In traffic-clogged L.A., geography is a form of social currency. So it was a surprise to see an array of industry heavyweights, including Natalie Portman, Michael Cera, Edward Norton and Spike Jonze, pack into a grungy shop in far-off Echo Park on Saturday night to celebrate the opening of a new location of 826LA the non-profit writing/tutoring center founded by novelist Dave Eggers.
The center, geared toward local students between the ages of six and 18, is cheekily disguised as a storefront called The Echo Park Time Travel Mart. (The name thing is in line with the organization's five other locations; the Brooklyn center, 826NYC, has a sign out front that reads Superhero Supply Co.)
As well as Cera, much of the team behind Juno were there, including director Jason Reitman, co-star Jason Bateman and screenwriter Diablo Cody. Also spotted in the crowd were Jesse Dylan, The Daily Show's Demetri Martin, director Mike White (The Year of the Dog), producing partners Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger (Little Miss Sunshine), Lukas Haas and interior designer Brad Dunning.