I tell people I live in Los Angeles, but I actually live in Glendale. It’s Los Angeles adjacent. But it’s not really Los Angeles. It’s kind of like the one time I asked a British friend if she was from the same part of England as this weird British guy we both knew, and she answered, “Yes, the same part of England, but also a different planet.” It’s like that. LA, but also a different planet. So:
Things You Didn’t Know About Glendale (Which Could Be a Very Long List Since You’ve Probably Never Heard of Glendale Until Just This Moment):
- You can purchase shish kabab, minus the heart burn (see above photographic evidence).
- Glendale is the third largest city in LA County and the 22nd largest city in California, with a population of 195,601.
- My crazy neighbors downstairs, who had an exotic bird that they took in the car with them everywhere they went, just moved out, so the population may be closer to 195,597, depending on where they moved to and how many people were actually living in their 2-bedroom.
- They also fed that bird Coke out of a bottle cap on a regular basis.
- To be clear, the neighbors moved out, but there are posters everywhere stating that the bird has escaped (not unexpected since the bird was never in a cage). Adam claims to have seen the bird twice, so it is likely the bird still lives in Glendale. This does not affect the population count.
- There has only ever been one human fatality from a coyote attack in the United States. It occurred in Glendale in 1981. I worry about the escaped bird.
- In 2010, Allstate Insurance Company did a survey of the worst drivers in America. Glendale ranked third in the US. This is the prevailing thought in my mind when I go running in my neighborhood.
- The highest temperature ever recorded in Glendale was 117 degrees Fahrenheit in September of 2010. That month also happens to be our highest recorded energy bill.
- In related news, the cost of living in Glendale is 74% higher than the national average.
- John Wayne spent most of his school-age years in Glendale; he passed a local fire station on his way to school every morning, and the firemen took to calling him Little Duke. He liked it better than Marion, his real name, and kept the nickname his whole life. Side note: Don’t name your child Marion. They don’t all grow up to be John Wayne. Some children will never recover from that.
- There’s a dentist in Glendale named Gary O’Brien. He has a web site with dental jokes and fun facts. http://www.obteam.com/Fun-Facts.aspx This is not necessarily an endorsement of him. I just thought the world could use more dental jokes.
- Glendale is home to the largest population of Armenians outside of Armenia. In related news, Armenians like kabab. Armenians do not like heart burn.
- When Armenians talk about me, they call me white girl. This is now pretty much the only moniker I answer to.
- Angelo Buono, Jr. and Kenneth Bianchi, the two men known as the Hillside Stranglers, lived in Glendale in the late 1970’s, during which time they murdered 10 women. This is the secondary thought playing in my mind as I run through my neighborhood, which sits at the base of the hills.
- The median home price in Glendale is $603,000. In related news, we rent an apartment. I will not tell you how much it costs, but go ahead and assume somewhere in the neighborhood of 74% above the national average.
I like living in Glendale. Aside from that one coyote death and those serial killers, which were kind of a while ago, it seems like a pretty safe place to be. If you’re not in a car. Or crossing a street where cars are driving.
What I like most is that it feels like a neighborhood where people actually live, and have kids, and have dogs, and celebrate Armenian Independence Day (which is September 21, everyone knows this). People who live on the west side look down their noses at anyone who lives on this side of the I-5. I have two words for all you haters out there. FREE PARKING. That’s right. No permits. No pay-to-park structures. NO HEART BURN. Deal with that.
Some people might call Glendale boring. In fact, a lot people actually did. A study done in 2011 found that the majority of respondents did, indeed, think Glendale was boring. The city council voted to appropriate $1 million to an image campaign based on the tagline “Your Life. Animated.” I have no idea what this means, but I think this was probably a really good use of taxpayer dollars and no one will think Glendale is boring ever again.