A Message from the L.A. Bicycle Kitchen Co-founder

Hello everybody,

My name is Ben Guzman (Bicycle Kitchen co-founder), and I am writing about the Bicycle Kitchen and where it all started, the Los Angeles Eco-Village (

Back in the day (and many of you remember those days fondly: fridge full of beer, bikes everywhere), the Kitchen was housed in a studio apartment at the Eco-Village at 117 Bimini Place. For two years they hosted us, rent free, without very many complaints and with tons of support. Three times a week we’d roll into their lives, clutter their hallways with bikes and bike heads and really the only person who made a fuss was Dale – but doesn’t he always fuss – he’s Dale.

Well, right now there is someone fussing with the Eco-Village and I urge you all to take action. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is proposing to take property by eminent domain and demolish housing to build elementary school #20. I am not against schools – by any means. What I am against is the LAUSD choosing to take away such a valuable asset to our community and city. Without the generosity, guidance, and fostering that the Eco-Village gave the Bicycle Kitchen – we would have never existed. Why doesn’t the LAUSD choose the properties to the north of Virgil Middle School to locate a school? They already own many of them and no one lives there (it is a collection of industrial buildings and auto shops)?

The Kitchen isn’t the only thing the Eco-Village has affected. They worked with the Bresee Foundation (, to close part of Second St. at the other end of Bimini Pl. to install a park with a running stream ( They have worked to reduce parking and slow down traffic on their street by installing planters where there were once parking spots. They started the food co-op that is now running at the Eco-Village.

And most importantly, at the core of the Eco-Village, is the model of community! How folks in this huge city, with millions of strangers, can come together, live close to each other and thrive! This inspiration, this love and devotion to humans and their true needs – this source of knowledge, this teaching by doing – we cannot lose this resource!

If you would like to sign an electronic petition you can do that at the Eco-Villages website
If you can, please attend the public meeting with LAUSD Thursday, February 28th at 6pm at Virgil Middle School (1st @ Vermont).

Thanks for your time, I appreciate it, and the Kitchen appreciates it.

Ben Guzman
(please feel free to repost)


  1. Ghost Rider

    Good luck, Bicycle Kitchen! It would be a shame to lose a fantastic resource like this…one of the few good things I’ve heard about the city of L.A.

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