The L.A. Times ran an article over the weekend titled, San Fernando Valley: 11 Micro Itineraries. Its a great piece by Christopher Reynolds presenting almost a mini history of the Valley while discussing things to do. I was thinking about writing something similar in response to the high gasoline prices. Essentially, my point was going to be, you can still have fun in the Valley and reduce your gas consumption. Well, the L.A. Times beat me but nonetheless, they did a better job than I probably would have. At any rate, I reproduced the article below highlighting some key points. This is a long article so read when you have free time. Also, check out the video in the link to the article above.
Yes, it's suburbia. Yes, it's inland from the beach. Still, the San Fernando Valley has attractions that date from the 18th century (Mission San Fernando) to the latest attraction at Universal Studios. In between are CityWalk, good restaurants and shopping, outdoor recreation and the NoHo Arts District.
The San Fernando Valley is 260 square miles of suburbia. Actually, make that suburbia on nutritional supplements. And antidepressants. With perhaps a little cosmetic surgery south of Ventura Boulevard, where the big money is. Or maybe — now that it's grown to more than 1.7 million people in nearly three dozen cities and neighborhoods rich and poor — the Valley isn't even a suburb anymore.
The bohos of NoHo. The North Hollywood Arts District, for many years a forlorn commercial strip, has been gathering steam as a bohemian enclave over the last decade, aided by a subway stop and redevelopment dollars. Start with dinner or lunch at Pitfire Artisan Pizza Co., which has a big patio with a fire pit and pingpong table. Then hit a performance (check Deaf West Theatre (5112 Lankershim Blvd., http://www.deafwest.org), winner of many national plaudits, or El Portal Theatre (5269 Lankershim Blvd., http://www.elportaltheatre.com), built as a vaudeville house in 1926 and revived as a three-venue space in 2000. To see what's on at these and several other local theaters, check http://www.nohoartsdistrict.com. If you have spare minutes, browse the TV star statues (Johnny Carson, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, to start with) in front of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at Lankershim and Magnolia boulevards. Or get dinner or a nightcap at the stylish Federal Bar, which opened in February in the '20s two-story brick building at 5303 Lankershim Blvd.