Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Once Rowdy ‘Dystopian Toilet,’ Much of Canoga Park Reverts To ‘Pleasant Middle-Class Neighborhood’ Due To Pandemic Lockdown, Say Locals

By Sherman Farralone, Quilt staff


Residents throughout the Old Town region of Canoga Park say they’re astonished by the change that the shelter-in-place order has had on their once-raucous community.

“It’s as though I'm suddenly living in a completely different neighborhood,” Ted Pasternak, a furloughed pool filter assembler says. “—namely the good part of the West Valley—if the people living in the good part of the West Valley dumped mattresses, old tires and broken furniture at the curbs in front of their own property.”

With residents forced to stay at home, the normally cacophonous neighborhood — known for its wall-to-wall noise on weekends due to block after block of competing parties with loud, amplified live music, the sources of which somehow elude even the most clever LAPD officers — has been “as peaceful and quiet as the much-nicer, south-of-Ventura-Boulevard part of Woodland Hills, where I lie and tell co-workers that I live,” notes Alisha Pfeiffer-Gonzalez, a furloughed dental hygienist and Valerio Street resident.

Others echo her sentiments.

“It’s like I’ve been magically transported back in time to the pleasant, middle-class neighborhood that used to exist on this very spot just a few years ago,” says furloughed retiree Howard Villafuerte, “and not the dystopian toilet this area has become since then. I’m living in a frickin’ Jack Finney story and I don’t want it to end!”

Once-bustling Sherman Way has become "so quiet you could hear a bowling pin rolling down the middle
of the road," says one resident, who was evidently trying to convey something or other.   Staff photo.

Experts, however, warn that the serenity won’t last forever.  

“Enjoy it while you can,” advises Dr. Morris Detzer, a professor (furloughed) of cultural anthropology at Pierce College Winnetka. “Because the second this order is lifted: Get ready for three solid months of New Year’s Eve-level house parties, if New Year's Eve fell on the same night as the International Mariachi Competition finals and they were held in the 9th Circle of Hell using speakers that the Who rejected in 1976 for being too loud.

"That said, yes, it's going to suck. But on the plus side? The return of unlicensed vendors selling cheap, delicious sidewalk tacos!"

Correction: Unlicensed vendors selling cheap, delicious sidewalk tacos never went away. We regret the error.