Strolling and Supping in West Adams

It's a traditional yuletide-nice weekend in one of SoCal's oldest areas.

There are neighborhoods around Southern California that feel quintessentially here -- we're looking at you, Venice Beach and Hollywood -- while other areas summon faraway places.

Those are the streets and boulevards we're apt to see on television and in the movies playing different locations, say along the East Coast or abroad. And leading the pack in Other-Place-ness, or at least tied with South Pasadena in that regard, is West Adams.

Historic houses built in the 20s lend the centrally located neighborhood its timelessness and stately air, but the community there is what gives West Adams its closeknit character.

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The West Adams Heritage Association's annual Holiday Tour & Progressive Dinner is one of the best annual examples of this tight neighborhood's love of getting together. Neighbors open their doors to neighbors, as well as all West Adams fans, for tours and a yuletide dinner.

This year's dates are Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2.

It's the dinner part that always intrigues us. Plenty of older neighborhoods offer walking tours and such, but the West Adams progressive dinner takes it a bit further with food and drink. It suits the era the area was born in, too, a day when people spent more time hobnobbing around their immediate surroundings, due in part to fewers cars and fewer electronic distractions.

Yep, we're a bit nostalgic about West Adams, and nope, the neighborhood does not exist to serve as a time machine. But you will see a number of gorgeous abodes around Wellington Square, including the home of Dorothy Dandridge's mother. It's a history buff's treat, and a Christmas lover's treat as well.

A ticket is $85, and there are a number of slots from which to choose.

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