Hmm. Now that I upload the photo it looks a little abstract. But click to enlarge it and you see it's a tree-lined street. Not just any street, but Santa Rosa Avenue in Altadena, better known as Christmas Tree Lane.
I parked myself and my tripod in the gully at the end of a driveway to get this picture and the homeowner took a peek to see what I was doing. "Oh, you're filming," he said.
"Just taking pictures. Is it okay?"
"I wonder if you get tired of all this traffic," I said.
"Oh no! I don't mind," he said. "It's all about the Christmas spirit."
A couple of miles east there's a home where every Christmas decoration you can imagine is packed into one yard. It's bright enough to light the neighborhood, and you can hear the electricity buzz. People crowd around taking pictures and loving it, and I'm glad they do. But it's not my cup of tea.
I go for the simplicity and silence of Christmas Tree Lane. Just a mile or so of deodar cedars strung with old-fashioned lights. People drive slowly and dim their lights. It's quiet and kind of magical.
Those cedars were planted in 1885. A tree gets pretty tall in 125 years. I love this Altadena Historical Society photo of Christmas Tree Lane in the early 1900s, back when the trees were young.
Read the LA Times article or the links above first, to get a sense of the history. Then have a look at the Woodbury House. The Woodbury brothers founded Altadena and one of them planted those deodars (scroll down for old photos and a mention of the nursery where the trees were first planted). The house is still there. Well-hidden, but still there. And so are the beautiful trees and the sweet town those brothers planted.