11. There’s a CIA outpost in North Hollywood, and what’s inside is disturbing
OK, it has nothing to do with the government, but the CIA -- the California Institute of Abnormalarts -- is an equally absurd but lower rent (and less publicized) Museum of Jurassic Technology. Exhibits include Bigfoot’s head and a tribute to dead fairies (are they real? are they fake? who knows?!?!), and they often have live performances… from midgets. Or clowns. Or bands. If you’re open to insanity and you haven’t been, now’s the time.
12. Part of the Valley is radioactive
So this dude Joel Grover at KNBC did some deep digging about what happened at the now-defunct Santa Susana Field Laboratory in Simi Hills, on the Valley’s western edge. The nuclear lab was open for decades, but the cleanup? That, um, never properly happened. Which is a pretty big deal since according to the investigation, for 40 years, 209 acres of the site became “home to 10 reactors, a plutonium fuel fabrication facility, a uranium fuel facility, and a ‘hot lab’ for remotely cutting up dangerous radioactive material.” A partial meltdown happened in 1959. As the population increased in the area, nearby residents weren’t informed. The fallout? “[A]cres and acres of radioactive and chemical contamination remains right above the neighborhoods of thousands.” Yeah, but are there any three-eyed fish?
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Jessica Ritz is a freelance journalist. The Valley spot she's mostly likely to be seen at is Carney's Studio City feeding questionable food to her two young sons. Follow her at @jessnritz.