If you virtually cruise down Van Nuys Boulevard in Pacoima on Google Maps, you'll see a few hand-painted storefronts but mostly blank façades. That was Pacoima back in 2011. Since then, the town's main drag has flowered with new fine-art murals, earning the moniker “Mural Mile” and attracting throngs of walking and biking tours. Artist Levi Ponce has mapped out the 20-plus old and new murals. They include his own Born in East Valley, featuring Cheech Marin against smokestacks and a 1959 Impala lowrider, and Pacoima Art Revolution, a stunning re-creation of the Mona Lisa as a Mexican warrior. Plus there's Rah Azul's Mi Vida, Mi Cultura, a brightly colored tableau of birds, bicyclists and books on race theory; and Kristy Sandoval's Assata Shakur, Freedom Fighter, celebrating the town's African-American population. For such a concentration of public art, it's well worth the drive up the 5. —Jessica Langlois
Van Nuys Boulevard between Arleta Avenue & Herrick Avenue, Pacoima, 91331. muralmile.org.