Looking Back to Laurel Canyon Blvd.-The Places I Remember

Remember The Big Donut, Kinney Shoes and the skating rink at Laurel Plaza?

One thing that’s great about writing this column is the exercise it puts on my frontal lobe. Trying to remember some of these tidbits from days gone by is a real thrill, and for me, it sure beats crossword puzzles or Sudoku!

Let’s go back to Laurel Canyon Blvd, that endless road that snakes up through the Hollywood Hills, and into bosom of Studio City, before it reaches its sturdy arms into the far end of the San Fernando Valley.

Laurel Canyon at Ventura was the home of the bus stop that took me to North Hollywood High. I think didn’t cost more than 25 cents to hop aboard the bus, frolic with my high school pals, and ride it to Colfax and Magnolia where we embarked to indulge in our teen-age antics.

Laurel Canyon also went by , which is still a popular hobby shop in Studio City.  I think it still sports that aquamarine exterior color which I remember from the 60’s. My sister Teresa spent many hours there, fueling her creative endeavors.

Laurel Canyon also led to the ice rink that was so popular when I was in my teens. I think it was at Laurel Plaza, where we’d lace up our ice skates, and try to circle the white ice wonder without our ankles knocking together.  Often we’d wobble, and try to make it to the wooden bar that surrounded the ice so we could grab some confidence, and begin to skate again.

Laurel Canyon also let to one of the dairy farms we used to visit as a kid near Sun Valley. I remember watching the bovine beasts getting milked in their stench-ridden stalls, and wonder how this nectar could magically be transformed into the delicious ice cream they served at Baskin Robbins.

Laurel Canyon also led to Sears, where my mom used to buy all of car coats and our underwear. For years, I thought that was the only place underwear could be purchased, until discovered Victoria’s Secret.

Kinney Shoes was also off Laurel Canyon, where almost everyone bought his or her shoes.  Remember sliding your feet into those metal contraptions so they could verify the length and width of your foot?

There was a popular donut place on Laurel near Magnolia. According to my pal, Andy Steiner, it was called The Big Donut, similar to Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood, sporting that huge brown-caked architectural wonder on top of the building.  Yummmmm!

Ah, Laurel Canyon, the main artery from our little cul-de-sac called Pacoima Court. It still fuels so many memories.  What do you recall?

Mike Szymanski December 06, 2012 at 03:43 PM
That's great, please don't hesitate to blog about your thoughts, and put up photos too, just click START A BLOG on the front page of the site, and here's a video for help: http://studiocity.patch.com/articles/a-video-tutorial-of-how-to-blog
Mary McGrath December 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Great memories Wayne...we look forward to hearing more!
teresa mcgrath December 06, 2012 at 10:03 PM
wayne peel...wow that is wild...nice of frank zappa....and houdini's, seeing the remnants of the place was eerie...they give tours there now i think...
Art Schaak December 07, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Elementary school at Woodman and Riverside? I remember my brother attended one of the Buckley School campuses that was just west of Woodman on Riverside. For whatever reason, Buckley had grades 1-3 in one location and 4-6 in another.
Art Schaak December 07, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Some of the places you mention are still open. Carter Sexton, for example, and Shakeys. Dutton's Bookstore is now a yoga place, and I very much miss the Clark Dennis Bookstore up on Ventura Boulevard, just west of Vantage.


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