If every SoCaler has advice as to how to make it to LAX at 5:45 p.m. on a Friday night without sitting on a freeway or finding yourself lost in a surface street labyrinth -- and, please, practically every SoCaler does -- then every third SoCaler has suggestions on how to best do the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval.
And, nope, they're not making costume suggestions, though those might come in handy, as some of the most photographed and outlandish and well-thought-out costumes of Halloween night make cameos at the Santa Monica Boulevard mega-people-tacular.
Rather, every third SoCaler has advice on how to get there, when to get there, and where to park, a notion that can make the forehead damp with nervous sweat. This action's big, as you might have heard. Only a half million people, give or take, show up in partay, Oct. 31-style, so mapping your get-there-get-home route is paramount.
Thank our lucky stars, then, that the nice people at Visit West Hollywood have pointers in the parking and directions category. A number of lots are listed, like the City Hall lot, and the cost to stow your car ($20 at City Hall, but you can read the rest and pick the best).
Time? It's 6 p.m to 11 p.m. (most SoCalers would say "get there around sundown, leave when you're pooped or your platform boots/stilettos/stilts give out").
Price? Free. Can you imagine a turnstile that a half million people had to pass through as they handed over tickets? That would be one tired turnstile. (Most SoCalers would say "spend your saved cash on the bus, parking, or a midnight snack, because you'll be famished.")
Costumes? Lots of people don't dress up, but oodles do, and there are exemplary outfits that have clearly been the obsessive focus of the outfit-wearer's life, daily, since early June. And we thank them for that effort, because those are the costumes that freaking dazzle the crowds.
Live Tunes and Performers? So many. The theme of the 2014 Carnaval is Medusa's Lair -- ohhhh, scary -- and the party keeps the diversions up and eerie all night long.
Amazing: Visit West Hollywood says that the Halloween Carnaval, when paired with the 35,000-person WeHo population, becomes "California's 7th largest city for one night." No wonder everyone who has called the region home for at least a week has opinions on how to best visit this one-evening-only city, for maximum merriment.
Tip up, Carnavalians, and please, honestly, have a change of comfy shoes nearby, if you do go with stilettos or other fabulous footwear. We don't walk at our mega Halloween bash so much as strut, the better to show off our stuff, and strutting can tax those tootsies, especially when you've got an audience of a half million people.