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Studio City Then and Now-Favorite Hangouts in the SF Valley

We had a blast at Thrifty's, Farrell's and the Kirkwood Bowling Alley.

Studio City Then and Now-Favorite Hangouts in the SF Valley Studio City Then and Now-Favorite Hangouts in the SF Valley Studio City Then and Now-Favorite Hangouts in the SF Valley Studio City Then and Now-Favorite Hangouts in the SF Valley Studio City Then and Now-Favorite Hangouts in the SF Valley Studio City Then and Now-Favorite Hangouts in the SF Valley Studio City Then and Now-Favorite Hangouts in the SF Valley Studio City Then and Now-Favorite Hangouts in the SF Valley

Long before the days of Twitter, Facebook and iPhones, we had time, real time. Back then, our days weren’t cluttered with gadgets. Time was an entitity unto itself.

What did we do? We hung out. We cruised the boulevards.  We socialized, with actual conversations. Where did we go?  Here are a few places you may remember.

Laurel Plaza/Valley Plaza

I remember ice skating here in the '60s.   I wasn’t very good at it, with my ankles always knocking into one another, and repeated skids on the ice, but we had great times hanging out here, playing crack the whip and other skating games. Kinney Shoes was nearby, where my mom purchased all our family shoes.

Van Nuys Drive-In

Who didn't go to the drive-in as a teen-ager? Sometimes we'd double date and pretend to watch the movie with our large bags of popcorn, hot dogs, and those robotic speakers attached to our windows. But, we were really there to "socialize", much to the chagrin of our parents.

Kirkwood Bowling Alley

Not only did we bowl, but we played pool, and indulged in a number of pinball games. Sometimes we'd try our luck without wearing those clunky shoes, and we'd slip and slide all over the varnished alley. Management wasn't really happy about that.

Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor

I seem to remember one on the west end of the SF Valley near Topanga Canyon. We’d often celebrate birthdays there, order these huge chocolate sundaes and stuff ourselves into sugar high. This was usually followed by a food fight. Nothing like whipped cream on the ceiling or a french fry up your nose.

Thrifty’s

Who remembers the hamburgers, fries and thick malts at Thrifty's on Ventura and Laurel Canyon?  Put a nickel in the jukebox and play the Beatles, Tommy James and the Shondells, The Drifters, Coasters or Little Richard and gossip about your teachers at Walter Reed and why Clearasil never seemed to work for you.

Slot Car Racing

I remember doing this somewhere along Ventura Blvd. but I don’t recall the name of the place.  We’d slip that little clip into the slot, and race our cars around the track, until one of them spun out of control and crashed into the wall. I’m sure this activity was a precursor to speeding along Van Nuys Blvd. before we had a driver's license.

Kit Kraft

This was a great place for those artsy types, including my twin sister Teresa who was a frequent visitor to this place.  I think the aquamarine signage still exists. There, we bought our love beads so we could make our hippie necklaces. I'm sure we also purchased that cheap plastic "leather" so we could make lanyards to wear around our necks. Wasn't tie-dye stuff also available at Kit Kraft? I can't remember, probably because we were smoking too many herbs during that time period.

North Hollywood High School Football Games

Although our Huskies had their challenges, it was always fun to attend the football games. Most of my artistic pals found football to be a bore. As for me? I wanted to be the quarterback.

Where did you hang out, and what do you remember? Check out these photos and see if any of them ring a bell!

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