Echo Park, where we part-time live and wander and dream

Park, ahem, part of my life dreams involve going to Echo Park several times a year and, actually, living in Los Angeles at least part-time.

I’d like to never leave Portland and to live everywhere else, so maybe make Portland a home base. Have our main home here, but also live in Paris for a month out of every year (at least), live in Italy for the same amount of time (maybe), and go to Echo Park for a week out of every month. Oh, and did I mention our lake house? The one I’ve been yearning for, saying we’ll save up for, practically selected and moved into in my dreams? We’ll have that, too, right next to the ones owned by our friends, where we went on the Fourth of July, where we jumped off a pontoon boat into the cool, clear water, and watched the fireworks from the horizon, all around us. That, too.

But, Echo Park. What is this magical place like, anyway? The funny thing is that the husband thinks it’s “too dangerous,” and woke up several times saying he heard “gunshots,” and, while I kind of believe him, we hear gunshots in Portland all the time and I’m constantly calling the police because someone shot someone or something, again, in our area. So… are they safer when you’re at home? No… and anyways, Echo Park is magical.

What’s it like?

Well, do you remember in Mary Poppins when the meet Ralph and he’s drawing on the sidewalk and they decide to visit the magical place he’s drawing? and he says that first you think, then wink, then double blink? Then jump! And whoa! Suddenly you’re in Echo Park! I’ve written about it before in this blog. Here’s a picture:

It’s like this glorious, Mary Poppins park that’s downtown-ish and to the side of downtown LA. LA is so darned small that everything is kind of close together, and traffic isn’t that bad, really, in the side streets and if you’re used to traffic. This being said, we weren’t in commuter traffic, and we never are, in my dreams.

We have a house, or a rental, on the hills near echo park. It’s a beautiful house, just ours, and we pay someone to look after it. We even airbnb part of it out when we’re not there. And there’s a little car (a nicer-looking Dave Ramsey car?) that we use when visiting. It’s a two-story, old victorian with lots of plants and old, twisty trees and vines. And flowers. Streaming and teaming and overflowing with an abundance of flowers. And whoever takes care of the place also tends a garden that we share.

We eat at the pizza place nearby, that has the vegan cheese, because PETA headquarters are down the street. And we go to the coffee shop that has the fixie bikes and the zine library. Here’s a picture:

Paige Lehmann

Is that a fixie bike? Is that how you spell it? Isn’t it pretty in there?

And you know what? I’m a zine author and some of my zines are even in that library. And though no one recognizes me on the street, I’m a published author and some people have seen and read and liked and maybe even loved my work.

And I write children’s stories and draw and live a creative life when we’re in Echo Park. The husband works at his LA office (they have one there) or, if this is the dream, then we’re independently millionaires, and he can work if he wants to, or surf all day if he wants. And we take the kids down to the water, and we eat at the little cafe restaurant. We go to our favorite bakery.

And that’s our once-a-month life. Visiting our home in LA. Working, living, enjoying, indulging. Feeling the sun on our faces and wearing sandals and remembering what sunlight looks like. We also stop here after long trips and unwind, get back to ourselves. Visit family.

I love this place so much, so of course it’s on my visit-often in my heart and soul list.

Thanks for coming with me.

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