The Valley observed

The LA Weekly's cover story is on photographer Larry Sultan's upcoming book of still images from porn shoots inside tract houses and back yards around the San Fernando Valley, while in City Beat Erik Himmelsbach revisits the shopping malls of his Valley youth.

I damn near grew up inside the Northridge Fashion Center. I first glimpsed this Taj Mahal of Tampa Avenue soon after it opened in 1971. It was like the United Nations of shopping: From the Tinder Box to Spencer Gifts to the creepy religious smorgasbord Hodels, I had never seen such a disparate array of stores under one roof. Inside the darkened cash-driven cathedral, time was irrelevant. It was all about the sanctity of spending.

The mall put Northridge on the map, and its clout was such that a spend-and-play fortress (Tower Records, Malibu Grand Prix, Wild West Store) emerged across the street on Nordhoff, and a mini-restaurant row sprouted down Tampa (which at one time included the mind-blowing Jeremiahís Steakhouse. Yum.)

Also in the Weekly: An effort to remove city planning director Con Howe.


More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent stories on LA Observed:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations

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