Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Your Favorite Southern California Holiday Traditions, Part II: Hollywood Blvd.

(Pic by Micah 777.)

We're continuing to give away $25 eBay gift cards to folks offering up their favorite Southern California holiday moments... and today, we visit Hollywood Boulevard.

The street will forever be synonymous with Christmas thanks to Gene Autry's "Here Come Santa Claus." When Gene sings, "right down Santa Claus Lane," he's referring to Hollywood Blvd. -- and the nickname created by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to promote holiday shopping. (That's also how the Hollywood Christmas Parade originated.)

Franklin Avenue reader Leslie has fond memories of the boulevard:

I have to say my favorite LA holiday tradition has to be driving Hollywood Blvd. and listening to Christmas music (on KOST 103.5, of course.)

It seems simple, but when I first moved here after college to be a big time screenwriter, I said goodbye to my dad at the Ontario airport and headed back to my first grown-up apartment, right on Hollywood Blvd. and Fuller Ave. Not knowing Highland was easier, I got off the 101 at Hollywood. It was a couple of days into the New Year and the decorations were still up--the old ones that looked like reels of film that hung above the street.

Having just left the nest back in Indiana, I felt a little uneasy, but the lights were pretty and comforting, and kind of reminded me of the beginning of Lethal Weapon, which in turn reminded me that I wanted to be here to write and make movies.

It was a special welcome to Los Angeles that felt like it was just for me, a sign that I was supposed to be here, and it made all the difference. (And by the way, I truly, truly miss those film reel holiday lights. Why did Hollywood get rid of them and where did they go??)

Anyone know the answer to Leslie's question? I hadn't realized that the film reel holiday lights were gone; that must be a recent development (as the shot above, just taken a few years ago, still includes those iconic decorations).

More L.A. traditions to come... keep sendin' em in! (Email us -- franklin_avenue(at)yahoo(dot)com.)

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