In a word, my street rocks. We have had a block party for 6 years in a row, and they have all been awesome, so I thought I’d share some of the things we’ve learned and some of our favorite parts of the whole affair, the most important being to appreciate our neighbor Elise who does most of the prep work. We are so grateful to you, Elise!
1. Get the paperwork done for the City permits EARLY. It takes longer than you could possibly imagine for the permits to be approved, insurance secured, street signs posted and barricades issued. And you have to do all that and maybe more to get your street blocked off, a basic requirement of a block party.
Because you do NOT want this to happen:
2. Rent tents. It’s no fun to sit in the hot sun, or to have the food sitting in the hot sun. 3. You need tape and scissors — you just do. 4. A bouncy house is a must.
5. A Baking Contest is a fun competition for neighbors. But it’s a win-win; everyone gets great treats and I always make sure everyone gets some sort of prize. (Hint: each baked good can be a category of its own.)
6. A raffle is fun and helps raise money for next year’s block party.
7. A dunk tank can’t be beat.
8. A live band is a great addition, especially if one of the members is your husband. (On the left.)
9. It’s helpful to have a beer brewer (and his beer) at the party, especially if it’s great beer like Angel City.
10. Have great neighbors who all want to celebrate living in a great community!
Don’t forget, come on out and shop for books to support the Mar Vista Library! Saturday, July 17th, from 10am – 4pm.
The LA City Prosecutors have, at least for now, successfully won the fight to close 439 Medical Marijuana dispensaries in the City of LA, and several of them were located in Mar Vista. According to the list published in the LA Times, the 420 Collective, The Rainforest Collective, Centinela Green House Collective, CLINIC, Federal Medicinal Support, The Organic Pharmacy, and Venice Collective have all been ordered to shut down in our 90066 zip code. (I had no idea we had so many pot shops in the neighborhood, did you?) Some have signs up explaining why they’re closed and at least one is waiting to see which way the legal winds blow. And, to make it perfectly clear, again, my concern here is not about keeping marijuana out of the hands of those who use it for medicinal purposes, but rather the explosion of so many green cross shops in our neighborhood, and for that matter, all over LA.
By the way, can anyone explain to me why the symbol for a medical marijuana dispensary seems to be a Green Cross?
Sunday, April 25th, from 2 – 6pm, enjoy a free, self-guided tour of Mar Vista’s Greenest Gardens. The Mar Vista Community Council’s Green Committee has put together this 2nd Annual Green Garden Showcase and it’s even bigger than last year, with nearly 80 gardens this time! The gardens have been divided into 6 tours that make sense by bike or foot, but of course, if there are specific gardens you’d like to see, you can go directly to them. All 6 tour maps can be found on the MVCC Green Committee’s website, where there’s also a photo and description of each garden.
Some have California native plants, some are drought tolerant, some have vegetable gardens; they’re all a little different, but they’re all Green. Take a moment to search out what you’re looking for and then plan out your route. It was lovely afternoon last year and I’m sure it will be again this year. Happy Earth Day!
The Venice Grind is our Mar Vista coffee house default. It’s the perfect spot to meet with friends and hang out over coffee, and of course, since there’s free Open Mar Vista Wi-Fi, it’s a great spot to sit and work, too. And now the Venice Grind has made some subtle changes that are making a big impact.
I have to admit, in the past, I didn’t love the coffee there: too bitter for me. However, when I was recently at the Venice Grind for the launch of the OPEN Daily, I treated myself to a latte and Loved it! First of all, a-dor-able foam art, but more importantly, a delicious, smooth — key element — hot beverage. Turns out the Venice Grind now serves Stumptown roasters coffee, which I admit I’d never heard of before last week, but I can assure you, it’s worth knowing about. Excellent coffee.
The other change I noticed, and happily so, was the quiche. I’ve eaten their quiche many times, and, again, in the past, I felt it was perfectly passable but nothing to write home (or a blog post) about. However, the quiche is now lighter, with a sweeter custard and a lovely herb mix. I really like the improvement; I’ll be back for more.
Check out the Venice Grind on UpTake.com as well.
The Venice Grind, 12224 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista 90066
Phase Two of my home’s solar conversion is complete! There are enough black glass panels on my roof now to qualify it as an electrical generator. You can read about phase one here. Here’s my roof before: Here’s what it looked like yesterday:
and here it is today — all done: AWESOMENESSSSS.
And check out the a-DOR-able crew who did all the work: It was supposed to take 3 days and they actually finished in 2 days! Swift and efficient. Such sweet sorrow to see them go…
Now all that’s left is to be hooked up to the grid. It may take a while, but I promise to post as soon as DWP says we’re good to go.
And I know I mentioned this before, but the best part may be the fact that, because we’re doing the lease option, um, we haven’t had to write a single check; it’s all in the lease. So, for the next 20 years, we’ll pay exactly the same electric bill we do now.
Want more info on this for your house? Check out GoSolar Mar Vista on OpenMarVista.net or SolarCity.com. And I didn’t get any better deal for writing this than anybody else would. See for yourself.
Floyd’s is OPEN! Woo-hoo! Mar Vista has been waiting for some fresh blood on the corner of Venice and Grand View for about a year, and we finally got some!! Floyd’s is about as new as fresh as it comes: total hipster action here. The walls are decorated with album cover art and they have music blasting from their own radio station. I was assured by the owners, knowing I’m a mom, that they don’t allow any songs with graphic lyrics, so it’s a safe zone for kids. (Can’t wait to bring the boys in for their summer mohawks!)
They just opened today and I’m happy to tell you I got one of the very first cuts they sold! They’re offering 1/2 off their normally reasonable prices for at least the first week they’re open. The layered cut I got was only $12! They are showing Mar Vista some love! Floyd’s Barbershop, corner of Grand View and Venice Blvds., Mar Vista.
An original post by Sarah Auerswald.
And it’s Adorable! They serve sandwiches and salads, which all look delicious. My neighbors ate the roast chicken and the prosciutto salad and raved about both. Personally, I’m an egg salad kind of girl.
But the Curious Palate is also a market, and they sell provisions for gourmet feasting. You can buy goat’s milk butter if you like, or hand-pressed apple cider, or a selection of the most beautifully-packaged chocolates I’ve ever seen, like Michel Cluize
, or Kshocolat
It’s a super cute place, a handful of tables inside and a patio coming soon. There’s even Wi-fi you can pull from the library 2 doors down. (Don’t tell!)
They’re open every day but Mondays, from 10am – 8pm.
An original post by Sarah Auerswald.