The Empty Spaces


Large expanses of asphalt and black tar bake in sun day after day. These are the parking lots behind retail stores, many untenanted, forgotten and forlorn on the west side of Halbrent,north of Erwin, east of Sepulveda. This area is chiefly known for two businesses: The Barn, a six-decade-old, red-sided furniture store and Star Restaurant…

A Week’s Worth of San Fernando Valley Manufacturing Jobs


Years back, manufacturing jobs were a mainstay of prosperity in the San Fernando Valley. Huge aerospace, automobile, electronics, and construction companies fueled a vibrant, strong economy. New immigrants, and working people from other states came to California and were able to find employment at General Motors, Teledyne, Ford, Lockheed and McDonnell-Douglas. Today, there are almost…

The Eternal Garage Sale.


Spread out on lawns and along the sidewalks: blankets and sheets. They are covered with old clothes, boxes of CDs, vacuum cleaners, pots, pans, glassware, chairs, hats, scarves, underwear, socks, and baby clothes. Since the Depression laid its dollar-killing hands around the neck of Los Angeles, two years ago, junk sales have blossomed and proliferated…

Food Pantry List.


HOW TO HELP Call food pantries for hours and other information on how to donate. Lutheran Social Services: 6425 Tyrone Ave., Van Nuys; 818-901-9480; http://www.lsssc.org Valley Interfaith Food Pantry: 11076 Norris Ave., Pacoima; 818-718-6460; http://www.vic-la.org Meet Each Need with Dignity: 10641 N. San Fernando Road, Pacoima; 818-897-2443; http://www.mendpoverty.org FISH of West Valley: 20440 Lassen St.,…

Lunch in Canoga Park.


      Today, I went west to a camera store along Sherman Way. One passes through a lot of ugliness driving through West Van Nuys, Reseda, and Canoga Park. There is the double- wide street, grand in intention, but cheap in reality. Lined with billboards, car washes, stucco apartments, Korean and Mexican fast food,…

Young Tarzanians Defy Recession.


Reprinted from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal: These Young Entrepreneurs Got Gelt and Some Chutzpah By Eric Billingsley - 2/1/2010 San Fernando Valley Business Journal Staff Take a minute to think back to when you were young, bright-eyed, and totally confident about your ability to enter the commercial real estate business and make a name for yourself.…