June 23, 2002

Jumpy: Heading over to the ...

Jumpy: Heading overos+Angeles%2C+CA&Country=us&Get%A0Map=Get+Map">Franklin between Bronson and Tamarind -- a cute little block with cafes, restaurants, bookstores and a theatre on one side, and the Scientology Celebrity Centre on the other. We took the detour, and headed to the Hollywood Y.

Inside the locker room -- a place where I've heard years' worth of wisdom about the Lakers, terrorism, Hollywood contracts and knee-rehabilitation strategies -- the members were up in arms over the recent decision by L.A. YMCA President Larry Rosen to shut down all the saunas and steam rooms citywide. The move was triggered by a sauna-room fire at the Westchester facility, which apparently pushed Rosen over the edge, according to this this L.A. Times story:

"For some time now, we have had serious concerns about the health risks," said Larry M. Rosen, president of Los Angeles YMCAs. "Furthermore, YMCAs are aware of no credible support in the realms of science or health for the use of saunas and steam rooms."
That same exact quote was pinned up on the locker-room bulletin board, next to an outraged petition, signed by more than 100 members. They think, and I'm inclined to agree, that Rosen's move was a pretext. What's unspoken, but I'm sure a factor, is that the saunas (espe>

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ti-secession platform for the November election (we vote on secession & the theoretical City Halls of the new cities at the same time). No word from HALO about Scientology's position yet, though it was easy to theorize that the church would be in favor (to have more direct control over real estate issues).

We had just sat down to munch on some chicken-mushroom crepes from La Poubelle, when there was a BOOM!, followed 10 seconds later by another BOOM! about 50 yards away, right in front of Mayfair market. I looked up, and there was a 100-foot geyser of water blasting straight up from the sidewalk. At the source was an SUV, that had run into a power-line pole, which was cracked at fender level and bent at a 45 degree angle into the street. At least one power line was dangling in the water, and there was talk that the power had been cut. At first, the kids rushed toward the nice cool water, and some adults followed ... but then people suddenly turned around, with alarmed looks on their faces, shouting "Get back! Get back!" We were sitting just under the power lines, so we relocated to some Celebrity Centre shade, and chewed our food nervously. As we drove off, there were four fire trucks, an LAPD helicopter circling overhead, an undiminished stream of water, and a national guardsman directing traffic.

It was all pretty minor, probably, but it brought me back to those jumpy days of late September. Despite how bad everything is, and continues to be, your internal equilibrium rights itself, and the basic confidence that stuff's not going to blow up around you returns. At least, if you don't live in New York or Washington. Doesn't take much, I found out today, to re-introduce that awful feeling in your gut. I'm sure the usual defiance will kick in over the next two weeks, but at just this moment I'm not really looking forward to July 4.

Posted by at June 23, 2002 04:10 PM

I had a similar experience Saturday night. I don't know if I'll ever get over that initial wave of anxiety that creeps-up when I hear something unsettling, but it passes much quicker these days.

Posted by: Jackson Cooper at June 24, 2002 01:33 PM
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