Editor’s Notebook: Pandemic Edition 2020

2020 Covid-19 Editions May More News

In normal times, the Editor’s Notebook is a roundup of fun things to do and events to put on your calendar in Northeast L.A. This month’s Notebook is still NELA-focused, but adapted for our stay-at-home lives during the coronavirus pandemic.

Be a part of history in the making

The Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society encourages you to document your experiences during the pandemic in writing and/or photographs and submit your documentation to the historical society for inclusion in the 2020 Pandemic archive. The archive will help future generations understand what life was like during this time. You can email your submissions to the historical society at webmaster@eaglerockhistory.org or by mail to The Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society, 2225 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90041.

What to read during the shutdown

“The In-Between Artist: The Story of Tony D’Orazi” is a well-told biography an influential visual and performing artist who lived in Eagle Rock. Written by David D’Orazi, Tony D’Orazi’s’s son, the book traces the span of Tony’s artistic life, encompassing vaudeville, radio and television, including hosting a popular series, Uncle Tony O’Dare: First Cartoonist of the Air, in which Tony taught cartoon drawing on television. The book also documents Tony’s struggles after a head injury from a car accident led to mental illness that complicated his family life and career. Told with insight and empathy, “The In-Between Artist: The Story of Tony D’Orazi” is available at Amazon and, better yet, at Read Books in Eagle Rock by calling or texting the bookstore at 323-259-9068 or emailing readbookseaglerock@att.net.

Takeout Faves

HomeState, the Texas-style taco joint in Highland Park, has made the Los Angeles Times list of best restaurants where you can also buy groceries during the pandemic. The Times praised Home State’s “extensive offerings of tortillas, beans, meat, dairy, local produce and fruit.” Groceries can be delivered or picked up. Browse the menu and grocery offerings here.

Meanwhile, on Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock, two of the town’s oldest establishments look to be the most popular. Patrons still gather regularly in front of Casa Bianca (est. 1955), albeit distanced from each other and awaiting takeout, not a table. Regulars also line up daily at the Eagle Rock Italian Bakery (est. 1949), awaiting their turn to order sandwiches or pick up provisions.


On Eagle Rock Boulevard, takeout mainstays include relative newcomers to the neighborhood, Rock’n Egg Café (est. 2018) and Muddy Paw (est. 2019), located nearly side-by-side in the block between Westdale Avenue and Corliss Street.

Three Online Sites You Should Not Miss:

Take the Arroyo Arts Collective challenge

The Arroyo Arts Collective, a group of artists, writers and performers in Northeast Los Angeles, has created an Instagram challenge. Go here to find a prompt for the week. Within 5 minutes of logging on, take a picture of something in your immediate surroundings that fits with the prompt and send it in via Instagram to #arroyoartschallenge. Shown here is the picture taken by the Boulevard Sentinel’s Mary Lynch in response to the prompt “a moment in art.”


Meet the legendary naturalist John Muir
Tim Brick as John Muir


John Muir (1838-1914) comes to life in a 45-minute monologue prepared and presented by Tim Brick, the managing director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation, a group that works to protect the Arroyo Seco watershed. Brick assumes the person of Muir, recounting his life’s travels and love for nature, with a focus on Muir’s links to the local area.

Visit the world’s great museums
Name the artwork and the museum where it’s housed



Thanks to Dan and Nancy Marfisi, Eagle Rock residents and real estate agents for Sotheby’s, for bringing this link to our attention. Scroll through to visit top museums worldwide and view the fabulous art they have to offer.


Four Stay-at-Home Reminders:

Don’t forget the sunblock

Window glass does not block harmful ultraviolet radiation from direct sunlight, warns the Skin Cancer Foundation. So, if your work-from-home area is near a window with sunlight streaming in, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 every day.


Recycle your art supplies

As adults and kids alike looking for stay-at-home activities, art supplies are hot items these days. But what do you do with the pens, pencils, highlighters, glue sticks, and water colors when they’re all used up? BIC, the maker of pens, has partnered with international recycling leader TerraCycle to collect and recycle your used art items into new products. To participate, sign up here and receive a prepaid shipping label to mail in your used items.

Spare the plumbing

With the increasing use of cleaners, sanitizers, disinfectants, wipes and paper towels, wastewater experts at the Responsible Flushing Alliance are reminding everyone to check the labels on their products. Flush only those products specifically labeled “flushable” and don’t ever flush anything marked with the universal Do Not Flush symbol.

Be fire safe

Fire officials have reported an uptick in residential fires as Angelenos stay at home during the pandemic. If you don’t have smoke alarms, now is the time to install them on every level of your home and inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. If you have smoke alarms, test them now and make testing a monthly habit. Now is also the time to create and practice a home-fire escape plan. Fire safety information from the County of Los Angeles Fire Department can be found here. The Red Cross has helpful tips here.


Slow Down!

With freeways relatively empty, more people are speeding. California Highway Patrol wrote 2,493 citations for speeding in excess of 100 m.p.h. in the month since March 19, when the statewide stay-at-home order took effect, versus 1,335 citations in the same period last year – an increase of 87%.

Speeding is also a problem on city streets. In Los Angeles, the Department of Transportation recently found speeds were up by 30% or more on some streets. Overall, speeds were higher by 12% during weekday driving.