San Fernando Valley

From the age of 3 until I was about 17 years old I lived in Chatsworth, California, which is located in the west side of the San Fernando Valley. Growing up in a suburbia like this shaped me into who I am today. As a child probably from 4 years old until I was 11 years old I would go out and play every single day with the kids in my neighborhood. I feel as though I had a classic childhood. Our neighborhood was a tight knit community that looked out for each other. As I grew older I noticed the ugliness of Chatsworth when I realized one of my friends was living in a crack house and my next door neighbor and best friend as I child got hooked on heroin. About half of Chatsworth is white according to Census Reporter but throughout the San Fernando Valley there is so much diversity that I hardly noticed the difference in race.

My childhood bestfriend and I. I think we hung out probably every single day.

In 2014 my family and I moved out of Chatsworth and downsized to an apartment in Sherman Oaks, California which is located in the South East part of the San Fernando Valley. Sherman Oaks is another prodominetly white part of the valley and this time I notice it. Sherman Oaks definitely has a reputation for rich white people and its true. According to Census Reporter the median household income in Sherman Oaks is above $80,000 with about 10% at the poverty line. I really like Sherman Oaks because I describe it as a mini city compared to the rest of the valley because of all the shops, bars, and restaurants on Ventura Boulevard. I know I still live in the same valley but the vibes in Sherman Oaks, Encino, and Studio City are more comforting to me than the quiet suburbia of Chatsworth.

This scene from the movie Valley Girl was shot at the mall that is now the Sherman Oaks Galleria which is 5 minutes from where I currently live. In the scene they mention Van Nuys Boulvard and have really strong valley accents.

My old home to my new home

My mom was raised in the valley while my dad is an immigrant from the UK. My dad came here on a visa in 1991 and has been living in Southern California for 26 years. Starting in Hollywood then moving to the valley with my mom and I.

My dad at the Hollywood Bowl 1991

Although I havent lived in other places around the San Fernando Valley I am very familiar with the cities and streets in the Valley. I am informed of news and events happening within the San Fernando Valley. Although under 10% of Latinos and Asians live in Sherman Oaks immigration issues like DACA and the ICE arrests are still very much on my radar. In the article below they mention what cities in the San Fernando Valley that people have been arrested by ICE.

Since I have ventured out to other parts of the valley there is a strong Latino culture in the San Fernando Valley. A little under half of the population in the San Fernando Valley is hispanic according to Census Reporter. In the late 70’s early 80’s my grandpa and his friend actually helped coyote mexicans across the border into San Fernando. I do have first hand experience with immigration issues like DACA since my boyfriend has DACA. I would like to know more about what congress is going to do with DACA or if Trump will actually revist the situation.

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