A Place to Start Your Own

My parents moved out to Los Angeles in 1979 because my father took a job at UCLA. They bounced around a couple places in LA before finally ending up at the house they still live in today and the one I grew up in. I grew up in Tarzana, CA my whole life ( a suburb of Los Angeles) and I think about my community in one sentence told to me by my neighbor a long time ago. “Tarzana is the perfect place to raise a family.”

My dad grew up as the son of a feed store owner in Youngstown Ohio, while my mom grew up in Rockville, MD. They met when my mom was in college in 1977 and ended up getting married, and they moved out to a suburb of Los Angeles and raised three boys.

A photo of my whole family from my brother Michael’s wedding.

As I grew older and as I started to become more aware of my surroundings, I began to truly appreciate the area which I live. Tarzana is an affluent neighborhood of Los Angeles. A neighborhood that has only 10.7 percent of people living below the poverty line. And it is a city that has a median income a little over $68,000 ( an average of 10 percent higher than the total in LA Metro area). Tarzana has a 39.2 percent foreign-born population with 50% of people coming from Asia.

Tarzana can attract celebrities from its proximity to Hollywood, downtown, and other various locations throughout LA county.

Since Tarzana can attract celebrities, it can also attract celebrity home invasions. Amber Rose, a famous model was the target of such a crime. Former Lakers players Nick Young and Derek Fisher were also the victims of home robberies.

Tarzana can be an interesting mix of rich, poor and people from all different types of backgrounds. While going to public school in the neighborhood, I encountered peers who’s parents came from all over the world. Whether this is a product of my generation or surroundings, I think the diversity of Los Angeles as a whole played a huge part.

In terms of immigration (and saying this as a white male). I have never seen problems with immigration in my local neighborhood. While this current administration has created laws that would put a burden on undocumented immigrants and dreamers, I personally have not seen anyone affected within my own community. That stopped, however, when I interviewed people at my own college at CSUN. This was of course in Northridge and not Tarzana.

Tarzana may have it’s problems but the city has been instrumental in shaping me into the human I am today. Tarzana is an urban suburbia that caters to the basic needs as well as set you up for future successes. It’s a city with diversity. It’s a city with a busing atmosphere. It’s a city with people from all around the world. I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up in any other place. Like my neighbor said, and I think it holds true, “Tarzana is a great place to raise a family.”