Saturday, December 26, 2009

L.A. is so much better without people!!

The best week of the year in Los Angeles is always this one, the final seven days of the year. More property taxes and obligations are on tap for me in January but here in the waning days of December I can bask in the glory of the city that Zorro once called home.

First of all, the town is practically empty. Most people from the industry are gone, terrorizing the help in Hawaii and Aspen. There’s very little traffic. You can actually make the fifteen minute drive between Brentwood and LAX on the 405 Freeway in only forty minutes. It’s like you’re flying! Hard to get into restaurants? Not this week. Spago will even make reservations for people they don’t know. And at 7:00 not 10:30. (Unfortunately, their chefs are probably in Aspen and Hawaii.)

Los Angeles is so deserted I heard of a friend who found a parking place at the Grove shopping mall. But that’s still just a rumor.

For industry guild folks there are free movies. In the hopes of snaring nominations from any organization that gives out awards (even the WGA), studios let eligible voters and guests attend contending movies gratis. It’s also their way of giving back to the community. However, the nanosecond the nominations are announced this lovely gesture ends instantly. And they go back to the business at hand – busting the unions.

Most of the city’s attention this week is on the upcoming Rose Parade and Bowl. If you have six friends over to your apartment to play poker, the Rose Queen and her court will come and speak to your group.

The Rose Bowl is the "Granddaddy of Bowl Games" and this week, for its 96th edition, it is finally taking on a sponsor. So first the first time it's the "Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi". How fucked is that? This year's teams are Ohio State and Oregon thus reprising one of the longest and greatest rivalries in sports.

Highlight of the Rose Bowl festivities is the Lawry’s Beef Bowl. Lawry’s is the greatest prime rib restaurant in the world (a more popular attraction to Japanese tourists than Disneyland). Every year they invite each team and feed them as much prime rib as they can eat. Usually the winning team tops out at around 630 pounds of beef. During the Rose Bowl, you’ll notice half the players sleeping the bench. That’s why.

The New Year's Eve tradition is to watch Dick Clark and experience the year change in tape delay. Unless you have satellite. Then you can watch the East Coast feed in which case you're in 2010 for three hours while the rest of us are still in 2009. Not sure if Dick will be there this year. On the one hand I hope so. But on the other, stay home and enjoy it Mr. Clark.

The Rose Parade is Saturday morning. Today some idiots will start staking out spots along the parade route. Every local channel will broadcast the parade. KTLA gets a 50 share, everyone else gets a 2. Why these other stations still bother is beyond me. KTLA coverage begins at like 3:00 a.m. Five hours of watching people paste flowers on floats and the idiots from today freezing. KTLA will begin replaying the parade immediately upon its conclusion. Then they replay it again. And again. Sometime around January 15th they return to regular programming.

Bob Eubanks has been hosting the parade since the floats were powered by horses. For many of those years his co-host was Stephanie Edwards, a popular local personality who was mostly known for being the carnie for Lucky Markets. She was replaced in the booth a couple of years ago by local KTLA morning news anchor, Michaela Pereira. This caused quite a stir. Most people felt that Michaela was horrible and resented her in that Deborah Norville way for squeezing out our beloved Stephanie. (Fans would show their support for Steph by shopping at Lucky but Lucky no longer exists.) Now Stephanie is back. Although she will have to go by "Stephanie Edwards Presented by Citi".

Then on New Year’s evening all the locals will go out to dinner, have to wait 45 minutes for a table since the Ohio State rooters got there first, and things will return to normal.

So for my fellow Angelinos – enjoy it while you can!

20 comments:

Baylink said...

Hey, count your blessings: it's not the "Citi Bowl".

Our local NFL house is "Raymond James Stadium", but for some reason that doesn't bother me as much.

Twofold, I think:

It was a brand new stadium, not a renaming, and

Raymond and James are actual guys; they still run the investment house; it is locally based; and they step up -- you should excuse the misguided pun -- to the plate.

comens: isn't that the breast cancer thing?

Ref said...

Wersub: A stand in for Lon Chaney.

Melanie C. Jordan said...

Im just going to get to the point.
I want to get an interview with you.
we can do this via email.

Thank you,
Melanie Jordan
imagine@soulfulpen.com

Rodney said...

People in the know stay far away from the Rose Parade. All the businesses on Colorado Boulevard have the good sense to board up their windows and doors, so if you have business of a personal nature to take care of you can forget about using facilities that aren't disgusting. When the parade is over, Colorado Boulevard looks like a war zone. Parades are not worth the money they throw into them and if tourists ever grew brains Pasadena would actually have to come up with something a lot less lame.

J.J. said...

