Category Archives: The Valley

Best of France and Italy car show Sunday 11/4

france and italy car show poster
france and italy car show poster, click to embiggen

If you have a soft spot for those quirky French and Italian cars this may well be the perfect show for you.  The France and Italy Car Show will take place this Sunday in Woodley Avenue Park.  It will feature a lot of vintage French and Italian cars.

It will be located on Woodley Ave south of Victory.  Its official time is 9Am to 2PM, I’d strongly urge folks interested to be there early as a lot of people start leaving well before the 2PM close time.  If they can start their cars that is…sorry for the snark but a lot of these cars will live up to their stereotypes.  They even have a Facebook page with more details.

Details: Sunday November 4, 2012, Woodley Avenue Park MAP HERE, Van Nuys, CA


Community Policing, LAPD says this is why we are becoming one of the safest cities in the U.S.

When I was a Valley dweller back when we were first married in Valley Village our neighborhood started experiencing gang related activity and auto thefts.  We were in the LAPD’s North Hollywood divisions policing territory.  They worked with us to establish a Neighborhood Watch and worked with us on a variety of community issues.  We became friends with several of the officers that patrolled our area. Community Policing now as outlined in the video has grown and is helping to make the neighborhoods in North Hollywood safer.

On a sidebar if you haven’t subscribed to the LAPD’s YouTube channel yet you might want to consider as aside from the infomercials and PSA’s they also have regular crime tips and vids seeking info on crimes.  You can subscribe on their channel HERE.

405 Carmageddon II set for September 29 – 30

Here it comes again, Westsiders needing access to the 405 freeway are screwed as it will be closed that weekend again on a 10 mile stretch.  Actually, the folks in the valley will be inconvenienced the worst if they need to trek over The Hill that day.  KTLA ran the full story which you can read HERE.  Their story has cute quotes from Yaroslavsky and Villaraigosa on what to do.  My thought is do like last time, make babies and create a nice little baby boom of sorts 9 months from now.

Queen’s English car show Sunday 3/18 in Woodley Park

If you love old British sports cars and motorcycles this is the show for you.  This show brings in a more than a few classic British cars and cycles in various states of repair and restoration.  There is even a “auto jumble” (swap meet) full of parts and stuff to repair and customize your own car.

Do you have an old British car or cycle you’d love to show?  If so visit them and register to show online here.

This is a FREE event for spectators.

Last year the show went on in the rain, looks like this year promises to be wet early in the day so its hard telling if the “show will go on” or not.  My guess is that it will go on regardless.

Deets: Sunday 3/18/2012 9AM-4PM. Queen’s English,(626) 797-4221,  Woodley Park, Van Nuys CA MAP HERE.

Menu Mining: Gobi Manchurian at Woodland Indian Restaurant, Chatsworth

One of the things I love most about LA is the wide variety of food options available. When picking out an Indian restaurant for lunch in the West Valley, there are a range of choices: Indian buffet, lunch counter in the Sweets and Spices market, or vegetarian South Indian, to name a few. The top choice for the latter of those choices, for me, is always Woodlands Indian restaurant.

Gobi Manchurian at Woodlands Indian restaurant

More than anything else on their menu, the Gobi Manchurian is what keeps me coming back time and time again. Continue reading Menu Mining: Gobi Manchurian at Woodland Indian Restaurant, Chatsworth

Pathtastic! Newly Discovered Bike/Ped Access In Burbank

In the past Burbank’s given me a couple big opportunities to balk at how that city’s done bicyclists wrong. The first time was major in the mid-2000s when its council responded to resident outcry that more bikes would somehow equal more traffic and more crime and roundly rejected what had been an already approved and funded route plan connecting the LA River Bikeway with the Chandler Boulevard Bikeway. The second was a couple years ago when Burbank political and law enforcement officials overly sympathized with a noisy contingent of Chandler Bikeway pedestrians who demanded that police officers should have nothing better to do than devote their limited resources to speed-trapping and citing all of us speeddemon cyclists who imperil the pedestrians’ entitled (and in some cases: irresponsible) use of the bikeway.

But on a trip to Burbank and back by bike this week, I have nothing to say but “Bravo!” to that burg after I chanced to discover an unheralded and entirely unmarked bike/pedestrian path that was so brand-spanking new it had to have only been recently completed. Paralleling the Burbank Western Channel between Alameda Avenue and Victory Boulevard, it’s short and sweet at barely a quarter-mile in length, but it provides a serene off-street shortcut connection between the two busy thoroughfares that not only serves cyclists passing through but also the residents of the neighborhood to the north of the channel.

Here’s hoping it’s the first of more to come.

UPDATE (1.24): I received an email from Cory Wilkerson, an assistant transportation planner for Burbank, who confirmed that more indeed is to come. He wrote, “We are planning to extend the pathway to the Burbank Metrolink Station, Top Priority Project #8 in our Bike Plan. The project was funded through Metro’s Call for Project and constrcution is schedule for FY 2015.”

After the jump you can find an annotated and embiggenable Google Map screengrab of the path’s location along with two timelapse clips of rides on the segment, the first traveling from Victory to Alameda and the second coming back from Alameda to Victory.

Continue reading Pathtastic! Newly Discovered Bike/Ped Access In Burbank

ICME: Who Ya Gonna Call?

ECTO 300
I ain't afraida no ghosts

Spotted this Chrysler 300 with license plates “ECTO 300” and ghost-catching gear attached heading down Ventura Boulevard Sunday afternoon, but this was the only decent pic I was able to snap. I saw another Ghostbusters logo on the side of the vehicle as I passed, but no phone number to call when there’s somethin strange in your neighborhood. No indication as to whether this might be part of a rumored third installment in the Ghostbusters series, but I doubt it.

