Jan 30, 2011

The Valley Valley

The Facts
What It Is:
A 30.6 square-mile city west of Pasadena and seven miles north of L.A.
Population: 201,326
Ethnic Diversity: 66% Caucasian (including 30% Armenian and 20% Hispanic), 16% Asian, 1% African-American
Sister Cities: several, including Hiroshima, Japan and Kapan, Armenia
Median Household Income: $41,805

Key Players
In 1784, a corporal in the Spanish Army from Baja named Jose Maris Verdugo started ranching cattle in the area, and in 1798 he was granted a massive tract called Rancho San Rafael. He eventually went bankrupt, and his children and grandchildren sold off hunks of the ranch over time, some of which became Glendale, Eagle Rock and Highland Park.

The Name
The community was named in 1884. “Glendale” is nonsensical, meaning “valley valley.” Rejected choices included Minneapolis and Etheldean.

Then & Now
For decades Glendale was known as a suburb for conservative white people. Today it is a diverse, bustling metropolis that is home to, among others, a large and vibrant Armenian community. It is blessed with lovely parks, handsome older homes, the grand old Alex Theatre and the gorgeous Brand Library, home to the world’s largest collection of books on cats.

Our Favorite…
Brand Library, in a 1904 Moorish mansion in Brand Park; excellent art and music program
Farmer’s Market: Thursday morning on Brand Blvd., in front of the Exchange
Park: Verdugo Park, alongside Cañada Blvd., a huge, green oasis with everything from a volleyball court to a way cool skate park.
Arts Organization: The Alex Film Society,, hosts great classic-movie screenings
Parade: Glendale-Montrose Christmas Parade, first Saturday in December
Newspaper: Glendale News-Press
Hospital: Glendale Adventist, with complete ER, 818.409.8000
Web Site:

Don’t Be A Lawbreaker!
Every party has a pooper, that’s why we invited you!
Don’t pull a rabbit out of your hat in Glendale—magic is banned. Also illegal are fortune-telling, sand gazing, mental telepathy, spirit writing, palmistry, astrology and, or course, trumpet séances.

What He Said
“Glendale…a high-class, positively restricted development for discriminating people that run filling stations, and furniture factories, and markets and pie wagons. The garden spot of the world—in the pig’s eye.”
from Mildred Pierce, by James M. Cain

Best Hangout
Forest Lawn Memorial Park is final home to locals and celebrities alike, including W.C fields, Walt Disney, Casey Stengel, Bette Davis, Karen Carpenter, Nat King Cole and Chico Marx. Forest Lawn was model for Evelyn Waugh’s great satirical novel The Loved One.

Born in Glendale
Bob’s Big Boy
Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors
John Wayne wasn’t born here, but he graduate from Glendale High School

Embarrassing Fact
In 1964, George Lincoln Rockwell chose Glendale as the headquarters for the American Nazi Party. The downtown office remained open until the early ’80s.



Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena