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January 28, 2011

What is in an abbreviation? When people abbreviate the name of our fair community of Highland Park it is done one of two ways: “HP” or “HLP.” The HP tends to be used by two groups of Highland Parkers: The Old Timers (those that have lived here prior to the 1980′s) and the Newcomers (those that have moved here in the most recent years of gentrification). Whereas the “HLP” is used by people who grew up and lived here over the intervening 30 years.

H.P. is the most obvious abbreviation. Highland Park reduced to its first letters. In a world where “Laughing Out Loud” is LOL, “Oh My God” is OMG, and “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciúncula” gets savagely reduced to L.A., abbreviating names has become the nom-de-rigueur or N.D.R.

H.L.P. actually comes “HighLand Parque,” one of our local gangs. They have been writing it on walls for decades. So much so, that this place is simply best known in some circles as HLP. It has been that way for years around Los Angeles. The notoriety is there and seems as obvious as the color of strawberry ice cream. Yet, every now and then, for whatever reason, someone will call this place HP. As if it were clever. And then I cringe a little. Sort of like someone boasting about steak dinners to a vegetarian.

Although I try to go the third route and just call us 90042, the HLP works best for me. It’s unique to this place. On the internet, HP always means Hewlett-Packard. Using it will give you more spam-bots than you could ever want. (Doh, guess I just cursed this blog!) It distinguishes Highland Park from another local HP, Huntington Park. Which reminds me, was the dispute between Huntington Beach and Hermosa Beach ever settled on who could use HB? Whatever the case, use HP or HLP, knowing the full connotation. But please, please, oh please DO NOT put “st””nd” “rd” or “th” after the number of our Avenues!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2011 8:39 am

    I was around in 73 – 81 then came back in 97. I call it the Highlands. If your in a 12 step group HP sands for Higher Power

  2. Mary permalink
    February 3, 2011 3:37 pm

    Definatley use the HLP!!! Love the HLP!! And so far I love your blog!! WOOP WOOP!

  3. Rosie permalink
    February 20, 2011 11:52 pm

    Born and raised here and always said Highland Park. Not until texting got popular did I abbreviate to HLP, you know to save time…. To me HP always represented Huntington Park which is soooo not like our beloved historical community… I love Highland Park!

  4. Cesar permalink
    March 10, 2011 8:17 am

    Born and raised here and can not stand when people call our Beautiful community HP. I always tell them, “so what do you consider Huntington Park? They stay quiet! I’ve never known it any other way but HLP. Loved your article and just like the rest of the comments here agree with you waltarrrrr. :)

  5. July 18, 2011 6:37 pm

    So fun article is! I agree the idea!

  6. August 16, 2011 9:09 am

    I’ve lived here about 10 years and when I first moved here, I was properly school by a friend who was born & raised in HLP to not call it “HP”. Thanks for the article, it makes me more proud to live in HLP!

  7. Tom Neff permalink
    July 16, 2012 2:44 pm

    Used to visit my grandparents home at 4953 N. Figueroa from the ’30s to the ’60s. Whoever designed the gang logo pictured was really creative. Hope he doesn’t waste his talents. Love it.

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