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February 12, 2006

Brooklyn, this morning, 9:30 AM
Posted by Patrick at 02:08 PM * 174 comments

street-blizzard-1w.jpg

noreaster-backyard-2w.jpg

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Comments on Brooklyn, this morning, 9:30 AM:
#1 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 02:22 PM:

It's still coming down, you know. The current accumulation in Central Park is 18", estimated total to come for the whole NYC area being 16" - 24".

On the other hand, our landlord just turned up to shovel our sidewalk and front stoop. It's hard to complain.

#2 ::: Lis Carey ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 02:32 PM:

Still snowing here, too.

Unfortunately, I am the landlady. (How did that happen?!)

Around noon, I went out and shoveld the front walk because the snow seemed to have slowed down a lot. Alas, it was only temporary, and you can't tell now that I was ever out there. And sometime later today, I'm going to have to not only shovel the walk again, but cleaer the parking lot--hopefully with the help of my neighbors and their handy little plow.

Well, at least we got spring this year, even if it was in January and the first half of February. Better than no spring at all, right?

#3 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 02:48 PM:

I got rousted out of bed this morning by the sound of thunder. I knew it was snowing so that big rumble that woke me up... that couldn't be thunder for heaven's sake... so I got up to look and sure enough, a flash of lightning, then a roll of thunder. Weirdest thing. Never seen a snow-thunderstorm. You know how the sky goes completely featureless when it is snowing? When the lightning goes, it's like somebody just switched on a fluorescent light. Pure white light everywhere. Quite a sight, really.

#4 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 02:49 PM:

I heard that NYC is having the second worst blizzard ever. Southwestern Long Island, however, seems to topping out at 8-10 inches. Not bad. (It is still snowing, but lightly, and the temp is right around freezing, so I don't think we'll get much more here.)

--Mary Aileen

#5 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 02:51 PM:

The snow in this Boston suburb has been light and fluffy. So while there has been lots of snow, it has at least been easy to shovel. My neighbors are doing the right and proper thing to do in this weather: go cross-country skiing.

I'm getting some writing and design work done while waiting for the snow to pile back up so that I can go shovel it again.

#6 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 02:51 PM:

Sigh. **Homesick now.**

#7 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 03:07 PM:

I guess this is one good thing about living in the Albany area: far enough inland that we get very little of the coastal storms. (We've had a dusting, if that.)

Hope everyone digs out safely and gets where they need to okay.

#8 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 03:10 PM:

Nice pictures.

My sisters and brother are still in the NYC area, probably watching the accumulation with dismay. My parents wisely fled to Florida for the season.

* * *

Portland had one afternoon of snow earlier in the year. It got things white enough to look pretty, and the roads just slippery enough to be a menace.

The Indian fellow across the hall had never, ever seen snow in person, and was taking pictures to email back home.

It was all gone by the next day, washed away rain.

Now, it's 50 F and sunny. I really should be outside. And I'm going to; TaxCut and my folder of reciepts will still be here when I get back.

Keep warm and drive safe!

#9 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 03:21 PM:

For whatever it's worth (and you've no doubt been there to look) the NWS says it's going to be 50 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday.

I'm entirely aware that this does not mean the Snow will Vanish like a cheap magic trick. (My first Real Blizzard was Chicago '67, which was bad, though it didn't actually bring down the city government. That was '79, and I was long gone by then.)

#10 ::: cherie priest ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 03:30 PM:

Wow. That totally kicks the ass of the 1/2 inch-and-gone-by-morning we got in Tennessee. I sulk now.

#11 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 03:58 PM:

I hope the newspaper delivery people find their papers before Wednesday. The 1967 blizzard which hit DC did a lot of things, but one was that I couldn't deliver the Washington Star Sunday edition until three days later. It was the very definition of fishwrap.

#12 ::: Lucy Huntzinger ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 04:35 PM:

Holy wow, that is some snowfall.

#13 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 04:37 PM:

I especially like the third one, with the red tail light peeping out in a sea of monochrome greys and whites.

Crazy(and grateful to just be looking at it, not living it, here in Belgium)Soph

#14 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 04:42 PM:

We had much less here in DC; more like eight inches or so of nice fluffy stuff. Took me less than an hour and a half to shovel thirty steps and a hundred and fifty feet of four-foot-wide sidewalk. (Not bragging; the snow was light and hadn't frozen to the walk.)

#15 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 04:48 PM:

68F and sunny in Berkeley, CA...

#16 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 05:17 PM:

But Boskone is next weekend.

#17 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 05:19 PM:

I hadn't realized I'd become so blaze about snow until I looked at those pictures and thought "Nice photos" and then read the comments and realized that this wasn't pretty much what everyone habitually sees when one looks out of the window.

#18 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 05:22 PM:

About 80, sunny, breezy and very dry (think 20% humidity) in the northwest San Fernando Valley. Great weather for pyromaniacs!

#19 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 05:26 PM:

We had six inches in NoVA and it's happily melting away. For some odd reason, the bit of walk that leads up to my stoop (and that of my elderly, also disabled, upstairs neighbor) didn't get shoveled. When I heard shoveling outside, I went out to thank whichever neighbor had taken it on, and it was Luke -- he may be 87 and legally blind, but he was intent on shoveling that snow.

Michael, those are called thundersnows and we get them here every couple of years.

Linkmeister, our WashPost delivery folk delivered all the Sunday pre-print with Saturday's paper, and managed to deliver the rest this morning about 4am, so I'm happy.

#20 ::: Gabe ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 05:27 PM:

Snow is wasted on the people who have to live in it. I'm sure I might lose the novelty quickly but snow still has some magic for me.

#21 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 05:39 PM:

26.9 inches in Central Park. New York City has a new record.

#22 ::: Georgiana ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 06:19 PM:

We've got about 15 inches at my house south of Baltimore. The power is out down the road but we're fine (duh, I guess or I wouldn't be online.) School's closed for tomorrow and my younger boys are making plans to go skiing and sledding.

Kit, my oldest son, is in NYC this weekend. He's got an appointment at SVA admissions tomorrow morning. He said he wasn't worried about the school closing and not being able to make his appointment because New York schools never close.

#23 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 06:25 PM:

Meanwhile, apart from the Winter Olympics, the BBC reported on what happens when you send a rocket-boosted Mini down a ski-jump.

Trouble is, it was nose heavy.

#24 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 06:27 PM:

Marilee said: those are called thundersnows and we get them here every couple of years

What a great word. Thanks! Great link, too. It says you might not hear/see a thundersnow from more than a mile away which makes senes with what I saw. There was only a second or so between the light and the thunder. It seemed to be just about right over me.

All of a sudden I feel like one of those people who've seen "strange lights in the night sky." Now all I need is some recovered memories and I'll be set.

#25 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 06:29 PM:

I realize it's rather like being glad I wasn't born in Germany because I don't speak German, but wow, I'm glad I was born in California — after 4 generations here, the blood has become very thin. Big ol' weather wimps, all of us. I'm slightly in awe of all of you who manage to live places that get snow like that. I'd be utterly useless: "Sorry, first snowfall of the season, tucking up in bed and won't be out until May..."

#26 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 06:38 PM:

Where I live, just outside Atlanta, we had sporadic flurries all morning. It didn't stick.

#27 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 07:00 PM:

Lexica: I'm with you. My SO occasionally calls me a "hothouse flower".

(I have noticed, actually, that since I started going to a gym my preferred temperature range has changed a bit; what used to be pleasantly warm is now unpleasantly so, while what was annoyingly cold is now the cool side of comfortable. My optimal temperature has moved down by perhaps four kelvins.

Which is not to say that I want to live anywhere that gets snow regularly.)

#28 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 07:01 PM:

Still coming down in Cambridge; the roads are clear, the sidewalks...well, ours is clear. Or was, and will be again.

Jon: Arisia was last month (and pretty much snowless), but it's Boskone's turn next anyway after last year's Arisia blizzard.

#29 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 07:08 PM:

Here are some pix from Pleasantville. I don't know how much snow we got: a lot. More than 2 feet. The schools out here just announced a 2 hour school delay for tomorrow. We decided not to bother shoveling out tonight, since it's going to be windy and with drifting we'd just have to do it all over again in the morning. Also, tomorrow it's supposed to be 10 degrees warmer.

#30 ::: Damien Neil ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 07:26 PM:

Man, I miss snow.

#31 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 07:48 PM:

Great pictures. Reminds me of a childhood spent in NY, college years in Cleveland (where one year it snowed on June 1) and my five unforgettable winters in Chicago. I left Chicago in August 1972 and never looked back. I do not miss snow. I do not miss it in a boat, I do not miss it with a goat... I could find it if I wanted it -- yes, we have snow in California in the winter, oodles of it -- but I don't. Miss. Snow. I sometimes miss thunderstorms, though.

Enjoy...

#32 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 07:53 PM:

Took me awhile to find this...

When the struck ice rings with two pure notes, when wood stands in the tree as hard as glass, when iron snaps and cracks and crumbles, when the fire damps and dims and dies for the sake of the keen of the wind coming back down the chimney, swirling, the stovepipe that almost glowed with the heat in it quenched blue and fragile with the freezing air, then it can snow, one wide obliterating whiteness that leaves deep wells around the boles of trees and humped and crawling drifts over the northern eaves of houses, one white haze over the world at the noon-tide and a stinging, flake-toothed blackness through all the long hours of the night.

#33 ::: Mikael Johansson ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 08:23 PM:

Yup. That's what february SHOULD look like.

Of course, the heretical Bavarians don't realize this, and so I'm stuck with 20cm of mush with vague relationship to snow.

#34 ::: Emily ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 08:30 PM:

Ah, it looks like a typical Buffalo day. Time to shovel off the car and drive to work, wot?

It's always funny to see somewhere that's not my hometown get a large amount of snow. And yet they always pick on us.

