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In Defense of the Valley

I was exchanging emails with a reader about my resume service, and at one point, he wrote this:

I just got hired for my first assistant position (for a writer/director) out in the valley. I hope it’s not porn.

People make fun of the San Fernando Valley a lot, and that’s fine. It is kinda dopey and there’s not a lot to do there and it gets up to, I think, around hundred and seventy degrees in the summer time, but you know what? I like the Valley.

There, I said it.

Yes, it’s the world’s largest suburb; if it ever manages to secede from Los Angeles, it would be America’s fifth most populous city, larger than Dallas or Philadelphia. But I grew up in the suburbs, and I think it’s actually nice to not have neighbors shouting, partying, fighting all night. It’s quiet here.

If I want to go out to a club or something, I don’t mind driving over the hill on a Saturday night. Or, more likely, taking the subway, because there’s no fucking parking over the hill. Half my night is spent circling around, trying to find a parking sign that doesn’t require a slide rule and a sextant to decipher.1

Seriously, fuck Culver City.

I like that I can actually park my car in front of my building.

Most importantly, three of the six major studios are up here in the Valley: Disney and Warners in Burbank, Universal Studios in, obviously, Universal City. Plus, CBS Radford is in Studio City.

Yeah, there’s other lots over the hill that aren’t owned by major networks or studios, but still, the Valley is pretty convenient for large chunks of your working life.

Also, they really do shoot a lot of porn here. So, if you need a fallback position, there’s that.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. I’m genuinely impressed that both of these are available for purchase on Amazon.
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2 Responses

  1. My first place in the Valley was Reseda/Tarzana where I rented a house with friends and it was fine. Then I moved even farther away to Woodland Hills and it was great. Ample parking, walking distance to Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Mall/movie theater AND my job. And yes, plenty of parking. Then on the weekends it was an easy 20 minute shot straight down the 101 to party in Hollywood. It really wasn’t that bad.

  2. As one who lives “over the hill,” I can attest to the absurd parking situation here. It’s gotten so bad that I rarely use my car anymore. If it’s raining or I have a job on a distant location, I’ll use the car — otherwise I take the motorcycle, bicycle, or walk to get where I need to go. Parking is much easier to find in the Valley, and it really is a lot quieter over there… but I just can’t take that brutal heat. It’s like going for a walk on Mercury.

    As for porn… I worked on one porno film a very long time ago, and once was definitely enough. It’s bad enough working behind the camera, and I can’t imagine what it’s like for those who work in front of the lens. To each his/her own, I suppose, but that’s one ugly way to make a living.

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