I read yesterday on Metroblogging LA, a post about Christmas in LA. Specifically, it was about the severe lack of civic pride when it comes to Christmas displays. I’ve got to say, I totally agree. Jason Burns writes:
I drove to San Francisco the day after Thanksgiving because I wanted that Christmas feeling. You know, the one you see on TV with downtown streets covered in lights and smiling shoppers. We don’t have that here. We have people in cars, honking their way to a Best Buy, or Target, in places like Burbank, or Santa Monica. Decorations consist of paper stars hanging from light poles on Ventura Boulevard.
I had to laugh at that. I know exactly what he’s talking about. Anyone who knows me know how I feel about this Christmasness. I hate it. It’s a glittery distraction that just annoys me to no end. In my heart, I’m kinda glad that LA doesn’t do Big Christmas. Could you imagine navigating traffic with the current nimrods and out of town nimrods gawking? Still, considering how much money this city has, you’d think that somewhere along the line, some mayor would have thought, “Hey, we should have a major Christmas thingy. This is LA!”. But apparently all of our mayors have super sucked and think that lame Festival of Lights the DWP does is good enough.
I was in San Francisco the week before Christmas last year. We stayed a couple of blocks south of Union Square. The kids and my husband LOVED it. All those lights, the windows at the Macy’s, the ice skating. It was festive and I knew it. Hell, even I was happycrazygiddy by the time we walked back up the
mountain hill to our hotel.
It reminded me of my youth in Kansas City. Thanksgiving evening everyone headed to the Plaza or at least watched on TV, the Lighting of the Plaza. Nothing was more spectacular than watching all the lights go on, then driving up and down the streets. The houses nearby were usually decorated in time and they offered more glittery delights.
But we don’t live in Kansas City or San Francisco (which is remarkably a lot like Kansas City in several more ways), we live in LA. The City That Doesn’t Try. Remember what our fireworks show looked like in 2000 compared to the rest of the world? I’ve seen backyard fireworks that had more oomph. We rest on our laurels, we depend on an undeserved reputation. We pretend we don’t care what the rest of the world is doing, yet we yearn to go elsewhere to get the Christmas spirit.
Know why The Grove is such a hit in December? They packaged that Christmas stuff up and sold it. The got the snow, the obnoxiously huge tree. The only thing they’re missing is an ice skating rink and I’m sure they’ll figure out a way to get one over the pond soon.
But one of the biggest problems is location. Where should the tree be? Ideally, near City Hall, but could you imagine parking? It would be $30 per car like the Lakers were actually vying for a title or something. Public transportation could work…provided you live or work near a line that’s still running on a weekend or after 5pm. The Grove already has it’s televised thing going on, besides traffic over there on a regular day sucks balls. Griffith Park Observatory would be cool, something that overlooks the city, but then all those cars going up there…or even worse, those horrid shuttles they used this past year.
My suggestion: A huge CGI created extravaganza that will make LA look like Christmas in Paradise, but without all the fuss of actually involving people.