#35 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 08:37 PM:

Yesterday's plan for today:

Drive from NYC back to Boston.

Today's plan for today:

No.

#36 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 09:02 PM:

Graydon -- where did you find it? Yum.

#37 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 09:19 PM:

Lizzy --

That's from a 1997 usenet post of mine.

My filing system isn't all that it could be.

#38 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 09:27 PM:

Very lovely stuff. Thank you.

#39 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 09:29 PM:

Suddenly, 6 weeks of near continuous rain (over 15" for January) doesn't seem too bad. Stay warm and have some nice hot beverages.

#40 ::: betsy ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 09:33 PM:

oh, pretty!

here in minnesota it's been a relatively light year for snow. however i'm hearing things about single digit fahrenheit highs for next weekend that are making me a little nervous.

#41 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 09:49 PM:

Looks pretty. Not quite a normal day, but not so unusual as to occasion much comment.

Of course, I live a little north of Toronto and grew up somewhat further north still.

To be fair, the figures Jim quoted -- 26.9 inches -- are rather worse than the pictures seem to show, and really would inconvenience just about any place I know, for 24 hours or so, until the ploughs got out over the entire area.

#42 ::: Janna Silverstein ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 10:12 PM:

Wow, look at that! It's been so long since I've been in a blizzard like that. And today in Seattle it was sunny and balmy. There's a part of me that really misses proper winter weather. But there's another part of me that remembers the necessary shoveling and thinks, "Not so much."

(PS--Hi Teresa!)

#43 ::: PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 10:23 PM:

I live on the 17th floor and my living room windows have a south/southwest orientation. My terrace is about 10ft x 8ft. Because of the angle of the bedroom wing to the living room space the terrace is usually protected from rain and much snow. The snow made it all the way to the building wall and was about 8in deep on the terrace. I didn't go outside but I poked my head out the terrace door a couple of times to feel the snow blown around by the wind. Early this morning I really liked how the blowing snow looked -- like white mist in the air.

#44 ::: Cornfed ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 10:29 PM:

Thundersnow!
*envy*
Cripes how miss Iowa. Cleveland gets snow, but there's nothing like a good old Iowa blizzard with thundersnow and a wind that makes the house lean.
Followed by an arctic blast cold enough to freeze the moisture out of the air and coat it all with tiny ice crystals...wind etched drifts sparkling under a blue white moon...
Dammitall, now I'm getting homesick.

#45 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 11:05 PM:

Okay, Andrew posted my entry.

I woke up in Brooklyn this morning, and it was lovely, but I was quite thoroughly snowbound in New York. I'm crashing out at my brother's place outside NYC tonight, and driving home in the morning. And taking 95, not the Merritt, to be on the safe side. I thought I was in good shape because I don't have any meetings in the morning, but apparently I am in excellent shape - my college is actually closed tomorrow, so I have no meetings at all. I get to work at home before going to see Cory Doctorow read at MIT.

#46 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2006, 11:10 PM:

We woke up to a beautiful winter wonderland in Alexandria. We also woke up to the power being out. This was bad timing for me--I was booked on a flight out of Nat'l airport (yes, it's now Reagan Nat'l airport *blech*) that was cancelled. I finally got a 5pm flight to Denver, with a connection to Albuquerque that is now delayed to 10:10pm, Denver time. Ugh ugh ugh. Nine hours sitting in airports today. I wish I could have stayed home and romped in the snow with the dog.

#47 ::: Scott ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 12:05 AM:

This is the kind of weather (well, not 30" of it, but you get the picture) I had in mind when I went out in December and bought a snowblower . I finally grew tired of risking a coronary and generally tearing up my back and shoulders every time I shoveled the driveway. And wouldn't you know it - we have had all of 2" during the worst of the falls we have had so far.

Still and all, probably cheap life insurance...

Stay warm and well!

#48 ::: Karl T. ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 12:23 AM:

> My SO occasionally calls me a "hothouse flower".

David, I'm very happy to read this; congratulations. It's been a long time since we whiled away the hours in the basement of Evans Hall at UCB (speaking of chilly), being net.addicts in the finest tradition of the word.

(The email address karlht@ocf.berkeley.edu may or may not mean anything to you after all these years; not to worry if it doesn't. Just know that someone from the old days is happy that you are alive and well and partnered.)

#49 ::: Kylni ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 12:27 AM:

Brad DeLong: 68F and sunny in Berkeley, CA...

I know! It's cooled down a bit over the last few days, too. We had the most wonderful picnic on Friday, it was 72 and sunny with a lovely breeze...

I was born and raised in California. This is my kind of winter. Snow can stay where it belongs - that is, away from me. :-)

#50 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 12:34 AM:

I was born and raised in California. This is my kind of winter.

Abruptly I am reminded of an episode of "Lou Grant," in which Lou, having his first Christmas in LA after relocating from Minneapolis,* sees a bell-ringing Santa wearing red shorts and sandals. Outraged, Lou asks what the guy supposes the kids are going to think seeing Santa like that. Santa replies, "What are they going to think if they see Santa passed out on the sidewalk?"

*where this is, purely coincidentally, being written. Relatively little snow just now. Ten degrees. Next serious chance of snow is Wednesday . . . by which time I will be in New York.

#51 ::: Laina ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 03:26 AM:

When I lived in Carlisle, PA, we had 28 inches one March day. (I think that was the anniversary of the blizzard of 1893, but I'm not positive) Two guys in my apartment complex shoveled a path just big enough for one car out of the parking lot, so that the lady on dialysis could make it to the hospital. I wish I'd had a digital camara then.

#52 ::: Ayse Sercan ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 04:38 AM:

Heh. It was so sunny and warm in the Bay Area that I forgot it was winter elsewhere.

I spent the weekend planting roses and citrus trees, and moving sod around in the garden. It's been long enough that I've been away from the Northeast that February doesn't make me think "snowfall and resulting slushy curbs" any more, but rather "prime gardening season." This is the time when we have enough rainfall to let plants get established.

I love that sort of picture of snow, though. It always looks so clean and beautiful before people come along and ass it all up.

#53 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 05:54 AM:

Hey, I've been trying to convince the publishing industry that NY was a bad choice. No one seems to think Oahu would be a great place to set up office...

Taken Dec 3rd. Stay inside, stay warm, give aloha!
-=Jeff=-

#54 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 05:56 AM:

Ahh image blocked. http://static.flickr.com/18/69896036_5c628a9631_m.jpg

#55 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 07:12 AM:

Cornfed wrote: Cripes how miss Iowa. Cleveland gets snow, but there's nothing like a good old Iowa blizzard with thundersnow...

Damn. I lived in Iowa for three years, I've been to one World's Fair, a picnic and a rodeo and yesterday was the first I ever heard of thundersnow. Of course, I lived in Iowa City which isn't the same as "Iowa" exactly. There may have been an ordinance.

#56 ::: Thena in Maine ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 07:39 AM:

I would like to point out that you got our snow. I don't mind very much, but my boyfriend would like to have it up here so he can go skiing.

#57 ::: jane ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 08:13 AM:

And here in Western Massachusetts, we only got about 4 inches. Enough to be lovely but not crushing in its impact. However about twenty miles to the east, they got a lot more.

Jane

#58 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 08:20 AM:

It's always funny to see somewhere that's not my hometown get a large amount of snow. And yet they always pick on us.

I grew up in Amherst, NY. Now that I no longer live there, I find that no one believes me when I tell them that Buffalo is really not in a state of perpetual blizzard. (I did find the area exceptionally windy though.)

#59 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 09:38 AM:

Wow, that's the kind of weather that calls for hanging out in the kitchen and cooking some serious comfort food.

#60 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 09:53 AM:

Snow, snow, snow...

(That's supposed to sound like Bing Crosby & Danny Kaye singing with Rosemary Clooney & Vera-Ellen.)

#61 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 10:05 AM:

Oh, man, I hurt all over. I spent pretty much all day yesterday shoveling and snowblowing. I think we got close to the two-feet mark. I do our sidewalk/driveway/steps, and then I go up and down the block on both sides and try to at least get the front sidewalks of the neighbors.

On a positive note, I finally figured out what the heck was wrong with my snowblower. It has been acting weird the last couple fo times I've been using it, and I couldnt' afford to not use it yesterday, so when it died on my I poked around with it for about half an hour and found the throttle doesn't have a direct connect to the cauberator, it's a weird rube-goldberg contraption that involves a couple of linkages that pivot, and some springs, and the problem occurs when the springs get tired and don't spring back. Now, when it dies, I know to reach underneath and pull the last linkage forward and that fixes it.

I think I want my next snowblower to be a Bobcat with an enclosed cab.

#62 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 10:16 AM:

Richard, you're right on the money. I made a king-sized pot of jambalaya yesterday, and boy howdy was that good. Much of the rest of the day was spent curled up on the couch watching the Olympics. Every now and then we got up to check on the awesome snowdrifts forming on the fire escape. What more could one want under such circumstances?

#63 ::: Neil Rest ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 10:44 AM:

Aw, foo.

If you really get the 50 degree days, we won't get the follow-up pictures of all the folding chairs and card tables and wierd crap people put in the parking spaces they shoveled out to stake their claim.

#64 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 11:00 AM:

My grandma fled the Sierras ASAP (only a ghost town remains), and as a second-generation Bay Arean I still find snow exotic. Luckily, Prescott doesn't get all that much even in a wet year -- not so far, anyway. But we did have snowthunder once. Amazing! Now I'm just waiting for temps in the 70s and things to start blooming.

#65 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 12:01 PM:

Teresa is one of the very few people who have seen me and snow together at the same time, so this may give her a sense of deja vu:

AAAAIIIIIIEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Man, I hate snow. Yeh, it's very pretty. But it's cold. It's cold, and it hurts. It's solid water! That's just unnatural. The world isn't supposed to work that way.

