The Van Nuys State Office Building is that 4-story, yellow and green building on the east side of Van Nuys Boulevard right on the corner of Calvert.
It has strips of windows, and a long, blank wall that fronts Van Nuys Boulevard, ensuring that no retail activity will ever enliven its frontage.
What is the State of Van Nuys you may ask? Is that not a ridiculous name? Was it named that to confound and confuse and further alienate us from government?
How about: “The State of California Building in Van Nuys”?
It cost $15 million dollars 34 years ago and was dedicated on February 8, 1985. It was considered a marvelous way to save taxpayer money because it consolidated all state agencies under one, open-air, courtyard roof.
I walked, for the first time, inside the courtyard today, and was surprised to feel a cool, calming, restful place, shielded from the harsh sun and torrid humidity exhausting our city in recent days.
A directory lists such agencies as the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, The Department of General Services, The Department of Industrial Relations, and The Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Senator Robert M. Hertzberg has an office here as does Assemblyman of the 45th District, Democrat Jesse Gabriel of Encino who is not to be confused with the Assemblyman of the 46thDistrict, Adrin Nazarian who also has an office here but is not listed on the directory.
The architecture is of the 1980s with lots of diagonal lines, a virtue signaler from that era of advancement beyond the Bauhaus Box.
Walk up the diagonal stairs and look down on a paved brick courtyard planted with Ficus trees and rectangular streetlights a year or two away from hipster respect and admiration.
Most striking in this building complex is the steel and canvas roof with its stadium like effect, a trellis covering that keeps out rain and direct light, but provides, from upper floors, views out to the Valley in every direction.
At the top of the building, one can survey all the grandiose emptiness of civic Van Nuys with its vacant post office, its courthouse buildings and its enormous presence of government that seems to blanket and stifle the old town under a bureaucratic dead weight of concrete, windows and open plazas.
Never have so much accomplished so little for so few.
From 40 feet in the air Van Nuys still wears a costume of respectable commerce and responsive government.
But back down on the street, the crazies are in control: homeless, addicted, angry and desperate. We are expected to always step aside and allow schizophrenic, unwashed, lost and marginal people to camp out everywhere, to doze off at Starbucks, to sleep outside of the LAPD, to vomit and defecate on bus benches. They live on the sidewalk and then if you photograph them on public property they scream, “You don’t have my fuckin’ permission to take pictures ass hole!”
Road rage is also in evidence, as seen in this video where an angry driver followed my neighbor home from this area in Van Nuys and threw a rock at her car.
This is an emergency that requires a military like mobilization to set up tent cities and wood houses and barracks on land to house people who cannot house themselves. Who does not understand this?
Nobody, not one person, should be allowed to live on the street. At all.
A registry of homeless people should be set up. 12,000 spaces for homeless who will receive housing, food and sanitation and in return will clean garbage, paint houses, sweep sidewalks and be paid $12 an hour and work six hours a day with one hour for lunch. It is humane and reasonable.
We live in a topsy-turvy city that prioritizes the rights of the insane, the criminal, and the alien over all. It is a sanctuary state where July 4thfelt like the middle of Syria during a bombing. We come here, liberal and open-minded, and then we are asked to excuse everything that is wrong and against the law and understand that the dysfunction of the city is merely an expression of the highest humanitarian values of compassion and tolerance.
Van Nuys is failing because it exemplifies everything in the preceding paragraph.