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The Cactus Store Pops in at the Echo Park Arts & Crafts Fair

The Cactus Store Pops in at the Echo Park Arts & Crafts Fair

By on May 6, 2015 in echo park, Silver lake Los Angeles |

Alice

ECHO PARK — The lulling sounds of a Buddhist chant box invite passersby to peep inside the small store at the corner of Echo Park and Scott Avenues. Inside, in an otherworldly setting, a wild variety of cacti displayed on cinder blocks are jammed into the 350-square-foot shop, illuminated by red light bulbs that decorate the walls. Welcome to Echo Park’s cactus shop. Actually, the shop, known to some as the Cactus Store or Hot Cactus, does not have an official name. “The store intentionally doesn’t have a name,” said co-owner Carlos Morera, “We felt the neighborhood didn’t need anything that was branded, it just is what it is. We wanted it to feel like you’ve wandered into another dimension and, if it had a big name outside, it wouldn’t feel like another dimension, dimensions don’t have names,” Morera has collected cacti for more than 18 years. After leaving a Los Angeles design firm to start his own self-funded projects, Morea saw the small space open up down the street from his house. Within two weeks, Morera opened the cactus store on December 5 , along with four partners and fellow designers, and his uncle, Johnny Morera, who manages the store. The 350-square-foot store has a collection of more than 150 cacti that have been handpicked for their quality or unusual shape. Prices range from about $25 to $750.“All of the owners are designers and we are all involved in different projects that try to blur the lines between what we are,” Morea said. A “Devil’s Run” is what Morera calls the trips to the California/Mexico border where they handpick their new stock at hard-to-reach cactus farms. The trip is usually taken by one person and a trailer hitch along fire roads that are not maintained by any jurisdiction, Morera said. “You really have to keep your confidence on these trips, but when you get back it feels like a major accomplishment, like coming from hell and back with badass cactus!” They recently built a greenhouse at Morera’s house and are looking into hiring a horticulturalist to crossbreed and propagate different species of cactus. They hope to offer their own “weird species”...

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Bellydancing, Samba and Burlesque at El Cid’s Odalisque

Bellydancing, Samba and Burlesque at El Cid’s Odalisque

By on May 4, 2015 in Silver lake Los Angeles, Silverlake Music, Silverlandia |

Alice

Join us this Thursday at El Cid’s Odalisque is an international-themed showgirl revue with a retro wink — a fun, flirty dinner show that combines vintage bellydancing with samba, burlesque, Bollywood and more. Taking inspiration from film, art and far-flung adventures, this eclectic cabaret stars world-class bellydancer Baheyya El-Ghazal and her Luxora Dance Company. Each week’s globe-hopping production features new numbers and guest stars, so don’t be surprised to find a famous Egyptian musician taking the stage, a Bollywood film come to life, or a dance that evokes the spirit of Carmen Miranda. Share a few delicious tapas or enjoy a full Spanish dinner and enjoy a unique hour of entertainment, all within the walls of El Cid’s wonderfully historic — and totally romantic — Old Hollywood...

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