The time Teresa saw my reaction to snow was while driving over Wolf Creek Pass in an icestorm. I told the other people in the car that route was a bad idea, but did they listen to me? No-o-o-o-o.... So I think I was perfectly justified in pulling my jacket over my head and moaning. (No, I wasn't driving. Fortunately, one of the other passengers, Jim, had lived in Montana for a while and had experience driving on ice-covered roads. And I was paranoid enough about driving in Colorado, period, that I'd put a set of tire chains in the trunk; otherwise, we'd probably have all gone sailing off the edge of the road and down into some deep canyon where our frozen bodies would have been eaten by wolves in the spring thaw. So, when you come right down to it, Teresa is alive today because of me. Say thank you, Patrick.)

#66 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 12:55 PM:

Richard and Andrew...I made habanero oil following Teresa's heuristic Saturday night. I was toasty warm, thank you. And when I tasted the oil at the end...yummmmm! Not just hot, deLISHus. I mixed some with butter to gentle it a little and ate that with...hmm, never mind. Not quite prepared to admit how I ate the habanero butter.

As for the oil, it's upside down in the fridge per Miss Teresa's instructions. Still waiting for it to congeal. So far it's no more than vaguely cloudy, but I maintain hope.

In other news...anybody else think that, despite the actual numbers being a record, this just isn't as bad as the blizzard of '96? I remember Hoboken being closed to non-resident vehicles during that. And the city being pretty well paralyzed.

Am I just an old man? "Hah! This is NOTHIN'. I remember the BIG one...back in '96!"

Ye Gods, I hope not.

#67 ::: Northland ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 01:04 PM:

Ah, looks like time to cue up Loreena McKennitt's setting of Lampman's Snow.

Stay warm and watch for the play of light on the snow when the sun comes out. Those big fluffy flakes turn into millions of prisms.

#68 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 01:25 PM:

I'm with you, Xopher. The '96 blizzard was a lot more widespread, I think. This one gave barely a foot to much of Long Island (less than that where I am); in '96 we got 20+ inches.

Or maybe *I'm* an old fogey, too. AIEE!

--Mary Aileen

#69 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 01:55 PM:

Us *real* fogeys (grin) still rcall the blizzard of '78 (or was it '79? The memory is going...). I was living in Cambridge, MA at the time. The snow forced the closure of most roads in the metropolitan region to nonemergency travel -- you'd walk outside, and the silence would be broken only by the sound of human voices and the distant whump-whump of military helicopters delivering supplies. Skiing on the Charles was a special treat for this California boy.

Now I'm living at 6,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada, where the current snowpack at our elevation is less than 70 percent of the average for this time of year (although it's at 140 percent on the ridgeline to the west -- a result of moisture-laden cold fronts that dumped much of their loads before reaching town). We'd love to see a few more storms like the one that just hit NYC. Studded tires are on the car, and the Honda snowblower (gratuitious plug, but it's a heluva good machine) is gassed up and waiting....

#70 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 02:11 PM:

Those of us from the SF Bay Area remember the blizzard of '75 — a whole half-inch of snow! And my parents still made me go to kindergarten, and by the time I got home, somebody had scraped the snow off our yard and a number of other yards and had made a 1-foot-tall snowman, leaving not enough to even make a decently-sized snowball to throw at anybody. *sulk*

#71 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 02:13 PM:

Here in central CA it's nearly 60F and the forcase high is 70. The first couple of irises opened over the weekend, and the (several million) fruit trees around her just started to blossom. (Lots of hives around, too.) It is supposed to drop by at least 10 degrees by Wednesday, though.

Think warm.

#72 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 02:24 PM:

JKRichard, I'll put in a plug for Oahu; we have a few publishers out here, but not enough. I'm also available for employment, should such a relocation take place.

#73 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 02:33 PM:

MMM. Impressive for the place that gets to complain that snow in December means an interruption of the citrus harvest. Owie. That looks like our first major snow here at its end ... but I know it's mid-storm, and it definitely isn't the 26" you got in total according to Jim - which would be enough to close down brash ol' Winnipeggers who claim they can handle anything. (I still say that's because we know to stay indoors if possible on a day like this.)

Will there be more pictures of the final results?

#74 ::: Steinn Sigurdsson ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 02:37 PM:

I am so jealous.
We had a pitiful inch or two here, enough to be a nuisance, not enough to be enjoyable.
Damn storm moved ~ 40 miles east says weather service, or we'd have got the 4-6 inches forecast, which would at least have been respectable.

#75 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 02:55 PM:

Well, in March 1999, Rochester, NY got two separate snowstorms that dropped over 40" of snow in 48 hours. The city was uncharacteristally overwhelmed. They wound up towing cars from Snow Emergency Streets (and some from non-emergency streets, too) to downtown parking garages and then made the buses free for a few days so people could go get their cars. With no tow fees.

Upstate is different.

I had crazy business school classmates that actually wanted to go to school and have meetings. I told them that they were nuts, and if they wanted me, I'd either be at home or at The Distellery, a bar within extended walking distance of my house.

#76 ::: Leigh Butler ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 03:11 PM:

Damn.

Here in Beverly Hills it's a bone-freezing 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

And I? Am okay with that.

I'd be happier with the more usual mid-seventies range, but hey, a Southern girl can't have everything.

(And, I just realized I have been mispelling "Fahrenheit" for years. Why's German names gots to be like that?)

#77 ::: Eve ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 04:03 PM:

It's beautiful.

I was in Budapest this weekend, and went to a bathhouse. There's something very strange yet wonderful about swimming outside in very hot water while the snow falls.

#78 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 05:02 PM:

Leigh, I'm so sorry you have to live in such an uncomfortable and unnatural place (even the real trees look fake there). Should you ever decide to free yourself of whatever bonds keep you there and move to a place better suited to human habitation (plentiful water, changing seasons, REAL TREES), we'll welcome you with open arms.

Then we'll put snow down your back. Otherwise you won't know you're really here!

#79 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 05:21 PM:

Xopher, you really like snow? I grew up in Quebec City and have no regret having left it behind. True, snow is pretty to look at, but the shoveling? Bleh.

By the way, Patrick, which of those buried vehicles is the Nielsen-HaydenMobile?

#80 ::: Leigh Butler ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 06:35 PM:

Ah, but Xopher, fake things looking real is our stock in trade! Our raison d'être, even! It's the MAGIC!

And, I know. Some people just can't take the unweather here. My mother came to visit for a week once, and by the second-to-last day had actually begun ranting about how sunny and beautiful the weather was consistently being and how it was driving her NUTS.

I do confess to missing thunderstorms, but as far as "real seasons" go, I've seen real snow precisely three times in my life and haven't felt the lack too terribly.

(If I ever actually follow through on my ambition to live in New York City for a spell, I'll probably be one of those idiots that manage to freeze themselves to death in November because I didn't know you're supposed to Krazy Glue your windows shut, or something. I hear you northern folk have to do all kinds of weird survival shit like that.)

#81 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 10:52 PM:

I have seen snow twice, both times light sprinkles, and at a distance, and not here, of course. Here, it is 97 degrees Fahrenheit today. It was 97 degrees yesterday, and over 90 every day of the last four. It will be 98 degrees tomorrow, according to the forecast.

Just now, I want to see snow again. And this has been a very mild summer.

#82 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 11:00 PM:

Linkmeister: I hope the newspaper delivery people find their papers before Wednesday. The 1967 blizzard which hit DC

?? I don't remember 1967 (my last winter in DC), but I remember a storm in 1966 that completely drifted over the 8'-deep cut the road went through near our house. (We were 1.5 miles from the middle of Potomac, on the non-posh side, if you remember from that far back.) We were used to wet snow bringing down the power lines about every other winter, but never to the sort that fills in deep patches and leaves bare crests exposed.

Richard: It was definitely 1978; I remember because Boskone somehow went on, but the schedule posters in the display cases showed everything else in the hotel had been canceled. I also remember the snowslide somebody built out of the 1-1/2--story window of a brownstone, and realizing the little button next to my foot was the top of a car's antenna....

Here (northwest corner of Boston) we got well over a foot, in several waves; only the guy with the miniature snowblower worked the ~noon lull, but everyone was out between 2 and 3 -- so all the first round of shoveling got masked over by ~3" of fresh snow. Now \most/ of the roads are clear; one major street in my office park was hardpack this morning without any asphalt showing. (I shouldn't have been surprised -- this is the first time in years my doorknob was cold enough to stick to bare skin when I went out for the paper.)

#83 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2006, 11:17 PM:

Lexica: half an inch? We got two inches in San Jose! And the plants survived the experience, too.

#84 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 12:35 AM:

Leigh, you misread me. I was talking about REAL things looking FAKE there!

I agree with your mom though. My first visit to LA was in 1984 (for the worst WorldCon I've ever been to, which made me more irritable than I'd otherwise have been). I started talking about the "relentless LA sunshine" after a couple of days.

Even in NYC, I remember the first time I ever saw a completely cloudless sky for the second day in a row. I grew up in Michigan, and such a thing had never impinged on my consciousness before. Days on end without the sun so much as peeking out, that happened a lot.

But then I burn like a lobster in a few minutes, and make WAY too much vitamin D to be healthy. I've spent my life avoiding the sun...and that's why, at 46, I still get carded from time to time.

My favorite weather? 55 or so, overcast, with a mist or maybe a light drizzle. For some strange reason this makes me happy. Also homesick for Ireland, a place I've never been.

#85 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 05:42 AM:

Xopher writes My first visit to LA was in 1984 (for the worst WorldCon I've ever been to, which made me more irritable than I'd otherwise have been)...

