HP or HLP
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!