Thursday, August 7, 2014

Universal City Overlook

northeast towards Universal City / Burbank
northwest towards Sherman Oaks / Van Nuys

As I drive to and from work every morning -- North Hollywood to West Hollywood -- I have the option of bypassing the cluttered 101 freeway route for a considerably more scenic one.  It's a no brainer.  Because east of Laurel Canyon, down a stretch of winding Mulholland Drive, there is an overlook that can't be surpassed.

About halfway between Laurel and the much less congested Nichols Canyon (above the majestic hillside homes of Studio City), sits the Universal City Overlook.  To say you can't miss it on your drive is an under-statement. While the outlook itself isn't marked with explicit signage, you'll know you've reached it when you begin to veer into the other lane, because... well, you just can't not stare at the view.

Likely the best vantage point of the eastern San Fernando Valley (best of the west might be at the peak of Topanga Canyon), the overlook is nestled up against Mulholland and is surprisingly quiet.  With just enough space for four or five cars, it's rarely crowded.  The Valley is an under-rated part of the Los Angeles cityscape, and the Universal City Overlook is the strongest argument that the Valley is quite the beauty.  It's also significantly cheaper than the other side of the hills. 

On my way home last night, I just had to stop and snap a few pictures for you all.  Quite beautiful indeed, bathed in the setting summer sun.

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