NFT Los Angeles Sherman Oaks West

Sherman Oaks West

Essentials
Sherman Oaks is home to the most congested freeway interchange in the nation -- the intersection of the 405 and 101 freeways. Local surface streets have been unable to provide relief because of a lengthy Caltrans project intended to improve the connections and on-ramps. We remain dubious. Our advice: avoid the whole ugly mess. Get on the 405 at either Burbank Boulevard or Valley Vista, and avoid the 101 altogether during anything approximating a rush hour.

Sundries/Entertainment
Historically, Sherman Oaks has been an outpost for willfully out-of-touch Hollywood royalty, including both Laurel and Hardy. Of late, it's urbanized a bit, augmenting the Galleria's 16-plex blockbuster trough with the reopened ArcLight Sherman Oaks, featuring their black-box auditoria, a café, and a gift shop. Still, it's boring enough here that you're bound to get good ideas.




         



On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Beth Deitchman
Photo:  Beth Deitchman

A trip to Handmade Galleries is both pleasurable and frustrating at the same time. On the one hand, it's filled with unexpected treasures: clocks made out of vintage vinyl LP's, carpetbags fashioned from quasi late '70's-era hook-a-rug kits that are both tacky and fabulous, a multicolored wall of sock monkeys. The frustration comes with the simplicity and sheer ingenuity of the products on display. I could have made those, you tell yourself. If I only had the time. And the motivation. And a halfway decent glue gun. But thankfully, Handmade Galleries is there for armchair crafters like myself. It's a terrific place to find quirky, one-of-a-kind gifts. Handmade also provides a vital outlet for the artists—after all, once you've given decoupage purses to all of your relatives and friends, what are you going to do with the ones that remain? Let Handmade sell them for you. Shelves and galleries are available from $125 a month (depending upon total space and location) and an 18% commission to the store. But be warned—you'll be tempted to leave your profits at the store. Because there's an awesome tie-dye shirt in the stall next door…



Posted By:  Beth Deitchman
Photo:  Beth Deitchman

Driving along Ventura Blvd, feeling blue, I see a store claiming to sell exactly what I need—laughter. Could this be true? Well, no. Turns out they don't exactly sell laughter—they sell novelties. My mood instantly darkens again. A boxing nun. A polar bear that poops jelly beans. A talking parrot that repeats everything you say. You get the picture. The store is the brainchild of comedian Craig Shoemaker, who donates 10% of all profits to his non-profit organization, the Laughter Heals Foundation, which is based on the premise that laughter really is the best medicine. The cynic in me starts to settle down and look around the shop. Besides novelties, the Laughter Store carries an impressive selection of comedy DVD's, from movies to stand-up comedy ranging in scope from Jonathan Winters to Dane Cook. Before long, I'm checking out a onesie that reads, "Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner." Smile. A talking 40 Year Old Virgin doll is kind of amusing. And it's all I can do to leave the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog toy alone. I must leave before an embarrassing chuckle slips out. But something tells me I'll be back…




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