2021 was a year beginning and ending with COVID-19 concerns, but in many ways, it was better than 2020. Los Feliz residents are resilient and they kept on moving.
A big issue in the community last year was the LA City Redistricting and residents rallied to voice their views via emails, letters and speaking at virtual hearings. One redistricting officials said the most correspondence came from the Los Feliz area. The end result: Los Feliz and Griffith Park will be united into one council district (CD 4) and represented by Nithya Raman.
There were many milestones in the community last year, from businesses to landmarks. Griffith Park celebrated its 125th birthday with much fanfare, the Hollyhock House turned 100 and John Marshall High School marked its 90th anniversary.
Let’s take a photographic look back at some of the good, bad and bittersweet times we experienced in 2021.
Sadly, we lost a friend and community pillar when our long-time former Councilmember Tom LaBonge died Jan. 7 from a heart attack. The ambassador of goodwill loved commemorating people’s achievements, including grocery store manager Aldo Malesci celebrating a half-century with Gelson’s.
Maybe not quite as many signs and placards as 2020, but residents still posted their feelings, like this consoling one on Commonwealth Avenue. Vaccines became available in February and more than 75 percent of the 32,400 residents in Los Feliz were eventually inoculated, according to the Crosstown newsletter.
We know it must be springtime in Los Feliz when the beautiful dripping Wisteria start bursting out throughout the community.
Places finally started to re-open and students went back to school after months of remote learning. JMHS students were greeted with the completion of the high school’s renovated tower. Over on Hillhurst Avenue, Yuca’s Hut celebrated 45 years on April Fool’s Day.
Three cheers to the Corita Art Center for saving the building on Franklin Avenue that once was the art studio for Sister Corita Kent and her students. The City designated it a Historic-Cultural Monument. Plans are under way to determine what the now-shuttered dry cleaners will become.
Caps off to the Class of 2021! After missing out last year, JMHS seniors graduated in person during ceremonies on the school’s football field. Earlier in the day, two outstanding college-bound grads were awarded Tom LaBonge and Charlotte De Armond Leadership Scholarships from LFIA.
Planting and caring for trees in our community is a big deal for LFIA. With community support, LFIA planted 16 pink-blooming trees on the upper Vermont Avenue medians at Griffith Park’s entryway.
Bad news for the ducks and other wildlife at the Rowena Reservoir, where the DWP drained the ponds for pipe repairs. Due to delays, the project’s not expected to be completed until mid-2022. (But thanks to Mother Nature, some rainwater filled the ponds in December.)
When filmmaker Quentin Tarantino bought the century-old Vista Theatre he called our beloved neighborhood movie house a “crown jewel”. Yet, there’s still no confirmed date when it will re-open.
Los Feliz got into the scary mode with some frightening Halloween decorations. Ghosts and goblins could be seen in front yards.
Griffith Park was in the spotlight throughout November. Volunteers placed small white flags in front of our majestic Griffith Observatory in remembrance of the more than 27,000 fellow Angelenos who have died of COVID-19. Earlier in the month, the Park celebrated its 125th birthday with day-long activities. The Observatory was also the stunning backdrop for a televised performance by singer Adele.
Year-end brought us both badly-needed wet weather and delightful beautiful skies. With the year behind us, let’s hope for a much better and healthier 2022.
Happy & Healthy New Year from LFIA!