From the age of the Native Americans, through the birth of Arroyo Culture and Chicano activism, to the DIY ethos of today, Highland Park has always been a laboratory for new and emerging ideas on what it means to be an Angeleno. Numerous factors - including location and geography - created conditions that allowed the area to become one of the preeminent cultural and social centers of the West. One can argue that Los Angeles came of age in Highland Park, with artists, writers and intellectuals creating the vocabulary on which we now rely when we try to explain what Los Angeles was and could be.

As we settle into the new millennium, Highland Park's residents are actively embracing all the twists, turns and contradictions that history has presented to them and their neighborhood. Evoking the first area rail lines, a new Gold Metro line traverses the area, and a slew of young artists, galleries, and businesses are making Highland Park shine, mixing a neo-hippie culture reminiscent of Charles Lummis with conceptual post-Chicano art.

As part of our exploration into Highland Park, we ask our readers to submit stories and memories they have about the neighborhood.

Tell us your Highland Park story in the "Responses" tab above.