Echo Park Time Travel Mart Has Actually Been Open Since 1978

time%20travel.jpgLadies and gentlemen, for all your time travel needs–and lord knows you need a good pair of slacks when time-travelling–The Echo Park Time Travel Mart is here to fill the gaping black hole in your life.

Now, we’ve got the Pirate Store in San Francisco, but LA really needed a time travel mart. We’re sort of over pirates here, you know–well, at least I am–but time travel sounds fun and new, and as one of those early-adapters, well, I’m a fan!

Oh, and they also tutor local children in the back room. Sounds kinda shady if you ask me.

Actually, it’s just 826LA’s Echo Park (don’t call it the Eastside!) outpost. 826LA is one of a number of “826” community centers scattered throughout the US, whose goal it is to encourage kids to reach beyond literacy and grow their imagination out through the written (and spoken) word. Where local schools stumble in their attempts to help non-native speakers, and even native speakers, the tutors of 826LA are able to step in and help. Yes, those witty, clever folks of McSweeney’s are behind the 826 project, and yes they orchestrate lots of glittery literati events nationwide, but what it comes down to are the volunteers who help out kids every day, across the country. These are everyday folks like you and me. You don’t have to be Dave Eggers or Sandra Tsing Loh to help a kid learn how to write.

826LA is always in need of tutors. I volunteered a few times at their Venice location and then for several sessions at Animo Charter School in the heart of Downtown, where 826LA was sending volunteer tutors into classrooms to help kids study for their AP exams. I was really proud of the kids I got to work with, and I have to say I regret how much work has clamped down on my free time, because I’d love to volunteer more.

Volunteering is easy and totally rewarding. Do it.

Image by Poketo.