CicLAvia Spins Through Mid-City

What’s one thing Bogota, Colombia and Los Angeles, California have in common? Ciclovia or CicLAvia as it’s called in L.A.

In Colombia, ciclovia, or bikeway in English, is a weekly event established over 30 years ago in reaction to the city of Bogota’s traffic and resulting street congestion and pollution. Streets are closed on Sundays in the city to cars and other motor vehicles during ciclovia and open to bicycles, runners and skaters. Also during this time people do such things as dance, sunbathe and practice yoga along the streets.

L.A.’s version of ciclovia, CicLAvia, was inspired by Bogota’s example and made its debut on 10.10.10. This year CicLAvia, or CicLAvia to the Sea as it is being called this year, will be held for the sixth time on April 21 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. The route this year spans more than 15 miles and primarily uses Venice Blvd. to connect the city’s historic center at El Pueblo de Los Angeles downtown to the boardwalk of Venice Beach. Streets will be closed to cars and other motor vehicles and will be open to bicycles, skateboarders, strollers, runners and walkers, “basically anything without a motor,” according to CicLAvia’s website. Functional cross streets are indicated on the map on the ad on our inside cover.

There will also be several hubs along the route offering information and various services. MidCity Neighborhod Council (MINC) will be joining other local vendors in the parking lot by the bowling alley on San Vicente between Venice and Pico. And remember, CicLAvia is not a race. It’s a free event open to all who want to take part in the fun.

For more information about this year’s CicLAvia, visit the CicLAvia website.


Calling All Mount Vernon Jr. High Alumni

A ONE-TIME ONLY GRAND REUNION for Mount Vernon Junior High School (currently known as Johnny Cochran) and its elementary schools for the period of 1930 through the1950s will be held on July 29, 2012, at the Sportsmen’s  Lodge in Studio City.

Mount Vernon opened in 1926 and for many years was the pre-eminent Junior  High School in Los Angeles.  Alta Loma, Arlington Heights, Burnside Avenue, Cienega, Marvin Avenue, Queen Anne, 6th Avenue, 24th Street, Virginia Road and Wilton Place sent their students to  Mount Vernon.

The Reunion Committee is seeking to find copies of the Tribune News-Advertiser, a weekly newspaper in the ‘40s and ‘50s, that published articles about the people, businesses and schools in the greater West Adams neighborhood.  Also sought are Mount Vernon graduates, memorabilia, pictures, local histories and other historical information from these neighborhoods during this era.

Please contact the Reunion Committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 805-987-6682 if you desire to  participate or have knowledge about the items sought for this once in a lifetime reunion.


Country Club Featured in Conservancy Tour

The Los Angeles Conservancy is presenting a one-time-only tour featuring three recently designated HPOZs, coined “the triplet” by residents.

Country Club Park, Wilshire Park, and Windsor Village are adjacent to one another, sharing a border along Crenshaw Boulevard near Olympic Boulevard. Developed in the early to mid-1900s, each neighborhood has diverse styles and types of housing, and each has a unique and fascinating history.

The featured home in Country Club Park is the grand Mediterranean-style Milbank Mansion (G. Lawrence Stimson, 1913)  It is a virtual twin to Pasadena’s Stimson-designed Wrigley Mansion, home to the Tournament of Roses Association. A beautifully restored 1911 Craftsman-style home includes special amenities designed for the original owner, USC music professor Horatio Cogswell.  Sunday, November 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., For more info  Click ‘Events’.


Teaching Elders to Use Computers

Message Media Ed School of Black Leadership in the Digital Age provides culturally-relevant learning and professional development for youth, adults and seniors of African descent (including high school dropouts and youth at risk of giving up on their education), as a means of closing digital, cultural, social, academic and economic divides within the Black community, and producing Black leadership.

Offered to the community through Message Media Ed and facilitated by organization founder and Leimert Park native Shani Byard, The Digital Elder Project, Rise Above the Noise, Diversity Leaders and other tailored workshops, provide an African-centered approach to skill building in new media, media analysis, technology education and leadership development.

