Friday, March 28, 2014

Rare Palm Tree Is The Pride Of Canoga Park


By Michale Hemmingway, Quilt staff


DATELINE: COVELLO STREET

It can be seen for literally blocks away. Walgreens does a brisk business selling t-shirts bearing its silhouetted image. It’s known far and wide as the "tree that put Canoga Park on the map" and as of today, it’s official: the palm tree at the corner of Gresham and Covello, in the tight-knit Greshello neighborhood, is the world’s tallest nude palm.

Canoga Park's famous Nude Palm. Staff photo.
“Nude palms are one of the plant world’s oddities because they’re one of the few true trees of the order Arecales that grow without any sort of leaves, fronds, needles, or other chlorophyll-producing greenery whatsoever,” explains Pierce College professor of dendrology Dr. Morris Detzer. “This one is particularly remarkable because of its height. Usually, they’re considered an eyesore and destroyed before they grow even half as tall as this one.”

But grow it did and what was originally a source of deep shame and embarrassment for the community eventually gave way to a pride that grew as big as the nude palm itself. Finally, last fall, neighbor Alan Herndon decided the tree deserved some recognition and put it before the Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council.

“I was the only one there to speak and sat through an unbelievably long recitation of the previous month’s minutes and other incredibly mundane council business before they finally opened up the floor and I had two minutes to make my case,” Herndon recalls. 

Apparently he put forth an impassioned, convincing argument because a motion was immediately put through, voted on, and passed by all four members of the council in attendance. 

“Resolved: Have someone send Guinness Book of World Records an email about this,” reads the official minutes. "Maybe ask Betty. She's good with stuff like this." 


Dr. Morris Detzer. Photo: Mimi Detzer
However, the wheels of municipal government sometimes turn slowly, and it was eight weeks before anyone realized there was no one on the neighborhood council named "Betty."  

"I have no idea who wrote that down, nor who they meant by 'Betty.' There was a 'Betty' on the council in the mid-1970s, Betty Hamilton, I think, but she's been dead for years," explains Leonard Chiapetta, CPFNC Undersecretary In Charge Of  Transcribing Each Month's Jotted Post-Its Into The Official Record. "So I went on the computer and emailed the Guinness people myself - once I found their website on the World Wide Web."

Last week the long-awaited reply came - but it wasn’t what anyone hoped for: 

“Thank you for your recent inquiry but Guinness does not recognize height records in different species of trees. Our sole entry in this category is the world tallest living tree, with the title currently being held by Hyperion, a 379-foot tall coast redwood in Redwood National Park. If you feel sometime in the future that your tree has outgrown Hyperion, please feel free to contact us again.”

Canoga Park's celebrated Nude Palm, the tallest in the world, can be seen from
blocks away, in this case all the way from Cohasset Street. Staff photo.
Undaunted, Chiapetta called the botany department at nearby Pierce College. That afternoon, Dr. Detzer himself drove over to see it in person and verified it was the world’s largest nude palm, estimating it, via the QG, or Quick Glance, Method at “oh, about seventy, eighty feet or so.” 

Local business leader Walgreens sells t-shirts
bearing an image of the nude palm. They're a
hot seller at $5.99 each, or two for $10.
Photo: Walgreens
Word spread quickly and residents in the neighborhood, thrilled by the news, wanted to install some sort of monument or notation at the base of the palm, commemorating its vertical distinction.

A bake sale was immediately organized and held, and while it was successful, the cost of the plaque exceeded its profits. A car wash, a community yard sale, another three weekends of car washes, a silent auction,  a second community yard sale, and two more weekends of car washes followed. Finally, a donation from a local car wash made up the difference and the forty-two dollar bronze plate was paid in full.

Volunteers hit another snag during what was to be the plaque's installation ceremony. Attempts to attach the plaque by drywall screws, then a succession of increasingly larger drywall screws, and eventually, 1/2” carriage bolts nearly a foot long were unsuccessful, as the tree’s trunk was found to be too soft. Each attempt failed as the fasteners kept coming loose and falling out along with a dry, fibrous powder as well as a profusion of insects.

It was then decided to mount the plaque on a signpost in the ground on front of the tree. It will be installed, pending Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council approval, sometime this summer, in time for the gala celebration and events surrounding the second anniversary of the Canoga Park Centennial.

Alan Herndon reflects on all that he started with a sense of wonderment as well as what neighbors attest is his characteristic modesty. 