The worst worldcon? How come? For me, it was probably my best worldcon, and not just for reasons related to today's celebrations. It was also my first trip to California, and my first trip to the West Coast. I remember our driving down from SF and first being introduced to LA's highways. Yes, I could see the dirty buildings off the side of the road, but this was frigging California. And I'll never forget zipping past an old gas station that had on its lot the six-wheeled vehicle from Damnation Alley. (No, Susan Sarandon wasn't near.)

#86 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 06:01 AM:

I've seen snow four times close up (not counting on top of distant mountains or from overflying jets). Twice I've seen it actually falling; once in December(?!?!?!) around Blayney/Oberon, from the night train to Broken Hill, and once in a midwinter Canberra.
But if you are discussing snow-deprivation, let us consider some bereft peoples' childhood Christmases, and the lengths they had to go to.

#87 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 06:15 AM:

I'm now feeling kind of apprehensive, because I'm due to fly into JFK tomorrow (Wednesday) and need to get to a hotel in town.

What sort of level of disruption to transport should I expect?

#88 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 08:13 AM:

Xopher wrote:
"But then I burn like a lobster in a few minutes, and make WAY too much vitamin D to be healthy. I've spent my life avoiding the sun...and that's why, at 46, I still get carded from time to time."

Oh, hey, I got carded at age 48. But that was because the little bastard at the movie theater wanted to know if I qualified for the senior discount. Which I hadn't even asked for.

#89 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 08:22 AM:

Nobody has carded me yet for looking close to retirement, Bruce. It probably won't happen for a few more years, based on what happened on my way out of the office yesterday. I was riding the elevator down to "G" (officially the 'ground' level, officiously the 'get the Hell out' level) with the mailroom guy, who said it was quite windy, at which I expressed concern about our respective toupees flying off. One young woman also riding down made some comments, to the effect that neither of us looks like we wear toupees. At first I thought she meant that our hairlines looked too thin and too much like General Zod's to be fake, but, no, she said we still have too much hair to need a toupee. That made my day.

#90 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 09:36 AM:

Charlie Stross: I'm now feeling kind of apprehensive, because I'm due to fly into JFK tomorrow (Wednesday) and need to get to a hotel in town. [...] What sort of level of disruption to transport should I expect?

None, I should think. It's a bright sunny day today, into the 40s or maybe 50s. The streets have been plowed. You might face large Alps-sized mounds of snow and/or lakes of slush while trying to cross at some street corners, but even those are going away. Tomorrow (Wednesday) no precip predicted and temps should be in the 50s.

#91 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 09:50 AM:

It's snowing here in Seattle - and I left my computer at work so I have to go in. :-( Won't be 26" though, more like 0.26", but enough to send everyone and everything into a panic.

Wish me luck.

#92 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 12:42 PM:

While here in central OK, it's still dry as a bone. Well, I admit we DID get an inch of rain a few weeks ago. We have a Siberian iris blooming, and they're watering the grass on campus.

Yeah, I remember '96. I drove from Nashville to Pittsburgh for an interview just a day or two later. All the way from the neighbor's kids not owning a pair of gloves to play in the snow, through ever-increasing numbers of cars abandoned by the side of the highway, to 36" on my parents' back porch. I have this wonderful video about it put out by one of the Pittsburgh TV stations (true weather pr0n!). I do NOT miss driving in snow, thank you, and Arizona's looking mighty tempting...

#93 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 01:20 PM:

Heh. Turns out that the dusting that stuck immediately melted with the first rays of sunshine. Even our crazy traffic was unaffected.

#94 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 01:33 PM:

Serge: they did everything on the cheap. And they were really obvious about running it as a profit-making venture for their club. Lest you think I was the only one who felt that way, there was a run on "Better Dead Than Mellow" buttons, and I got quite a laugh (and singing along) from some folks from Maryland by filking "Rock the Casbah" with "Fuck the ConCom."

Also, it was billed as LA but held in Anaheim, which is like advertising New York and holding the convention in Garden City. I felt baited and switched once I found out. "Oh, it's just a short drive!" Great. I have no license. Remind me never to trust you again.

There are many things to like about Southern California (San Diego, for example, where you can't throw a water balloon into a crowd without drenching a truly magnificent specimen of manhood). But that club isn't going to trick me again into flying 3000 miles to air-condition their clubhouse, or whatever their next project is.

#95 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 01:45 PM:

Oh, hey, I got carded at age 48. But that was because the little bastard at the movie theater wanted to know if I qualified for the senior discount. Which I hadn't even asked for.

Don't you hate them? A couple of weeks ago one young gentleman encouraged me to take back something I said with the kind phrasing "Put your dentures in and eat your words, old man."

Since the statement in question was that I thought he was a reasonable human being, I was glad to do so, and closed with "Take your retainer out and give head to a shotgun, s***head." I'm afraid I shocked his delicate sensibilities.

#96 ::: Leigh Butler ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 01:55 PM:

Xopher says:

Leigh, you misread me. I was talking about REAL things looking FAKE there!

That's in order to facilitate the fake things looking real.

Besides, lovely live oaks they ain't, but if jacaranda trees are an example of fake L.A. trees, I can deal with it.

But then I burn like a lobster in a few minutes, and make WAY too much vitamin D to be healthy. I've spent my life avoiding the sun...

Well dude, no wonder then. Anyone with an excessive sensitivity to sun has absolutely no business in Southern California.

*shrug* Me, I like it. L.A.'s definitely got its issues, but I really like that on pretty much any day of the year I can go to my favorite coffee shop and sit outside in the sunlight and read or write or whatever, and it's warm and dry and beautiful.

The one thing I don't miss about New Orleans is the climate.

My favorite weather? 55 or so, overcast, with a mist or maybe a light drizzle. For some strange reason this makes me happy.

Then I heartily recommend San Francisco to your attention.

#97 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 02:36 PM:

My favorite weather? 55 or so, overcast, with a mist or maybe a light drizzle.

Yeah, that's San Francisco all right. Everybody always says the weather is "so nice" in SF, but I find it windy and cold.

Give me snow, or temperatures in the single digits, and I know it's cold, so I dress appropriately. But 55 is a temperature that I don't know how to dress for. I prefer 70.

#98 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 02:52 PM:

You know, Laura, the late Herb Caen, columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, used to say one can easily recognize tourists in the Cool Grey City of Love during summer: they were the only ones wearing shorts.

#99 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 03:13 PM:

And the surest way to be swamped by tourists asking for directions and the like is to show up around the Wharf or Ghiradelli Square dressed appropriately for the weather.

#100 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 04:28 PM:

San Francisco has some interesting microclimates. If you live out in the Richmond, or in the Sunset or the Marina, or even in the Haight, you can pretty much expect many fog-bound mornings and evenings across a year. South-of-the-slot neighborhoods like Potrero Hill, SOMA, Rincon Hill, Dogpatch, and much of the Mission, however, can be downright balmy. When I lived in the latter, my friends and I grew tomatoes, squash, lemongrass, jalapenos, arugula, and basil in our apartment building's back yard. I don't think that's possible west of Twin Peaks.

To return somewhat to the subject of this thread, I recall the San Francisco Chronicle back in the 1970s (perhaps very early '80s) running a front-page photo of a XC skier on one of the city's streets during a snowstorm. Although snow events were rare then, they seem nonexistent now.

(Apologies to non San Franciscans for the extreme provincialism of ths post.)

#101 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 04:45 PM:

Richard Anderson wrote:

I was living in Cambridge, MA at the time. The snow forced the closure of most roads in the metropolitan region to nonemergency travel -- you'd walk outside, and the silence would be broken only by the sound of human voices and the distant whump-whump of military helicopters delivering supplies. Skiing on the Charles was a special treat for this California boy.

Oh my gracious. I miss Boston like my heart, and a big snow is always magical for someone who grew up in North Carolina, as I did. The idea of Boston in a snow big enough to create total silence -- the way anything over a foot does in NC -- is tremendously beautiful to me.

#102 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 05:18 PM:

To return somewhat to the subject of this thread, I recall the San Francisco Chronicle back in the 1970s (perhaps very early '80s) running a front-page photo of a XC skier on one of the city's streets

I recall that one of the first uses of a TV camera van (KPIX, IIRC) was to cover snow on Twin Peaks - enough to have snowball fights!

And then there were the snowplows on Skyline Blvd in the Santa Cruz Mountains (routine winter snow of 6-12 inches).

#103 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 05:39 PM:

Jacaranda trees! I competed in the Gay Games in late 2002, in Sydney. The Jacarandas were in riotous bloom. I'll never forget them--these shameless purple masses you could see for miles.

I would love to be in Sydney right now.

#104 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 05:43 PM:

The Bay Area, aka the hairy sweaty armpit of America the Good. And, as one of my co-workers said even after working on Wall Street and finding SF people too laid back, he wouldn't have it any other way.

#105 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 05:55 PM:

Serge - if your co-worker finds SF people too laid back, he should try Portland or Seattle!

And FWIW, I found SF Bay people, especially Silicon Valley types every bit as aggressive as Wall Streeters - and I worked on Wall St for over 10 years so I've got some basis for this assertion.

#106 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 07:48 PM:

True, Larry, but my co-worker seems to feel that his other co-workers (yours truly not included of course) are a little bit too unstructured in their approach to our business. I think that's what he means. Anyway, when people complain about living around the Bay Area, I'd like to suggest that they come live in Albuquerque. Or drive a bit north of SF to the top of Mount Tamalpais on a sunny day - that truly is a view to kill for.

#107 ::: Glen Fisher ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 08:34 PM:

Xopher wrote:
Also, it was billed as LA but held in Anaheim, which is like advertising New York and holding the convention in Garden City.

