I’m sure you’ve probably already heard of and maybe even taken part in the car-free festival known as CicLAvia at some point, but did you know that Boyle Heights was part of the event’s inaugural route in 2010? Back then, around 100,000 people took to the streets to explore the neighborhood and different areas in Downtown LA, kicking off what would become a well-established tradition.

This “Heart of LA” route is set to return this Sunday, October 15 with 7.8 miles of open streets for you to get out, explore and take in more of the city that you might miss out on during your commute into work. During the event, streets along the route will be shut down to vehicle traffic from 9 am through 4 pm to allow the public to walk, bike, roll and skate to experience the city through a car-free lens.

Mariachi Plaza will be the Easternmost hub on the route where participants can find family-friendly activities, food trucks, restrooms, free water, first aid, bike parking and repair. There will also be a pit stop over by Evergreen Cemetery where the Boyle Heights route ends –a first-time extension. For folks looking for a leisurely ride, free pedicab rides will be available at each information booth at the different hubs, courtesy of AARP. 

Those walking/biking/skating on the 1st Street corridor between Mariachi Plaza and Evergreen may notice our distinctive orange logo atop a location near St. Louis. It’s our new spot, at 2026 East 1st, and my colleagues and I will be tabling outside from 10 to 2. Hope to see you there!

Happenings on the Eastside this Spooky Season

It’s the second Friday of the month, and that means Caminarte is back on la Primera right outside of Espacio 1839, at 1839 E. 1st Street. Enjoy an opening reception for the “Made in Chino” art exhibition by Marcos Estrada right at 6 pm, then take a stroll outside to shop from local artisan vendors selling everything from ceramics, paintings and prints to cultural jewelry and apparel. Caminarte runs until 10 pm, and the exhibit will be open through the end of the month.

If you’re looking for a haunted house in the neighborhood, the Weingart East LA YMCA (2900 Whittier Boulevard)has you covered this spooky season. Pull up on Friday the 13th from 6 to 9 pm to explore the eerie area and enjoy the celebration and fun seasonal activities. This completely free “Trunk or Treating” event at the Y will also feature a costume contest, so make sure to bring your best and you might just win a prize.

For folks out in El Sereno, the People’s Market is the place to be Friday night. Happening at the Stomping Ground at 5453 Alhambra Avenue, this event will feature an all female lowrider and classic lineup of live performances and DJ sets, a variety of vendors, and an outdoor art and photo exhibition. For folks of age, there will also be a bar and tattoo artists open throughout the night. This event is open to all for just $7 at the door, and doors will be open from 6 pm until midnight.

Also happening on the 13th is a “Dreaming of You” Selena tribute night at the Paramount (2708 E Cesar E Chavez Ave). This 21+ event will feature the artist’s greatest hits (my personal favorite from this legend is Si Una Vez), DJ’d by LA-born and raised Dizzle It, with Psychedelic Cumbia as the night’s guest band. Tickets are currently on sale online starting at $27.81, and doors for the event open right at 8 pm. It’s sure to be a fun night out if you’re looking for a spot to dance and sing your heart out all night long.

Folks interested in learning about school options in the neighborhood, come on down to Mariachi Plaza on Saturday, October 14th to explore options in the area. This Eastside Public Education Expo is completely free and open to all, featuring information booths with local TK-12 public schools that will be available for attendees to explore. The event will also feature a student art gallery walk, face painting, raffles and more. 

Keeping up with Día de los Muertos, this month’s Wellness Wednesday at Self-Help Graphics will feature a workshop on how to dye fabric with cempasúchil. A collaboration with Latinx with Plants, this free event will take place at the shop’s spot at 2208 E. Cesar Chavez Avenue on October 18 from 6-7:30 pm. Registration is available online on Eventbrite.

Did you know that East LA has its very own farmer’s market? It takes place every Saturday at the East LA Civic Center parking lot at 4801 East 3rd Street from 8 am through 1 pm. Come get fresh produce and check out other merchants this Saturday, October 14.

On Sunday, October 15, Achic Boutique and The LA Skin Bar are hosting a fall pop-up market at 2709 E. 4th Street from 11 am through 3 pm. A wide variety of vendors will be there, including the woman-of-color owned business Hermana’s Xarcuterie. I’ve had their charcuterie boxes and they’re definitely something you want to check out. If you make a purchase with any of the vendors, you’re automatically entered into a raffle. Make sure to stop by if you get the chance after CicLAvia.

The Boyle Heights Chamber of Commerce is hosting a spooky mixer on Thursday, October 19th at the Holiday Bar. Located at 2471 Whittier Boulevard, this event will run from 5:30-7:30 pm and is sure to be a fun evening of connecting with local businesses in the area and networking with folks in the neighborhood. If you’ve got a Halloween costume ready, make sure to pull up in it for the vibes. 

As always, please let us know what you think of this newsletter and send us your events to include in future editions. 

Alex Medina is a graduate of Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School and 2018 alumnus of the Boyle Heights Beat. He is a recent graduate of Hamilton College in Central New York where he majored in Hispanic...

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