That Explains It: Answers to Things You've Always Wondered About L.A.


'Hollywoodland' sign | Photo: LAPL
'Hollywoodland' sign | Photo: LAPL


Whether you grew up in the megalopolis of Los Angeles or you are a new resident, you've probably noticed landmarks, heard expressions, or seen something peculiar in this dynamic landscape that spiked your curiosity.

Well, look no further! Below are answers to some of your burning questions. Click on the links below for the full story.



1) Why did the Hollywood sign used to say "Hollywoodland"?






2) Why is a part of Wilshire Blvd. called the "Miracle Mile"?






3) Why is the L.A. River channelized?






4) Why do Southern Californians say 'the' before freeway numbers?






5) What did L.A. look like before concrete?






6) What are those cast metal bells along the 101?


el camino real
El Camino Real bell | Photo: Eric Chan /Flickr/Creative Commons License




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7) Why is L.A. filled with palm trees?






8) Why is L.A. so spread out?






9) Why is there a freeway bridge out of nowhere at First and Beverly?






10) Who planted all those eucalyptus trees in SoCal?






11) Why are those California state highway markers shaped like a spade?






12) Why were there canals in Venice?






13) What flattened the top of Mt. Lee (of Hollywood Sign fame)?






14) What is the story behind those tunnels in Elysian Park that the 110 runs through?






15) Why does L.A. have clashing street grids?






16) Why is there an annual parade featuring floats covered in roses?






17) What is Christmas Tree Lane?






18) Why is the L.A. skyline so bland?






19) Why are those warm, fall winds called the "Santa Anas"?






Have any other burning questions about why some things in L.A. are the way they are? Leave a question in the comments!

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