Not to a resident. Different part of the country, different geographical thinking. More importantly, different transportational thinking. "LA" (which is different from both "the city of Los Angeles" and "Los Angeles County") isn't a place; it's a whole territory, whose bounds are "anywhere you can drive to from Los Angeles City Hall without seeing undeveloped land". And by that definition, Anaheim is "in LA".

The Anaheim Convention Center (at which the Worldcon was held) is next door to Disneyland. If you ask people where Disneyland is, you'll probably get a lot of people saying "in LA". Even though it's outside Los Angeles County. (If you told friends you were going to LA and visiting Disneyland, I doubt anyone would object "But Disneyland isn't in LA!") Are the people who place Disneyland "in LA" being deceitful?


I felt baited and switched once I found out.

It didn't occur to you to look at a map before you left? Or to do a little research? The Worldcon may have been pre-Google, but travel guides were certainly readily available.


But that club isn't going to trick me again

I get the impression that New Yorkers, on the whole, are willing to walk considerable distances to get where they're going. Los Angeles residents aren't. This post talks of New Yorkers walking to work during a blackout. A Los Angeles resident, faced with travelling the same distance on foot, without his car, simply wouldn't go. I've amazed my car mechanic by walking an hour to get to his shop. I've seen people get into their cars to go half a block. They'll circle parking lots endlessly to get a parking spot fifty feet closer to the mall. Walking just isn't done.

Now, if you were organizing an event in New York to which Los Angeles people were coming, you might describe the site as "within walking distance of many good restaurants". Would it occur to you to explain to the Los Angeles people what "within walking distance" meant to you? And would you think them unreasonable if they accused you of trickery for describing the restaurants as "within walking distance" when they were clearly (to the LA people) much too far away to walk to?

The con committee, being good LA residents, very probably just didn't think of people as being carless, because, as you discovered, being carless means being all but immobile. It's assumed that, if you don't bring your own car, you'll rent one, because a car is all but a necessity here. (While there is a public transportation system, it's far less convenient to use it than to just drive somewhere.)

I have no trouble believing that the con committee was excessively "LA-centric"; being "<your city here>-centric" is an easy trap to fall into. But I think to accuse them of outright "trickery" --of deliberate dishonesty--is going far overboard. It seems to me no more dishonest for them to assume you'd have a car than for you to assume (as you clearly did) that you wouldn't need one.

#108 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 11:38 PM:

Glen - When I hear something described as "in LA" I do tend to check, but I basically agree with Xopher. LA to me is from Downtown west to the ocean, and takes in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and West Hollywood.

Anaheim, Pasadena, Burbank, the Valley and basically anything east of downtown or south of Marina del Rey should be billed as LA vicinity.

I, for one, would never hold an event in Redmond or Bellevue and call it Seattle. Seattle to out-of-towners is the Space Needle, the Public Market and Puget Sound. Not the suburbs, however nice they may be.

Nor would I hold an event in Brooklyn or Queens and call it New York, even though both are part of NYC. NYC to out-of-towners is the Empire State Building, Wall St, Central Park, not Flushing Meadow Park and Flushing Main Street.

Although you can easily get from Flushing to Manhattan without a car.

#109 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2006, 11:41 PM:

It seems to me no more dishonest for them to assume you'd have a car than for you to assume (as you clearly did) that you wouldn't need one.

Worldcons 20 years ago were attended by people all over the economic scale, which means that for a lot of them a ticket and a hotel room was a substantial outlay; most of them were in places that didn't require a car, so not telling people that a car was a strongly-desirable additional expense is less than frank.

These days they'd get called on it, because the no-zone plan has made more bids competitive; in 1984 they were effectively unopposed.

And I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a \World/con committee to speak in something close to a common tongue, rather than regionalisms.

All of which ignores the fact that they ran the convention to make a lot of money. The ice cream social was massively undersupplied; the registration lines ran out the building and down the driveway (in the August LA sun) because they got experienced people to run registration and gave them half of the materiel needed; the convention was solidly in the black before a single at-the-door member registered.

#110 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 01:21 AM:

Well, I will say that I went to the WorldCon held in exactly the same place in 1996, and had a great time. And I'm looking forward to the one to be held there later this year.

#111 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 01:47 AM:

CHip, I'm willing to believe that DC blizzard was '66 rather than '67. I just remember worrying about my customers not getting their papers for days. Either my work ethic was extraordinary or I got docked for deliveries not made.

#112 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 01:57 AM:

I have to agree with Mr. Fisher about LA transportation habits. I lived there (Century City and Westwood) for a while, and cars are assumed. Public transport (meaning the bus) was what you rode when your car was in the shop, and if it was going to be in the shop more than that day, renting a car was automatic. I don't know whether Enterprise Rent-a-Car started in LA, but it wouldn't surprise me if their concept of neighborhood car rental agencies began there.

#113 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 06:09 AM:

David Goldfarb said that he went to the WorldCon held in exactly the same place in 1996, and had a great time. Wasn't 1996 when LA held a NASFiC, but across the street from where the earlier worldcon was? (I think that was also the year of the big LA fire in the hills.) They did have a worldcon, in 1999 I think, and it was held at the same location as 1984's and this year's. Right?

Heck, it's down the street from DisneyLand. One can walk there easily. (My saying that probably betrays my East Coast origins.) Let's not quibble about misconceptions about the location of the LAcon. It'll be fun, no matter where it is in the real world as opposed to where Californians consider it to be.

#114 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 10:25 AM:

One more bit of (Bay Area) parochialism: the East Bay is warmer, espec. in summer, and once past the hills toward Walnut Creek, etc., you'll find true summer in the suburbs -- if you want it.

#115 ::: P J Evans, minor Rat ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 10:49 AM:

Well, you can run a Worldcon to lose money - Baltimore did it in 1983 - but the idea is to at least break even. making money means you can pass money to the next one. I can tell you that break-even for 1984 was set at 6000 members (I remember sitting through several con-com meetings and a giant envelope stuffing session, where we stuffed 6000 giant envelopes in 6 hours); every member after that meant the possibility of more programming or something. Making lots of money was in fact not the point. (The 'Star Wars' marathon brought in a lot of extra people.) And there were people who showed up for the ice cream social who didn't actually have memberships. (I also think that some may have gotten more than one serving of ice cream.)

#116 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 10:55 AM:

I wonder if this year's LAcon will have the full-sized Gort standing at the entrance of the dealers room...

#117 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 10:55 AM:

Faren - The South Bay (San Jose, Santa Clara, Cupertino) can also be 20+ degrees warmer than SF. During the turn-of-the-century madness, I lived in the city and worked in the valley, and often found myself overdressed for the weather when I got to work since it might be 55 degrees at home and 85 at work.

I remain amazed that there's not a permanent thunderstorm installed somewhere between San Bruno and San Carlos as the warm line moves up and down the peninsula.

#118 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 11:00 AM:

Back to the winter aspect of this thread... I haven't been following the Winter Games currently going on in Italy, but I did catch Jon Stewart's 'reporting' on the opening ceremonies. Based on the clips he showed, I'd tend to agree with him that, had Fellini been around, even he would have thought this was a little too much. The Italians's weirdest idea was to have the entrance of each country's team accompanied by an American pop song of the Seventies and Eighties. I don't know what Canada's song was, but somehow the last pop song I'd associate with Iran is funky town...

#119 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 11:09 AM:

NYC to out-of-towners is the Empire State Building, Wall St, Central Park, not Flushing Meadow Park

Flushing Meadows? The site of two "New York" World's Fairs?

Yes, I know, different city self-images and external images. There's probably a decent book in that.

#120 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 11:19 AM:

Speaking as a Californian, a resident of LA, and a one-time visitor to NYC: I think of Brooklyn as part of New York, although not necessarily part of 'Long Guyland'. Staten Island is more or less part of New York. Newark is part of the New York area: flying into New York means Kennedy, La Guardia, or Newark, like flying into LA means LAX, Burbank, or Orange County.

#121 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 11:26 AM:

This talk of New York and Brooklyn reminds me of Betty Garrett's taxi-driving character in On The Town as the whole gang is being chased by Manhattan cops on the Brooklyn Bridge. She exclaims that she knows a place in Brooklyn where the cops will never be able to find them. When asked for clarifications, she simply says:

"Brooklyn!"

#122 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 11:28 AM:

Off topic, but what the heck... Today, on her web site, Diane Duane proudly announced that it's been 19 years since she married Peter Morwood. She goes thru all his qualifications before ending with his impressing Paris cabbies with his French accent, and sticking pills down reluctant cats.

#123 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 11:59 AM:

As a resident of LA - albeit a transplant - I don't consider Anaheim to be LA by any stretch of the imagination. Indeed there is a big to-do about the (major league baseball team) Angels being called "The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim", which I think is the stupidest thing in the whole world.

The public transit situation here is far from perfect; in fact it is much closer to "suck". I am lucky to work across the street from a subway stop, and last time I went apartment hunting, I made sure my apartment was close enough to major bus routes and/or subway lines. Still, I find myself carpooling with my roommate often, if for no other reason, because sometimes walking even bus stop distances can make you sweaty and fatigued.

The general spirit of the city is much different from NYC, but just because the fake people get all the publicity doesn't make the city feel any faker than others. I tend not to move in the same circles as phonies and tools, so that helps. I do think Anglenos are as "fake" as New Yorkers are "rude"; if you're looking for it, you'll find it.

I can't help but think I should prefer New York to LA; it certainly has more bookstores, venues for non-trendy music, cheap food places, and awesome public transit. Not to mention that I sunburn with the least provocation (had to call out sick a couple of summers ago for sun poinsoning!). But despite the chronic smog, the weird racial tensions, the lack of distinct seasons, the crap governor (our Mayor's pretty awesome though!), the shitty traffic and the whimsical approach to public transit, I can't think of any place I'd rather live.

