What makes a Great Street? It’s more than just the physical infrastructure, street, bike lanes and tree lined sidewalks. A strong and vibrant community cannot be accomplished without its people.
People like Rudy, who runs Joyce’s Coffee Shop, serving hot cups of coffee to CSUN students and professors. Where neighbors come to hang out and reminisce with friends about the time Janis Joplin performed at San Fernando Valley State or when Jimi Hendrix headlined at Devonshire Downs, both locations now known as California State University, Northridge. Today, headlining new acts like Jewel and the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Valley Performing Arts Center.
Alex, the restaurateur behind Lum Ka Naad, the best Thai restaurant in all of Los Angeles, serving up the most flavorful larb salads and boat noodles. Lum Ka Naad is a shining example of how a business can thrive with a little sweat equity and financial investment into their storefront to attract both hungry diners and investors alike. Enhancing more than just the ambiance of the restaurant, but elevating the whole boulevard.
Neighbors like Don Larson, leading an army of community volunteers, to mop sidewalks, remove graffiti, sweep bike lanes and empty the trash cans along Reseda Blvd as the maintenance partner for all the new street furniture built by LA Mas. As a 4th generation Northridge-ian, Don has a deep connection and love for Reseda Blvd. Don’s great-grandfather of Norwegian-German descent built the first church in Northridge, now found on the grounds of the Korean Senior Center right off of Reseda Blvd and Gresham. Back then, Northridge was called Zelzah, a dusty lone train station along the Southern Pacific railroad, now transporting Metrolink commuters from Northridge to Downtown, along the same train tracks laid down over 100 years ago.
Andrea Alvarado, who moved to Northridge after the Northridge Earthquake and now has been the voice and inspiration of Northridge Sparkle, cleaning the streets of Reseda Boulevard, making our streets sparkle. Who under her leadership, has activated the desire in all of us to take pride in our community through ownership. Revitalizing not only the business community but her neighborhood as well, with neighbors meeting neighbors for the first time after living next to each other for 10 years at a neighborhood watch meeting or a front-yard bbq, hosted at Andrea’s house.
CJ Berina, the owner of Collective Lifestyle, born and raised in Northridge. A young entrepreneur, who gives back to his local community, while bringing a bit of youth culture to Reseda Blvd., through fashion, music and art.
Reseda Boulevard may invoke the image of orange groves, suburbia and car culture, but for those of us who live and work in Northridge, we’ve always known Reseda Boulevard as the hub of the local food movement, mid-century mods and muscle cars, and that’s why Reseda Boulevard is The First Great Street of Los Angeles.