It’s no secret that I live in the Valley. For those who don’t know what / where the Valley is, it’s the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. I was born in the Valley, went to school in the Valley, and after a brief stint living in the “city” (downtown, Melrose, & Hollywood Hills) I found myself right back in the Valley. For LA locals, the Valley has a bad stigma for being boring / suburban / lame / hot / far. All bullshit if you ask me. Actually, I take that back. It’s fucking HOT in the Valley. BUT, let me share some reasons I love it to help you better understand.
I don’t love the Valley because I’m comfortable and familiar with it, I’m very well acquainted with the city–I conduct business all around LA and find myself in Beverly Hills, Downtown, West Hollywood, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, Century City, and Los Feliz about 3-4 times per week for meetings, events, shoots, etc. I know the city. Plus, as I mentioned above, I’ve lived in the city, as well.
There is an ease to your life in the Valley. Somehow things feel slightly less hectic, less rushed. I honestly believe this mindset only happens once someone has actually lived in the Valley. All my friends who have lived in the city their entire life truly hate the Valley, and most have never even been here! I’m amazed at this, but then again that’s probably a contributing factor to why the Valley is fab (IMO). All the stuck-up, crazy city life stays in the city and the Valley is just…simple.
Here are 10 reasons why I love the Valley.
1. Less traffic. Obviously there is traffic, but it’s NOTHING like the city. The streets are wider here, there are multiple lanes going in both directions, and the sheer fact that less people live here helps.
2. Parking. As in, we have it. And it’s F-R-E-E. I can’t tell you how many times I scream “fuck!” as I’m driving into the city because I realized I forgot to get cash for the paid parking I’ll inevitably have to pay for. If there’s no valet, you’ll have to find an overpriced lot, and if none are available, have fun finding a meter. If you find a meter, chances are the signs are incomprehensible (No parking Thursday 10am – 2pm; No parking anytime; Permitted parking only; Street Cleaning Friday on one damn sign!), and you’ll just end up getting parking ticket. So what should have been free is now a $75 fee. Rolling my eyes and throwing out the knife emoji HARD.
3. Running errands. In the Valley you can easily find Target, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, gas stations, movie theaters, etc. AND the parking is always free. A new shopping area opened up near my house recently and they tried to make it paid parking and the whole city had a conniption and now it’s free 🙂
4. We have backyards. Paul and I decided to buy a home in the Valley because we knew we wanted a house with land / a real backyard. Unless you’re a multi-millionaire you’ll be lucky to have a patio in the city. Houses in the Valley also tend to have more space between the next so you’re not staring directly into your neighbors’ house. We were looking for the most value for our money and we definitely only saw that feasible in the Valley.
5. It’s relaxing. There is something just calmer about the Valley. It probably has something to do with less traffic and free parking, because that shit is stressful (!!!), but seriously, the pace of life here is a bit slower. And don’t get me wrong, we are still in Southern California (in LA county for crying out loud!), so don’t get the Valley confused with Idaho…just know things are a bit more relaxed around here.
6. It’s close to Malibu. A huge reason I love California is the weather and the beach. While I don’t find our beaches to be anything close to the beaches I grew up on in Maui, I still NEED to be close to the water wherever I live. From the Valley you just have to hop on the 101 North for 10 minutes, and take the scenic Las Virgines Canyon for 15-20 minutes until you reach the beach.
7. I feel removed from the city. After spending hours in the city each week there is nothing I love more than getting back into the Valley. It’s a nice relief from the hustle and bustle of the city, and I feel like I’m back in my little bubble of peace and quiet. I don’t think I ever truly relax when I’m in the city.
8. The heat. Okay, I’ll admit it, I don’t entirely love the heat. I truly feel it’s progressively getting worse each year. However, I remember a time when the Valley just felt like high 80’s year-round and it was fabulous. These days we are battling “heat waves” for what seems like the entire summer and it’s brutal. 110º+ for weeks on end is not fun, and my poor grass is dying. During the fall and winter though, the temps are amazing–it remains a nice 70ish degrees and sometimes dips to 68ish and I love it.
9. It’s friendly. I find myself saying it’s “SUCH a small world,” like, 100 times a day. Seriously, I’m always randomly running into someone I know, that knows someone else I was just hanging out with, that used to date Paul, and is now married to a photographer I worked with last week. LOL. Always. While this would probably be the case in the city as well, I feel like people are too cool to mention it. In the Valley we have that “small town” quality, where people have no problem just saying it. I love that…I like the human interaction with my community.
10. It’s my hometown. So I really tried to not use this as a reason, as I didn’t want any sentimental reasoning, but I feel like it deserves a little shout-out for being my stomping grounds for so long. I lived in Israel and Hawaii but always made my way back to the Valley. I moved away to the city during college and a little after, too, but came right back when I had the opportunity. It’s my home, and even if I become a multi-millionaire one day, I don’t really see myself living anywhere else. I’m a Valley girl through and through!
Has anyone ever been to the Valley? Have I convinced you to move?! JK.