20 Things You Don't Understand About the Valley (Unless You're From There)


Yes, it's the porn capital of America, but the Valley is also so much more than that. If you're from there (/have lived there for a good chunk of time), you know this. If you're not, well, it's time you learned a thing or two about what's over the hill. This should be a good place to start...

1. The San Fernando Valley is the Valley. The San Gabriel Valley? Not the Valley.

And don't even try it, Santa Clarita and Antelope.

2. Not everyone is in the adult film industry

Man, what a crazy stereotype -- though Chatsworth is kind of the epicenter of the industry, the Valley is MASSIVE. That would be like saying everyone in Middle Earth is an elf just because you're in Lothlórien. As IF.


3. There's a North Valley. And a West Valley. And an East Valley.

We're mostly talking about the Valley -- let's call it Studio City to Encino, down through Van Nuys and maybe all the way to Northridge. But, much love for alllllll of the 818.

4. If you're driving East-West and you're in a hurry, you never take Ventura

Magnolia? Sure, so long as it's not the part that's one lane. Riverside? Yep, unless it dead-ends before you get where you want to end up. Oxnard? That works. Ventura? Nuh-uh.

5. Literally no one knows which movie theater is which in Burbank

Are you going to the 6? The 8? The 16? Eh, we'll just meet up afterwards.

Wikimedia Commons

6. We'll always remember that Baja Fresh/Cold Stone combo as Moby Disc

Aka the greatest store ever.

7. It's pronounced "Tu-HUNG-ga"

The "j" is silent, bud.

8. Fryman Canyon > Runyon Canyon

Believe it. Balboa Park > Griffith Park? At the very least it's not as hilly -- and the lake is beautiful. And stocked with fish.

Flickr/Loco Steve

9. You always fly Burbank

Because 1) valet parking, 2) short security lines, and 3) dude, valet parking.

10. Date night at the Galleria is mandatory...

Although it was way cooler when it was three stories tall and you'd spend your days looking around for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

11. ... and will always end at Humphrey Yogart

Not Humphrey YogUrt -- anyone who says that is definitely not from the Valley.

Jeff Miller

12. There's nowhere with better sushi

Bold statement, sure. But stop in at a ton of holes-in-the-wall on Ventura (or one of the hidden-gem deep-cut spots like Chiba or -- shout out Canoga Park! -- Go's Mart) and you'll get insanely, absurdly good fish.

13. If someone asks if you're North or South of the Boulevard, it's actually a socioeconomic question

If you can say you live South of the Boulevard, you're using a SUPER FANCY computer right now. Super fancy.

14. It will be 10 degrees warmer

If you have to ask, "do I need to bring a sweater?", the answer is probably no.

15. Our apartments are way bigger than your apartments

Because rent is 25% cheaper here.


16. It's okay to use Circus Liquor as a landmark

"Make a left at Circus Liquor" is totally an acceptable way to give someone directions.

17. Your celebrity spottings will totally beat the ones over the hill

Dave Grohl at a family-style Chinese restaurant in Encino? Check. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall having Coffee Bean together in Sherman Oaks? Doooooouble check.

18. Parking is... not a bitch

Street signs? Clear. Street parking? Easy. Don't believe it? Believe it.

19. At some point, you'll eat at Bamboo and be like, "oh, right, this is what Chinese food should taste like"...

... so long as you're not Chinese. If you're Chinese, you'll totally want to make the drive to Chinatown.

20. If your area code is 747, you're not really from the Valley

818, son. 818.

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Jeff Miller grew up in Van Nuys and North Hollywood and his cell phone is still an 818 number, because, duh. Yell at him on Twitter at @thrillistla and on Instagram at @jeffmillerla.