17. The ArcLight movie theater at the Galleria.
Where: 15301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA
Our theater attendance tended to drop the last few years as my wife’s graduate school workload increased, but when we really wanted to see something projected well and make a nice date of a movie this was our preferred indulgence.
16. The Trader Joe’s in Studio City. We preferred it to the one closer to us in Sherman Oaks which tends to get too cramped and crowded.
Where: 1976 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
Some treats that I recommend:
15. Breakfast before grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s at Manhattan Bagels.
Where: 12046 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
While we were on our Trader Joe’s kick we’d usually get breakfast first on Saturday mornings so as not to grocery shop on an empty stomach. This one is in the same shopping center so it’s very convenient. I loved the spicy/sweet combination of a jalapeno and cheddar bagel with a frozen espresso drink (definitely superior to a Starbucks frap here!).
14. Taking Maura to the park to chase squirrels and then read while she’s tired.
Where: Off of Magnolia and between Van Nuys and Hazeltine
13. The Subs at Jersey Mike’s, especially the giant-sized tuna. Splitting one of those is enough for 2! Our favorite sub, by far.
Where: 14441 Burbank Blvd, Van Nuys
12. The chicken apple sausage at Jinky’s.
Where: 14120 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks
A lovely cafe with plenty of reliable choices for breakfast and lunch.
11. Being able to joke about living in “Porn Valley.”
Most of America’s pornography is shot in the San Fernando Valley, and P.T. Anderson’s great drama Boogie Nights is set here.
Even just walking the dog around the neighborhood one gets fairly regular reminders of it:
I’ve grown more socially conservative since living here, a subject I hope to write about more in the future as I reflect on it in greater depth.
10. Trying new hot dogs at The Infield.
Where: 14333 Ventura Blvd Sherman Oaks
They’re very dog friendly here too! One of Maura’s favorite places to go. They have a large menu filled with hot dog variations and it’s fun to try something new each time. They also have some dessert hotdogs that are tasty too.
9. Reliable all-American food at reasonable prices at Corky’s. This has been our default restaurant for years. It reminds me of the diner in the opening/closing of Pulp Fiction.
Where: 5043 Van Nuys Blvd, Sherman Oaks
8. The best burgers in L.A. are at The Habit. This is the conclusion I’ve come to after years of painstaking research. However, as good as the Habit burger is, I have decided that the Indiana burger of my adolescence is still better: 96th St. Steakburgers is still better than anything I’ve had out here. Sorry.
Where: 14622 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks
7. The best pizza ever at Santino’s. (Our planned indulgence tonight after day 2 of packing. I’ll make a point to take some photos to share and see if I can eke out a list of reasons why they’re so awesome…)
Where: 4319 Woodman Ave, Sherman Oaks
6. Finding random books and other strange artifacts discarded in the neighborhood.
From me back in 2011: Nine Mysterious Items My Dog and I Found On Our Morning Runs…
5. The New Ralphs on Ventura and Hazeltine finally opened. At least we got to enjoy it for a few months before having to move. We stopped going to Trader Joe’s once it opened. Above is a picture of the more boring, basic bagels that I’ve been having lately, albeit with jalapeño cream cheese.
4. Running with Maura and seeing the sunrise each morning.
3. The Sherman Oaks public library has a great staff and the monthly book sales are fun and filled with bargains. I appreciate them for helping me with all my holds over the years.
Where: 14245 Moorpark Street, Sherman Oaks
Among the 14 books I picked up three months ago at the book sale for only $25.50…
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Among the 14 books I picked up at this month's library sale for only 25.50: the unabridged #Shakespeare #Infidel by #AyaanHirsiAli books on Ancient #Egypt Mia Farrow's memoir, the writings of #atheist #secular philosopher and infanticide apologist Peter Singer, a dual biography of Hitler and Stalin, and an autographed All's Fair by Mary Matalin and James Carville…
2. The Foxfire Room was our bar of choice. It’s best known for being featured in Magnolia, a movie I’ve always appreciated but have come to love even more after living here. The Bloody Mary is their speciality and now responsible for becoming my default drink.
Where: 12516 Magnolia Blvd, Los Angeles,