Reseda, reconsidered

Reseda resists public affection. Of all the old neighborhoods of the Valley, it has the least curb appeal.  Or to put it another way, it’s the last shopping district in LA without a Starbucks.  Or a Pinkberry, or Chipotle or anything of that nature.  A mixed blessing, perhaps. Driving down Sherman Way one sees all the blight of Van Nuys and Panorama City, but without the abundant street life, colorful murals, food trucks, swap meet stalls and teeming commerce of more populated areas.  Reseda is the place grandma refused to leave, and the kids hate to visit.  It’s where the Old White Valley and the New Valley of the Asian/Latino working class coexist in uncomfortable equipoise amid a parade of empty storefronts.  Or, to put it another way, Detroit.  Earlier this year, I posted a rather snarky photo array of Reseda on a Sunday afternoon which was, in retrospect, a little unfair.  Last week, driving home in the late afternoon,  I stopped for another look around:

Out of business this summer
Out of business this summer, after 40 years
No longer selling books
No longer selling books
Glatt Kosher, and zero reviews on Yelp
Glatt Kosher, and zero reviews on Yelp

Okay, maybe this isn’t helping. A lot of Reseda is like this.  There’s no avoiding it. But then there are still thriving old school establishments like this:

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And this:

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And this:

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And of course this, which I wrote of last week, the reason I stopped the car in the first place:

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Maybe its the rosy light of an early evening in Autumn. Maybe it’s the fact they are still toughing it out with Target and Home Depot just up the road, or just the spirit of the holiday season, but I am resolved to be more respectful of Reseda.  I leave it here:

Waiting for walk-in traffic
Waiting for walk-in traffic

Fittingly, the Love Thyself Barbershop.  ‘”All are Welcome”.