the community’s streetscape. These two new projects fit the bill. I got to help grout the mosaic, too.

8. The Echo Park Farmers’ Market, newest addition to the CD13 farmer’s market archipelago. Nothing more cultural than agri-cultural.

7. The last hurrah of the Evidence Room, Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. Evidence Room artistic director Bart DeLorenzo led L.A.’s theater scene for a few good shows, then a great run, and ultimately a solid era of electric, path-breaking art. For the first time I saw the theater, a converted factory, open onto the city outside, a touching and relevant gesture. Also, my buddy Leo Marks played Trofimov, the student.

6. Dreamgirls, shot entirely in Los Angeles and released by CD13’s own Paramount Studios, the last major studio in Hollywood proper. The first movie I ever saw win a standing ovation. Made me wonder why Jennifer Hudson didn’t get the votes to stay in CD13’s favorite electoral contest, American Idol at the Kodak Theater. Paramount had an exceptional amount of local production this year, shooting most or all of MI:III and next year’s releases Transformers, Freedom Writers, Drillbit Taylor, and Year of the Dog in the region.

5. Quinceanera was even more local, shot in my own Echo Park neighborhood and addressing issues of gentrification and displacement that I’ve addressed legislatively in City Council.

4. Safari Sam’s opened after much drama. My district director Mitch O’Farrell helped bring Orange County’s legendary rock club to East Hollywood, helping owner Sam Lanni navigate city requirements and teaching me the importance of continuing to make our departments more business-friendly.

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3. “Ugly Betty”: again, shot at Paramount Studios in the great 13th district, but also many TV firsts: a concept imported from Latin America starring a Latina lead that gets topical while staying funny. (Special TV shoutout: the façade of the Hollywood Palladium, adapted to be the home of the SNL-alike show on “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”.)

2. George Lopez led the Hollywood Christmas Parade. The L.A. Times got the story wrong on the Christmas Parade. It’s changing with the times, and you can see that in the crowds who come out to enjoy it. In five years of doing Christmas parades, I never saw so many people. (Shoutout to the hive of parades that is CD13: We have annual Salvadorean, Armenian, Filipino and Thai parades as well.)

1. Perpetual music explosion: Dengue Fever, DJ Senior, DJ Turbotito, Captain Automatic, Foreign Born, Ima Robot, Joel Virgel, Johny Moezzi, Los Super Elegantes, Very Be Careful, and System of a Down all have at least one member who call CD13 home. (Captain Automatic, bless their little unknown hearts, comprises my communications director and the fiancé of one of my district directors.) Conquer the world, rockers!

Since the “top ten” concept is already burst at the seams, let me throw in a few others:

- Magic Gas is the best neighborhood gas station in Los Angeles.

- Hollywood Social opened where the L.A. Athletic Club once was, and Les Deux Cafes, where I held my 2001 election-night victory party, reopened.

- KEVU began to broadcast internet radio from the Elysian Valley United Community Service Center.

- Materials + Applications picks up the “just across the street from CD13 in CD4” crown from the Hollywood Panorama, now on 24th Street.

- Nahui Ohlin, an arts-culture-craft shop on Sunset in Echo Park where I picked up my “Powered by Frijoles” T-shirt.

- Neko Case’s Fox Confessor BringsThe Flood and Tom Waits’ Orphans were put out by Epitaph Records in Silver Lake, and are both haunting and original.

- The Silver Lake Conservatory of Music held a Hullabaloo with Patti Smith, Joshua Redman, and Flea—not to mention the ongoing “products” of the conservancy, young musicians who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to train and express themselves artistically.

- 826LA held The World Explained at Barnsdall Art Park. Filipino fast food came to Beverly Boulevard: have you had a Yumburger yet? .

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