Sights and Sounds of North Hollywood I feel it is only right to start this article out with a truth; to dispel a thought I am sure you had after reading the name of the city we are to discuss. Here goes: Contrary to expectations, North Hollywood and Hollywood are not next to each other. Between these two is a legit mountain range, a lot of miles, attitude and identity.


Located just a couple of miles north of Toluca Lake and Hollywood’s Universal Studios and with a population of just over 76,000, North Hollywood is bordered by Burbank to the east and San Fernando Valley suburbs to the west. It is a city with a storied history, one that is closely tied to land and the business decisions of a few men.


North Hollywood: A Brief History The city now known as North Hollywood did not start out with that name. As a matter of fact, this is its third and coined so to enjoy the goodwill attached to the “Hollywood” tag. The beginnings of the present-day town can be traced to the 1542 annexation of the California territory by Spain and the subsequent establishment of Franciscan missions all over the area. The region as a whole saw changes including the 1842 independence of Mexico but the ones that directly affected North Hollywood were the actions of a few men.


It started in 1846 when Governor Pio Pico gave Eulogio de Celis rights to the Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando. Upon Celis’ death, his family sold a part of the land to an agricultural group from northern California led by Issac Lankershim. Lankershim’s son and son-in-law, in 1873, expanded the influence of their father and his holdings with further acquisition of land on which they built the Los Angeles Farming and Milling Company, using the dry farming technique to grow wheat. They were wildly successful and were at the time the world’s largest wheat-growers.


In 1887, the city was named “Toluca” by the Lankershim Ranch Land and Water Company. This was changed to "Lankershim" in 1896 and finally to its present-day name "North Hollywood" in 1927.


The Sights and Sounds

NoHo Arts District: When you think North Hollywood and fun in the same sentence or thought, think NoHo Arts District. Here is the heartbeat of the city, the nerve center with an eclectic mix of theaters, buildings, bars, eateries, and coffee shops. Serviced by a dedicated Metro line, the district has it all. It is a dream place for all, especially theatre enthusiasts.


There are so many places to visit. Want to see a play? Head to any of the over 20 professional theaters that put up original shows that would rival anything you would get on Broadway. Somewhere to go with the family? Head to the North Hollywood Recreation Center. An interesting fact about the Center is that a part of it is actually not in North Hollywood, it is in Valley Village. That does not stop access to the Center’s many features including lighted outdoor basketball, tennis and handball courts, a children's play area, and picnic tables. Or go to The Jamie Beth Slaven Park, which has a few of the features too. NoHo hypnotizes all.


With the gentle pace at which things are done, it lulls you into slowing down. It is not unusual to see a large number of people taking walks, and stopping by at cafes; it is like a scene from a book. Though members-only, the city is home to the Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences. With its storied beginnings, many art houses, galleries, restaurants, bar and gentle pace afforded you in NoHo, North Hollywood is worth a visit.

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