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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Christos Anesti: Easter in Hollywood

Anyone who has driven along the 101 Hollywood Freeway in the last few years has no doubt noticed the spires of the Russian Orthodox Church visible near the intersection of Sunset Blvd. & Western Avenue. A couple years back I was driving by and decided to stop and take a look.

The church building is located in a commercial and very urban part of Hollywood. Don't mind the barbed wire, it's pretty much everywhere in Los Angeles.

I parked and took a walk around the neighborhood. Gas Station & Russian Church = Los Angeles, or more precisely Hollywood.

This needs a caption, but I'm not sure what. Definitely an "experiencing L.A." moment.

I finally found the entrance. The church is located at 5436 Fernwood Avenue, a half a block east of Western Avenue in Hollywood. Apparently, the church building has been around for many years. The cupola project - the massive golden onion domes - were added afterwards. 

In fact, they're still working on them. The crew (who spoke English, not a given in L.A.) was taking a break - and said they've been working on the domes for over nine years. Wow. Above is the scaffolding used on the project. That was two years ago. I'm guessing they're done. 

Aside from the guys working on the domes, no one else was around - and the church was locked. I saw this sign, which would be great - if I spoke Russian.

Walking around I finally found something in English: Holy Transfiguration Russian Orthodox Church. I tried to get some information off their website - but it seems to be "stuck." 

According to the City of West Hollywood's website, nearby West Hollywood is "the most concentrated single Russian-speaking region in US outside of New York." Who knew? Like other immigrant church's around the US, I think it's safe to assume that Holy Transfiguration is working to meet the spiritual and cultural needs of the area's Russian speaking community. 

If you're looking for an English speaking church in Hollywood, I recommend either Reality Los Angeles, or Hollywood Presbyterian Church

I don't have any personal experience with the Orthodox faith, although I would assume it has some similarities to Roman Catholicism. Regardless, I can certainly appreciate their church's building - it's very impressive, and certainly stands out. Hey, it got me to stop.

With Easter approaching, I would certainly wish them a greeting shared by believers around the world: Christos Anesti - Christ is Risen.

Directly across the street from Holy Transfiguration Church was the "Deluxe" lab. You know how at the end of every movie it says "Color by Deluxe"? Well, this is the lab where every Hollywood film is sent for final production. 

A half a block away from the church, looking across Western Avenue with the Hollywood sign in the distance. Most visitors from out of town are surprised how urban and industrial parts of Hollywood are. 

Another part of Hollywood. April 2011, my wife and I were at UCLA to hear Oxford professor John LennoxNear the corner of Melrose and La Brea, we saw a billboard for "Easter At the Bowl".

"Easter at the Bowl" is an annual event free and open to the public. This year, Easter Sunday March 31, 2013, the event is being co-sponsored by Bel Air Presbyterian Church and Christian Assembly Church of Eagle Rock. 

My wife and kids and I went with friends a couple years ago; it's a great experience - highly recommended.

Happy Easter. Christos Anesti - Christ is Risen.

Even in Hollywood.

Perhaps especially in Hollywood.

View Hollywood in a larger map

© 2013 - originally posted 4/21/2011


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