DSCF2550Cleaning out the median, north of Victory, on Sepulveda last Saturday, I stopped to shoot a  scene that spoke to me.

Here were all the blights that plague Van Nuys in one photograph.

An RV parked along the road, a home for the homeless. These improvised residences are everywhere in Los Angeles these days. Unaffordable housing and the societal acceptance of allowing our fellow humans to sleep on the street or in unlicensed housing is shocking. Or maybe we are no longer shocked. Which is itself shocking.

As teenaged girls rake and clean the median, they are attacking a problem that is essentially caused by illegal dumping. No authorities, no residents, no politicians have found a way to stop old sofas, mattresses, bottles, televisions, furniture, and every type of fast food from being dropped on our streets.

A billboard from Spearmint/Rhino advertises adult film star Veronica Vain . The advertisement looms over a family neighborhood, one with many children, and features a woman who performs public sex acts on camera and in person. Here is a NSFW link.

And then there is Carl’s Jr. whose offerings are a great contributor to rampant obesity. The ½ Pound Mile High Bacon Thickburger is 1230 calories. Ordered with Onion Rings (530 calories) and a Vanilla Shake (700 calories) a person could consume 2,460 calories, or about 1000 more calories than a sedentary human needs in an entire day. That would be in just one meal. The nutritional information is taken directly from Carl’s Jr.

Through all this detritus is the six-lane speedway Sepulveda. When it is full of traffic it is impossible. When it moves, many drivers speed and run through red lights. People risk their lives crossing this asphalt hell.

This is our environment, this is our city, this is our reality.

2 thoughts on “All Our Blights.

  1. Good for those girls, Andy…God Bless ’em. Now, what do they have to look forward to? I have been doing the same thing every week since losing mom and she did the very same thing every week until she was no longer able to (she died at 80). We live on the corner of Kester and Hartsook; likely you have driven by or walked by my place (always a work in progress) many times over. But it has been in my family since the 1940’s. And the gift of having a corner house-blessed even further by unfettered development/growth and a break down in allowing anything and anyone to come and stay apparently being able to afford it makes no difference-has changed things in ways I sincerely doubt any would even care to try to relive. But among them was eminent domain taking the land covering what is now the slow lane-from all residents-to widen/enlarge Kester for more traffic, playing around and rezoning everything from names/places to what could and couldn’t be built on any given intersection to letting the feds walk right in and overbuild a Post Office for 350 employees with some 150 or so parking spaces. Neither rhyme nor reason could answer any of your overly intellectual questions, nor could guesswork provide even the smallest of answers as to “WHY”. Those who made the money/lined their pockets/rerouted the River and shapes of streets around their own holdings are now long gone and the rest of us will pay for their ‘enlightened (????? approaches to political decision making over a century’s time. There are so many other things that could be said on the subject, but know that Van Nuys does not deserve the full/butt end of anyone’s wrath. And taking this to a more humorous side, just remember, almost all of this surrounding area was originally “V-A-N N-U-Y-S” It’s impending abandonment and value slide came as people made choices as to what names they felt were better/purer/cleaner/more “wealthy sounding”, yet another part of the incredible stupidity of mankind in general. I still find myself snickering as to the idea of those grand old Valley and Live Oak trees suddenly being referred to as “Sherman’s Oaks”-as if he had one damned thing to do with their munificence, their exuberant growth, their phenomenal structuring. He did not. Nature gifted us those magnificent giants and we used them for early Spanish haciendas and for hanging our enemies under…and that was about the sum total of our early acknowledgement of such wonders…

    Alas, back to the girls cleaning up that corner…I just cleaned my-again-today as illegal renters-and I am not referring to any particular race of beings…merely SFResidences who are cheating the neighborhood by illegally renting out their homes to massive numbers of individuals and crowding our over-burdened streets with junk cars and all the trash such people bring with them and dump onto my own and everyone else’s properties along the way. They do not care; why would they? In fact, one evil neighbor, who hated a fence had re-purposed between our properties years back, watered it daily for some years and final rotted out the posts. I was forced to replace it single-handedly with her screaming like a moron the entire time-she paid nothing. During this process, one of the illegals ran their car into my triangular bricked walkway and shot three levels of bricks in to orbit. It feels like it is a daily battle to keep up with the destruction of people who simply do not have any sense for responsibility or care about anyone but themselves. Along the streets, every piece of abandoned mail, newspaper advertisement, lottery ticket, cigarette butt, it all ends up at my corner and blows on to my property…waiting for me to retrieve it and send it along a continuously straight and narrow path to a quickly filling dump site out in Sunshine Canyon. So folks, you all have a choice; you can be a part of the problem… 😉


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