Russian tourists Edward Poshedsky, 58, and his wife, Ludmilla, 55, knew their visit to Los Angeles would be an eye-opener. Even so, they were taken aback by the Halloween scene on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.
Three blond transvestites, all well over 6-feet tall, strutted by Monday night in shimmering, tight-fitting dresses. A pet Chihuahua outfitted with bat wings scampered underfoot. A man in a halter top and caked with makeup, "Shteena, Queen of the Go-Go Cage," writhed inside a homemade cage on wheels. An ersatz San Francisco policeman in full regalia displayed well-defined pecs inside an unbuttoned uniform.
And Edward Poshedsky tried frantically to capture the passing parade on his video camera.
"I have to shoot this to show my friends back home, otherwise they'll never believe it," he said.
More than 90,000 people surged through the famed promenade on Halloween night, reveling in fashion's closest thing to anarchy.
Edward said: "I think even Boris Yeltsin would have a great problem trying to (control) this crowd."
WHAT GOES AROUND: Imagine the distress of the Beverly Hills bank teller who lost a gym bag containing 12 personal checks made out to his creditors. Police say that on Oct. 28, the teller (they decline to identify him or his bank) lost the bag when thieves broke into a friend's car, where he had left it.
Now imagine the surprise of the same teller when a man walked up to his bank window three days later--on Halloween, no less--and plunked down one of the missing checks. Originally made out to the teller's mortgage company, the $213 check had been altered to indicate it was payable to "Alberto Hernandez."
The man presented it to the very same teller who had lost it, saying: "I want to cash this check," police said.
The teller managed to delay the transaction and called police with some enthusiasm. Mr. Hernandez was arrested on charges of forgery, commercial burglary, receiving stolen property and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
So in one small case, at least, crime did not pay.
ON APPROACH: The drive to Los Angeles International Airport could take a bit longer than usual because of road repair work under way on parts of Sepulveda Boulevard.
Traffic will be confined to one lane in the construction areas between Manchester Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard. Road crews will spend a little more than two weeks grinding and resurfacing Sepulveda Boulevard.
Work will be done by the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Maintenance, from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through Nov. 17, according to city officials.
Airport officials suggest that motorists heading to LAX from the San Fernando Valley area stay on the San Diego (405) Freeway until the Century Boulevard exit, avoiding the earlier exits of Howard Hughes Parkway and La Tijera Boulevard.
They also suggest that motorists approaching from the south take the San Diego Freeway to the westbound Century (105) Freeway, get off at Sepulveda Boulevard and follow the signs back to LAX.