Says the lifelong Canoga Park resident, “Somehow my aim has been completely misconstrued here. I really just wanted someone from the city to come over and cut it down.”

This handsome  bronze plaque (shown slightly larger than actual size)
is the result of a civic-minded community coming together. Staff photo.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Canoga Park Celebrates Spring With Crane Fly Days, March 22-23


By Blythe Moorcraft, Quilt staff


DATELINE: NORTHGATE AVENUE

It’s official: Spring has come to Canoga Park.

And although the season of rebirth technically began yesterday, Thursday, March 20th, Andrej Ciernik, 5, of the tight-knit Strath-Minta neighborhood, has reason to believe differently:
Andrej Ciernik
Photo: Ellen Ciernik

Over two weeks ago, on March 4th, the young Northgate Avenue resident saw what is believed to have been the first crane fly of the season.

“It came flying in here and I said ‘Papa, Papa, look at the big mosquito!’ And he didn’t believe me at first.”

Says proud dad Martin Ciernik, “First of all, I thought maybe he was mistaken until I saw it; and second, I was really surprised he wasn’t afraid - Jesus Christ, those things are freaky! He even tried to catch it, but it managed to get away. I found it later on the wall in the bathroom, and I snapped a couple pictures with my iPhone before I smooshed it with my shoe and flushed it down the toilet.”
Welcome, Friend: Andrej Ciernik spotted
what was likely this spring's first crane fly.
Photo: Martin Ciernik.

Crane flies, locally known as a benign harbinger of spring, are indeed often mistaken for large mosquitos. Yet despite the resemblance, experts insist the loping, clumsy fliers pose no discernible threat to Canoga Park residents. 

Named Official Bird of Canoga Park in 1933 by the [then] Owensmouth Neighborhood Council in the hours immediately following the repeal of Prohibition, the large insects have long been an important part of Canoga Park culture. They’re found everywhere from front and center on an early version of the Canoga Park seal, to many of our local murals, incorporated in the metalwork of the iron railings along the new Orange Line busway, and even in the decorative mosaic tiles in Woodland Hill’s nearby Orcutt Ranch. 

“The Canoga Indians - who were indigenous to this region until they were massacred by settlers in the mid-19th century - relied on the crane fly for many things,” says Bob Farrell of the Owensmouth / Canoga Historical Society. 

“Teenage squaws would mash up the crane flies’ bodies into a goo that they’d use to paste cabinet cards of Sitting Bull on to the walls of their tepees. Their fathers would use the crane flies’ long legs as an early type of dental floss to remove possum gristle from their teeth. Sometimes the women of the tribes, if they could get to the flies before their daughters, would appropriate the bitter, foul-tasting insect as a last resort to extend the possum loaf if unexpected company dropped in. The flies’ mashed carcasses have also been used as a paint or dye, when a muddy grayish-brown hue was needed.”
Two members of the hardy Canoga
band of Indians.     Photo: Owens-
mouth Canoga Historical Society.

Unlike other native American tribes, the Canoga weren’t particularly interested in using ‘every part of the animal.’ 

“Crane flies’ wings were just tossed out,” Farrell notes.

That is, until the Leadwell Carriage Company opened up shop here in town in 1877. The manufacturer (whose factory sat on the site now occupied by Döner King on Shoup) was faced with a severe shortage of mica for their horse-drawn carriage windows when owner Thomas Leadwell noticed a small contingent of the remaining Native Americans catching crane flies, mashing them up, pasting up pictures of Sitting Bull in their homes, and flossing their teeth - but throwing out the wings.
Thomas Leadwell, c. 1880
Photo: Owensmouth Canoga
Historical Society

“Leadwell was no fool,” Farrell says of the carriage manufacturer. “He offered the Indians a penny a pound for the discarded wings and patented a method for pressing them into thin but surprisingly sturdy carriage window panes. Then, as new settlers moved to the area, schoolchildren undercut the Canoga, offering a pound and a half of the wings for a penny, effectively driving the few remaining Native Americans further into poverty and forcing them to join the nearby Valley Circle tribe.

The Canoga are long forgotten, but the crane fly continues to thrive. Says Will Gibson of Green Thumb Nursery, “We do sell a few varieties of crane fly feeders as well as a number of plants to attract crane flies to your yard.”