The aforementioned Jacarandas, as well as giant jade plants and glossy green and yellow/orange citrus trees, the art deco architecture scattered seemingly at random throughout the city, the breathtaking views of the Pacific when travelling along the coast, the silhouettes of the palm trees against the sunset, the friendliness of the neighbors (no matter how much they insist, do NOT accept a rosewater drink after two cups of Armenian coffee!), an yes, even the smog clouded view of the Hollywood sign from the bedroom window of my cute apartment in a grimy, pre-gentrified neighborhood - all these things still make me catch my breath a little.

It's entirely irrational, but I don't think I ever want to leave.

#124 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 12:35 PM:

I was rude to a lot of fake people in 1984!

Also, I was a callow youth (thus didn't check assumptions), barely three years out of college, and only the fact that plane flights were (IIRC) way cheap that year got me there at all. I couldn't have afforded a car even I were licensed to drive one. (Keep in mind that car-rental places charge a premium for the under-25 driver.)

My resentment toward the LACon ConCom was fueled by the fact that Anaheim is an entirely pointless place to be, absent the convention itself (unless one wants to visit Disneyland, which I've never wanted to do...it was within easy (New Yorker) walking distance, and there was a discount IIRC, but I didn't go). Some people tried to mollify me (or maybe not) by telling me that Anaheim was really pretty much what LA is like; I believed them for years. I know better now though!

I mean, a friend and I walked (!) to a Chinese restaurant, which had good (if somewhat bland by NYC standards) food. But when we asked for chopsticks they were amazed. All the members of the family who ran it came out to watch the round-eyes eat with chopsticks, which they'd never seen before. And of course we did it New Yorker fashion, with the plates decorously on the table, rather than held up to the mouth like a sensible poys'n would do.

Now I know that LA has a Chinatown, and I'll BET that white folks go there and eat with chopsticks without shocking anyone. But Anaheim! Anaheim is (or at any rate was) more middle-America than Middle America. Probably because of everyone going to Disneyland, which strikes me as a typically bourgeois family vacation.

But then I'm one of those people who only wears black because I can't find anything darker, the snooty rude New Yorkers who look only at their own feet as they scurry from gallery to coffee shop to cold heartless Wall Street job.

Not.

If I were in the business of telling people whether restaurants were near the hotel, I'd first tell them that New Yorkers walk a lot, because it's usually faster than driving, and sometimes faster than the subway. Then I'd tell them HOW FAR the restaurants were (after explaining about long blocks and short blocks).

And I don't even remember the advance material for the 1984 convention. But if it had said "YOU WILL NEED A CAR. IF YOU DON'T DRIVE YOU WILL BE DEPENDENT ON OTHERS IF YOU WANT TO LEAVE THE CONVENTION CENTER AT ALL" this would have been the equivalent of a large red sign, "WARNIN': LARK'S VOMIT" to me. So I doubt such cautions were issued.

Perhaps they weren't being deliberately deceitful. But any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

#125 ::: Jack Heneghan ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 12:48 PM:

David Goldfarb said that he went to the WorldCon held in exactly the same place in 1996, and had a great time. Wasn't 1996 when LA held a NASFiC, but across the street from where the earlier worldcon was? (I think that was also the year of the big LA fire in the hills.) They did have a worldcon, in 1999 I think, and it was held at the same location as 1984's and this year's. Right?

The 1999 Worldcon was in Oz. I remember the plane filling with fans leaving the Nasfic to head to Melbourne.

#126 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 12:51 PM:

Mr. Ford - For an old-school World's Fair, out-of-towners would go to Flushing. On special trains with snazzy paint jobs, no less.

As a native New Yorker, I appreciate things like the Brooklyn Museum and the Richmondtown Restoration, and I wish more visitors would take the trouble to see them. But I also acknowledge that the furthest afield most tourists will get (espeically domestic tourists - internationals are more adventurous) is maybe Brooklyn Heights.

#127 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 12:57 PM:

Oh, and Xopher - expecting to be able to easily get around any US city without a car (with a narrow list of exceptions) is, unfortunately, unrealistic. Then again, I'm sure your older, wiser self knows what your mid-20s self didn't. :-)

#128 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 12:58 PM:

Xopher: There's a really simple reason for having Worldcons in Anaheim rather than in LA: the convention center in LA has NO nearby hotels. As in zero. (They keep trying, but so far nothing has happened.) It's not convenient to anything much, including the freeway it's next to (having been there recently, and gone three sides around the thing to get to the designated parking area for the convention). So: large conventions end up in Anaheim, smaller ones in Long Beach or the airport area. And the LA Convention & Visitor's Bureau wonders how to get conventions to come to LA.

#129 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 01:03 PM:

I guess we won't be seeing you at LAcon, eh, Xopher? That's a shame, really. And think about it... Wasn't the convention center also the site of the Republican national convention in 2000? I wonder if they managed to get the smell out of the curtains.

#130 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 01:12 PM:

OK, is there any way for me to ask about WorldCon without opening a can of worms?

Xopher, the one you went to sounds terrible. If I were to go to a con advertised as being in Chicago, and it wound up being in Schaumburg - as good an Anaheim analogue as any, what with being in the ass end of nowhere culturally* and having no public transportation whatsoever, although maybe Gurnee would be more accurate as far as plush costumed cartoon characters go - I'd be pissed as hell.

In the intervening years, have the folks that run the WorldCon (is that what the ConCom is?) become more responsive to the con-goers?

I've been to lots of cons, but they tend to either be smaller regional type cons, or huge media ones like ComicCon and DragonCon. I have certain expectations regarding the "feel" of the cons for each of these; i.e. ComicCon is huge but efficient if somewhat impersonal, DragonCon is chaotic and fannish but runs a relatively tight schedule, and smaller cons are relaxed and sometimes have scheduling hiccups that can be ignored as long as the con-runners are friendly and keep open lines of communication. Through it all I have maintained a happy ingnorance of the nuts and bolts of con-running in general.

I gather that WorldCon is beastie of a different color, and I'd like to know what the "feel" of it is. I'm planning a trip to Ireland this fall and cannot afford to do a lot of cons, but as WorldCon is within driving distance, I'm giving it serious consideration.

* yes, I've just publically slagged off an entire suburb. Schaumburg defenders, feel free to write an impassioned valentine similar to the one I just did to L.A., but I did grow up there, and it still sucks. Sorry!

#131 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 01:12 PM:

Larry: indeed it does. That's why, though I'm occasionally tempted by other cities (San Francisco! Seattle!), I'm likely to stay put for good. Montreal is an exception, but that's only if I need to flee the country.

OTOH, I've been to quite a number of conventions around the US and had very little trouble. Not driving is a minor inconvenience at worst in Boston, for example (for a congoer; living there would be a different story).

P J Evans: Oh, I know. And I might be tempted to go to one if they built a bunch of hotels around the LA center. Most likely the people who were running LA Con then are no longer involved. But it's still a pretty bad idea for me to go to a con in Anaheim, as the most ardent LA-booster will now agree. "Nothin' against it, but not for me."

Maybe if I acquire a boyfriend who drives. Short of that, can't see it.

#132 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 01:18 PM:

Serge: not likely, no. Mod the unexpected acquisition of a licensed* boyfriend.

nerdycellist, WorldCons are huge and chaotic and efficient and inefficient and impersonal and fannish and corporate and stupid and brilliant. Go to one. You'll love it.

You live in LA, so go this year. If you don't like it, go home. 26 miles, only a 3.5 hour drive even in rush hour! But if you do like it it will change your life. (And if you don't like it, blame the Convention Committee (ConCom) and try again in a year or two.)

*to drive a car, not to super alphas

#133 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 01:25 PM:

Why not a boyfriend licensed for both, Xopher?

#134 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 01:51 PM:

Xopher: not driving in Boston[1] is a feature, not a bug. (Lived here coming up on 20 years; never owned a car.)

My situation is slightly different in that I can drive, and have access to cars, but I rarely use any transportation other than foot/bus/subway to get around town.

[1] Or Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline; unlike the LA/Anaheim distinction, while these are separate municipalities, they're each closer to Boston City Hall than many parts of Boston. I actually lived in Boston itself only the first 4 years; the rest of the time has been in Somerville or Cambridge.

#135 ::: Lisbeth Jardine ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 03:21 PM:

Forks, WA, for month of Jan. 2006 had 32.05" of rain. Totals for 2003 were 130.28", - 2004 100.40", 2005 110.99". That's how come it's a rain forest. I have a funny story about this Buddhist monk who went there with his parents (all English) to find the rain forest and couldn't find it. So, they asked the forest ranger where it was. First time I ever heard a man tell a story on himself for not being able to find the forest for the trees. And, then, the English Buddhist monk continued, his mother said: "But it's all death and decay."

Mt. Hood Meadows (down in Oregon) has a base depth of 150" - 228" of snow. Hurricane Ridge, a mile straight up from where I live was 14 degrees F. at 8:30 a.m. and had 101" at the snow stake. Down here in Pt. Angeles, it is sunny and bright blue sky with big puffy white clouds, which may or may not have some snow in them in the next day or two. Here's a picture across Pt. Angeles Harbor and the Strait of Juan da Fuca (who actually was a Greek, not a Spanish, sailor, I'm told): Well, I guess it won't copy into this box. My real question is, why has nothing new been posted on Tor Books website since last June? And when, what with all this fun it appears you're having (a lot more than me, f'r sure), Mr. Patrick Neilsen Hayden, will I ever hear about The Female Creature--I suppose that's asking an absolute and utter you never do that sort of thing? But they'll be burying me next to Raymond Carver soon (actually, not, I can't afford it) out at Ocean View Cemetary if I don't hear from someone soon. If the average novel takes 30 or 40 rejections before acceptance, and each of those rejections requires 6 - 12 months, obviously there ARE no living published authors. All these people one sees in bookstores, being interviewed in various media have to be hired actors.

