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Valentine’s Day on Rodeo Drive 2021

After nearly a full year of lockdowns, Rodeo Drive is back for Valentine’s Day and love is in the air.

It’s been a tough year for Rodeo Drive.  But on Valentine’s Day 2021 the shops were again open and the customers are back. The day marks nearly a year since the dreaded Two Weeks to Slow the Spread order was issued.

That two weeks dragged out to two months. Opening was very limited and with great restrictions. No sooner than businesses along Rodeo Drive began to re-open and the Black Lives Matter riots of the summer began. Rodeo Drive was one of the hardest hit areas.

Every store along the drive was vandalized and looted. The National Guard was called in to bring order and the streets were barricaded. The businesses were boarded up and it took weeks to ready them to re-open.

Shortly after, businesses along Rodeo Drive were ordered to board up prior to the election due to threats of more rioting if the election didn’t come out the way certain groups demanded. Though there wasn’t a new round of rioting, the expense of preparing for it was considerable.

Once the outcome of the election was pronounced, the boards came down. Just in time for California Governor Gavin Newsom to order another statewide Stay at Home order. This remained in force until a few days after the Inauguration in January 2021.

This video below shows the impact of that lockdown. As always, Rodeo Drive had gone all out decorating for Christmas… just in time for the lockdown. The lavish Christmas decorations on the deserted streets made for a sadly beautiful scene.

This created such a hardship for the businesses to be closed during the busiest season of the year that it appeared many would not survive. Based on the number of for lease signs in the district, many did not. But many did.

Seeing people again return to the streets on Valentine’s Day, lining up to get in the shops, dining at the outdoor tables and socializing was a very welcome sight. It was also rather poetic that Valentine’s Day, and love, would be what would bring people out and back together again.

May this latest re-opening be a permanent one.

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