Carmageddon In L.A.
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In L.A., you can't talk about the weather because it's boringly nice, so the main subject of small talk that binds people together is complaining about the traffic. So, when it was announced a few months ago that the San Diego Freeway from the San Fernando Valley to West LA was going to be shut over the weekend to knock down part of the Mulholland Bridge as part of widening the freeway, it became an instant source of obsession. Massive traffic jams! Chaos! So, of course, everybody stayed home and the freeways were empty. It was exactly like the 1984 Olympics in LA, when everybody knew there was going to be Terrorist Attacks! Killer Smog! Giant traffic jams! No parking! And, so the rest of the world fled Los Angeles, and locals had the place to themselves for two weeks. No smog (which was rare then), and you could drive 80 miles per hour to the Coliseum, where we found a free parking spot on the street ten yards from the new statue of giant naked athletes at the peristyle entrance. (Granted, my friend was driving a 1960s VW Bug and spent 15 minutes parallel parking it into a spot two inches longer than his car, but I have the picture to prove it.)

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