First grader Kayla Pfeiffer-Gonzalez's colorful
winning contest entry. Photo: Judy Maxwell.
Local schools, too, celebrate the beloved insect. Canoga Park Elementary commemorated the arrival of spring with a weeklong unit about the soon-to-be-omnipresent bug that encompassed science, history, social studies and even math subjects (Did you know a single crane fly will lay over 2,400 eggs in a single six-hour period?) that culminated in a coloring contest. 

Community business leader Arby’s was pleased to present the winner, first grader Kayla Pfeiffer-Gonzalez, with a certificate for two Arby-Q sandwiches.

As usual, the first weekend following the arrival of spring is Crane Fly Days here in Canoga Park. Look to local merchants running crane fly-themed discounts, including restaurants, especially those with patios - offering specials at dusk - when crane flies are active, and most likely to awkwardly flutter their way into your open mouth while popping in a forkful of Organic Kale Salad. And of course there’s the annual Crane Fly Parade on Sherman Way this Saturday, from two to four p.m., celebrating its 83rd anniversary.

The joy we get from the relationship with our friend the crane fly is, alas, tinged with tragedy: the gangly insect only lives a scant twenty-four hours. Thankfully, the hatching of their larva is staggered over a month and a half period, so local residents will enjoy seeing the Official Canoga Park Bird well into the beginning of May.

And once they’re gone? Hopefully we can mitigate our sorrow by turning our attention to Canoga Park’s bountiful population of then-emerging feisty black widow spiders.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council Election Results!

By Sherman Farralone, Quilt staff
Staff photo.
DATELINE: DEMOCRACY!
An amazing turnout this year - nearly three dozen voters visited the Canoga Park Community Center yesterday to do their duty as Canoga Park citizens in good standing and vote in Empower LA’s Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council elections. This represents a significant uptick from our last election, where nearly half of the candidates didn’t even bother to show up to vote.

Without further adieu, the results...

• Retail/Service Business Representatives
Ronald Ben Clary and Avi Feinstein

• Liaison to the Council of Unlicensed Food Cart Vendors
Mike "Ronnie" Dorado

• Walk-of-Hearts Gum Scraper-Offer (Discount Birds to the Adult Novelties Store)
Vera Morris

• Alley Dog Doo Spotter
Helen Caputo

• Committee to Get The Food Truck That Broadcasts That Weird, Intermittent Clanging Noise To Hit Up Variel & Cohasset Once In A While, C’mon!
Phil Cheung and Bernice Knudsen

• Inflatable Bounce House Zoning Commission Chairman
Budek Darula

• At-Risk Juvenile Possum Outreach Coordinator
Elise Humberg

• Task Force to Convince Green Thumb To Keep That Marvelous Christmas Tree Room of Theirs Up All Year
Francis Wiggins, Barbara Walczek, Lou Baruno

• Extension Cord Inspector, Department of Decrepit RVs Apparently Parked Permanently On The Street In Front Of The Neighbor’s Place
Hal Plummer

• Late Night Squeaky Shopping Cart Garbage-Picker Route Scheduler
Milt Haggerty

• Annoyance-Based Organizations Representative
Owen Smouth

• Unremarkable But Reasonably Colorful Talent Wrangler (Sidewalk in front of Follow Your Heart site)
Ben Pierce

• Merchant Coordinator, Department of Bootleg CDs Sold Out Of A Large Cardboard Tray (Back entrance to 99¢ Only site)
Marisol Mendez-Purcell

• Chairman of the Panel to Get Walgreen’s To Open Another Goddamn Register Already, This Is Ridiculous
Edward Knox

• Chief Ignorer, Department of Illegally-Converted Garages
Daniel Iverson

• Walk-of-Hearts Gum Scraper-Offer (El Gringo Laundromat to That Furniture Store On The Corner That Sells Dressers Upholstered with Dora the Explorer Fleece)
Jim Gutierrez 

Are you among the nearly thirty-six patriotic Canoga Parkians
who exercised their right to vote in yesterday's election?
No? Well, then you're just a horrible person.     Staff photo.
Despite a Canoga Park Quilt endorsement recommending residents vote for Xposed’s Brad Barnes, Avi Feinstein and Chris Stark, only Feinstein won his contest. 

Regardless, the unusually high voter turnout has been attributed to Barnes’, Feinstein’s and Stark’s candidacies: An exit poll revealed that many voters misunderstood that there would be fully-nude voting at yesterday’s polling place. (There was not.)

