Our Lost Vitality


Sepulveda and Erwin, Van Nuys, CA. Housing, it seems, is everything these days, the foremost topic on the minds of Angelenos.  Those who can afford it fear those who cannot. Fearsome, it seems, is our ragtag army of many thousands of un-housed vagrants who have established anti-communities out of shopping carts and tents, and made…

Van Nuys: Vigorous Valley Hub 12/13/1959


It was “230 square miles encircled by mountains and roofed by a blue sky.” Its 800,000 residents were more populous than Boston or San Francisco and its land size equaled the city of Chicago. It was famous for “its distinctive way of life” a “perpetual exhibit of Modern Suburbia at its brightest and biggest. Valley…

The Van Nuys State Office Building


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…

The Return of Light Rail


  For the future we now return to the past. The black and white photos all show how Van Nuys Bl. looked in the period from 1911-1957. Yesterday there was announcement from Metro. Metro will build a 9-mile-long light rail down the center of Van Nuys Boulevard, stretching from Sylmar to the Orange Line Van…

One Day, Soon.


  One day, soon, there will be a revitalization of Van Nuys Boulevard. Gone forever will be the hopeless days when people laughed to mock it, or ran away in revulsion. All the central gathering places that should be occupied by civilized things, all the lots that hold parking, all the empty buildings along Van…

Random Observations.


The early March air smelled quite frequently of jasmine yesterday. The skies were cloudier, anticipating and foreshadowing the slowest, rarest event that mercurial, moody nature ever delivers to Los Angeles: rain. We want it so badly that when it comes we regret it, like so much else in life. I walked east along Victory and…