Lisbeth Jardine
Port Angeles, WA

#136 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 04:07 PM:

unexpected acquisition of a licensed boyfriend.

Wow, you need a license to become someone's boyfriend? Like a license to work as someone's plumber? Do they deny licenses to the weirdos and the untrained? Do they have licenses for girlfriends too?

Man, the dating scene got complicated....

#137 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 04:09 PM:

Which makes me wonder how one would acquire a license to be a boyfriend or girlfriend. Do you apprentice under someone who knows what they're doing? Curious.

#138 ::: Kathy Li ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 04:39 PM:

Xopher write (waaay back up there): Now I know that LA has a Chinatown, and I'll BET that white folks go there and eat with chopsticks without shocking anyone. ...

Possibly. But LA's Chinatown, unlike San Francisco's, is a fake tourist-trap for the most part, so I wouldn't count on it. :) And as a counter story, I once visited Oxford in England, and dined at a Chinese restaurant there (my mid-Western American flatmate had never eaten Chinese. This obviously needed to be rectified). And had the entire staff coming out to take a look at me because not only did I have a Chinese face and ordered mostly in English, using only Mandarin for the dish names--I was an American. Not sure, however, that I'd judge Oxford to be a burgeois backwater on this evidence, though. ;-)

Back to LA. If you really want good Chinese food in LA, you gotta go to Monterey Park. Now, in Monterey Park, they're likely to only be impressed if you're a roundeye who orders in Mandarin. I'm personally planning on taking some time out from LACon to eat at Tung Lai Shan. Best damn da bing I've ever had. (BTW, I remember years ago TNH had a thread here about Kosher Chinese food (link). My recommendation to those wanting treyf-free, yet authentic Chinese cuisine would be look for a Muslim Chinese restaurant. You may still have to watch the seafood (is eel treyf?), but lamb and beef dishes abound, and the breads are terrific.)

#139 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 04:53 PM:

Actually, LA's Chinatown has some fairly real parts (it's mostly Chinese even now). I've walked past stores with live fish and poultry, ready to be cleaned for dinner. Touristy stuff is there, but not as much as, say, San Francisco, because tourists don't expect Chinatown LA, and it isn't really in a tourist zone. What it is getting is the arty crowd with galleries and stuff. Olvera Street, on the other hand, is pretty much all tourist stuff, although the buildings are genuinely old (19th century).

#140 ::: Kathy Li ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 05:19 PM:

PJ, I stand corrected. It's been a good long while since I've thoroughly roamed about LA's Chinatown. I just remember that, compared to Monterey Park, it seemed awfully small and limited in what was on offer. Though, now that I think of it, the last time I stopped by (I took the train up from San Diego, and was having fun with public transit to see if I could get to the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum while carless--I did it, but it was really hard), there were a zillion boba stands. Can't get much more authentic Chinatown than that.

#141 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 05:28 PM:

Serge: While I wouldn't reject a potential boyfriend just because he has an Alpha license, I do have my CIT papers these days, and it's not strictly required. Might help, though, come to think of it. Sometimes I think I need tape...

Greg, I don't know about the licensing exam, but I do know that to become my boyfriend, a guy would need to serve an apprenticeship...under me. Calling me Master is optional.

#142 ::: Leigh Butler ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 05:32 PM:

Okay, L.A. thoughts:

To consider L.A. as only encompassing Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Downtown is mind-bogglingly wrong. LAX/Inglewood and Malibu would like to have a sharp word with you. And no matter what the idiot Valley separatists want, if I can get from Burbank to Beverly Hills in under an hour, during rush hour no less, then Burbank is in L.A., by God.

Anaheim, though... I think that's a more divided opinion. If you're one of those completely insane people who actually commute from Orange County to L.A. every day (and there are an appalling number of them), then yeah, Anaheim is part of L.A. Me, I draw the line at Six Flags, but what do I know.

I've never actually been to New York City, but even before I lived in Los Angeles I would have considered Brooklyn and Queens to be a part of it. Limiting the definition of New York to "Manhattan" seems to me to be missing the point.

As for cars, it completely blows my mind that anyone even tries to survive in L.A. without a car. I do not see how it can be done. No job I've ever had here has been less than a twenty minute drive from where I lived (one thankfully-shortlived job required an hour-and-45 minute commute time. One way. I nearly shot myself), and public transportation is an utter joke that is guaranteed to at least double any commute time no matter where you're going. Argh. The very idea makes me want to go lie down.

On the walking, though - I was surprised to discover that people working in Beverly Hills do actually walk, to go to lunch, to shop, whatever, for surprisingly long distances by L.A. standards. This is because parking in Beverly Hills is an ulcer-inducing nightmare that is to be avoided at all costs, of course. But anywhere else, it just isn't practical to walk.

#143 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 05:50 PM:

Leigh - only people who live in Manhattan count ONLY Manhattan as "New York." But people who live in Brooklyn or Queens, some parts of which are quite suburban in feel, sometimes refer to going to Manhattan as "going into the city."

As for all the commuting and other driving around in LA...after my first visit out there after my parents moved to :-P Riverside :-P, my comment was that in Southern California, if you ask the waiter in the restaurant where the men's room is, he tells you which highway is the quickest.

#144 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 06:56 PM:

nerdycellist, Worldcons are BIG, CROWDED, and a very large space. If I went these days, I'd have to rent a scooter. I like Minicon better.

Lisbeth, my dad was born in Port Angeles. I haven't been there in ages. Write Tor a letter about your book, this isn't really the back door to the publisher.

#145 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 06:58 PM:

Oakland's Chinatown is even less touristy than SF's. One of the ways this manifests is that the stores don't all buy from the same wholesaler. The last time we were looking for a new mahjongg set, we found SF's Chinatown very frustrating -- every store carried the exact same three sets!

It's also more diverse, I think. Where Chinatown in SF is almost exclusively Chinese (please correct me if this is wrong - it's been ages since I've been over to SF), Oakland's has a significant Vietnamese presence. Some Korean influence as well, although Telegraph Ave (in Oakland, not Berkeley) is where most of the Korean shops and restaurants seem to be concentrating.

#146 ::: Lisbeth Jardine ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 07:12 PM:

Thanks for noticing, Marilee. It's just that I was wondering what had happened to the publisher, and since you know something about Port Angeles, you probably are aware there are almost no doors here. Not without money anyway. I can't even get across the 17 miles of the Strait to Victoria. But I simply had to escape Seattle (where I was born but had left for some 35 years. "TFC", by the way, is about what became of the female creature Victor Frankenstein dumped into the North Sea. Possibly the cause of global warming?

Lisbeth Jardine

#147 ::: Lisbeth Jardine ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 07:15 PM:

To all those who are looking for good Chinese food without going to Hong Kong: south side of Vancouver, B.C., Richmond.

#148 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 08:11 PM:

A couple of years ago I read that one of the cities in the LA metropolitan area had a large population of immigrant Chinese, and thus a number of "authentic" -- and good -- Chinese restaurants. I think it might've been Gardena....

#149 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 10:31 PM:

Gardena is Japanese. Monterey Park and Alhambra are Chinese, along with about half of the San Gabriel Valley. For Vietnamese, try Westminster and Garden Grove (Little Saigon is down that way). (Not to mention Ethiopian, Persian, and other less familiar ethnic foods which are also available. There's a good kebab place in Grand Central Market and a real Thai place in a basement in the Jewelry District, for example.)

#150 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 10:37 PM:

PJ: I'm quite aware of what happened to ConStellation; I helped here and there with the bailout. They made two mistakes no convention before or since has made: reordering a five-figure item after it had been struck from the budget, and expecting to get twice as many walk-ins as the most-comparable Worldcon. LAcon 2 also did something no convention before or since has done: it budgeted to break even with no walk-ins at all. This, as much as the Star Wars marathon, is why they had a substantially higher surplus than any other Worldcon, despite inflation (Worldcon membership prices have roughly tripled since then).

As to the ice cream: of \course/ some people took more than one serving; people will do that, and sane management allows for it. And most conventions would have put some of the money from walkins into that area; four years before (when I was a division manager), the board kept adding money as it came in to areas that could use it. (Note that Noreascon 2 and LAcon 2 put the same amount toward the Connie bailout, even though LA's surplus was something like 10x that of Boston; at least LA didn't demand an abject Japanese grovel as Chicago did.)

nerdycellist: part of the problem is that there's no such animal as "the folks that run the Worldcon". There may be some people this summer who worked all three previous LAcons stretching back to 1972 (\maybe/ even LA worldcons before then under a different name); there were certainly a few people in 2004 in Boston who worked the previous three back to 1971. Running a Worldcon takes several years of your free time; nine years is the shortest interval between two Worldcons run by the same group in the past 35 years, and a great many groups have run only one in that time. Some committees do overlap with some previous committees; most of them have past committee members (or entire committees) they wouldn't work with if you paid them. There are other discrete conventions with far less sharing of minds and bodies, but Worldcon isn't comparable even to other traveling-but-commonly-managed conventions-for-fun (e.g., the American Contract Bridge League), let alone to fixed-base conventions like Comicon or Dragoncon.

To be rigorously fair: 22 years ago was the peak of near-exponential growth, and people then had less idea what was needed or reasonable. But Anaheim is still the most remote site used for a Worldcon on this continent; it's interesting to speculate how their latest bid would have done if it had run against some location other than suburban Kansas City.

#151 ::: Narnia Nerd ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2006, 10:45 PM:

I'm SO thankful for our little 1/2 inch of snow today :) No more please. Come oooooon summer.