Ahh... the Rose Parade. For years my sometime writing partner and Frazer Smith did an alternative parade commentary on KLOS--they were supposed to do it again this year, but they're still waiting to see if they have a deal or not.

VP81955 said...

Ken, with all the Angelenos out of town, head over to the Staples Center on Saturday afternoon the 2nd and enjoy watching the world's best hockey player at the moment, Alexander Ovechkin, as his Washington Capitals face the Kings (who are having a pretty good season on their own). Check YouTube for some of Ovie's highlight goals over the years; he's a special player. Even if you're not into hockey, you will appreciate him.

Alan Coil said...

Ohio State in the Rose Bowl? Better invest in beer and condom companies. Or Kleenex and Puffs stocks, if they lose.

David said...

Head into my fave Pasedena hangout - the 35er - after the parade.

metical: a doctor who flunked English 101

Dave said...

Friends of mine used to live just off of Colorado Blvd. The best part of their annual New Year's Eve party was going out on the boulevard at about 2 am and mocking all the people who were cold and tired and who would be asleep by 6 am.

The game has been "sponsored" by Citi for at least two years, so that's nothing new. Look for the same thing to happen at Dodger Stadium once Frank realizes there's another way to finance his next five houses and alimony.

Up here in NoCal, we have plenty of Lucky Supermarkets: http://www.luckysupermarkets.com/ Albertson's tried to fight lowering sales by turning a lot of the old Luckys into new Luckys. No sign of Stephanie, though.

Jeff said...

Ken, the Rose Bowl has had sponsors for years. Before this, it was the "Rose Bowl Game presented by AT&T."

DrBear said...

While Kit-Lah gets the share, the other stations carry the parade for two reasons - 1. The networks show it for all the benighted folks in Green Bay and smaller towns such as New York who can't get Kit-Lah, and 2. It's on a public street so anyone can set up cameras and go crazy. Free programming is network catnip, and because it's New Year's morning, there's a shortage of car chase live video.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

While Kit-Lah gets the share, the other stations carry the parade for two reasons - 1. The networks show it for all the benighted folks in Green Bay and smaller towns such as New York who can't get Kit-Lah...

They will never know the pure Abbott & Costello-type banter and chemistry of Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards. They should consider moving out here just for that. ;)

Seriously, though, I go for the coverage on HGTV (Home and Garden TV). Commercial-free, but I never thought there could be so much discussion about roses. I know it's the Rose Parade, but don't ignore the precious dehydrated chili peppers and coconut flakes!

WV: wumming - I don't know what it is, but it sounds dirty, and I want to do it.

Ralph said...

A buddy of mine lives near the end of the parade route, so for years we had the unique experience of watching the parade live on TV, then going out afterwards and watching it live again.

We also used to go to every Rose Bowl game. We never had a ticket. Fans from the Big 10 who had been stuck with extra tickets were always eager to unload them. Most years, we got in for $10. One year, a guy from Wisconsin just gave us a pair. This went on for about 15-20 years...

...until the Rose Bowl upped their ticket prices. People didn't care much about losing dough on a $30 ticket, but when face value went up to $120, they weren't so eager to dump them and get into the stadium for the start of the game.

I think tickets are up to about $150 now.

I can think of few matchups that justify that price. And having attended The University of Michigan...

...none of them begin with the words "Ohio State versus..."

Scott said...

As Jeff stated, the Rose Bowl has been "presented by" for 10 years now.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_bowl#Sponsorship_and_broadcasting_rights

Great Big Radio Guy said...

I don't care who's sponsoring the Rose Bowl. I'll be spending the time catching up on reading By Ken Levine, Powered By Black and Decker, The First Name in Belt Sanders.

Bob Claster said...

If you really wanna see L.A. without people, check out these amazing photographs:
http://emptyla.com/

John said...

It may be 'empty', but when I'm out there on vacation later this week, I'm still not driving the 210 on Friday. Life's too short to spend half a day just trying to get around Pasedena.

Jeff said...

Miss the Rose Parade play-by-play and color commentary that was once heard on KRLA (Credibility Gap) and KLOS (Fraser Smith).

Grant said...

At least it's not the San Diego Credit Union Bowl Poinsettia Bowl, which I watched at the folks house. I mean I've always thought of joining a credit union, but it turns out I'm one of the mere 240 million Americans who lives outside of the region...

Even more perplexing than those national Jack-In-The-Box ads, even though only thirty-some states don't even have a single franchise.

YEKIMI said...

Could be worse. Could have your ballpark named "Progressive Field" and have it occupied year after year by a regressive team. And if Ohio State wins, maybe Columbus won't roll up the sidewalks till 11 PM this year. If they lose, the cows will be safe from being tipped over for another year.