Leg Lamps of Cleveland: A Photo Essay for Christmas

Friday, December 25, 2015

As an American Jew, I am well acquainted with the classic holiday film A Christmas Story, which plays all day long, on repeat, on Christmas Day. Let's just say I've seen it more than a few times.

Did you know that A Christmas Story was filmed right here in Cleveland? Even cooler, it was filmed in my neighborhood! When you drive into Tremont, there's a sign pointing you toward various parts of town - including the Christmas Story House, now a museum that offers tours, an annual 5k, & a gift shop full of "Major Award" leg lamps.

Despite the fact that the Christmas Story House is a mere .8 miles away from my own home, I am ashamed to say that I've not yet been. I meant to go this holiday season, I did! But as so often happens, life got away from me & I never made it over there.

Luckily, Cleveland's Christmas Story pride is strong, & the city - especially my neighborhood - is chock full of leg lamps come Christmastime. They're everywhere, you guys. Everywhere. They're in the windows of homes & bars & office buildings. They come in the form of nightlights & keychains & coffee mugs. They're on T-shirts & on bags (I want all of these) & even tattooed upon flesh

I, unsurprisingly, find this endlessly quirky & charming, & once I started to realize how many of them are on display across town, I started documenting them to share with the world. Here, I've gathered for you photos of every leg lamp I could photograph, though there are many, many more that I was unable to capture. There's a house near the highway that has three of them in the front windows - & these things sell for $170 a pop!

Merry Christmas, Cleveland. Don't stick your tongue to frozen flagpoles (though it wouldn't matter, in this weather) & please, please: Don't shoot your eye out.
This purdy leg lamp sits atop the bar at Ty Fun restaurant in Tremont.

This one's all lit up at Deagan's Kitchen in Lakewood.

Git yerself a tiny version of the Major Award at Banyan Tree in Tremont!

They're keeping the (leg) light on for you at The Treehouse in Tremont.

Leg lamps aren't just for bars! This one lights up a neighbor's window.

This leg lamp, in the window of a Tremont real estate business, can be seen only in daylight.

This one passed us on a float in the Light Up Lakewood parade earlier this month.

No room for a lamp? You can still show your love with a bottle opener.

My friend Lindsey sent me this pic of a glass leg lamp candle holder. Fancy!

These tiny leg lamp replicas line the bar inside Deagan's.

Banyan Tree sells tiny versions but keeps the big one on full display for Christmas ambiance.

A Great Lake sign & a leg lamp: What could be more Cleveland than these scene at Press Wine Bar?

This one's on display in the window of an old church converted into an office building in Tremont.

This one's in the window of the fanciest loft apartment in Tremont, of which I'm forever jealous.

Waiting for a cab outside my favorite coffee shop, Tremont's Civilization, & its leg lamp

(PS: This is just a Cleveland thing, right? Your city isn't full of leg lamps come Christmas...? OK, that's what I thought. Just checking.)

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