Congratulations to all the winners - but also to the losers and local residents who voted because, really, all of Canoga Park wins when we get involved. But we’d like to extend a special congratulations to Owen Smouth, our very own editor here at the Quilt, who won his race as the Representative for Annoyance-Based Organizations. 

We understand he intends to take his new position very seriously. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Aborted 'Xposed' Venue Change Revealed During Owner & Employees Run For Neighborhood Council

By Burton Cantara, Quilt Staff

DATELINE: OWENSMOUTH AVENUE

Exciting news today for fans of municipal government and naked women: Three men affiliated with celebrated Canoga Park landmark Xposed strip club (and adjacent bar “The Wet Spot”) may be entering local politics: club owner Brad Barnes and employees Avi Feinstein and Chris Stark are running for positions on Canoga Park’s Friendly Neighborhood Council.  

Readers with an interest in local issues and naked women are well aware that the gentleman’s club has been the subject of much negative press over the last year due to a complaint filed with the Los Angeles Office of Arbitrary and Occasional Zoning Enforcement by the LAPD stemming from a perceived high number of calls in the area surrounding the club.  
The world-renowned Xposed Gentleman's Club: The fully-nude strip club
is both a local business leader and the pride of Canoga Park.  Staff photo.
“There’d been a lot of complaints about Xposed because of the industrial area where it’s located,” notes a member of the Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council who wished to remain anonymous.  “There’s an auto parts store nearby. Jesus. Really, do we want a strip club near an auto parts store? What kind of message is that sending?”

One solution to the alleged problems was to simply move the strip joint - an idea that had initially gained significant traction, the Quilt uncovered.

The local Women's Club is known far and wide for
doing "good things for the community." Staff photo.
Unsealed recently was a secret proposal to relocate Xposed from its current location on Canoga Avenue to the corner of Jordan and Valerio - the site of the clubhouse currently owned and operated by the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club. 

Under the proposed agreement, Xposed and the women's club would share the space, with the women's club's two regular functions - its monthly meeting and the annual Holiday Crafts Bazaar - taking place during hours the strip club would be closed.

Ultimately, it was rejected for a handful of reasons: the inventory of Xposed’s adult novelty superstore “Private Moments” wouldn’t fit in the smaller club’s foyer, the moisture from Xposed's signature glass waterfall walls would have warped the Women's Club hardwood floors (and it would have "raised the dickens with my lumbago," notes Myrtle Hipkins, Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women's Club Vice President In Charge of Clipping Denny's Coupons), and the wall-mounted display case containing photos of the "Canoga Park Poppies" - the club's hard-working volunteers - would have to make room for glamour shots of Xposed's attractive headliners, possibly leading to confusion over who would be available for a private lap dance on a particular night and who was responsible for the success of the 1964 "Socks for Tarzana" clothing drive.
Artist's conception of what an Xposed / Canoga Park
First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women's Club
partnership might look like. 

However, had it gone through, a move to the residential setting of the Women’s Club facilities would have alleviated much of the problems the all-nude strip club now faces, city planners agree, since the women's club, established in 1914, is evidently not subject to any kind of legal enforcement, whatsoever, regarding noise ordinances or public urination. 

“Oh, sure, we get complaints all the time,” chuckles Doreen Farber, Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club’s Vice-President In Charge of Neighborhood Cacophony. “We just ignore them. We’re already essentially operating as an anything-goes nightclub on weekends - so having Xposed move in would be an excellent fit for us. Like I tell anyone who rents the place, you pay us our seven hundred bucks a night, we don’t give a gosh darn what you do over there. Why would we? None of us live in the area.”

L.C. Kimball continues to inspire women today.
Xposed’s Community Outreach Liaison Frank McKane bristles when told of the women's club casual approach to nightclub management. “'Anything-goes' is not how we operate. Our security team would have seen to it that surrounding neighborhood would not be negatively impacted by noise or anything else from our customers.”

Several of the dancers at the club were excited about such a move when told about it but disappointed when they learned it was not to be. 

“Aw, that would have been awesome because I live right over on Remmet near Valerio,” says Brandi-Lynne, 25. “It’s a much shorter walk to Jordan than all the way up Canoga. Especially in six-inch heels.”   

