In Depth 52 in 52: Tarzana

SEGMENT A: Tarzana and Tarzan

We visit the Tarzana Community and Cultural center to find out about the origin of Tarzana. Founder Helen Baker gives us a tour of the memorabilia featuring  Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author of the “Tarzan” books for whom the community was named. Burroughs bought a ranch in the area from L.A. Times owner Harrison Gray Otis, and became a “gentleman farmer” in the area after the sale of his first Tarzan book.

He went on to write many more featuring the jungle hero, as well as the John Carter books about Mars and other science fiction novels.

Baker gives us a tour of the gardens, including the secret garden at the Cultural center where many events are held for the community.

SEGMENT B: The Little Cafe

Hal talks to  the owner of the Little Café which has been a fixture on Ventura Boulevard for many years. The café is a home away from home for many locals, some who have been coming there for decades.

The owner credits his fresh food and the homey atmosphere. He also says that celebrities have flocked to the location—and shows off their photos.

We talk to locals about their concerns about the area, and also what makes them love it.

SEGMENT C: Orange Grove

We take a look at the last commercial orange grove in Los Angeles, and talk to the local councilman about the city’s attempt to save it from development. Councilman Bob Blumenfield says that the city wants to preserve this little piece of San Fernando Valley history for locals to enjoy, but the family that owns it wants to sell off the property because it is not making a profit, and they can’t afford to maintain it. The city hopes to come to a compromise with the owners so that at least a part of the property can be preserved as a park and opened to the public.


Hal promotes his “What The Hal?” podcast. We take a look at next week’s visit to Pasadena.