My name is Nicole Borkgren, and I am not a Los Angeles “Hipster.” This is a confession that years ago, I might not have been able to acknowledge. But as I got older and had kids, I really saw what was important to me, and being able to say I live in the 310, was not that important to me anymore. I live and sell real estate in the San Fernando Valley, yes the 818, and I love it!

I grew up in the heart of San Fernando Valley in the 70’s and 80’s. When you think of Moon Unit Zappa’s song Valley Girl, that would have been me. I actually even worked at the Guess store in the Sherman Oaks Galleria. The same Galleria that was sung about in that song and the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont  was filmed at. It was an incredible place to grow up. We would go roller skating at Skate Land, play miniature golf at Castle Golf, and even take the bus to the beach at times. Yes, we took the bus back then. My kids would have no idea how to do that, but that is for a different post. The San Fernando Valley was “totally awesome” and still is. There is so much to do and so many kids around. My husband told me that back in the 80’s there was more professional athletes from the San Fernando Valley then any two states combined besides Texas and Florida. The reason I point this out is because we grew up playing sports. Running and throwing, climbing trees and playing ding dong ditch. I like to call it the “original cross fit.”

Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of how much I loved the San Fernando Valley. I wanted out, and when I had the opportunity to move out of the Valley for my Master’s program, I was excited to find that Long Beach State had one of the best programs in the nation for the field of Social Work. My future husband and I moved down to Belmont Shore in Long Beach. We lived half a block from the beach. We had 8 bars with-in walking distance and on the way back they were in staggering distance. With all those distractions, I was still able to complete my Thesis and graduated with my Master’s Degree in Social Work. We told ourselves “we are never moving back to the Valley!” We loved the beach and you couldn’t make use go back. Once we got married, we bought out first place in Redondo Beach. It was closer to our family and my mother at this point sold our family home in the San Fernando Valley and was living in Hermosa Beach. Redondo Beach was great. The beach was better than Long Beach and the restaurants and bars were just as close and just as fun.

One day my whole life changed. My husband and I were married for four years and already had our beautiful daughter. She was only 18 months and we were still trying to hang on to our “310 identity.” Sure we had a baby but we were still “hip.” The thing that changed that day was that I found out that I was pregnant with our second child. Our family was growing and we wanted different things now. We stopped skateboarding and rollerblading to the beach or the local watering hole. We started to dread the traffic. We started to notice the lack of backyards and parks in our neighborhood. We started to see all the things that we were missing and going to miss in the pursuit of being a “Los Angeles Hipster.” We wanted the cul-de-sac home with the pool in the backyard and the basketball hoop above the garage. We wanted our kids to play Little League, softball, and Pop Warner football. We wanted to teach our kids how to ride a bike in our front yard, and pitch a tent and camp in our backyard. We wanted to hear the yell of “Marco Polo” and the splash of water all summer long. We wanted “our” childhood for our children.

Four months later after finding out I was pregnant with our son, we decided to sell our home and look for real estate in the San Fernando Valley. Hipster takes on a new meaning when you have kids attached to your hip. That was in 2001 and we have been “un-Hip” since in the eyes of lots of our peers, but we couldn’t be happier.

Tell me your story of why you live in the San Fernando Valley or why you would like to move to the San Fernando Valley.

If you are looking for your own home to pitch a tent in the back yard, or if you are selling for some reason, please give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you.


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By Nicole Borkgren