BURBANK: BIG CITY IN A SMALL TOWN
For a city of just over 100,000 residents, Burbank’s reputation is a lot bigger than you’d think. Travel the globe, and chances are, people will have heard of Burbank. That’s because the city’s small size hasn’t held it back from fame. If anything, smallness has allowed it to be more nimble and responsive to changing conditions, and that has only increased its reputation. It certainly helps that Burbank is one of the great centers of media and entertainment production in the world.
In the 95 short years since Burbank incorporated in 1911, the city has grown into a respected leader in the areas of government, business and quality of life. In fact, when the San Fernando Valley attempted to secede from Los Angeles in 2002, Burbank was hailed by the media as a model of civic efficiency and an oasis of good government. The Los Angeles Daily News credited Burbank with better jobs, better services, lower taxes and more responsive officials. High praise for a small town. When a major metropolis looks to Burbank as a model for its own form of government, there’s reason to be proud.
What makes Burbank so great? Certainly, the neighborhoods, homes, families, schools, world-class facilities, and the highest level of municipal services. All this makes Burbank so very Burbank. But there’s more.
Shopping, Dining and Entertainment
There are the unique districts that burst with activity all over the city, where people love to come and shop, mingle, meet, attend events or just soak up the atmosphere. Places like the newly revitalized Downtown Burbank, Magnolia Park, Burbank Boulevard, the Empire Center and any number of other destinations.
In the past few years, Downtown Burbank has emerged as the entertainment and retail hub of East San Fernando Valley. AMC Downtown Burbank movie screens consistently rank in the top five of theatrical circuits nationwide, regularly beating the AMC-25 in New York City. Many shops regularly report some of the highest sales increases in their chains, and new businesses are popping up all over the area like Urban Outfitters, EQ3, PF Changs, and many other boutiques and eateries. Downtown Burbank is comprised of 32-blocks with City Hall, IKEA, Burbank Town Center, and the hip outdoor district around San Fernando Boulevard.
If you’re looking for something to do, this is the place for it. You’ll find “Swingin’ Sounds from Downtown,” a nine week live music series that transforms Downtown into an outdoor dance hall every Thursday in July and August (for a full schedule, go to www.downtown-burbank.org). On September 21, there’s “Taste of Downtown Burbank” (for tickets and information, go to www.tasteofdowntownburbank.com). Come fall, nurture your artistic side by browsing the many talented artists at Downtown Burbank Fine Arts Festival November 11 and 12 (for more information, go to www.westcoastartists.com.)
Famous for its “Holiday in the Park” celebration every November, Magnolia Park has made tremendous strides in the last few years. Since the long-awaited Porto’s Bakery & Café opened in January 2006, the neighborhood has been treated to the delicious cakes, pastries and sandwiches that made this bakery famous. Residents in Magnolia Park love to browse the antique stores, one-of-kind boutiques and eateries that line Magnolia Boulevard and Hollywood Way.
Newly emerging with a reinvigorated identity is Burbank Boulevard, which extends more than 30-blocks between Interstate 5 and the Burbank-North Hollywood line. Merchants and residents along this boulevard have grouped together to suggest improvements on the street, which includes a major streetscape to begin in 2007.
Who hasn’t visited the Empire Center? Seems like the whole world shops this hugely popular shopping center. A retail powerhouse adjacent to Int