One Good Life in Los Angeles

Roslyn's observations about places and events around Southern California


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Lotus Festival at Echo Park

echo park lotus festival

“Park Proud”

Another day, another adventure in Los Angeles!

Yesterday I joined several friends to celebrate the blooming Lotus plants at Echo Park, located approximately two miles from downtown LA. As usual, we all arrived by public transportation from all over the city. For me it was the Expo Line train to the #200 Metro bus up Alvarado to Sunset Blvd.

echo park lotus festival

This was the 37th annual festival. Echo Park Lake was closed for several years for rehabilitation. The festival started again just a few years ago. Every year the festival is hosted by a different country and this year it was the turn of Bangladesh.

You can read my blog post about the history of the park here.

echo park lotus festival

It was a pretty hot day yesterday… and humid… but it was a lovely day by the water. The lotus plants were lush and tall due to all the rain we had in the winter months and now the heat.

echo park lotus festival

echo park lotus festival

The dragonflies were enjoying themselves too.

echo park lotus festival

echo park lotus festival

echo park lotus festival

One of the highlights of the festival is the dragon boat races.  I’ve been to Echo Park many times to walk and take photos but this was my first time at the festival so I was delighted to finally see a dragon boat race! Click on a photo below for slideshow:

echo park lotus festival

The opening ceremonies were colorful and fun with a traditional Bangladesh puppet lion dance. Click on image below for slideshow:

This certainly worked up an appetite. I was hoping for some Bangladesh food but that didn’t pan out.

echo park lotus festival

But I certainly enjoyed my Korean BBQ squid. I also ordered a watermelon drink, not realizing it came with it’s own pool float! Now if I only had a pool…. but I’ll use it as a coaster.

echo park lotus festival

After lunch we had an enjoyable walk around the lake.

echo park lotus festival

The dragon boat races continued on throughout the day with various teams. It seemed that some teams were taking the race seriously, really out to win. Others were just having fun, which would be my option.

echo park lotus festival

I always enjoy festivals of any kind as they all have their own special flavor, like last month’s Summer Solstice parade in Santa Barbara. And coming up the end of this month is the Gilroy Garlic Festival, my all time favorite… stay tuned for my post about that!

If you’ve never visited Echo Park I certainly recommend the effort to get there… even if you can’t make it to the Lotus Festival…

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Echo Park Lake reopens with echoes of the past

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

Just two months ago the 29-acre Echo Park Lake re-opened to the public after two years of reconstruction.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

Residents from my mother’s assisted living facility made the trip there for a picnic this week. As you know, I always enjoy going along on these outings.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

It was another beautiful southern California summer day and great to be outdoors.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

In 2006, Echo Park Lake was identified by the State of California as an impaired water body.

echo-park-073113-016-C-850px

It has been rehabilitated to help remedy storm water pollution, meet the State’s water quality standards and make the lake more sustainable.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

And the water lilies seem to be enjoying the clean water.

And the water lilies seem to be enjoying the clean water.

Not to mention the kids in their jungle jim.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

The lake was originally built in the 1860s as a reservoir for drinking water. Legend has it that the lake got its name as workers building the original reservoir said they could hear their voices echoing off the canyon walls.

echo park lake

Map showing the area in 1894 looking north to the mountains. If you look closely you can see a cluster of oil wells at the bottom center, not an unusual sight in those days.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

Today Echo Park Lake is a Los Angeles icon that functions primarily as a detention basin in the City’s storm drain system, while providing recreational benefits and a wildlife habitat.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

About five years ago all the lotus flowers—a variety of nelumbo nucifera—that the park was famous for over a number of decades, died off for some mysterious reason. Some blame people digging for lotus roots that are an Asian delicacy. Others point fingers at maintenance procedures that destroyed the seeds.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

These new lotuses (loti?) were planted in February from cuttings taken from the old plants. They are currently growing under netting to protect them from birds until they reach adulthood. Let’s hope they live long and prosper.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

In past years Echo Park Lake has hosted an annual Lotus Festival. I believe it will return next year when the lotuses have established themselves once again.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

Statue honoring Our Lady, Queen of the Angels (Nuestra Mujer, la Reina de Los Angeles), fondly known as Lady of the Lake.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

Echo Park Lake is close to downtown as you can see from the photo. It is located between the 101 Freeway/Hollywood Freeway on the south and Sunset Boulevard to the north.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

One of the earliest silent film studios was built in Echo Park in 1912 and any movie of that era that needed water was filmed on the lake. Since then too many movies and TV shows to mention have used that location. If you ever saw “Chinatown” with Jack Nicholson, then you have seen Echo Park Lake!

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

In 1986 a movie named Echo Park starred Susan Dey and Tom Hulce.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

And the newly elected Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti lives in the Echo Park district.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

The fountains were installed for the Olympics held in Los Angeles in 1984.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

I have no idea what this red-leafed tree is but it certainly is lovely.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

This tree I do know. Gold Medallions are blooming all over the Los Angeles area right now.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

Lovely day for a family outing or a stroll around the lake.

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

Echo Park Lake Los Angeles

Too bad we have to leave and can’t stay with this mother pushing her stroller and the ice cream vendor with his sweet fare for sale. But onward we must go.

Sources include: http://www.echoparklake.org/english/index.htm.

Please click on all the photos for a larger view.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!