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Laurel Canyon Residents Celebrate 'Photo Day'

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Imagine if every neighborhood in Los Angeles took a few minutes each year to come together and take a "family" portrait. That's what community members in Laurel Canyon have been doing since 1989 in an event that has grown large enough to warrant a street closure.

Tom Nelson, along with the Canyon Country Store owner Tommy Bina, started "Photo Day" 21 years ago "just to take a picture of the neighborhood," said Nelson (and it became a tradition, in which Michael Walker in his book Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-And-Roll's Legendary Neighborhood describes as a "ritualistic portrait to reaffirm their neighorbhood vows"). Those photos now line the walls of the famous store, where Bina says residents should stop by to check out the photo and where Photo Day t-shirts can be purchased, with the proceeds going to the Pet Adoption Fund in Canoga Park.

As for why the historical Laurel Canyon neighborhood is such a great place to live? Nelson explains: "It's where the music comes from, it's where the magic is. It's the bohemian neighborhood of Los Angeles, where all the musicians and artists and writers and everybody else live, and it's the most unusual place on the face of the earth."

And we couldn't agree more as it's our favorite drive to and from the Valley.