1. The general 826 concept is a quirky store out front (fun and fundraising) and a space for the free kid’s writing workshops and tutoring in back. Both made me happy. Up front, there was a case of giant eggs (dinosaur?) and a candy jar labeled as “opposable thumbs.” The educational area was just about the hippest classroom/library I’ve see, more like a coffeeshop I would just want to hang out in. Made me consider trying to pass for 16 to sneak into some of these classes. After all, I need help writing and I have recently been carded at R movies.
2. The event was on the adjoining patios of 826LA and Stories. Beer sales went towards the classes. Yes, drinking helps children learn to write.3. Local band He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister played 2 fun & folksy sets. The band name is true, and refers to the joint lead singers. The sister is in short shorts and a beret-like hat. The brother has impressive side burns and a western shirt. Why are family bands so appealing?
4. Also there is a cellist and the percussion is a chick in tap shoes. Some may say gimmicky, I say amazing.
6. McSweeney’s contributor, Josh Bearman, read his story about giant gerbils in China. Or rather, his misadventures of trying to write a follow up story about the giant gerbils in China.
7. When it was all over, I browsed the bookstore - a sort of ramshackle, friendly mix of new and used, classics, bestsellers, and independent local publishers. I left with a $4 copy of the YA classic The Giver.
All in all 7 wins for Echo Park. Which of course manifested itself in a round of fantasy Echo Park apartment hunting via craigslist. Magic magic Monday!