My friend KL lives in Northridge in the San Fernando Valley. Better known as “The Valley,” it is part of the vast city of LA. The City of Angels is cut in two by the Santa Monica Mountains… the Los Angeles Basin to the south, the Valley to the north. Glad we have that out of the way.
Generally speaking, most of our adventures together take place in the basin part of the city. KL either drives to Culver City via the 405 (San Diego Freeway) or she takes the Orange Line to the Red Line, I take the Expo Line to the Red Line and we meet downtown. I have been promising to come out to her house for quite a while, so Saturday was the day.
I had recently taken Cinnamon Girl in to be serviced, and she was raring to go. I was surprised that the 23-mile trip via the 405 took only a little over 30 minutes on a Saturday morning. Just for the heck of it I checked the time it would take right now at 6:30pm on a Wednesday night and according to Google it would take 2 1/2 hours…. yikes!!!
We changed cars and armed with my point & shoot camera, off we went on our Valley Adventure. First stop was the Valley Relics Museum. What a kick, is the best way to describe it. From their website: The collection includes rare documents, photographs, vintage neon signs, post cards, year books, negatives, clothing, books, art, automobiles and bicycles from the valleys past.
I have a past with the Valley which I won’t go into here (maybe another blog post). Nudie Cohn was a fixture in the Valley until his death in 1984. I saw him driving down the street in his Cadillac. Yes, those are horns (steer, I think) and a pistol on the hood of the car. He designed flamboyant cowboy outfits for the stars.
My partner at the time was into cowboy hats and boots which he wore with his business suits, and we shopped at Nudie’s. Until recently I still had a couple of “cowgirl” shirts and belts. I loved shopping there.
The Palomino in North Hollywood was the best known country music club in LA for decades. We went there to see the best country singers of the time. Gosh, this museum brought back all kinds of memories from another era of my life… one of the benefits of being old is that there are eras!!!
Back in the car we drove through the Santa Susana Pass towards Simi Valley. At this point we were heading out of Los Angeles and into Ventura County.
KL had a vague recollection of a park somewhere in this area and wondered if it was still there. As you can see from this photo it was a beautiful, clear February day, although the temperature was getting up there. We have been experiencing temps in the high 80s F (about 31° C) the past few days in the city… and in the valleys the temps are always higher.
Amazingly, we rounded a corner and there was the directional sign for Corriganville, thataway. This park played many roles in the days of Hollywood western movies. Such as Dodge City, Tombstone and the Lone Ranger’s ranch.
Nowadays it’s a place for hiking or strolling. Most of the buildings used in the movie sets burned to the ground in the 1970s.
As nice as this place was, we had to hit the road again back to the San Fernando Valley.
We were getting hungry so KL asked me if I would eat soul food. Love it!
She introduced me to Les Sisters Southern Kitchen & BBQ in Chatsworth. They bill themselves as New Orleans and Southern Style cooking. As you can see, the decor was charming.
We ordered from the lunch menu and both decided on the catfish with hush puppies and coleslaw. When catfish is on the menu, as far as I am concerned, there is no other choice.
We wondered if the lunch portions would be enough food as we were both starving. Oh my goodness! This catfish filet was enough for two people and I cannot imagine how much food the dinner portion must contain.
I was first introduced to catfish when I was working in Arkansas in the 1980s. Ever since then I have compared all other catfish to the delectable dish I ate there. I have to say, I have finally found catfish equal to my memory of the catfish I first ate in Arkansas. This was cooked so perfectly with succulent, juicy fish on the inside and light, crisp batter on the outside. I may have to order it and have somebody drive it over to the Westside for me, it is that good!
Our bellies well and truly taken care of, we made a pit stop back at KL’s house. My hat had gone missing but I was happy to find it in the gutter next to my car, protected from the strong winds by the wheel. I must have dropped it on the way out.
There was an obligatory few minutes of playing fetch with Cindy. I’m not a dog person but Cindy is very sweet, more like a cat. When I sat down she jumped in my lap and licked my face.
As we were in the neighborhood, we visited a couple of open houses. In my own neighborhood I always enjoy being a lookie loo. You can buy a lot more real estate for your dollar in this neck of the woods but prices are catching up everywhere.
Our final leg of the adventure included a stop at the Museum of the San Fernando Valley. This museum was interesting in a totally different way from the first one we visited. The Relics museum was all about pop culture. This is attempting to be a little more cultural with exhibits on art, architecture, design and history.
We were greeted at the door by a very affable and knowledgeable gentleman. Some of the artifacts displayed in the museum were from his own home. He pretty much ended up giving us a private tour of the museum.
This model of the 1960 Stahl House, located in the Hollywood Hills above the Sunset Strip, intrigued me. Our guide informed us that there are public tours of the house which aside from its architectural significance affords spectacular views over the city. I am signing up.
I learned a lot on this tour of the Valley thanks to my friend KL. And I’m sure Cinnamon Girl enjoyed getting out of the garage.
The trip home back over the hill took one hour and ten minutes with Saturday evening traffic and an accident by the Getty Center. But CG and I made it back to Culver City in one piece, which is always the goal.
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