Friday, December 21, 2007

I love Christmas in LA

Generally speaking, I feel that LA gets a bad rap. The traffic, the smog, the obnoxious Hollywood/hipster types, and general assumption that there are a lot of plastic, disingenuous people in the city are all pretty much true, and can be a pretty big bummer. Honestly, I didn't love LA for a full 18 months after we moved here.

And then something switched, and I started loving it. There's a lot I love about LA, actually, but mostly I love Christmas in LA. Sure, it's not all snowy & picturesque, but hi, it's 60 degrees right now, I don't need 6 layers of clothes when I go outside, I know my car will start when I put the key in and won't need to "warm up" for 5 minutes before I drive it, there are no windows to scrape, and the traffic is just typically crappy, instead of crappy and icy.

Best of all, lookit all the stuff you can do and see!
1. The LA Zoo: My undying love for the LA Zoo is well documented, but the zoo is even better at Christmas.

Reindeer! Santa! Fun photo ops! Churros!

Our Gang at the Zoo

And if you're a member like me, you can go as often as you want (I popped by one day just to shop in the gift shop & say hi to the lemurs--because I can).

2. The LA DWP Lights in Griffith Park: Every year the LA Department of Water and Power does this big stretch of light displays depicting Los Angeles history and landmarks plus holiday music that is free to the public and also rad. You can either drive slowly through it or park and walk, which is what we did.

Santa Plugs In

3. The Capitol Records Building: Quintessentially LA, the Capitol Records building is a landmark to see all on its own. But every Christmas, they rig a tree to the top of it. This photo isn't great (taken out of my car from over on Cahuenga), but it gives you the general idea. It's a small thing, but it makes me happy.

The Capitol Records building

4. Youngwood Court: There's this house on 3rd St. in the swank Hancock Park neighborhood that is all white and features a long row of miniature statues of The David lining their semi-circle driveway. On its own, this ridiculously ornate house is a fun treat to drive past with out-of-towners. At Christmas, the owners put a Santa hat on each of their David Statues, put big Santa faces on the house itself, park Santa & Mrs. Clause mannequins in the front yard on a bench, and craft a giant, sparkly new year to plunk next to it.


When I lived in Hollywood and worked in Korea Town, I used to drive past this house every day. Last year, I finally drove to it with my camera and took pictures.


5. North Poleywood: My favorite of all the lights and decorations around the city, and we can walk to it from our house.

Snowglobe, Reindeer

This place... is insane. They pull out the decorations the day after Halloween, and it goes live the day after Thanksgiving. Every year, it gets bigger, brighter and more ornate. It is, by far, the most Christmas lights and decorations I've ever seen concentrated on one house. It's like a Christmas Giant stomped into our neighborhood and threw up Christmas awesomeness all over the house and yard. I took a truckload of photos, but decided it couldn't really do it proper justice--you can't even see all the moving parts. So I took a video instead (apologies for the poor quality and shaky cam).

For more fun pics of LA around December, click here. Oh, and if you're celebrating Christmas next Tuesday, I hope it's merry and fabulous!

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