For old time’s sake:

Get Your Fix in Studio City

Coffee Fix Studio City

Here at Blogging.LA, we’ve always got an eye out for a good cafe to #occupy while we bang out our freelance writing, novels, screenplays, and even an occasional blog entry. We Valley-dwellers don’t have much to choose from, and the list gets even shorter when you knock off the places that lock up for the night when it’s still early evening. Sure, there’s the mandatory minimum 1.0 Starbucks/square mile ratio, but we all know that doesn’t really count. Studio City’s Coffee Fix, on the other hand, does qualify. Continue reading Get Your Fix in Studio City

Weird Weather

Cathy Cole's photo used through Creative Commons license

One of the things I love about LA is the way bad weather is regarded as such a bizarre, unforeseen anomaly. (Insert lyrics to “Camelot.”) It’s chilly by LA standards in Chatsworth today (66) and grey. I walked outside to second-hand smoke with my boss this morning, and she looked up at the dreary sky and said “What weird weather,” this being a fairly common response to 66 and overcast here in the Valley. When I first moved to LA years ago, after an extended stint in the upper midwest, it used to crack me up when people would say that. Cloudy sky? “What weird weather.” Drizzle? “What weird weather.” June gloom in September? You got it: “What weird weather.” I used to think of these exclamations as symptomatic of Angelinos’ hot house flower-ish inability to withstand anything but a narrow, precipitation-free  temperature band. This dismayed surprise, like the hats and scarves that get put out on the shelves when the temperature drops below 70, made me smile the vague smile of superiority that anyone who has lived ten Midwestern winters can’t help but feel when an Angelino complains that it’s cold.

Well, it took about two and half years for my blood to thin sufficiently that I am now compelled to bust out my wool beanie and flannel sheets when it’s in the 50s. And not only has my standard for what constitutes “cold” changed radically, but I now understand that weather-induced bewilderment totally differently. I no longer see it as a sign of weakness, but more like a synecdoche for a pervasive culture of optimism–like “How strange that it should not be a nice day!” And what’s so wrong with believing it’s going to be beautiful? Raised on the east coast, I was brought up to be suspect of too much optimism. I come from a family of sardonic, leftist Jews who regarded unadulterated  cheer as some sort of borderline retardation. But LA has changed me. I’ve lived here long enough that I find myself surprised on a day like today when the sun doesn’t come out. Weird.

Papoo’s Hot Dog Show Closing After 62 Years

How can you not trust a hot dog with a halo??
How can you not trust a hot dog with a halo??

Since 1949, Papoo’s Hot Dog Show has been filling the tummies of Toluca Lake residents and visitors with tasty hamburgers, sandwiches, fries and of course….hot dogs. Countless movie and TV stars have been regulars over the years. Though the owners and recipes have changed, it has always remained a great hole-in-the-wall place for some really good grub. Well today, Sunday August 28, 2011 marks the end of 62 years of Papoo’s Hot Dog Show.

Hot Dog Show holds a special place in my heart as I’ve been going there since….well before I was born! My mom worked there when she was 16, her initials STILL carved into the counter. In fact, I only just found out that my parents met there. If it weren’t for the Hot Dog Show, I wouldn’t exist! Having lived only 1 block away for most of my life, I can remember riding my scooter or bicycle up there on a regular basis. I always ordered 2 plain dogs with ketchup, fries and a Dr. Pepper. While I would wait for my food I would play either Galaga or Ms. Pac Man with the “WOOZ” (upside down “ZOOM”) button. With that “WOOZ” button I could fly through to the banana stage in about 4 minutes flat.

I’ll miss you Hot Dog Show and I’m not looking forward to the rumored Italian restaurant taking your place. At least we still have Dale’s Jr. Money Tree Hampton’s IHOP Copper Penny Bob’s!

ICME: Another Humorous Local Business Name

Deez Cutz

Unlike the candy store I posted about recently, which appropriated a popular phrase wholesale for its business name, this local business exercises a bit of creativity and added a minor twist to a different popular (and also PG-rated) phrase. The result is a barber shop that makes me chuckle every time I drive past. Deez Cutz is located near the intersection of Roscoe and Sepulveda in Panorama City.

I’ll try to be on the lookout for clever names on small local businesses and post more here as I spot them. What are some of your favorites?

Sometimes it Starts With a Facebook Page

Valley-Westside Rail
You Should Like This

Before The Event That Never Was, I wrote about the need for a rail line along the 405 corridor. I exchanged a few emails with Bart Reed of the Transit Coalition, who shared some insight as to how to get such an important piece of the transit puzzle off the ground (or rather, under.) He said they have been in talks with Los Angeles Council Districts 6 and 11, and that they would begin promoting through social media sites.

The Valley-Westside Rail project is now up on Facebook. You should like it.

I asked Bart how people could get more involved. He said that we need to start by garnering support from neighborhood councils. So, that’s where I began, with a few emails of my own:

This past weekend, the closure of the 405 and the media attention it received resulted in a ripple effect on the entire freeway system. Drivers got lucky. Businesses did not. This further illustrates the need for viable transportation alternatives. Specifically, a more comprehensive regional rail network.

As a contributing author for Blogging.LA, I wanted to get your input on a newly envisioned Metro rail line from the Valley to the Westside, by way of the 405 corridor.

Continue reading Sometimes it Starts With a Facebook Page