#152 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 12:40 AM:

Those are delightful photos. It must be marvelous to be able to look out the window (with lace curtains, of course, that being Brooklyn) of a nice cosy living-room and see all that freshly-fallen snow. Indeed, I remember such joys, seventy years ago, in Ohio. Meanwhile, here in Southern California, my back yard is carpeted several inches deep with volunteer seedlings of Perilla (Shiso) and tomatoes (most or all being the cherry type that will germinate when the night low temperature is as low as 45). Much too crowded, of course, and the hoe will see heavy use Real Soon Now. (No point in doing it today, with clouds predicted for tomorrow and showers over the weekend.)

#153 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 01:30 AM:

CHip, I'm fervently hoping that suburban Kansas City does better than the Montreal bid. That's all I'm saying here except for the fact that I'm extremely excited to be heading to Boston tomorrow night and getting to be with some of the other folks here.

Well, and that the whole bidding thing allowed us to meet very nice people who have become dear friends. Including the Los Angeles committee. They're all nice people and I'm looking forward to the convention. (Hey, the motto of our consolation party was, "Gee, we lost the bid but guess what? We GET TO GO TO DISNEYLAND.'

again, we are having a KC party on Saturday night, even if you don't support Worldcon bids, please come and have some Inger and Margene's cookies (home-made, Inger-cookies and Margene-cookies have been known to make sane men drool like Homer Simpson). We'll have various libations, info about the bid and some special giveaways. Plus I want to meet y'all face-to-face, I've only met a few of you. (our hosts excepted, they were guests here for a ConQuesT).

I will be catching Making Light as I can at Boskone, so see y'all there or I'll catch up Monday night from the familiarity of my home LAN.

#154 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 06:15 AM:

Gee, we lost the bid but guess what? We GET TO GO TO DISNEYLAND.

Yup, Paula... Should one feel bored at times during LAcon, there is always DisneyLand. Considering that, this year, the worldcon culminates not on Labor Day, but the weekend before, there might be slightly less horrendous crowds. I wonder if the con will have cheaper DisneyLand tickets for sale like it did in 1984. And I wonder if my 1984's LAcon cap is still at the bottom of the Space Mountain, as the said cap flew off the moment our ride really got moving.

#155 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 08:25 AM:

Kathy: I think eels count as bony fish, and therefore kosher, but I am uncertain; they may not have had enough fins for the rabbis.

*checks*

Nope. Eels are specifically listed as non-kosher on this page.

One of the very few things I miss about LA is sushi that is cheap, good, and easy to get to.

#156 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 08:58 AM:

CHip, please do give my thanks to "the folks that run the Worldcon". Any worldcon. Or any other con. I mean, sure I could criticize this or that con for this or that reason, but those people spend a lot of time into putting together what basically is one large party, with, I presume, the reward of having hopefully given people a good time.

#157 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 09:16 AM:

Paula -- but Montreal would be such a wonderful place for a Worldcon. In the season when water is liquid, obviously, but Worldcons are always held at that season.

#158 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 10:09 AM:

Serge, I'm not going to be bored during the con, I'm on the 2008 Site Selection committee.... We're getting there the Saturday before and Margene and I (at least, Jim swears that hell will freeze over before he sets foot there) are going to Disneyland. That weekend apparently is the traditional "Goths go to Disneyland" weekend so it should be interesting even if it isn't all I remember.

Jo, I'm sure it is and I'd love to go there someday. During the late spring to early fall time of year. Right now it's craptastic outside here, I had to put ice melt on our deck. Even though the cars had slushy, melting ice on them and the ground was just wet, our deck was slick, Temps hovering at 32 deg. F, but expected to go up before our departure later today.

#159 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 10:14 AM:

A "Goths go to Disneyland" weekend, Paula? My brain is trying to reconcile the idea of those two concepts being put together... Ouch. Brain just exploded.

#160 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 10:49 AM:

Yesterday Prescott had sustained winds of 33MPH and gusts of 45 MPH -- fun watching rubbish and dead leaves flying horizontally, less fun on my brief venture out into it. At the Grand Canyon (always more extreme in winter) they got up to 60MPH. Even the worst places didn't quite reach hurricane force, but it was still pretty radical. Almost enough for me to wish I were back in the sunny South Bay of my early youth ... except that place doesn't exist any more.

#161 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 10:56 AM:

Paula: thanks, but at present I'm not likely to hit \any/ Saturday-night parties. Boskone is my "home convention", which means I'm substantially committed (starting with truck loading last night), and I'm way short of sleep already. I will be looking at bidders in snatches in the daytime; it's usually easier to grill them at tables than at parties.

nerdycellist: I'll second others' recommendations: you should take advantage of having the Worldcon nearby. (If you've survived Comicon and Dragoncon, a Worldcon won't be overwhelming.) Membership isn't cheap (currently $175, presumably more at the door), but it's in line with other Worldcons, which use multiple large chunks of space, all of them expensive, and don't have the other income sources that commercial conventions do. If you go, be sure to catch Connie Willis's appearances.

#162 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 12:02 PM:

WorldCon's membership price isn't an issue, especially as they have an installment plan. I'll be saving the $300 or so I usually spend on flights, and the hotel is cheaper than either Atlanta or San Diego.

*sigh*

I'm going to have to wait until July for the next con, and will have to rely on another battle sail on a tall ship to tide me over, geekery-wise.

#163 ::: Kathy Li ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 07:02 PM:

Carrie S. writes:
Kathy: I think eels count as bony fish, and therefore kosher ... Nope. Eels are specifically listed as non-kosher on this page.

I would guess they make it on the fin count, but that the lack of scales is the treyf factor. I do know from a Pakistani friend of mine that Muslim dietary rules allow shellfish, so I assume that the eating-of-fishy-things rule differs mightily.

One of the very few things I miss about LA is sushi that is cheap, good, and easy to get to.

Now there's an idea. If Singer can make it to LACon, we need to rope him and find a quality sushi joint upon which to loose him and his sushi ordering madskillz.

CHip: thanks for the words of encouragement! I've been to 25 consecutive Comic-cons, but this is going to be my first Worldcon, and I do realize it's going to be quite a different beastie. Definitely planning on attending any and all panels with Connie Willis--unless, y'know, the multitrack programming thing screws me up like it always does. (If only you could tivo panels).

#164 ::: Stephen Sample ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 08:00 PM:

Leigh Butler::Anaheim, though... I think that's a more divided opinion. If you're one of those completely insane people who actually commute from Orange County to L.A. every day (and there are an appalling number of them), then yeah, Anaheim is part of L.A. Me, I draw the line at Six Flags, but what do I know.

Sounds like you know a fair bit, though I'd personally draw the line nearer in. Then again, I prefer walking or biking to driving, so my standard for being "in" a city tops out at about 20 miles.

By the "some people commute from there every day" argument, not only are the South and East Bay (San Jose, Mountain View, Berkeley, Oakland, Walnut Creek, etc.) "in" San Francisco, so are Livermore, Lodi, Manteca, Davis, and Modesto. And heck, Philly and Princeton are both in New York. Um.

I can see saying that any of those are within driving distance, or even (if I'm feeling generous) easy driving distance or commuting distance. But "in" the city in question? Not so much.

#165 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 08:12 PM:

Lisbeth, I was born in Seattle almost 51 years ago. I've lived there briefly twice since.

As to Tor, their website is almost always behind, and pretty much every publisher wishes to be queried by letter rather than the blog of some of their staff.

#166 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2006, 10:50 PM:

By the "some people commute from there every day" argument
for LA, this would include Victorville, Moreno Valley, and Oceanside ... and I draw the line much nearer to downtown LA than that. But I think 50 miles by train (or 20 miles by car) is more than enough commuting. YMMV.

#167 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2006, 07:15 AM:

Serge writes: They did have a worldcon, in 1999 I think, and it was held at the same location as 1984's and this year's. Right?

Mostly right -- except that, as I said, the year was 1996 and not 1999. I am quite certain of this.

Kathy Li writes: If Singer can make it to LACon, we need to rope him and find a quality sushi joint upon which to loose him and his sushi ordering madskillz.

Ooooh. Can I come along? Pretty please?

#168 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2006, 08:49 AM:

Are you sure, David, that there wasn't a worldcon and a NASFiC held within a few years from each other, with one of them being held in 1999? I seem to remember that the NASFiC was sharing accomodations with a Charismatic Gathering and, no, one couldn't tell who was with which event.

#169 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2006, 09:18 AM:

Serge: LA in 1999 was the NASFiC, with Pournelle as GoH. The Worldcon was definitely in 1996; I have several memories connected to it, where 1999 was the year we didn't have the time to do Australia properly and so didn't go. (Maybe in 2010....) For more info, see the 1999 NASFIC website, which says the convention was held at the Anaheim Marriott (the smaller hotel across the loop from the Hilton, the main hotel for LAcon 2-4).

#170 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2006, 09:34 AM:

So, I wasn't too far off, CHip, about those two LA events. At least, this time, all my memory did was to switch their positions. (I think it was at that NASFiC that I found myself riding the elevator up by myself wih David Hartwell. I didn't talk to him because I didn't want to sound stupid. [Hey you, over there in the corner, I heard that crack!] I did notice that he has a great smile. But I don't remember that his pants were of the Ugly Kind.)

#171 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2006, 11:39 AM:

My impression over the last couple of decades has been that convention-running has acquired more of an institutional memory, that has cut down on the number of boneheaded mistakes in con-planning and con-running, at least in those conventions where the committee takes advantage of that institutional memory. (There are even SmofCons, gatherings of con-running fans who meet to discuss and swap info about running conventions.)

#172 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2006, 03:08 PM:

But I don't remember that his pants were of the Ugly Kind.

You were probably distracted by the Tie.

#173 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 17, 2006, 03:29 PM:

Must be, Lisa.

#174 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: February 18, 2006, 11:14 AM:

Flashback to original topic: the Bay Area had some snow yesterday: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/02/18/BAG12HAQHT1.DTL . (Would have used "snow" as the link text, but somehow I fumbled it this time.)

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