Exactly where does the San Fernando Valley begin and end?
Most people agree that the Valley starts at Mulholland Drive and continues north to the Santa Susana Mountains. But its eastern and western borders are not so well-defined.
Even a planner at the Los Angeles Planning Department's Valley office didn't have a concrete answer. "We only look at the city of Los Angeles portions, which wouldn't include Burbank, Glendale or San Fernando," David Silverman says.
The Southern California Auto Club map of the Valley goes as far west as Hidden Hills and Calabasas. Yet the Pacific Bell Yellow Pages labeled San Fernando Valley West has a map on its back cover that goes farther west, extending to Agoura and Westlake Village.
When asked if Agoura was part of the Valley, Jo Estes, office manager of the Agoura Chamber of Commerce, replied: "Absolutely not. We're in the Conejo Valley, which runs up to Calabasas."
On the eastern side, general opinion has it that the border hovers somewhere around Burbank. Perhaps Bill Kelly, Burbank's director of community development, sums it up best. "I consider Burbank to be more or less the far end of the San Fernando Valley."
With the comeback of the martini, could hors d'oeuvres be far behind? Genuine hors d'oeuvres, that is. Forget about snacks like tortilla chips and salsa, or cut-up carrots fanned around a bowl of "this fabulous yogurt dip." This summer, the word is variety.
"They're becoming very popular," notes Steve Roysner, operations manager of Parties at Your Door in Woodland Hills. "We serve a real big variety of hors d'oeuvres--maybe 15 or 16 kinds. The food encompasses all kinds of nationalities, such as Mexican, Chinese, Italian, continental, Jewish."
A small sampling would include taquitos and quesadillas , egg rolls and teriyaki bits, gourmet pizzas, potato pancakes and knishes.
A spokesman for Creative Catering Crew in Canoga Park confirms the trend and says party-goers frequently eat more at an hors d'oeuvres bash than at a more traditional party because they want to sample everything.
And this classic cocktail-party fare is served at the dinner hour--at 8 p.m., rather than 5 or 6 p.m. Party givers can serve elaborate food but are spared the elaborations of serving a buffet dinner.
Working women are discovering that wigs are one solution to that occasional early-morning dilemma: Your hair looks bad and your clock looks worse.
"A lot of career women like putting a wig on and being ready to go," says Julie Kim, manager of The Wig Co. in North Hollywood. "Wigs are definitely back in fashion. Women buy one that's similar to their own color and style. They're great for traveling."
The reason for the wig's comeback is no mystery. "They're so light now, and the quality is much better. You don't have to take them to the beauty parlor like you used to," says Daniel Hafid, vice president of Rene of Paris, a Van Nuys wig manufacturer.
Younger women are fans of the banana-clip hairpiece, in which a length of hair--with more volume than a simple pony tail--is attached to a banana clip, Hafid says. "You slick your hair back away from your face and put on the banana clip," he says. "They're like jewelry for your hair."
And those wigs with moderate price tags--$39 to $89 apiece--have almost become an economical alternative to haircuts.
Junior Brat Pack
Your own toddler is perfect, of course, but do you sometimes feel that a lot of other little kids these days are brats?
"We've noticed an increase in this phenomena of the brat," says Dr. Norman Lavin, who teaches pediatric endocrinology at UCLA and shares a pediatric practice in Tarzana with his brother Sheldon. "By brat, I mean a kid who whines a lot, behaves inappropriately and tries to control the parent."
Lavin figures that there are four reasons why children may end up becoming brats.
"First, the parents were brats. Brat parents beget brat kids," he says. "Second, some brats are being raised by very sensitive parents. The parents try to transmit these feelings to their kids, but they need to be more authoritative sometimes. Kids get insecure if they think adults don't have confidence."
The third cause is parents who want their kids to be overachievers. "They enroll them in three or four activities and it's too much for the kid," Lavin notes.
Finally, two-career couples may feel guilty about leaving their children every day. "They don't want their only exposure to the kid to be disciplinary, so they give the kid a lot of choices. What they're really doing, though, is asking the kid to make decisions like an adult, and the kid isn't ready to do that yet.
"If a tantrum works, they'll up the ante next time," Lavin notes. "Don't reward negative behavior. The sooner you catch it, the easier it is to reverse."
Overheard at . . . .
"I look at this painting and I think to myself, 'Picasso kissed with his eyes open.' This is what a woman's face looks like when you're up that close."
Older man studying Picasso's "Head of a Woman" at the Norton Simon Museum