Have you stocked up on bottled water and batteries? Updated your Last Will and Testament? Mel Gibson-proofed your house? If the answer to any of these questions is "no," you'd better get it together, because come Friday night, Carmageddon is upon us, and in the words* of County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, "it is totally going to f*#% your s*#$ up."
But don't reach for the suicide pills just yet (keep them close just in case), because we're here to help. Presenting: the Guest of a Guest LA Carmageddon Survival Guide!
(*Note: not his actual words, but closer than you might think)
[If you already know all you want about Carmageddon, scroll down to the guide section for local bar, restaurant and hotel specials]
-What is Carmageddon?-
What, did you just get here or something? To the uninitiated, Carmageddon is the full shutdown of a crucial Westside section of the world-famous (for sucking) 405 Freeway, specifically between where it intersects with the 101 Freeway in Sherman Oaks all the way to the intersection with the 10 Freeway in West Los Angeles/Culver City.
This section of the 405 is being shut down completely so that a construction crew can destroy and re-route the Mulholland Bridge, located in the Sepulveda Pass. If you're from out of town, you may know this as "the place where I sat in bumper-to-bumper for an hour and forty-five freaking minutes when I was trying to go to the Getty Museum."
The Pass is important because it is the main thoroughfare between the west side of Los Angeles and the beautiful, historic San Fernando Valley, where they make pornography. With extremely limited access between these two areas for up to 53 hours this weekend, experts are warning that our most beloved celebrities may not have access to the depraved fetish porn they literally cannot function without.
[Mulholland Bridge photo via]
-When Does It Start? How Long Does It Last?-
Lanes will begin to close at 7 p.m. Friday, July 15. The designated construction zone between the 101 and 10 will be fully closed by Saturday morning (July 16). The 405 is scheduled to be fully re-opened by 6:00 a.m. Monday. And, just in case you don't trust city construction estimates (and who does?), there's this: for every 10 minutes the road remains closed past the 6 a.m. deadline, the contractor will be fined $6,000. Of course, 30 minutes past the deadline our whole city will be completely consumed in flame, survivors will have banded into savage tribes, and the only functioning currency will be rape and murder, but hey, $18,000! [map via]
Look, there's no two ways around it: if you're trying to go somewhere, this weekend is going to straight-up suck. When City Council members are literally telling you to "stay the hell away from the 405," (and that one's a real quote) you can bet they're expecting some serious chaos. At the same time, nobody really knows exactly what's going to happen, except to say that whichever side of the 405 you live on, you're more or less stuck there.
But rather than throw their hands in the air and give up entirely, some enterprising businesses are hoping to cash in with 405-themed discounts, all-weekend happy hours, and special events. And with pretty much all official duties and commitments negated by the traffic meltdown, you've never had a better excuse to stay sloshed for 53 hours in a row. Here's how: [picture via]
-If You're Stuck West Of The 405-
On most days, living by the beach is awesome. This weekend, it may not be. Since the 405 runs so (relatively) close to the water, residents of the westernmost part of the westside may find themselves bogged down in the most traffic, the most delays, and the most closures.
Luckily, you guys also get the most drink specials.
South (3001 Wilshire Blvd, West Los Angeles): $3 Gridlock Shots, Road Ragers, and Bud Lights
Tiato Market Garden Café (2700 Colorado Ave): Summer Beer Garden– $6 pints of German, Vietnamese and Austrian Beer
Brentwood Restaurant And Lounge (148 S. Barrington Ave. Brentwood): Free appetizers all weekend
O'Briens (2226 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica): $3 Domestic Bottles, $5 Well Drinks and Wings
Harvelle's Blues Club (1432 4th St, Santa Monica): $5 Irish Car Bombs and Cadillac Margaritas
The Central (1348 14th St, Santa Monica): Buy one drink, get one free [Facebook check-in required]
Barney's Beanery (1351 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica): Mention Carmageddon for $5 Car Bombs
Liquid Kitty (11780 Pico Blvd, West Los Angeles): $4.05 drink specials all weekend
Locanda Del Lago (231 Arizona Ave, Santa Monica): Mention Carmageddon for happy hour specialty cocktail pricing all weekend ($8 per cocktail, $20 per litre), $4.05 Italian small plates
Gladstone's Malibu (17300 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu): $4.05 select menu items and domestic drafts
-If You're Stuck East Of The 405-
Well, you're not really "stuck" the same way the Westsiders are (for the duration of Carmageddon, Beverly Hills is now considered the East Side), but it's still going to be a royal bitch to get around. So just like your beachside brethren, we're advising you to locate a fantastic drink special or hotel rate, bunker down, and don't come up for air until Monday morning.
Remember, our new favorite excuse for drinking like an alkie is that we're helping to stimulate California's economy. You do want to help stimulate the economy, don't you? After all, our politicians only have secret affair-babies when you don't do your part.
The Glendon (1071 Glendon Ave, Westwood): Happy hour food pricing all weekend, $3 Bud Lights, $5 Well Drinks, and non-stop car chase movies
Beverly Hilton (9876 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills): $4.05 Draft Beers all day and $4.05 Mai Tai's (4-5pm only) at Trader Vic's, $40.50 30-minute Spa Pool Treatment
Rush Street (9546 Washington Blvd, Culver City): Upstairs "F The 405" Beach Party on sand-filled patio, 10% off with proof of 90232 residency, seafood clambake and summer drink specials, Saturday only $20 bottomless Bloody Mary bar and endless Mimosas
The Comedy Store (8433 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood): $4.05 tickets for all Saturday shows, $5 Cadillac Margaritas
-If You're Stuck In The Valley-
Coda Bar and Lounge (5248 Van Nuys Blvd, Sherman Oaks): 9-11 p.m. late night happy hour, 3 special drinks (The Carmageddon, the Carmarita and the Carpool), no cover
Page 71 Lounge (11916 Ventura Blvd, Studio City): DJ Justin James, drink specials
-If You Want To Get Out Of Town-
The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas is offering a discount Carmageddon package for SoCal residents that includes 2- or 3-night stays in the Casino Tower, a complimentary poolside cabana, and VIP access to Vanity Nightclub. For more details, or to book, go here.
Or, if you'd prefer something a little quieter, swankier, and closer to home, the Four Seasons Westlake Village is offering a "revive from the 405" package with two nights' stay starting at $405, $40.50 per person special prices for the weekend brunch and seafood restaurant, a 4:05 p.m. late checkout, and spa treatment discounts. More information available on the website.
-If You Really, Really Have To Get From Burbank To Long Beach-
I wonder how much DirecTV you can squeeze in on the 30 minute (scheduled) flight. Can you watch a whole episode of "Extra"? Half a "Sportscenter"? Do you still get those delicious chips that are made out of popcorn? Who's willing to do this and document the experience for us?
[image via JetBlue]
-Or Just Throw A House Party-
Come on people, this is a no-brainer. Get a keg, a grill, and some friends, and lock yourself down. Problem solved!