El Niño, Downtown Los Angeles 1966 - age 3.

El Niño, Downtown Los Angeles 1966 - age 3.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Greetings from Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock 1924. From an old photo album of vacation photos.

Eagle Rock is a wonderful old neighborhood located along the northern boundaries of Los Angeles and adjacent to its more famous and iconic neighbor, Pasadena. With its postcard picturesque hillsides, vintage craftsman homes and the towering palm trees that line Route 66, it is no wonder that Eagle Rock has been used for numerous television and film locations. Marty McFly from the Back to the Future films would have been a natural speeding down Colorado Blvd in the time ticking DeLorean while Kevin Arnold and Winnie from the television show, The Wonder Years would have been right at home sharing that first kiss behind the Richard Neutra designed gymnasium at the Eagle Rock Recreation Center. Neither one of these pop culture masterpieces were filmed here so there goes my career as a film location scout.

Due to its affordability and close proximity to all things Los Angeles, many blue collar families throughout the decades have purchased their first home here in this community. Many of them have stayed and it is not uncommon to see old timers living in the same house for 30 plus years, raising a family, patronizing places such as the now defunct Eagle Theater, The All Star Bowling Lanes, Ernie's Tacos, Casa Bianca Pizzeria, The Italian Bakery and eventually going through empty nest syndrome during the golden years of retirement. Despite plummeting prices today, homes here are still out of reach for many Angelenos, but Eagle Rock gets many visitors due to its nice selection of eateries, shops and recreational activities. The annual Eagle Rock Music Festival in October, a free single day event that features local live music acts, vendors and food trucks galore attracts thousands of people each year and has helped put Eagle Rock back on the cool bohemian neighborhood map.

One thing is for sure, long before the 134 Freeway, The Eagle Rock Plaza and the old establishments that have stood the test of time and the new ones that have come and gone, the almighty Eagle with its outstretched wings etched in stone on the towering iconic rock has flown high and proud above this great old neighborhood, possibly uttering the words, “There Goes The Neighborhood” with each new wave of gentrification.

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