Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
A Los Angeles blog
from Echo Park

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Gates make TV

A wind-whistling day. Hoping we're not going to lose power for the eight or nine hours we lost it last week. I still have a freezer full of food I know I should probably throw out from last Thursday. Meanwhile, the lonely Scott Avenue Gates, the Billy Preston Gates I now learn they're called by some, have been in the media glare. This morning, a reporter from KTLA was wandering around, looking for people to interview concerning the Dodgers sudden, "We're doing it this Friday!" announcement about the gates. (It reminds me of an airline pilot in a different country I visited once, shouting over the intercom, "It's very important you put on your seatbelts right now, we're landing!!!" And then the plane tilted down. I assumed we were crashing, but the other passengers looked business-as-usual, so I realized it was just the pilot's style of communication. Or maybe he forgot to tell us earlier. Maybe the Dodgers meant to tell the neighborhood about opening the flood gates earlier, too. Then, as long as I'm thinking about opening the gates, I remember there was a disastrous flood in the Valley in 1992 because the Sepulveda Dam authorities opened its real flood gates in a very last-minute fashion.)

I missed KTLA's broadcast about the gates, but heard that the reporter made a joke of the issue, climbing the fence, trying to get the gates open, suggesting that Echo park residents be paid money -- from the profits gained by the parking fee hikes -- to appease them. Later in the morning, I got a call from a reporter at KABC, who is doing a story that's supposed to be on tonight at 6 pm. Missed his call. I was out in the neighborhood, which was sunny and wind-lashed. Seed pods and paper trash blowing around. Eyes stinging.

I have just heard that there will be a third TV news item about it at 6 -- this one on Channel 4. Anyone else?

I'm not sure if the present media glare is better or worse than the time TV cameramen and reporters were creeping across our then-unfenced front yard because a televised car chase had just ended in the cul de sac above our street in Echo Park. The gang guys who used to live and hang out on the street laughed as the car-chase guys were arrested. "Shoulda turned THAT way!" It was a party, but it was a sad one.

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