In a city teeming with iconic places with iconic names heard and seen in iconic pieces of pop culture, it is fairly hard to top Ventura Boulevard as The Street of Sunshine and Dreams.
Yep, the Everly Brothers sang about the Big V, and Moon Unit Zappa, too, and Tom Petty namechecks it in "Free Fallin'" (it's where the vampires move west along).
Now the east-west giant will gain a new entry in its capacious catalog of firsts and foremosts: Thousands of cyclists will pedal down the wide way on March 22, as part of the first CicLAvia to visit the Valley.
What to do, where to go and what to see
The giant closed-streets free-to-all bike ride recently hit outing #10, with a visit to South LA, but the started-in-2010 event had never gone over the hills to the San Fernando Valley.
It announced it would in the fall of 2014, and now there's a fresh map to back it up.
So where does the just-released map say the March 22 ride'll go? If you guessed "Ventura Boulevard," well, you read the top of this post. If you added on "Lankershim" then you truly know your NoHo.
It's six miles in all, the early spring ride, and it contains no apparent off-shoot streets or re-routes like some past CicLAvia rides: You're on Lankershim and you're on Ventura. Done and done. Easy and peasy.
Even easier? There's a Metro station at the NoHo spur and one in the middle, at Universal City. Don't say that getting there will be a drag, because the Metro is de-dragging this event. (Though best read Metro's rules on riding with your wheels.)
So who'll have their boombox out, attached to their handlebars, with a little "Free Fallin'" rocking the scene? When you ride an icon, it is best to pay homage.
And, nope, Randy Newman does not namecheck Ventura Boulevard in "I Love LA" -- that's actually Victory Boulevard. But in the annals of misheard lyrics, it isn't a bad one when "Ventura" is sung instead. Why? It's just a great street as great streets go, storied and sushi'd and historic and oh-so-mom-and-pop'd, still
Afterparty at Casa Vega?