November 2016

Councilmember Mike Bonin helps Bureau of Street Services' Great Streets Crew tackle sidewalk maintenance on Venice Blvd.
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Welcome to the November 2016 edition of Street Talk, the Great Streets Initiative's monthly newsletter! Here, we'll update you on the work happening in our studio and out on the streets. If you're reading this and need more great news in your life, check out our new website, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or double-tap us on Instagram.

  • October Recap
  • Reminders: Upcoming Events and Workshops
  • Small Business Spotlight: Atmosphere Cafe
See you on the street!

-The Great Streets team

October Recap

Great Streets Challenge Workshops 

To help communities through the Challenge application, the Great Streets Team hosted two workshops in October, one at LA City Hall and one online webinar. If you weren't able to attend, find our webinar screencast and presentation slides (English and Spanish available) at

Upcoming Events

Great Streets Challenge Applications Due

Friday, November 18
Don't forget to submit your complete Great Streets Challenge application by November 18. You can apply via the online form, submit a pdf application to, or mail or hand deliver a completed application to the Great Streets Initiative. If submitting via mail, please ensure that the packet is received by Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. All details can be found at our website.

Mar Vista Art Walk

Thursday, December 1
Mar Vista ArtWalk celebrates its one-year anniversary on Dec. 1 from 6 to 10 p.m. Featuring local visual, music and movement arts, the Mar Vista ArtWalk takes place on Venice Blvd. between Inglewood Blvd. and Beethoven St. Check out their Facebook page for more info! This program is partially funded by the Department of Cultural Affairs Arts Activation Fund.

We Are Los Angeles Public Event and Art Exhibit

Event - Saturday, November 12, Exhibit - November 12-17
We Are Los Angeles is a public art exhibit and celebration featuring original works by 30 local artists exploring our region’s social issues with a series of angel sculptures. The event and exhibit will serve as a closing ceremony to the California Community Foundation’s 100 years of service to Los Angeles County. Join in the public event on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Grand Park, or view the exhibit Nov. 12 to  17. Click here for more details:

Apply to the SCAG Sustainability Planning Grant

Due Friday, November 18
SCAG is accepting applications for its Sustainability Planning Grant program. Eligible projects include active transportation plans, Safe Routes to School non-infrastructure programs, and capacity building activities. Applications are due Friday, November 18. For more details, including links to the application, visit the SCAG Sustainability website.

Great Los Angeles Walk - Pico Blvd.

Saturday, November 19
The Great Los Angeles Walk is an annual urban hike that explores a single Los Angeles boulevard, end to end, and takes place on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This year the walk will traverse L.A. from Downtown to the coast via Pico Blvd, our Great Street corridor in Mid-City and Council District 10. Meet at Grand Hope Park (corner of 9th and Hope) in DTLA at 9 a.m.

The Atlantic's Renewal Awards - Nomination's Deadline

Wednesday, November 30
The Atlantic seeks nominations for its second annual Renewal Awards, recognizing local organizations driving positive change in their communities and bringing progress to the country. The Awards will culminate in April 2017 with five winners receiving a $20,000 grant from Allstate to further their work.

Small Business Spotlight: 
Atmosphere Cafe on Venice Blvd.

Atmosphere Cafe is a locally-owned and operated small business on Great Street Venice Blvd. Great Streets spoke with owner Lionel Arnoult about the cafe and his experience Venice Blvd.

Q. When did you open Atmosphere Cafe?
A. I bought the business in 2015 when the café was under different ownership. I decided to name it Atmosphere Café and change the entire menu overall. Since its purchase, I have been revamping the area and although it is currently open, the original concept will be finalized in late 2016 and early 2017 with our beer and wine license permits. With our permits we expect to be opened for longer hours and to hire more employees so our neighbors can walk right in, enjoy the restaurant and walk back home without having to drive to a further city. 

Q. What inspired you to open Atmosphere Cafe?
A. I have been in the food industry for many years. I owned my first restaurant for 25 years and then decided that I want to start something new. I am French and I wanted to bring some of my childhood food memories to this place like wine, cheese, and bread; food that everyone loves. I also want to provide my neighbors with an area where they can relax and enjoy a glass of wine after a long day at work.

Q. Why did you decide to open your cafe on Venice Blvd?
A. I believe that Mar Vista is the new trendy neighborhood because it is in one of the 15 corridors that was established in the Great Streets Initiative. Mar Vista is located in the center of 4 major cities, which is what attracted me to this area. I also liked how the neighborhood is very family-orientated. I love seeing families enjoying their meals in Atmosphere Café on the weekends. I’ve also been living in the neighborhood since the early 2000, and felt inspired by its growth in real estate.

Q. Are most of your customers neighborhood locals?
A. Since we are located in between two big tourist cities like Santa Monica and Playa Vista, I would say that many tourists don’t stop by Atmosphere Café because they don’t know what Mar Vista has to offer. However, most of my customers are from the area, and their ages range from 20-60 years. We serve many families, friends and get-togethers every day of the week.

Q. What are your hopes and vision for the future of Venice Blvd?
A. In the future of Venice Blvd, I would like to see more businesses walking distance from each other with many patios.
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