Featured on LA Weekly by Liz Ohanesian

Featured on LA Weekly by Liz Ohanesian

10 Reasons to Cruise Reseda Boulevard.

It's not as famous as Ventura Boulevard. It's not as useful as hill-crossing roads like Laurel Canyon and Sepulveda. It doesn't hit as many neighborhoods as Victory. Still, if you want to drive down one street that's truly representative of 818 life, you should hit up Reseda Boulevard.

Reseda Boulevard isn't long; the entire route runs a little more than 12 miles and hits only four neighborhoods. Hilltop parks in posh neighborhoods bookend the street. In either direction, you'll wind downhill, toward some semblance of normal life, where you will bounce between commercial and residential blocks. You'll see Tarzana, Reseda, Northridge and Porter Ranch, all of which are far more interesting than one might assume.

Maybe I'm biased. I grew up in Northridge and probably spent more time on Reseda Boulevard than I did at the local mall. It wasn't a destination. During my teen years, it was just the closest street where my friends and I could buy records, grab coffee or see movies for really cheap. Those places are gone now, but there's still plenty to do here. Here are 10 reasons to explore the Valley by cruising down Reseda Boulevard.

10. There are hidden treasures along Reseda Boulevard.
Say what you will about L.A. shopping centers with their chain stores and generic designs, but sometimes there are cool finds hidden inside the stuccoed monstrosities. Sometimes, it's worth it to park and search, even if all you can see from the street is the anchor store, a fast food drive-thru and a lot of cars.

For example, there's this shopping center on the northeastern side of Reseda and Nordhoff. It's a mess of a shopping center, the kind with a parking lot that immediately results in a fit of road rage. It's worth the frustration, though, because there's a beauty supply store semi-hidden from street view that is fantastic. Starr Beauty has an awesome, hip selection of cosmetics and a wide variety of over-the-top fake eyelashes. They are more than well-stocked with Nyx products, including lipsticks in unconventional colors. They also carry Kryolan makeup and have a great selection of makeup brushes. It's easy to lose track of time in here as you obsess over your eyeshadow purchases. Starr Beauty, 9301 Reseda Blvd., Northridge. (818) 885-1085, starrbeauty.com.


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