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…

Repavement and Regret


  For those whose intimate, internal bodily movements and outer mobility are regulated by motor vehicle, this was a weekend of challenge and frustration. Without official warning, or public service announcement, Victory Boulevard, all eight lanes of it, were repaved between Kester and Sepulveda. It was possibly the first time it had been improved since…

Option A: That First Email.


  Some six weeks ago, I went to MacLeod Ale and learned about an impending “slum clearance” in Van Nuys. I was shown a sheet of paper in the owners’ office, laying out the destruction of the industrial neighborhood, just to the south of the brewery. “Option A”, by Metro, planned to demolish 33 acres,…

Widening of Victory Blvd. in Van Nuys, 1955.


In 1955, pepper tree lined Victory Blvd. was widened to six lanes, three in each direction. The trees were chopped down, and soon multi-story, dingbat apartments replaced houses and garden apartments along most of the street. It was done in the name of progress. In that era, almost all public works were thought to be…

The Incarcerated City.


  On these winter days, 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…

Obliterating the Past.


Mr. John Hendry, resident of Van Nuys and board member of the VNCC, sent me an email alerting me to the impending demolition of two old houses on Victory east of Kester. 14827—33, one a stucco house with pillars, the other a Spanish style (1936) with an arched entrance, stand on the windswept wasteland of…