So many wits and wags adore cracking wise about Southern California's vast collection of suburbs, cities, and hamlets, but what is often left out of the conversation is how close these communities can be.
Look to Frogtown, which is about as LA River-adjacent as a place can get, and look to the neighborhood's decade-old summertime art night. The Frogtown Artwalk may be a once-a-year kind of thing, but it puts forth what those in the area, and those who don't live there but love it, know: This is a knit-close community that treasures expression, history, and a generous helping of funky do-your-own-thing-ness, art-wise.
That's why creative souls have long gravitated to the area, artists you can get to know on Saturday, Aug. 13. This is no hour-long, be-quick stroll-around; the Frogtown Artwalk fills up six free 'n festive hours, from late afternoon into evening.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Make for the Elysian Valley from 4 to 10 o'clock to visit art studios from the likes of sculptor Steve Graziani, drummaker Pat Bylard, painter Michael Todd, and painter Erin Hanson. Pieces from the Elysian Valley Arts Collective "will encourage visitors to explore river pathways" while a sound-filled installation from Carmina Escobar weaves in sounds of the immediate area.
Three stages of live music, one curated by none other than the beloved Spaceland of Echo Park, bring more sounds to the night, while local restaurants, like the still-new Salazar, will keep the vittles on the grills and artwalkers feeling sated.
A host of other visual delights, some made for younger visitors, some founded on sheer whimsy and surprise, await. As do the popular pedi-cabs, the take-it-easy rides that give visitors a chance to see a swath of Frogtownia in one fell (and fun) swoop.
As mentioned, this is a free thing, but cash'll be handy for anything you want to buy, like a plate of piquant barbecue or a painting.
It's a party down by the river, one happening in the heart of one of Southern California's many communities.
But just because our region is a vast spread of towns doesn't mean that most of those places don't rock the close-knitted-ness. Look to Frogtown for that, and witness true community, in full flower, at the annual Artwalk.