North Van Nuys: Ready for Gentrification!

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A Bohemian Paradise

True and imagined, both a physical place and a state of mind, "North Van Nuys" can be your neighborhood. Who lives and works and plays here? Like the place, find a potpourri...

Geography: Small, Medium and Large

Van Nuys is one of the older towns in the San Fernando Valley (an interior valley Northwest of the City of Los Angeles, of which it is a part). At its north edge one formerly found a General Motors assembly plant, bean fields and suburban tract homes. Now urbanizing, "North Van Nuys" expands beyond its small geography to encompass several other nearby communities. It might be defined as people and places that are "not those rich people down around Ventura Boulevard". As a state of mind, though, it is joyful, affirmative and takes a certain pride in not being "upscale".

Food: Around the World, Around the Clock

When I was a young man, the first need in any location (after cheap rent) was the ability to eat at any time of night that you might get hungry. In Santa Barbara, there was only the Greyhound bus station--not really satisfactory-- until a REAL 24-hour coffee shop, Loop's, opened among the orange groves on the two lanes of upper State Street. When I moved to Los Angeles to go to college, the Hollywood Ranch Market seemed like one of the wonders of the modern world. Well, North Van Nuys has food for you, any time you want it.

Transportation: Easy Come, Easy Go

As the San Fernando Valley becomes more interesting, many former residents are building new cultural ghettos in adjacent land-locked valleys. Transportation to these new suburbs adds hours of stress to the quiet desperation that often rides on a long-distance commute. Meanwhile, the four freeways, the trains and the airports that serve North Van Nuys are an upscale mobile manager's dream. Shhh! Don't tell...

Business and Industry: A Working Suburb

Many of the big factories of the northeast San Fernando Valley no longer hum and clang and belch. Still, there is plenty of small industry along the railroad tracks and the byways to go with big retail and lots of service. This is a place that was advertised as suburbia, but it was, and is, founded on work.

Services, Resources, Arts and Entertainment

We still need some bookstores, funky gathering places and a lake, but you'll be surprised what you can find, if you look.

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