Saturday, December 31, 2016

I love LA... when it's empty

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 on the last day 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.  This year both events will be held on Monday, January 2nd, because you can't drive a flowered vehicle in Pasadena on Sundays.  Blue laws still exist. 

The Rose Bowl is the "Granddaddy of Bowl Games."   I forget the corporate sponsor this year.  The combatants are Penn State and USC. And if I'm not mistaken, again we have to suffer through Brent Musburger doing the play-by-play.  Keith Jackson, please come back!!!

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.  They've served over 20,000 players since 1956.  Not one salad.

This will be the fifth Rocking New Years Eve without Dick Clark (although his name is still in the title).  Which means another three minutes of air time for Ryan Seacrest -- who really needs it. 

The Rose Parade is Monday morning.  Idiots have been staking out spots along the parade route since Thanksgiving. Every local channel will broadcast the parade. KTLA had been getting like a 50 share.  But that was when Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards co-hosted.  They both made horrible career moves by getting older so despite their popularity they're gone.  The new hosts are Leeza Gibbons and Mark Steines.  I know Mark and wish him well.   But I'll miss Bob & Stephanie.  Well... I'll miss Stephanie. 

Be safe and sane tonight.  Happy New Year everybody.

And for my fellow Angelinos thinking of freezing out on Colorado Boulevard – you realize the parade is on television, right!

21 comments :

Michael Hagerty said...

Time flies, Ken...this will be the fifth New Year's Rockin' Eve without Dick Clark, who died in 2012.

Mark S. said...

It must be a big city thing. NYC is usually empty this time of year also, except for tourists. Until New Year's Eve, of course...

Rick said...

I believe the Rose Parade and (definitely) the Rose Bowl Game are on Monday this year, since New Year's Day falls on a Sunday. The documents establishing the Tournament Of Rose were from a time when a then-very conservative Pasadena had so-called "blue laws".

VP81955 said...

How empty is Los Angeles this time of year? The 720 bus to Santa Monica makes a few brief stops along Wilshire Boulevard so it doesn't get ahead of schedule!

Michael said...

I have to say, it's fun to go to Colorado Boulevard the night before and hang out with the campers with their tents and hibachis and the assortment of ... odors.

By the way, there are three Rose Parade grand marshals. It's like the Dodgers. Anything Vin does, it takes three people to do the job.

blinky said...

Brent "That Jameis Winston is a fine young man" Musburger should be playing bingo in Boca Raton not announcing college football games.

Peter said...

Happy New Year, Ken! And everyone else here too!

Glenn said...

Happy New year, Ken. Good luck in 2017.

Breadbaker said...

@Blinky, some of us have friends in Boca Raton. You can keep him.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Mark S. I was in NYC yesterday and it was full. Wall to stell, Bike lane to Bus lane. Construction zone to pothole, Bryañt park Christmas tree to rockfellar center Christmas tree. 😉

Tony said...

@Michael Hagerty... It's not indicated as such, but I'm pretty sure this post is a rerun.

ODJennings said...

I understand all the local channels carrying the Rose Parade, but why do both NBC and ABC broadcast it Nationally?

Don't get me wrong, I like a good floral-themed parade as much as the next guy, but it hardly seems necessary to devote 2/3rds of our broadcast network capacity to it, especially since the Mummer's Parade in Philadelphia seems to have dropped off the face of the earth thereby, depriving children the pleasure of completely stumping their hungover parents by asking, "mommy, what's a Mummer?"

Are the reasons lost to the mists of time, or is there a valid explanation for it?

Snider Fan said...

I thought Zorro lived in Santa Barbara, but then they try to claim everything. Vin Scully and Chick Hearn are irreplaceable...and every New Years day we're reminded Keith Jackson apparently is too.

Charles H. Bryan said...

Happy New Year, Ken! Enjoy the relative quiet of LA.

DBA said...

I was told the "no Sundays" thing for the Rose Parade had nothing to do with "blue laws" but rather than the abundance of church bells potentially ringing along the parade route, apprently would spook the horses. No idea if that's true, but it's the story they're selling.

ChipO said...

The Committee website: "Never on Sunday" tradition
The Tournament of Roses® has had a “Never on Sunday” tradition since 1893, the first year since the beginning of the Tournament, that New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday. The Tournament wanted to avoid frightening horses that would be hitched outside churches and thus interfering with worship services so the events were moved to the next day, January 2. Though horses are no longer outside local churches, the tradition remains to this day.

hollphoto said...

I don't know much about California geography, but the original title for Zorro was "The curse of Capistrano". In which city would that place him?

Andy Rose said...

@ODJennings: The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York is also televised on two networks: NBC and CBS. But NBC has the deal with Macy's, so only they are allowed to reference Macy's on the air and take up the performance spot in Herald Square. CBS has to park its people several blocks uptown. That always seemed like a real waste to me. Why would anybody watch that parade on CBS just to see the floats and performers pass by instead of watching them stop and perform on NBC?

Anonymous said...

My favorite time of year as well and work gave use the week off. Has been wonderful driving around with so little traffic and so many fun things to do with less folks. Is it when the introverts really get to have their play day? Who knows. But I'm enjoying it.

Tom the Dog said...

I dreamed about you tonight. Let me explain, before you alert the proper authorities. Which would be who? Maybe Cheap Trick's Dream Police?

Anyway you had invited my best friend and I to visit the set of MASH, and specifically the writers (writers'? I'm not sure, don't be mad) room. We got to watch your process, which is vague to me now. Maybe also to you (insert smiley face here). Oh, also, you may be happy to know 1) the show was still on the air and 2) many of the writers were pretty young women. Most Jewish, I don't want to profile but the heart wants what it wants.

Anyway, you (who was not exactly you, because I don't have a great mental picture of you, so you looked kind of like an older Gary Gulman, because I've been watching a lot of his clips lately, and if you don't know who he is, YouTube his Conan standup re: abbreviators, you will be glad you did) gave me a welcome package which included many original MASH scripts, including "it was pink and perfect and I tossed it in the bucket," which sounds really weird out of context but anyone who knows what I'm talking about will realize it's actually devastating.

Included in this care package was a small plastic medical-looking bag filled with fluid and other stuff and labeled "55% TOENAILS AND HAIR." 55%. I remember the percentage very precisely. This was your prank way of letting me know I was invited to join the show. I told my friend next time we had a drinking contest, loser would have to eat it.

MASH, by the way, was being filmed in a large, Costco kind of parking lot. And the writers all slept in a nearby house. The pretty young women writers did not intermingle with anyone, everyone had their own separate rooms, you may or may not be disappointed to know.

Then my best friend had giant Popeye forearms, and I was kind of jealous of him, because on the one hand who wants that, but on the other hand who doesn't want to have crazy muscles no matter where they are? Well I guess not like your forehead but you know what I mean. I hope, considering the insanity that has preceded this.

Oh and then I had a third arm. Turned out it was prosthetic, which I only found out when one of the pretty young female writers (again, not to profile, but most def a daughter of Abraham) tore it off of me and said, "This is just what we've been looking for!"

Did I mention I was pretty drunk when I fell asleep reading your blog? That may explain some but probably not all of this.

In any case, happy new year, f 2016 one last time, thanks for your blog, can't wait for the podcast, Donald Trump is a megadouche. (Spellcheck had a tough time with that last word. I just made it up, I don't know if it has a J in it either, Spellcheck, you smug, red squiggly underlining bastard.)

Myles Warden said...

As an LA bus rider I think you just won the comments.