Blog Post


Willowbrook or Willow Brook Ave?

I completed a painting entitled Willowbrook Ave in July of 2022. I had lived on Willow Brook Ave when I first moved to Los Angeles and still live in the area thirty years later. I used Google maps to ascertain the correct spelling as I couldn’t remember if there was a space or not between Willow and Brook. Google Maps gave the street a space between the two words, and I titled the painting accordingly. Not end of story.

I take different routes to my studio but one of the most common straight forward journeys is to head south on Hillhurst Ave to Virgil Ave, a street that crosses Willow Brook Ave below Santa Monica Blvd. A few days after completing the painting and doing the modicum of research regarding the title and spelling I passed the Willow brook Ave street sign and the spelling correlated to Google maps, I never thought about it again. Except, it must have been the middle of October I passed Willow Brook Ave going north on Virgil Ave (something I don’t do very often) and noticed the street sign had no space in the spelling. Being a perfectionist (at times) especially when it came to details about my paintings, I became puzzled and slightly annoyed after changing the spelling of the painting on my website and other lists, etc. As I drove north on Hillhurst Ave I was soon satisfied that Willowbrook had no space, it was how I remembered it back when I lived on the street. A few more weeks passed, and I was again driving south on Virgil Ave and noticed a space between Willow and Brook. I could have sworn it was one word, was I seeing things? Could there be two spellings? Because of the traffic I was unable to stop, and I was in a hurry, but I had noticed that there were clearly two signs on each side of the Virgil Ave intersection with the word Willowbrook Av or Willow Brook Av. I finally made it my purpose to get to the bottom of this conundrum. I drove to my old neighborhood on the weekend, parked and got out of my car to survey the signage… (See the image insert or below for the result of my quandary)

I find it a rarity in street signage and naming rights to find this discrepancy. Or is it so unique?



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