elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
elisa_rolle
elisa_rolle

Greetings from West Hollywood, California

West Hollywood, a city of Los Angeles County, California, was incorporated on November 29, 1984, with a population of 34,399 at the 2010 census. 41% of the city's population is made up of gay men according to a 2002 demographic analysis by Sara Kocher Consulting for the City of West Hollywood. West Hollywood and the neighboring city of Beverly Hills are together entirely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles.

The West Hollywood Halloween Carneval is an event that takes place annually on October 31. The largest Halloween street party in the United States (spanning over one mile (1.6 km) of Santa Monica Boulevard from La Cienega Boulevard on the East to Doheny and the Beverly Hills border on the West), the 2007 Carneval was reported to have more than 350,000 people in attendance, with some traveling from other countries specifically for the event.

Christopher Street West is a gay pride parade and festival that was first held in June 1970 in Hollywood to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York. After incorporation, the event moved to West Hollywood and is typically held the second weekend in June.

The Oscars is a major event in the city with a majority of the large Academy Award party venues being located in the city. Many streets are closed and traffic swells on this day each year.

Foto di West Hollywood 
Questa foto di West Hollywood è offerta da TripAdvisor.

Foto di West Hollywood 
Questa foto di West Hollywood è offerta da TripAdvisor.

Frontrunners LGBT Pride Run is a 5 km/10 km run/walk held on the Sunday morning of LGBT Pride.

The City of West Hollywood sponsors an animal walk and pet appreciation days throughout the year, which have in the past featured pet psychics and dog activities. During Halloween the week prior to October 31, animals can participate in a costume contest in West Hollywood Park. West Hollywood is in close proximity to Runyon Canyon Park's hiking trail and dog park in Hollywood.

 
"Abstract", Artist: Paul Betouliere, Year Created: 1989, Address: 930 Doheny

Most historical writings about West Hollywood began in the late 18th century with European colonization when the Portuguese explorer Juan Cabrillo arrived offshore and claimed the already inhabited region for Spain. Around 5,000 of the indigenous inhabitants from the Tongva Indian tribe canoed out to greet Juan Cabrillo. The Tongva tribe was a nation of hunter-gatherers known for their reverence of dancing and courage. By 1771, these native people had been severely ravaged by diseases brought in by the Europeans from across wide oceans. The Spanish mission system changed the tribal name to "Gabrielinos", in reference to the Mission de San Gabriel.

By 1780, what became the "Sunset Strip" was the major connecting road for El Pueblo de Los Angeles, and all ranches westward to the Pacific Ocean. This land passed through the hands of various owners during the next one hundred years, and it was called names such as "La Brea" and "Plummer" that are listed in historical records. Most of this area was part of the Rancho La Brea, and eventually it came to be owned by the Henry Hancock family.

 
"Stairway Sculpture", Artist: Paul Betouliere, Year Created: 1987, Address: 884 Palm

During the final decade years of the nineteenth century, the first large land development in what would later become West Hollywood—the town of "Sherman"—was established by Moses Sherman and his partners of the Los Angeles and Pacific Railway, an interurban railroad line which later became part of the Pacific Electric Railway system. Sherman became the location of the railroad's main shops, railroad yards, and "car barns". Many working-class employees of the railroad settles in this town. It was during this time that the city began to earn its reputation as a loosely regulated, liquor-friendly (during Prohibition) place for eccentric people wary of government interference. This town elected not to become part of the City of Los Angeles, but rather, it adopted "West Hollywood" as its informal name and to borrow the glamor and celebrity from the new movie colony in Hollywood. It remained under the governance of Los Angeles County. (Picture: "La Bodega", Artist: Alan S. Boivin, Year Created: 1989, Address: 963 Larrabee)

For many years, the area that is now the City of West Hollywood was an unincorporated area in the midst of Los Angeles. Because gambling was illegal in the City of Los Angeles, but still legal in Los Angeles County, the 1920s saw the proliferation of many casinos, night clubs, etc., along Sunset Boulevard (which starts in downtown Los Angeles and runs westward). These businesses were immune from the sometimes heavy-handed law-enforcement of the L.A. Police Department.

Some people connected with movie-making were attracted to this less-restricted area of the County, and a number of architecturally distinctive apartment buildings and apartment hotels were built. (Picture: "Eye Flower", Artist: James Surls, Year Created: 2002, Address: 8560 and 8590 Sunset Blvd)

Eventually, the area and its extravagant nightclubs fell out of favor. However, the Sunset Strip and its restaurants, saloons, and nightclubs continued to be an attraction for out-of-town tourists. During the late 1960s, the Sunset Strip was transformed again during the hippie movement which brought a thriving music publishing industry coupled with "hippie" culture. Some young people from all over the country flocked to West Hollywood.

The most recent migration to West Hollywood came about after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, when thousands of Russian Jews immigrated to the city. A majority of the 5,000 to 6,000 Russian Jews settled in two major immigration waves, 1978–79 and 1988–92. Other than New York, West Hollywood's Russian-speaking community is the most concentrated single Russian-speaking region in United States. (Picture: Artist: Alone Hamilton Cooke, Year Created: 1988, Address: 9024 Cynthia Street)

In 1984, residents in West Hollywood organized to maintain rent control. When Los Angeles County began planning to discontinue rent controls, West Hollywood was a densely populated area of renters, many of whom would not be able to afford to keep up with the generally rapid raises in rent in the Los Angeles area. A tight coalition of seniors, Jews, gays and renters were greatly assisted by the Community for Economic Survival (CES) and they swiftly voted to incorporate as the "City of West Hollywood". West Hollywood then immediately adopted one of the strongest rent control laws in the nation.