“Our mission is to produce Black leadership for the digital age. We want to create culturally-conscious role models and meaningful participants in the digital landscape. We do this by providing supportive, creative learning environments for cultural healing, leadership development, and skill building in critical media literacy, social media and information technology,” said Byard.

“Our biggest accomplishment has been with the success of the Digital Elder Program which promotes cultural awareness and helps the elderly understand challenges that today’s youth face. It shows them why their wisdom is still needed and valued in our society,” explained Byard. “We teach them to text, use Facebook and e-mail, and how to successfully navigate the web so that they can stay in touch with the younger generation.”

4923 W. Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Office Hours
3-8pm, Tues-Fri
*unless otherwise noted

P: 323-708-2526
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Time to Grow Your Own Vegetables?

Have you been dreaming about growing your own vegetables but just didn’t know how to get started?

Many of us hesitate because we think of the backbreaking work involved or feel we need a large area to get started. In fact you can start a garden easily in a container or a section of your own backyard.

For those of us who want to lower our grocery bills and create our own fresh vegetable garden, the University of California Cooperative Extension is launching a “Grow LA Victory Garden Initiative” in different locations all over the city. During the month of April, St. Elmos Village will be hosting a unique opportunity for novice garden growers in our community.

There is nothing quite like going into the garden first thing in the morning to see how your garden grows or picking fresh herbs or vegetables for dinner.

The St Elmo Village course will cost $7 per workshop, or $20 for the four-class series. It will be held from 1 – 4 pm on Saturdays,  April 9, 16, 23, and 30th at 4830 St. Elmo Dr. LA 90019. Between Washington and Venice, east of La Brea.  Space is limited and advanced registration is requested. Spanish translation will be provided. For more info contact Daniela Yanez at 323.549.9640.



PEACE AWARENESS LABYRINTH & GARDENS             3500 W. Adams Blvd., W. of Arlington

After a tough week of suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous opinions, treat yourself to one of the most beautiful environments in our community and participate, along with other sweet and sincere minded folks of all faiths, in free workshops (donations accepted) for the soul.

Coming up:

for more information:     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
323-737-4055 ext 1137
Recharge yourself at this “Spiritual Oasis in the City.”

The Memorial Library Knitting Circle

Finding Small-Town L.A.:  The Memorial Library Knitting Circle


Feeling lost and alienated in sprawling Los Angeles with its transient culture and ten million residents?  This is the first in a series of articles that will celebrate events, experiences and people in our Mid-City area who inspire community connections -- giving us that comfy small-town aura.


“Tell the reporter about the doll blankets and pillows you knitted for your 11 grandchildren,” Michelle urges fellow knitter Virginia.   Michelle goes on with another story “We each made an item for one of our member’s second baby and threw a shower.  We knew that baby before she was born.  Then a few months later the children lied over there on their blankets while we met.”  Cozy community.

Every Saturday morning up to a dozen knitters assemble in the back room of the Memorial Branch Library on Olympic Boulevard.


Our Local Library Used-Book Sales

You can own that book at Washington Irving and Memorial Libraries.

“I need help carrying all these books to the car please!”

So many treasures to be found in the sale room at our local libraries. Best sellers, biography, art, travel, self-help, history, science, Spanish, Korean, etc.  The Memorial Library on Olympic has tons of fiction, while the Washington Irving Library is big on children’s books.  L-o-v-e-l-y children’s books -- and cheap.  Eloise, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Roald Dahl, The Stupids.  Many award-winning hardbacks in excellent condition at 25 cents each. Adult books are $1. DVDs, magazines and comics for sale too!  And something for every taste, even the quirky.  Explains a local resident, I was researching the Warren Report conspiracy theory and found three books.” So if you want to bask in a nostalgic experience and rub shoulders with fascinating people, mosey over to the two library sale rooms.  

Hours at Washington Irving are Mondays 1-4 pm; Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30-4:30 pm and occasional Saturday sales. Memorial Library sale hours are Saturdays 10 – 12 am with special monthly sales. I like the periodic all-you-can-fit-in-a-bag sales. Donations accepted.

St.Elmo Village

St.Elmo Village
4830 St. Elmo Dr.

Click here for website




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About Us

Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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Dianne V. Lawrence
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