“Ooh, I was all sadsies when I heard the move wasn’t going through,” pouts Amber Dakota, 22, in a plaintive, baby-doll voice. “I was actually going to change my stage name to Elsie-Kim Ballz as a tribute to [Women’s Club founder] L.C. Kimball. But the ‘Ballz’ on the end sounds a little drag-queeny, doesn’t it?” she giggles as she wrinkles her pert little nose. “Maybe just Elsie-Kim.”
Had Xposed relocated to the Women's Club, a 
team comprised of engineers, physicists, rocket
scientists and brain surgeons would have been
hired to figure out a way to keep these doors
closed. Currently they act as a megaphone, 
broadcasting peppy, window-rattling, car
alarm-triggering music throughout the
neighborhood for all to enjoy.  Staff photo.

Residents in the area surrounding the Women’s Club echo their disappointment that Xposed will be staying put in its current location. 

“That’s too bad - they’d have definitely been good neighbors,” sighs Téodor Pasternak, who lives nearby. “Some of us have been alarmed by the constant screaming of grade-school age children in the Women’s Club parking lot on the weekends. Certainly we presume they’re just running around unsupervised at midnight while Mom and Dad are getting loaded inside. But it’s a little concerning. I mean, are they playing tag or being attacked by possums? It’s hard to really gauge the tone of the screams over the blasting music.” 

McKane notes that such issues would have no longer posed a problem. “No one under eighteen allowed on the premises. We don’t put up with bullsh_t. We keep doors closed and the surrounding area quiet. We know how to run a club professionally. And as a rule, possums are generally not aggressive.”

Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-
Month Women's Club member Doreen
Farber. Photo: Fred Farber.

Farber rolls her eyes dismissively when told of the neighbors’ concerns. “Oh, that again. Phpht. Look, we do good things for the community. Some of the money we raise hosting these weekend free-for-alls go towards the cost of pressure-washing the parking lot to get the odor of urine off the walls surrounding our property from our guests who stumble out of the club and pee outside. But you don’t hear the neighbors thanking us for doing that for them, do you?”

Editor’s Note: The election is being held Sunday March 16, 2014. Voting is at the Canoga Park Community Center, located at 7248 Owensmouth Avenue. Proof of residency or local gang affiliation required to vote. The Canoga Park Quilt is proud to endorse Brad, Avi and Chris for whichever respective positions they are running.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rainy Day Doesn’t Deter Canoga Park Farmer’s Market Vendors

By Michale Hemmingway, Quilt staff
DATELINE: OWENSMOUTH AVENUE

The pouring rain this Saturday didn’t scare off Eileen Holchek of Fillmore, from setting up shop as usual on the corner of Owensmouth and  Wyandotte. “Rain or shine I’m here. I paid good money for this spot. Besides, there’s a short window when my cowpeas are edible - I had to get them to market today. And they don’t do well in moisture - they attract mold like a bastard. Whoops, they’re already turning,” she announces matter-of-factly as she dumps a bushelful into the storm drain. 
Cowpeas, still dry. 

But don’t feel too bad for the owner, operator, and saleslady of Eileen’s Organic Beans & Seeds. 

“Hell, I’m insured against all this - I can write all this off. I’m lucky if I sell two bags of edamame or a pound of pumpkin seeds on the Saturdays when it’s nice out. This rain is a godsend - it’s gotten my entire inventory of sunflower seeds sliiightly damp. Give me a hand, will you?” she asks as she begins to upend a 40-gallon plastic tote, sending roughly sixty pounds of the unhulled, salted black and white snack into the gutter. “The rats around here are going to have a feast tonight!”

Half a block down the street, Danny Garcia of Southwest Turquoise & Gemstones barters with a customer of sorts. 

“What about twelve hundred bucks, and I don’t call the cops or contact your insurance company?” he offers to Mildred McCadden, a West Hills resident, whose beige 2007 Lincoln Town Car has come to rest halfway in Garcia’s booth. The elderly McCadden is visibly shaken. 

“My husband is going to kill me,” she says to no one in particular. “How was I to know that they close off the street here on Saturdays? I didn’t even see the cones,” she nods to one of the mangled plastic barriers under her front driver’s side wheel. This is ridiculous, closing the street like this, not telling anyone. Thank goodness no one was hurt.” 
A piece of jewelry plucked
from the wreckage

“No one was hurt?!” laughs  Garcia, good-naturedly. “I’d say my business is hurt. You plowed into my tables and busted up four of my display cases. Sh_t, there’s half a dozen of my thunderbird earrings stuck in your wiper blades. I can’t even find my sterling silver-plated arrowheads. My dreamcatchers? All ruined. And maybe I twisted my ankle when I had to jump back as you skidded. Trust me lady, you’re getting off easy at twelve hundred bucks. There’s a B of A down the street if you want to get cash. Or I can take a check. I’m the trusting sort.”

