In trying to make the best of all this free time I now have, and to justify my recent purchase of a new track bike, I find myself referring back to an article I read a few months ago.
I’ve lived in the valley for nearly eight years now. I can say that I know my way around these long streets that connect perfectly to most others running in a perpendicular direction (and some not.) What I’ve been catching myself doing is seeking other cities like the arts district in downtown Los Angeles, or to echo park for the atmosphere it provides. In reading this article I’ve begun to realize I can recreate this same type of environment in my own backyard. Now that I don’t have to get super dressed up to go and ride bikes I can explore & rediscover the cozy nooks and crannies of the valley at one point in time I was more familiar with.
As much as I love taking the Metro red line into the metropolis that is downtown, LA’s suburb has a soft spot in my heart. Being originally from Culver city I catch myself feeling nostalgic when visiting mama and entering that neck of the woods just south-east of Santa Monica. I’ll admit that after living in the valley for so long even I was apprehensive when I started reading these comparisons. I would have never thought to compare Van Nuys with Hollwood. There’s no theaters, no flashy lights, no venues. There are also no tourists in Van Nuys. Since I ride through Van Nuys every day I work to enter North Hollywood (the artsy district of the valley) I am beginning to finally understand what the writers were talking about. I’m not saying these are spot on, but a lot closer than many of us may presume.
I find that day by day I am enjoying my neighborhood more and more. Sure the valley has strong winds, and temperatures that can get to extremes (by LA standards) as opposed to our neighbors over the hill, but there is something about the peace and quiet that comes from a cozy little suburb that can’t be beat. There are city’s all over the valley that one could go for a more urban/ metropolitan experience, as well as another that gets away from it all and oversees most of the city by the mountain tops. The valley has a little bit of everything much like Los Angeles does, except were not as busy and as densely populated as everyone else.
Just today I went to Reseda to pick up lunch, catch the end of a bike race out in Encino, then finished my lunch at a nearby park only to head home after my five to ten mile, pancake flat route with little traffic and the majority of said route was on bike paths.
Some may call it boring, flat, hot, windy, and far away, but it’s home to me. It’s just close enough that if I do decide to take a trip into Downtown, Pasadena, Culver City, Koreatown, Echo Park, or Venice, chances are there is a convenient way to get there that will take under a hour of elapsed time. Not only that but places like boutique coffee shops and craft beer bars are showing up to expand their emerging horizons.
In summary, I like it here. I think I’ll stay for a little while longer.