San Francisco gets it. Los Angeles does not.
You hate to hear it. You hate to even think about it. But, deep down, you know it’s the truth. San Francisco is winning the holiday game. You can’t see it on the scoreboard, because we haven’t built it yet.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Los Angeles. It’s where I live, work, and play. I want it to be the city we all know it can be. I want to believe that L.A. does holiday better than anyone. Boston. New York. Chicago. San Francisco.
But, it doesn’t.
Photo of what looks to be Pershing Square, but isn’t, courtesy of etslee’s flickr stream
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.
And then there’s the tree. Ask anyone you know where the official Los Angeles Christmas tree-lighting ceremony takes place and you’ll probably draw a blank stare and a giggle, because they don’t know either. They might guess The Grove, or City Hall. They may or may not be right.
Thousands of people clogged the streets of Downtown San Francisco Friday night. Officers on horseback flanked Union Square, where an 85-foot California White Fir – a gift to the city from Macy’s – was illuminated to ring in the holiday season. It felt festive. It felt like Christmas.
It felt unfair.
Let’s hope that one day we’ll see the same in Pershing Square. Of course, we’ll want a bigger tree. We’re Los Angeles.