SFV in the press

From the Sunday papers:

♦ In a Daily News feature piece on how being a lowrider saved Abel Perez’s life, some memories of Cruise Night:

On Wednesday nights, they’d cruise Van Nuys Boulevard, mingling with the hot-rod guys, the surfers and their friends with the metal-flake rides with the little whitewall tires. The girls were nice, the coup de grace, but the ultimate compliment was when another driver said you had the baddest car on the block. As Abel recalls it, he always did. “Getting the car ready, that was the best high in the world. You didn’t need drugs, you didn’t need a beer, just the anticipation of driving around with the best car in the Valley.”For a Saturday night on the town, they’d head north to San Fernando and ease down the main drag. Babe built a record player into his dashboard on special shock absorbers so it wouldn’t skip and he’d crank up Rare Earth’s “Get Ready.” Once they got near Maclay, they’d pass Tom Carroll Chevrolet, where it was really time to show off. Throwing their rides into a slow U-turn, they’d watch their reflections in the dealership’s huge, mirrored front window. You could see the whole car, paint gleaming in the streetlight, wire rims sparkling so beautiful you could cry. It was, in cruisers’ parlance, so bitchin’. “We don’t have a lot of money, we’ve got a 9-to-5 job. But dammit, we’ve got nice cars.”

Nitpick: It’s Tom Carrell. He was a state Senator from the Valley from 1966 until his death in 1972 and had served in the state Assembly before that.

♦ West Magazine in the L.A. Times checks out the international array of produce and spices available at Valley Produce in Reseda.

…where shelves brim with canned goods labeled in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, Armenian, Russian and Hindi. The cheese section is crowded with offerings from Mexico, France, Egypt and Iran….”You can walk in here and not be sure what you are going to do,” [chief Raphael] Lunetta says. “But when you leave you’ll have 100 ideas.”

♦ Two of the Valley’s city council members, Tony Cardenas and Alex Padilla, have parents who immigrated from Mexico to settle in Pacoima. Padilla’s dad Santos cooks at Pat’s in Toluca Lake.