Later after McCadden has settled her debt and driven off, Garcia confides he’s never had a more lucrative Saturday. “Thank the mighty cloud spirits for this life-giving rain and the great god of municipal roads for oil-slicked pavement, ha ha!”

This pipe featuring a character from
the Spongebob show is one of many
novelty tobacco items Louis did not
sell today.
Across the street, a young unshaven man in an artificially distressed t-shirt featuring a happy orange and pink fellow from Fraggle Rock packs his wares into his backpack and calls it a day. He’d set up shop under a tattered beach umbrella duct-taped to the leg of a card table a few hours before but admits to only getting a few lookie-loos. 

“Naw, man, I got all these cool pipes and lighters an' sh_t and I didn’t really sell anything - dang.” says Louis, who declines to give his last name. “But this one dude went apesh_t for the Adventure Time bong that I picked up at Venice Beach last year so we traded for it,” he smiles as he pats his front pants pocket with the ziplock top of a baggie sticking out of it. 

“He seems cool and he’s got a bootleg of the f_cking Lego Movie, man - that sh_t’s still in theaters! We’re going to hang out at my place and watch it and I have to show him how to work the bong. It seems pretty straightforward...? But you have to put your finger over Princess Bubblegum’s head while holding your lighter under Finn otherwise you don’t get anything, right?” 

As he uses a box cutter to slice through the duct tape and free the umbrella before folding down the legs of his table, his new friend - a chubby young man in a Baja hoody with the Corona Beer logo silkscreened on the front - walks up with a pizza box, visibly steaming in the afternoon drizzle. “No f_cking way, bro! Pizza! I just live up this alley - come on. Best f_cking day ever, man.”
The bustling Canoga Park Farmers Market       Staff photo.
Nearby, under a black canopy silkscreened with a cartoon chicken and the words “Happy Hen Farms, Moorpark, California” are a young couple in their early 30s.

“Totally organic, free-range. They come from happy, well-adjusted chickens,” laughs Brandon Heinlein as he gestures to the eggs set in recycled egg cartons, many with “Trader Joe’s” crossed off with red marker. “Only eight dollars a dozen,” he says in earnest hopefulness.
Eggs are what's for sale over at the Happy Hen Farms booth.
His wife Emily, bundled in woolen cap, fleece scarf, and flip-top mittens, sits on a milk crate, and bent over a smartphone, smiles and shakes her head in amused annoyance. 

“He had a great job as a developer at Yahoo in Santa Monica. But he quit, sold all his stock and Mr. Gentleman Farmer here bought a place out in the sticks to raise chickens. I had to get up at six this morning. Six. On a Saturday.”

When asked how business has been on this rainy day, Brandon shakes his head and explains it’s not so much about selling eggs, at least for the first couple years, but “becoming a familiar presence here at the Canoga Park Farmer’s Market, so people can get to know us and what our eggs are all about.” 

Emily explains happily that if they hadn’t sold at least three dozen by one p.m., hubby promised to close up shop and take her over to Designer Shoe Warehouse in Northridge for a “mega-shoe spree,” as she calls it.
Like the agoras of ancient times, where entire communities would gather to socialize while buying the week's grain, a fresh jug of foot-annointing oil, a hardy indentured servant, or cuneiform letter seals carved from human bone, friends and neighbors come out in droves to the Canoga Park Farmer's Market, where today's offerings include artisanal bruschetta, organic baby corn, handpainted iPhone cases that just aren't moving on Etsy and cuneiform letter seals carved from human bone. Staff photo.
“You see all these eggs?” she says, looking up from her game of Candy Crush to nod at the stacks of full cartons, “He’s buying me a pair of shoes for every one we didn’t sell. And we didn’t sell squat.”

“I’m fine with that. I’m happy with that," Heinlein, 32, shrugs with a smile. "It’s about becoming a familiar presence here. The sales will come later."

Despite the bad weather - though most would insist because of it - the vendors at the Canoga Park Farmer’s Market found Saturday to be a “splashing” success!