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Friday, February 23, 2018

Shopping malls, consumerism, suburbia

I came across an interesting article from the Atlantic magazine written by Ian Bogost.

It offers one take on the history of shopping malls.

Over the last 50 or so years, the shopping mall has gone from the go-to place for shopping, for teenagers to hang out and get away from their parents before pagers, cell phones, computers, texting and drivers licenses and to mature a bit in a safe environment. Today, consumers purchasing habits are rapidly going online although millions of people still like to go to the mall to buy something, a gift for a family member, special gift for a friend or even a pick-me-up gift for themselves.

 (The Garden Court, Southdale Shopping Center, Edina, MN, 1965)

For those of you that have experiences about being younger, growing up or visiting valley malls, please make a comment below.

For example, I was at the birth of the Northridge Fashion Center.  As a new teenager, my friends and I could walk to the mall or be dropped off at the mall and hang for hours.  We would hang out at the Bob's Big Boy Jr. or at Spencer's Gifts looking at all sorts of new games and odd things. We would walk in the Broadway store, in the Sears store to check out all of the Craftsman tools and grab a drink at Orange Julius.

Older brothers worked in the movie theatre, now where Old Navy is located, and we would pay to go to a movie and sometimes receive a neighbor's special discount to come and watch one or two.

Some employees actually rode their mini-bike (what's a mini-bike??) in the mall before the security guard come come and kick them out.

This 1970s photo is so classic - this contraption is a glorified lawn mower with two wheels, a makeshift seat encased in tubular steel. It has going too fast, unable to steer and careening off the street and into the neighbor's ivy written all over it.

Some of the kids in Northridge had mini-bikes.  Some would ride around at all hours. Some kids from several blocks away would scream down the street, at a whopping 12 mph, and look pretty cool. Then you would see the kid having trouble pushing the mini-bike up the street because the chain busted. Not so cool now.

To read this article, please click HERE.

Again, please do not be bashful to send us a note, make a comment and bring your past experiences, funny and or painful back to life.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley Announces Dana Radke to The Museum's board of directors

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley is pleased to announce Dana Radke has joined The Museum's board of directors.

Dana was born in Santa Monica, but has lived in the Valley and West Hills for over 50 years. He attended Chatsworth High and L.A. Valley College, where he studied metal machining and also at the West Valley Occupational Center, where he studied electronic assembly.

He served in the Air Force and following moved Reno, Nevada where he was a Field Service Technician for video poker and slot machines.

Dana returned to the Valley where he worked alongside his mother, who was a singer, musician and voice coach. He operated a recording studio, produced music and assisted people preparing for auditions and helped train voice actors.

He has a lifelong interest in photography and has operated dark rooms and produced prints for personal as well as commercial use. 

Other interests include computers where he has learned various computer languages such as Assembly, Promal, HTML and Java Script.

Also, for quite a few years, he has had an interest in Valley history. This led Dana to start looking up photographs of old Valley buildings. This, in turn, has lead Dana to manage the current and ongoing Museum project, Then and Now. He is researching countless areas for photographs of Then and then taking photographs of the Now.

2-25-18 Authors on Architecture: Arenson on Millard Sheets - Free event - Glendale Library

Authors on Architecture: Arenson on Sheets
Lecture, Glendale Central Library
Sunday, February 25th, 2:00 PM
Join SAH/SCC and the Glendale Central Library (Welton Becket & Associates, 1973) as author Adam Arenson debuts Banking on Beauty: Millard Sheets and Mid-Century Commercial Architecture in California (University of Texas Press, 2018), his long-awaited volume on the architecture of Home Savings.

For more than three decades, Millard Sheets (1907-1989) and his studio of artists designed Home Savings and Loan branches throughout California, studding their iconic projects with mosaics, murals, stained glass, and sculptures that celebrated both family life and the history of the Golden State. The collaboration between the Millard Sheets Studio and Howard Ahmanson (1906-1968), Home Savings' executive, resulted in more than 40 branches designed and built between the completion of the first collaboration in 1955 and Ahmanson's death.
The Glendale Central Library is also a winner of a 2018 Preservation Award by the Los Angeles Conservancy.

