This weekend will mark the transition from being a “temporary relocation resident” to a full fledged “resident” of California (albeit, a temporary resident of my full fledged residency). Since December 12th, the pup and I have been housed in the Residence Inn Hotel off of Downtown Burbank as we search and moved into our rental. I picked up the keys last night to the rental house, had a fridge delivered, and wandered the small place for a hour as I made plans of all the stuff I need to buy to make it a home. Friday, movers arrive to move me in. Saturday the last of the utilities gets hooked up. And Sunday before the big game the last of the appliances are dropped off. By this time next week, we should be fully settled. Since my house is in Montrose, a 10-15 minuted drive from Burbank, this weekend will be my farewell to the temporary safe harbor I got to know.
Burbank maybe a town that you heard of over the years, mostly from Television shows. Historically, many of the main networks built stuidos in Burbank to jump on the resources from the movie industry. It started getting attention from shows like The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson; but got tounge-in-cheek call outs on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in when the announcer Gary Owens would say they were live from “Beautiful Downtown Burbank.” The studios are still here, but have shifted ownership, and moved somewhere to the south end of town (closer to Universal City and North Hollywood). Still, the influence is still here with many of the smaller budget production companies holding offices.
Burbank, though, is more than it’s studios and jokes about the downtown. Much of the town is pressed up against the Verdugo Mountains that act as the eastern boarder of the San Fernando Valley. This means not only do you get a nice view of the mountains rising up to the east, but you are able to look down on the valley to the west – along with Griffith Park and Downtown LA beyond. Much of the valley is flat and industrialized or sprawled – so Burbank gets that extra big of luster that the rest of the valley doesn’t offer.
That being said, I really did grow to enjoy Downtown Burbank. My hotel was two blocks from the start of it, and it ran for a good four or five blocks and into one of the big malls in town. Old pictures suggest that the street was filled in by green space but now is a very walkable and very well kept sidewalks. There’s even a growing plaza where bigger theatres and restraunts are going in. I found myself on most nights walking the streets to selection from the variety of dining options. There’s at least three good sushi places, a couple of nice Mediterranean places, and a nice selection of brew pubs. Not just that, but I found that the people were right up my alley. Friendly, easy going, and (this is almost hard to admit) mostly middle aged like me. It was really simple for me to merge into the folks here, and woke me up to the fact that not all of the world is hard to get ot know like Bostonians.
I’m not saying that a return to Burbank is out of the cards. It’s easy for me to say that if I found a house here I would move back to Burbank. Part of the lure for me is that I lived three blocks from Beautiful Downtown Burbank … and there really isn’t good residences in that same area. The places that would be good are either far enough away that Downtown now becomes a little bit of a hassel, or is out of my price range.
Until then, farewell to Beautiful Downtown Burbank – and thanks for putting up with us the last two months.