Dormant Beauty


  On a Sunday evening in July, on foot, after a few beers, the old town of Van Nuys, carried a note of Tribeca 1985, in its summoning of potential, laid out, for dreamers and developers. There were empty storefronts and shabby alleys, but there were also women in chairs, attending children on bicycles, who…

The Incarcerated City.


  On these winter┬ádays, when the streets are emptied of cars, and the skies are filling with rain clouds, our neighborhood of Van Nuys cools down and empties out, revealing a strange amalgam of enormous parking lots; as well as businesses and homes surrounded by iron gates and fences. In its entirety, these fortifications evoke…

Changing Kester


Kester Avenue, a narrow North/South artery between Sepulveda and Van Nuys Boulevards, is, north of Oxnard St., an industrial and immigrant arrival point, a place of┬ácar repair shops, small apartment buildings, bodegas and liquor stores. Long neglected, like the rest of Van Nuys, it has undergone some positive change, small but not insignificant: apartment construction,…

Speaking at the Van Nuys Planning Summit


On March 26, 2015, I was invited to address the opening of a new Van Nuys Planning Summit held at the Marvin Braude Center. The event was created and sponsored by Quirino De La Cuesta and the Van Nuys Community Council. Here I am in the beginning of the tape, delivering remarks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMErqnZKw8w&feature=youtu.be

June 24, 1960: Murder at 13944 Valerio St. Van Nuys, CA


Crime scene photos courtesy of the USC Digital Archives. Even in 1960, people in Van Nuys were getting gunned down and killed. As originally reported in the Los Angeles Examiner, on June 24, 1960 police discovered murder victim Shaik Dastagir, 49, dead in front of his home at 13944 Valerio St. Shaik Dastagir was the…

“Almost Lost Her….”


(Postcard courtesy of Valley Relics) Assisting Tommy Gelinas of Valley Relics in his cataloging of unique and historic items related to the San Fernando Valley, I came across this June 1974 postcard sent from Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys to a family in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. "My Dearest Ones, Sorry I haven't wrote sooner…