Ever since I moved here three years ago, the trash on Pico — especially east of Robertson — has reminded me of winters in Montreal. Everyone talks and complains about it, but it never goes away.
Boaz Hepner wants to change that.
So when I met him the other day at Pico Café, it didn’t surprise me that one of the first things he did was take me for a walk. The more we went east and the closer we got to his shul, B’nai David-Judea Congregation, the more trash we saw.
The funny thing is, Hepner, a frum, single Jew born and raised in Pico-Robertson, is more of a social animator than a social activist. His claim to fame in the neighborhood is a Yahoo social group called Camp Boaz, with about 350 “friends and friends of friends” for whom he plans regular activities, like theater outings, co-ed softball and Shabbat potluck lunches in his backyard.
A few months ago, he had an “aha!” moment. He was walking along Pico with an empty soda can and he realized, block after block, that he had no place to put it. It took about five messy blocks before he found a trash can.
That’s when his “clean-up Pico” journey began.