Thursday, July 14, 2011

Another morning in Sierra Madre and surroundings

This morning a large coyote raced past me and my two dogs  - on a tree-lined residential street - another ho hum moment for seasoned residents.  I wonder where it was going in such a hurry.  Or where it hides out in these many blocks of homes and commercial buildings.

In 1984, months prior to the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.  newscasters, newspapers (yes, there were several) and local pundits predicted a massive traffic jam from the beaches to the foothills.  Warnings, alternate route directions, stay at home pleas, overwhelmed.  And, then the two weeks arrived - to the joy and wonderment of those of us who traveled everywhere by automobile - blissfully enjoying clogless freeways, and the cachet of bragging about getting from Pasadena to Santa Monica in less than 30 minutes.

And now, July 2011, comes a repeat - carmageddon, cartastrophe, carmania - all because for a weekend the 405 Freeway is going to be closed for a ten mile stretch.  For weeks we have been promised round the clock news coverage, traffic officers working triple overtime, speculations of major never before seen bumper to bumper jams - interviews with brides choosing alternate routes for wedding guests, interviews with families fleeing on vacation, interviews with construction crews threatened with $72000 an hour fines for every hour past the deadline for freeway reopening.

Next week we will know - another 1984 summer?  Who knows?

Yesterday the new Sierra Madre Farmer's Market opened - what a disappointment - two vendors with vegetables, two with fruit, one with fish, one with almonds (expensive!) two ethnic food stalls, four booths with limp unappealing flea-market style clothing, one with pseudo-vintage pillow covers and frayed straw hats.

All the pre-opening publicity led me to expect much more. I will, instead, join the throngs at the Saturday market in Pasadena.

Guess you can tell this is a morning of partial venting.

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