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Cybersquatters and sinkholes
2008-07-17 20:10
by Bob Timmermann

With my own internet connection down because the vagaries of Time Warner's cable internet modem decided that if it were ever unplugged, it would never come back on again, I've been forced to find a signal wherever I can. And I'm not quite sure where this signal is coming from. But I have a signal of sorts, but there will be limited posting until Saturday.

Last night, a pothole on the Pasadena Freeway grew into a sinkhole and it shut down the northbound side of the freeway a few blocks up from my house. It hasn't inconvenienced me because it's north of where I get on and off the freeway. But for some, it's been a problem.

View Larger Map

And the linked L.A. Times article has this:


Commuters to Pasadena and South Pasadena, such as Nadine Romero, a manager at a Starbucks on Fair Oaks Avenue, saw their commute almost double.

"It usually takes me just 15 minutes from Silver Lake to Pasadena, but today it ended up making me spend 45 minutes on the freeway," Romero, 31, said. "The 110 is usually not a problem and is quite an enjoyable drive in the mornings with the L.A. River and nice landscapes."

I have absolutely no idea which route this woman is taking, but you really can't go from Silver Lake to South Pasadena via the 110 Freeway unless you take a very odd route. And the Los Angeles River doesn't go near the 110 Freeway, or at least the Pasadena Freeway section. The Arroyo Seco is the river that goes by the freeway. Which is why the freeway is also called the Historic Arroyo Seco Parkway. (Some sources use Arroyo Seco Historic Parkway.) That was the name of the freeway when it opened in 1939. (Except for the "Historic Park")


Speaking as an L.A. street geek, usually from Silver Lake to South Pasadena, you can try heading up Fletcher and get on the 2 North and then the 134 South and then you wait for that to hook up to the 210 East and you get off at California Avenue and make your way into South Pasadena.

And there are ways to get from Silver Lake to South Pasadena without even taking the freeway, although you still have to get on to one of the streets that crosses over the Arroyo Secto. But I don't see how you would ever end up on the northern terminus of the freeway, which is in the city of Pasadena, if you were coming from Silver Lake.

I shall now have to go to this Starbucks (one of three in the city of South Pasadena on Fair Oaks Avenue) and tell the manager that her directions are bad and her knowledge of geography is faulty. I'm sure such comments will be welcomed!

I probably shouldn't use that Starbucks to get the wifi.

Of course, now that I've reread the story, I was expecting the woman to be coming SOUTH on the 110 and not NORTH. So her route does make sense. And now you can see what a trip up the Pasadena Freeway is like if you're not from around here. This is without a sinkhole.

2008-07-17 20:40:39
1.   chuie
So if "almost double" 15 minutes = 45 minutes....
(And that was just her time on the freeway.)
2008-07-17 21:08:30
2.   Bob Hendley
Mmmmh...probably not a good idea. Haven't you had prior incidents in Starbucks? Perhaps below might be instructive:

From the July 17 Washington Post

Espresso, Extra Bitter
City Guide: Murky Coffee

Who knew a cup of coffee could create such a tempest in a teapot? Not Jeff Simmermon, whose request for a triple shot of espresso over ice at Murky Coffee in Arlington County turned into a heated Internet squabble, sparked debate about whether the customer is always right and provided a reminder about the intended and unintended consequences of blogging.

The drink request Sunday, said Simmermon, who was visiting from Brooklyn, was denied by a barista who told him that Murky doesn't do espresso over ice. Irked, Simmermon said he asked for a triple espresso and a cup of ice, which he said the barista provided, grudgingly.

Then -- and this is Simmermon's account -- the barista scolded him, saying that what he was doing to his espresso was "not okay" and that the store's policy was to preserve the integrity of the drink. The employee said that allowing customers to dilute espresso was not in keeping with said policy.

Simmermon, 32, said that he interrupted the barista with an angry blast about how he would have his coffee any way he pleased, thank you very much, and that he told the barista he had his own policy about doing what he wants with the products he pays for. He mixed in a couple of expletives, but that was the essence of it.

That might have been the end of the saga, but Simmermon did what comes naturally to literate victims of perceived everyday injustices in the 21st century.

He blogged about it...

2008-07-17 21:23:54
3.   scareduck
It's too bad that Verizon's wireless Internet service is so damned expensive. I have it and it's kept me afloat when I lost my house WiFi and the dummies at Time Warner decided that providing service during the rain was optional.
2008-07-17 21:33:05
4.   Andrew Shimmin
I went to a Starbucks on the fourth of July (it was open) and tried to get iced coffee, which they were out of (iced coffee is a different brew than regular coffee, it seems). But the young woman behind the counter talked me into buying an iced Cafe Americano which she described as espresso mixed with water, over ice. Seems like dumping hot espresso over ice would produce the same effect, and maybe with even less dilution.

An internet outage is where not knowing your neighbors can become even a little regrettable. Or not, depending. A couple of my neighbors are still running WEP encryption, so, that's my backup plan. My way backup plan is:

2008-07-17 21:37:15
5.   cult of basebaal
i don't think it's that hard at all, especially if she's on the east side of silverlake.

take riverside south to the 110 N.


2008-07-17 21:40:46
6.   cult of basebaal
5 sorry, forgot the short jog on san fernando to the 110 N on ramp.
2008-07-17 21:41:24
7.   Bob Timmermann
Right now, a signal is coming in perfectly. I'm not sure why it comes and goes. Of course, it's not my signal.

That one's dead and it ain't coming back until the Time Warner repair guy works his magic. Like bringing in a new modem.

2008-07-17 21:45:33
8.   cult of basebaal
6 i've worked in pasadena for over 10 years and lived in silverlake for several of those. my office is in north pas (eaton canyon area), so i always went 2>134>210 (and reveled in the glory of going against traffic), but if i were in south pas, the route above would beat the pants off 2>134>210 in most situations ...

well, except for giant sinkholes in the roadway ...

2008-07-17 21:58:09
9.   Bob Timmermann
Of course, if I read her directions carefully, her route makes a lot more sense and my post makes absolutely none. So I better post something else on top of this to hide my ignorance.
2008-07-17 21:59:33
10.   Bob Timmermann
However, you still can't see the L.A. River from the 110.
2008-07-17 22:06:39
11.   Bob Hendley
I think you owe Nadine an apology.

Bob: "Ugh, Nadine, I am sorry.

Nadine: Sorry, about what Sir?

Bob: "Ugh..."

On second thought, perhaps the "cover-up" option is better.

2008-07-17 22:32:57
12.   Bob Hendley see, I am an LA street geek.
2008-07-17 22:33:50
13.   grandcosmo
Well everyone must have been scared away by the sinkhole because this evening at around 6:15 there was barely any traffic northbound on the 110 past Marmion Way.

It was quicker going home today than it is normally.

2008-07-20 11:25:23
14.   Happy Idiot
I love the video.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.