At first glance, the inside of this storefront resembles any other market in the area—but look closer and you’ll find a collection of “time travel” curiosities that one might need in order to visit the distant past or future. For example, Robot Toupees, Barbarian Repellent, Primordial Soup In a Can and vast collection of books. What gives? The place is a cover business: While everything in it is indeed for sale, the store is actually a front for 826LA, a literary nonprofit founded by author Dave Eggers. Enter through a secret door in the back of the shop, and you'll find a classroom, where free tutoring and creative writing classes are offered to kids ages 6 to 18; in fact, all the books in the store are written by those kids. (Many are even professionally published and sold on Amazon). Another inside tip: If you come up with a cool idea for a product to sell in the mart, employees will help you design it for sale to the public. Which might spur others to drop some dough and thus contribute to this awesome nonprofit. The Time Travel Mart is one of seven themed stores from 826 National, including Brooklyn's Superhero Supply Co. and DC's Museum of Unnatural History.
Echo Park Time Travel Mart
|Venue name:||Echo Park Time Travel Mart||Contact:|
1714 W Sunset Blvd
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sun noon-6pm|
Average User Rating
3.7 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
I'm gonna have to agree with Kate on this one. The Time Travel Mart is everything right with community-focussed nonprofits. The good humor and charm of the store is infectious and the writing services they provide are truly fantastic.
How can you not love this place? If you're cranky about the one-note "joke," you clearly just don't get it. The storefront is mostly there for the kids—you know, the kids who are learning about writing and storytelling in the back classroom, the classroom built by 826LA, the non-profit built by author Dave Eggers to nurture the brains and imaginations of said kids. And what kid (nay, human) wouldn't want to hang out in a time travel mart? Or a pirate ship (San Francisco) or a bigfoot research institute (Boston) or a robot supply and repair shop (Chicago)... I could go on. These are places to let your imagination run wild, to laugh at a few jokes and to buy something (or donate) if you believe in inspiring the creativity of young minds.
With something like two decent jokes animating the store, it becomes tiresome very,very quickly. My kids and I all independently chose to go there because of the timeout description. We all agreed that the place was a real bust compared to our expectations (made worse by the 50 minutes of traffic we fought to get there).