Walking through the doorway, I pass a display showing a caveman interacting with a robot.
Once inside, I see that the small shop is made up of rows filled with items ranging from fake mustaches, to donuts, to togas in a jar, to live leeches, to swords – and the list goes on.
Intrigued by some mysterious boxes on the counter, I ask the sales attendant, “What are Chubbles?”
She replies, “Well, I’m not really sure, but I know they are really big in the future…”
Okay, so this place is just an oasis for people who are out of their minds.
Ready to write off the Echo Park Time Travel Mart as the weirdest place I have ever been, a pamphlet on the side of the desk catches my eye.
After a discussion with the apparently not-so-crazy sales attendant, I learned that the Echo Park Time Travel Mart was part of the non-profit organization 826, which provides tutoring for kids and students after school.
To help support these endeavors, and just to have cool shops around the country, 826 LA has created stores such as a pirate store in San Francisco, a space travel store in Seattle, a superhero store in Brooklyn, “The Boring Store” (code for “Spy Store”) in Chicago, and a robot store in Michigan.
Aside from being associated with a great non-profit, the Echo Park Time Travel Mart represents something else: the face of Echo Park changing at the speed of light.
There is now an influx of delicious, more upscale restaurants (two of my favorites being Allston Yacht Club and Two Boots). In addition, I’ve seen trendy new boutiques (so that it may be known for more than the home of American Apparel) and interesting little shops, whether they be a neat new-and-used book store (incidentally, one is found right next to the Time Travel Mart), or a store that tries to sell you “Chubbles.”
Either way, Echo Park has new businesses and stores to check out every day, and the Echo Park Time Travel Mart is definitely one to visit.
Visit the website here
1714 W. Sunset Blvd.
Echo Park, CA 90026