Predictions for 2006
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Predictions for 2006<br> by Marc Porter Zasada<p> Once again it's time for the Urban Man to give his predictions for the coming year in Los Angeles. To chart 2006, I have consulted many significant sources of statistical data, along with uncounted leading experts -- and I am pleased to offer a much higher level of precision than ever before. <p> For example, I have it on solid authority that come Wednesday, January 18, at exactly 10:25am, a mysterious warm tide will bring temperatures to 85 degrees in Santa Monica Bay and produce a perfect curl. That afternoon, police will be unable to prevent a quarter-million teens from cutting school with surfboards, bongo drums, and tiki torches. At the beach, they will re-enact party scenes from old Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello movies. Come night, authorities will spot many illegal bonfires, but no violence, no drugs, and only coy, cinematic hints of sexual activity. <p> Asked to comment, President Bush will deny any link with global warming. <p> On February 12, corporations will begin removing the large pieces of abstract art from their concrete plazas so they can replace them with Italianesque fountains and ivy-covered bandstands. As a result, small jazz combos will suddenly be in demand. <p> In March, a dozen chic restaurants will begin offering free valet parking. <p> By April, the Patina Group will become known for its singing waiters. <p> McDonald's will test market a tempeh sandwich. <p> And on April 12, the management of the AMC theaters will drop the price of popcorn to $.50 a bag, issuing a press release to say, "Really, that's all it's worth." <p> In late spring, a fad will arise among celebrities for donating their big grassy estates to the city in order to create public parks. Aaron Spelling will say, "You know, the kids are out of the house, and we just need a little condo." <p> In response, Thomas Mayne will begin designing postmodern playground equipment. Indeed, small, clean neighborhood parks will become...common. Come summer, agents will begin returning phone calls with surprising diligence, and Hollywood contracts will be concluded without lawyers. As soon as July, actors will find themselves agreeing with studio accountants. <p> As the fall theater season kicks off, the top of Bunker Hill will be opened to pushcart vendors and street musicians, and late at night, opera patrons will be seen mingling with pretzel sellers and sidewalk magicians. <p> The Ambassador Hotel will have disappeared, but Wolfgang Puck will hire Martin Scorsese to recreate the famous Cocoanut Grove nightclub somewhere along Wilshire Boulevard, exactly as it existed in 1942 -- fake palm trees and all. Movie stars will begin showing up regularly on Tuesday nights, and across the street, the Brown Derby will reappear as if by magic. <p> In October, as gas prices hit new highs, tens of thousands of SUVs will be seen abandoned here and there along major roadways, and huge flocks of bicyclists will gather to storm key motorways: Sepulveda, Rosecrans, and most symbolically, Victory Boulevard. <p> By November, Angelenos will begin to care about things deeply and will become known world-wide for their ability to form long, unbreakable bonds of friendship. <p> Indeed, beginning November 15, East-coast people will no longer joke about our shallow lives. <p> Meanwhile, large media conglomerates will begin falling into their component pieces. <p> Metro Rail will reach the airport and Dodger Stadium. <p> Minimalls will go out of fashion, along with movies made from comic books. <p> And on December 31, 2006, the phrase "tinsel-town" will disappear forever. <p> Now, I've looked back over my 2005 predictions, and I must admit that very few actually came true. In fact...very, very few. For that, I can only blame shoddy intelligence, misinterpreted field data, or perhaps, leading experts. <p> This year, the Urban Man swears he got it just right. <p> For KCRW, I'm Marc Porter Zasada. <br>
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