Authors on Architecture: Arenson-
Sunday, February 25, 2018
2:00 - 4:00 PM
Glendale Central Library
222 E. Harvard Street

FREE Admission
Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis
Tel: 818.548.2021.

Validated free parking is available in the structure opposite the library on East Harvard Street.
For more event info, please click HERE.

Friday, February 9, 2018

SUNDAY - “Black History in the SFV: A Deep History That Really Hasn’t Been Told"

Special Speaker Series Event
In honor of 2018 Black History Month, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley’s Speaker Series with the Pacoima Historical Society is proud to present:
“Black History in the SFV: A Deep History That Really Hasn’t Been Told”
Crystal Jackson, Founder and President of the Pacoima Historical Society, and filmmaker of the 2018 Pan African Film Festival Best Feature Documentary nominee “Pacoima Stories: Land of Dreams”, talks about the struggles, sacrifice and undying spirit of America’s proud minority culture in the San Fernando Valley.
Crystal was born in Pacoima in the ‘60’s. Her family had moved to the San Fernando Valley in the 1930’s, first North Hollywood, then Pacoima. Crystal graduated Granada Hills High School but went to San Fernando High her last semester to stay close to her Pacoima friends. She majored in Journalism at Cal State Northridge, but it wasn’t until Crystal moved to the Bay area to begin her Pacoima film that she realized the richness of her town’s history. This evening, Crystal will host preview snippets of her award-nominated film as well as present historic photos and previously untold factual stories of the rich Black culture that contributed to change and vibrancy here in the San Fernando Valley. Crystal's new book on the history of Pacoima is coming out Fall of 2018.
Sunday, February 11
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
$10 contribution per person
Light Refreshments.
Raffle Drawing
Sign up on Eventbrite at
(Seating space is limited. The Museum suggests people sign-up early on Eventbrite.)
DVDs of “Pacoima Stories: Land of Dreams” will be available for sale.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

FREE Museum Day - get out and explore

Today is SoCal Museum Day.

We hope you can visit one of the many museums within southern California today.

For more info, please visit

Dozens of museums—presenting art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science—will open their doors and invite visitors to attend their museums free of charge.
Museums Free-for-All is partnering with Metro, encouraging visitors to Go Metro to explore participating museums, many of which are a short walk from Metro bus or rail stops. Experience a day of art and culture without traffic and plan ahead of time on
This offer is for general museum admission only and does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions. Regular parking fees apply at each museum. Consult individual museum websites for hours, directions, and other visitor information.

2018 Participating Museums

Annenberg Space for Photography
Free cookie with the purchase of any coffee beverage (while supplies last).
Autry Museum of the American West
The Broad
California African American Museum
California Science Center
General admission only. A timed reservation with a convenience fee is required for Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Columbia Memorial Space Center
Craft & Folk Art Museum
Descanso Gardens
Forest Lawn Museum
Fowler Museum at UCLA
Getty Center
Getty Villa
Free, timed tickets are required. Visit
Hammer Museum
Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Japanese American National Museum
Free tickets available at
Kidspace Children’s Museum
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
General admission only; free tickets available at
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)
Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)
Museum of Tolerance
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
General admission only; free tickets available at
Orange County Museum of Art
The Paley Center for Media
Palm Springs Art Museum
Pasadena Museum of California Art
Petersen Automotive Museum
Museums Free-for-All tickets are sold out. Paid Vault tours can still be booked.
Pomona College Museum of Art
Riverside Art Museum
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Skirball Cultural Center
Noah’s Ark timed-entry, one-hour tickets are limited and distributed first-come, first-served.
Sunnylands Center & Gardens
Excludes tours of the historic house and grounds.
University Art Museum, CSU Long Beach
Join us for opening reception of Robert Irwin: Site Determined 4-6 pm, January 28. Closed January 27.
USC Fisher Museum
Offering free admission on Saturday, January 27, instead of Sunday, January 28.
USC Pacific Asia Museum
Zimmer Children’s Museum

Please visit us too - Tuesday, Thursday and last Saturday, all 1:00-5:00 pm.