Better Know 'Here in Van Nuys'

Welcome back to 'Better Know a SoCal Blogger" on KCET.org, where we feature our city's plethora of fascinating and first-rate blogs. This week we are speaking with Andy Hurvitz from Here in Van Nuys, a blog that tries to captures the multifaceted essence of the Van Nuys.

The Basics:

Blogger Name: Andy Hurvitz
Official name of blog: Here in Van Nuys
When did you start blogging? March 2005
Do you have a day job? Not paid.
How many hours do you spend online/ on your computer? 5 hours a day.
Where do you do your blogging from physically? My home.
What are you reading? Photography after Frank by Philip Gefter
Link to your first post? Here.

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The Lowdown

What is your blog about?
About, but not limited to, Van Nuys, CA.

Who is your ideal reader?
A thinker and a skeptic.

Besides yours, what is your favorite Los Angeles blog?
The Daily Mirror (link here.)

What is a one misconception people have about you from your blog?
That I am a reflexive liberal.

Your blog has many pics of Van Nuys (also on Flickr). What is the appeal of this city for you?
Van Nuys is not only historic, but it has a rich variety of people, cultures, incomes, and spreads over an enormous area.
I got into photography so that my blog, which concerns Van Nuys, would be better able to communicate my passion for architecture, design, and the environment. The natural light of our region lends itself to a transcendent and thrilling photography. But I feel that the daytime light is too strong, and therefore, I use it sparingly, at the end of the day, the way a cook uses spices in small amounts to flavor a dish.

Why live in Van Nuys?
The home I bought was affordable.


On the blog you touch upon the problem with newspaper, is there a solution?
Newspapers may not survive, but the news must.

What kind of camera do you use?
Nikon D60

What do pictures convey that words can't?
My admiration for people and my fascination with the building forms.
Another reason I photograph is because the truth is very important to me. I think people need to look at their surroundings with a factual and documentary realism. We live in an urban landscape of ugliness, tormented by traffic, assaulted by the billboard, the mini-mall and the McMansion. Taking pictures of ugliness can be a beautiful act of free speech rendered in pixels. As an American, I cherish the ability to speak and write without censorship.

I also shoot portraits, of young actors and other hopefuls, who have always come to Los Angeles in search of success. There moment in the sun is both poignant and temporary, and I try to capture that second of life when they are beautiful, youthful and full of hope. What follows in life is ultimately a struggle and sometimes a triumph but often a tragedy.
That is what my blog and life is about.


What is your favorite spot in Van Nuys?
Sepulveda Basin and Woodley Park.
Woodley Avenue Park is where I go to ride my bike. It is a wonderful respite from all the concrete. There is a Japanese Garden, Lake Balboa, the Sepulveda Dam, birds, trees, and the LA River in its natural state.

What do you say to those who say the San Fernando Valley is not really part of L.A.?
The SFV is L.A. officially. But it is also distinct and the SFV might do better as a self-governing city, not as a a section of Los Angeles.

We want to thank Andy Hurvitz for contributing to this installment of Better Know a Blogger. Remember to check out his blog Here in Van Nuys.

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