East Hollywood Art Cycle

Finding East Hollywood can be a tricky affair. At least it was this past Saturday, when the first annual East Hollywood Art Cycle took place.

In the intersection of Melrose and Heliotrope, a block party combining art and bicycles took place, featuring bands, DJs, art sculptures, and lots of bikes. The "greeting" sounds from Funderstorm, a mix of scream-rap-jam band whose sounds and antics wore out its welcome and novelty after 10 minutes brought the attention of the crowd as the evening started.

"This is the first event fully sponsored by us," said Neighborhood District Representative JR Wooward, "We are planning to have more in the future."

Throughout the day, people could visit Orange 20 Bicycle and Bicycle kitchen, two local establishments that were fixing bikes for free, or taking the hourly art ride. "We just went to the bike ride. They take you around the area to different art galleries...we got to hear from the artists," said Christina Cedeno.

"We came all the way from the San Gabriel Valley, there's nothing like this.It's actually pretty boring," said Marcos Gallegos. The art bike ride ran hourly, all you needed was a bike and to sign a liability form, just in case.

Along the street there were tents featuring the art for sale from the artists themselves. Lynn Gettman, an artist-designer-photographer, featured her computer-altered pictures taken throughout the years.

"I took this one for a client. She didn't like the first one I took so I had to do it again" said Gettman of a photo featuring a computer altered erect man. Artwork from Gettman can be seen at www.lynngartgallery.com.

www.VelvetSpadeDesigns.com focuses on combining floral arrangements with other recycled elements, toys, little "drink umbrellas", cactus on cans, as well as orchids and plants.

"They run from $7 to $12, depending on what's in them" Marguerite told a curious customer.

"This is actually really cool, this is more than I thought it was going to be," said Justin Kizzart from Koreatown. "A friend of mine told me they were going to have a little art walk. He's coming all the way from Corona."

Staying with the art theme, a tent sold T-shirts that could get printed right there, in another, people could make their own little sculptures. For more hands-on involvement, there was a graffiti wall (though there was only one person using it), and people were encouraged to decorate a large mantle on the floor.

Someone made a "paint bike" which consisted of his bike tires being painted and leaving the painted tracks on the pavement.
An event like this couldn't come without its political affiliations, Councilman Eric Garcetti involved in making this event happen, made a speech expressing his support for the bike community.

Starting his speech with chants of "Whose streets? Ours!" Garcetti said "Every single time you take this revolutionary act of riding your bike it makes a statement... This is a bicycle city... Every lane is a bike lane... We're going to continue changing those laws."

At the tent for Team Midnight Ridazz, Richard Flores explained what they do "[We] do a lot of social rides, team rides, fun rides around the city. A lot of people are from our website, where we post rides.
We cycle around the city; people come from Anaheim, Pasadena, Downtown L.A., a lot of people from Orange County and all around L.A."

Flores explained Midnight Ridazz's involvement with AIDS Lifecycle, a fundraiser they were promoting for AIDS research.

"This is our second year with the AIDS Lifecycle. We may be the first or the second group to do this, we got a lot of people this year. We ride from Los Angeles to San Francisco, Last year was a lot of fun, it takes us about a week to make it."

For more information regarding Team Night Ridazz's AIDS Lifecycle: www.tofighthiv.org/goto/midnightridazz

As the night started, Voice On Tape took the streets with a cover of Depeche Mode's 'Halo.' The twosome delivered a more mellow sound for the night to come.

Orange 20 Bicycle had an over 21 reunion for older bike enthusiasts. SMC students Nicki Kavanaugh, Gabriella Giorgio, Justine Rembac, and Jonathon "Jaz" Zinda, were amongst them.

"We ride with these people [Midnight Ridazz] all the time" said Kavanaugh "we're starting up a bike club at SMC, to promote bike riding and make events for other people to be inspired to bike to school. We're naming it the Bike Club."

For more information on SMC's Bike Club, you can contact Zinda at experimentalthought@gmail.com
or information about future events in East Hollywood you can visit www.easthollywood.net.