Friday, July 15, 2011


So, for all those friends and family who are on the verge of enjoying yet another GORGEOUS summer weekend in the city of Chicago, I want to alert you to an unspeakable evil that is about to envelope Los Angeles tonight (no, not 'The Kardashians' they're.....they're always here).

No, the epic, frightening, "Katrina-esque" hardship coming our way is the event known as CARMAGGEDON.

Now, I don't know if this news has traveled all the way to Chicago, much less east of the 210 freeway, but one of L.A.'s biggest and most crucial freeways - the 405 - is being shut down for two whole days beginning at midnight tonight (midnight, of course, is the most epic deadline time to set, whether its getting home before the carriage turns into pumpkin or finding the deed for Toontown).

This complete shutdown is expected to create traffic havoc across all of Los Angeles as the cars who would be on the 405 fan out to alternative routes, further clogging L.A.'s already overcrowded streets. I mean, this thing is like a man in desperate need of a cholesterol reduction seeing how many Culver's Bacon-Butterburgers he can eat in an hour.

This trafficapocalypse has been Micheal Bay'd into the term CARMAGGEDON.

Cue appropriate music!

People all over L.A. have been freaking out and the city is doing its best to put the fear of God (or, whatever L.A.'s many atheists would be afraid of) into residents into staying home or leaving town to hopefully lessen the congestionopolis.

I have been getting a really big kick out of the whole thing because I've never felt closer to my fellow Los Angelinos. The thing is, for a city that barely shares the same air, let alone any kind of collective experience, CARMAGGEDON has really given everyone - from the slickest, coked-up agent to the lowliest background actor - a common topic of conversation. Nowhere is that more true than in my 'hood of Venice, because the whole of the Westside will be ground zero for the CAR-trastrophe.

Here's a map I found online that is very helpful for navigating the disturbances.

From 'A' to 'B' is what is going to be completely closed. Now, as you can see, Venice is right in the F*CKED zone. To make things trickier, I often travel from the F*CKED Zone to the area that is S.O.L. (Shit Outta Luck) you can see how this could disrupt my weekend plans.

But, how often does one get to be in a city going through such a massive crisis of transportation, infrastructure, AND identity?

I think that's what's really going on. L.A. is being forced to stare its Automotive Addiction right in its ugly smog-filled face. I mean, there is NO WAY to get from the Valley to the Westside other than driving. No trains or decent alternative routes are available and it's just a reminder of how messed up this city is. But, meh- that just the way things are out here.

I will attempt to flee the F*CKED Zone entirely by escaping today to the Eastside of L.A., where I will be taking a bit of a 'Staycation' in a friend's apartment who'll be out of town. I'll often go to the Eastside for a night every so often, but now I am taking my "casual sex" relationship with the Los Feliz/Silverlake area to a new level by spending a whole weekend together. Now, don't think this means I'm getting a divorce from Venice...just taking a little break....JFK used to do that all the time.

Confusing neighborhood-sexual metaphors notwithstanding, I'm hoping I don't feel too left out staying half a city away from the swamp of congestion. I do always enjoy these ridiculous "problems" that usually get way overblown (see my report on the Santa Monica Tsunami), but only because they provide such rich material to make funny things, and CARMAGGEDON is no exception.

Case in point, this rather brilliant video of Hilter raving about the 405 Closure... (The HITLER RANTS video from 'Downfall' has been used on everything from sports catastrophes to bad movies to...the actual rants themselves), but this one is really pretty good and painfully filled with local L.A. jokes.

This part about people living downtown LA is pretty on the money.

Keep tuned to the Twitter for all the CARMAGGEDON updates you don't care about because you'll probably be at  Cubs game or a cool street festival or on a boat on Lake Michigan instead of a stupid burnt-out city desperately trying to fix its infrastructure that will probably be destroyed by an giant earthquake in the next five years anyway!

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