 
Artist: Massoud Arabshahi, Year Created: 1990, Address: 1274 N. Harper

Sometime in the 1940s a sign appeared over the bar at Barney's Beanery that said "FAGOTS – STAY OUT". It was so offensive to local homosexuals that Life magazine did an article on opposition to the sign in 1964, which included a photograph of the owner steadfastly holding on to it. The owner died in 1968, and efforts continued to have the sign removed. The Gay Liberation Front organized a zap of the restaurant on February 7, 1970 to push for its removal. The sign came down that day. The sign was put up and taken down several times over the next 14 years, but the practice ended in December 1984, days after the city voted itself into existence. The then-mayor, Valerie Terrigno, the entire city council and gay-rights activists marched into Barney's and relieved the wall of the offending sign. It was held by Morris Kight for many years and now rests in the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. (Picture: "Reina de Los Angeles", Artist: Peter Dudar and Sally Mark, Year Created: 1994, Address: 1320 N. Harper)

A resident drew national attention during the 2008 Presidential campaign by including a Sarah Palin mannequin hung in effigy in a Halloween display. The home's decorations also featured a doll of John McCain surrounded by decorative flames in the chimney. Some residents complained about the display as a hate crime, but the Los Angeles County Sheriff concluded the display did not violate any laws.

 
"The Lightness of Being", Artist: Patrick McGrath, Year Created: 2003, Address: 1414 N. Harper

In March 2006, agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Secret Service seized 250 fake denomination notes, each bearing a denomination of $1,000,000,000 (one billion USD) from a West Hollywood apartment.

In 2006, the City Council passed a medicinal marijuana resolution, by a vote of 4–0, making it the first city in Southern California to adopt a lowest law enforcement priority law for cannabis offenses. The resolution stated "it is not the policy of the City or its law enforcement agency to target possession of small amounts of cannabis and the consumption of non-medical cannabis in private by adults.

 
“Glossolalia”, Artist: John O'Brien, Year Created: 2008, Address: 825 N. King's Road

West Hollywood was the first city in the country to have a city council with a majority of gay members. Council member John Heilman is the city's longest-serving council member (having served continuously since 1984) and is currently serving his seventh term as mayor. This position is mostly a ceremonial post that rotates on an annual basis among the council members. John Duran, an attorney, serves as Mayor Pro Tempore. Abbe Land, co-director of the Saban Free Clinic, was the last mayor. The most recent addition to the council is John D'Amico, who was elected in a hotly contested election. This election was covered by local and national news outlets including CNN, the New York Times, as well as the Los Angeles Times.

On February 19, 2001, West Hollywood became the second city in the United States (after Boulder, Colorado) to change the term pet "owner" to pet "guardian" in their municipal codes. West Hollywood was the first city in the USA to enact a law banning cat declawing.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Hollywood
Everyone has to go, at least once to the Abbey, in WeHo -- it's a right of passage.  It's too expensive, the ambiance however is nice with all sorts of different seating areas. --James Buchanan
David Cooley is the master at the art of work and play at The Abbey Food and Bar. Over the past 15+ years, his creation, The Abbey Food and Bar, has grown from a small, West Hollywood coffeehouse to one of the most popular hotspots in the country. Locals, tourists and celebrities alike all flock to The Abbey for its famous Martinis as well as its stunning, open-air ambiance and truly relaxed elegance.


Abbey Food & Bar, West Hollywood

The Abbey's most recent 4,000 square-foot expansion (the fifth in 12 years), included the addition of a brand new bar and lounge, now dubbed the Effen Smooth Bar, bringing its total size to approximately 16,000 square feet. Both AOL CityGuide and Zagat Survey rank The Abbey as THE hot spot in L.A. Such popularity and critical acclaim are a testament to Cooley's drive and entrepreneurial spirit. (http://abbeyfoodandbar.com/)

Further Readings:

West Hollywood (CA) (Images of America) by Ryan Gierach
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (November 17, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0738528501
ISBN-13: 978-0738528502
Amazon: West Hollywood (CA) (Images of America)

West Hollywood, which began as Sherman, a rail yard town, played an integral role in creating the Hollywood film industry while it grew up alongside the fashionable Beverly Hills to house the service industries needed by these wealthy neighbors. During Prohibition, the still unincorporated area was the site of the entertainment industryís watering holes and gambling parlors, and nicknames such as the Sinful Drag, the Adult Playground, and ìHollywood's Soul were bestowed upon West Hollywood's world-famous Sunset Strip, where today's visitors can still dance in the footsteps of legends like Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks Sr. As time marched on, the predominantly renter, Jewish, gay, and senior citizen residents of the progressive-minded area determined to step out of the shadows of nearby communities and create a city of their own, an effort that caused some controversy but resulted in the incorporation of West Hollywood in 1984. Since incorporation West Hollywood has been a beacon of hope, drawing refugees from Russia and around the world to its tolerant streets.

Love, West Hollywood: Reflections of Los Angeles edited by Chris Freeman & James J. Berg
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Alyson Books (May 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1593500556
ISBN-13: 978-1593500559
Amazon: Love, West Hollywood: Reflections of Los Angeles

From New Orleans (Love, Bourbon Street) to San Francisco (Love, Castro Street), Alyson’s richly detailed, highly acclaimed series finds its way to the sun-dappled land of Southern California. The story of Los Angeles’ gay history is often overshadowed by the mystique of Hollywood, as well as the notion that the gay community was centered in the City by the Bay or the Big Apple. Now, Los Angeles’ rich literary and cultural heritage is revealed in these thoughtful, humorous, and insightful essays.

Chris Freeman and James J. Berg both hold PhDs in literature, and are the co-editors of several books.
Tags: gay villages
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