It's a little after 1 p.m., and the streets of Echo Park are awash with the smell of sweat and testosterone. It's hot out, like hydrogen-bomb hot, and there are dudes everywhere, dudes in Houston Astros orange stripes but mostly Dodger blue — blue T-shirts, blue caps, blue jerseys with pit stains and names stitched on the back: Kershaw, Puig and so forth. Tow trucks idle in the Walgreens parking lot, air conditioners turned to the max. A gray Prius is unceremoniously dragged away.
The World Series has a way of sneaking up on you. The Dodgers only just clinched their place in the Fall Classic last week by beating the Chicago Cubs. They had the best record in the league, but it's been 28 years since they last made it here.
Which is all to say that parking spots are a little hard to come by around these parts and there are some really opportunistic Airbnbs (the Regal Room on Sunset is advertising a bedroom with a shared bathroom for $174 a night) — but for the most part, Echo Park is still Echo Park.
With one exception: There are a whole lot of bros around.
Sage is a vegan bistro with vegan ice cream that describes itself on its website as "a hip Eastside eatery that will transport you to Brooklyn." Today, it looks more like a pub in Boston, or at least Austin, with men in beards and baseball caps drinking beer. The waitress says she's been serving a lot of pilsners and lagers.
The restaurant has recently made a few concessions to its baseball fan customers: a full bar with house-brewed beers and a television mounted high up on the wall in the corner.
One block over, Masa, a homey-feeling Italian restaurant famous for its Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, is serving its own World Series special: the triple-d Dodger deep dish, a pie complete with grilled Dodger dogs, jalapeño fritters, onions and bacon.
"I think a lot of people are missing work today," says an Echo Park resident, sitting at a table, waiting to order. "It’s the one game you can’t miss." He bought three tickets for $3,800.
Down the street, Jimmy Moreno, he of Jimmy's Tickets, says the cheapest seats are going for $1,000 each. The best are going for well over $4,000.
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SHOW ME HOW
Echo Park is known as one of the neighborhoods in L.A.'s tri-hipster area. But it's also the home of the Dodgers, and no place represents this dichotomy more than the Short Stop. The bar has an old-timey photo booth and a normally jumping dance floor, and it's also the default pregame spot for many Dodger fans before they make the trek up the hill to the stadium on game day.
Of course, the Short Stop is already full, and you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone not clad in some sort of Dodgers paraphernalia. There are a lot of high fives, and every once in a while a spontaneous "Let's go Dodgers" chant breaks out in the dark, dingy bar.
"The energy is different today," says the general manager, Cassandra Simon. "There’s just more excitement. They’re playing hooky from work. Everyone has that camaraderie, but it’s heightened.
"Right now," Simon says, "it’s a Dodger bar."