Camping on Colorado Blvd.
On December 31st people from California and across America camp out on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena to save streetside seats for the New Year’s morning Rose Parade. The last time I was there I was a teenager in High School. I went with my friends Jerry and Tom. In theory, we were camping, but I don’t ever recall sleeping. I think we just walked around all night.
My two most vivid memories from that night are a tank driving up and down Colorado Blvd. Yes, a tank. And Tom making out with a girl he didn’t know.
When the sun came up in the morning, we got in the car, went home, and slept. We never saw the parade.
What a great New Year’s.
Returning to the chaos
After being absent for decades, I decided to return to Colorado Blvd. on New Year’s Eve this year and document whatever went on.
No tank this year. And I didn’t see Tom, or anyone else, making out. Something new, and by “new” I mean it’s probably been done for years, but it’s new to me, is campers on the sidewalk or curb putting shaving cream on tortillas and then throwing them at passing cars.
Everyone I tell about this “tradition” is horrified by the lawless chaos of it. But it’s actually pretty organized vandalism. They don’t hit cop cars or sweet low-riders. Campers only seem to throw tortillas or squirt Silly String at cars that “want” to be in on it. Both sides seem to have a lot of fun.
If the car has a window down, the curb hooligans try to hit the passengers with marshmallows. I saw one girl pelting a woman in the passenger seat of an SUV with marshmallows. Both were laughing a lot. Another person on the sidewalk turned to me and said,
Don’t worry, it’s her mom.