Where are the ginormous Lotus flowers of years past? I wondered as I strolled about the Echo Park Lake this past Saturday for the annual Lotus Festival. Has global warming messed with the maturation of these lovely blooms too? Well weather conditions -mainly lack of rainfall- are definitely being blamed for the lack of big and bountiful blossoms this summer. Bummer.

Good news from the EP though: the Park’s historic paddle boats, which were in danger of being closed indefinitely only last week, are back open (on weekends) now that councilman Eric Garcetti has “reorganized” funds within the Recreation and Parks Department.

Like most locals, I haven’t been on one of the rickety old tuggers since I was a kid, but I’ve always loved driving by and seeing them meandering around the water on a hazy summer day. They made Echo Park seem like a quaint place to live way before the rents reflected it. Glad they’ll be floating on…

LA Weekly