In case you don’t live in LA, this weekend was Carmagedon II. Last summer, they closed down a 10 mile stretch of the 405, one of the biggest freeways around here, to demolish part of a bridge going over it. This last weekend, they did it again to take down the rest.
Now the stretch is far enough away that it doesn’t affect me in the town where I live. In fact, last year the weekend didn’t change my behavior at all. This year, however, I really wanted to go to the West Hollywood Book Festival. And depending on how traffic went, it was going to either be a great idea or a lousy idea.
So I kept a close watch on traffic to see what it was like all weekend. When it didn’t look too bad, I set off after the race Sunday morning. (We won’t discuss that the surface streets on the other side from where I was going were closed for a triathlon. The triathlon was planned first, but it was poor planning to have them both the same weekend. Lots of people were upset, and for good reason. I just felt sorry for the cops who had to shut down the streets and the triathletes. They certainly weren’t to blame.)
Traffic was the lightest I had ever seen along the route, although I wasn’t the only one who was foolish enough to venture out. I got to the festival with just enough time to find the panel I really wanted. And the panel worked because I bought books from all the panelists, not just the one author I wanted to see.
I hung around for a few hours afterward. An author I love was there, so I chatted with her for a while. And I bought about 5 more books than I was planning on, something I haven’t done for a long time. I also went to another panel/discussion, but I dozed through it. I hope the authors didn’t notice. My sunglasses might have helped, but the crowd was so small that I couldn’t hid my nodding too much.
But boy was it hot. I was searching for shade as much as I could and constantly refilling my water bottle from the drinking fountains in the area.
And I think between the heat and Carmagedon, crowds were small. Granted, they had been small when I went several years ago. It’s certainly not the LA Times festival of books (although that seems smaller since it moved to USC). But there were very few people just browsing and buying books.
Traffic was again light when I went to leave. I was heading over to a friend’s house in the
and I had a little fun getting there just because I missed a sign, but other
than that, it was uneventful. And I got
there early enough to read and nap a little before the viewing party for Once
Upon a Time started.
Between the race, the book festival, and the viewing party, it was a very busy day. But it was also lots of fun.