Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

PALM LATITUDES

CREATURE FEATURE : Ribbetsville Redux

October 25, 1992|Mari Florence

"Don't step on my frogs," was the strange adieu tossed at me recently as I left a friend's Elysian Valley home. Sure enough, the profusion of amphibians vaulting about the small front yard had me hopscotching to the curb. Welcome to Frogtown, a moniker used--often disparagingly--to describe the neighborhoods surrounding the L. A. River in the Silver Lake/Echo Park area.

Thanks to the rains this spring, the hundreds of noisy green residents that gave the neighborhood its name decades ago are thriving once again in the newly overgrown state of the river. After a flourishing summer tadpole season, the ambitious amphibians have settled in neighborhood yards where green shrubs and lawns retain more moisture than the river.

Many residents find the small creatures charming. Frogtown resident and artist Frank Romero, whose murals dot downtown, paid homage to them in the early '70s with a recurring half-man/half-frog character in his paintings, aptly named Frogman. This spring, he expanded his work space to include The Frogtown Gallery, which will feature emerging local artists, including notorious graffiti tagger Chaka. But not everyone's enthusiastic about the frogs. "They make a terrible mess when your car hits one," says queasy Atwater resident Alejandro Vasquez.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|