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Thursday, June 7, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Bomb Scare, Across the Street from Variety

Above, a lone bomb squad officer prepares the scene in front of O to Go, the organic eatery located right across the street from Variety (in Museum Square, also known as the SAG headquarters).

Apparently a suspicious package -- probably just someone's briefcase -- was found on a chair in front of the restaurant. As a result, several blocks of Wilshire Blvd. has been shut down. And getting back into the building was a hassle.

Hit hardest: Frazzled B-list celeb publicists. I already witnessed one, leaning out her Lexus SUV and screaming at a Wilshire Courtyard security guard: "HELP! My client is inside and supposed to do an interview at E! How do I get in there? It's crucial!"

Yup, the terrorists have already won, at least when it comes to neutralizing the town's celeb p.r. mavens.

Meanwhile, the scare actually began around noon -- but strangely, down the street. I was hopping over to the Miracle Mile Ralph's (to purchase some new contact solution) when I encountered police tape. The block in front of Ralph's was closed, and the supermarket temporarily shut down. I turned around, headed back to the office, and a group of us headed to the Grove for lunch (With "Lost" superstar Damon Lindelof! Geeks, begin jealous fits now).

When we returned, at least six or seven blocks of Wilshire were shut down, and the attention had turned down the street -- to O to Go, right smack across from Variety Central. The streets prevented us from getting anywhere close to Variety, so I hopped out and criss-crossed through the La Brea Tar Pits, thinking I could make it through there.

Nope, the gates to the Tar Pits were closed. But it gave us a great view of the bomb squad, wearing their kevlar jackets -- and just standing there. Apparently the package was to be x-rayed, but there was no rush.

Eventually we took a huge detour past the LACMA and down 8th, then entered the Variety HQ through the back.

More shots of the empty scene in front of O to Go, as a lone member of the bomb squad tapes some sort of contraption up:

UPDATE: As expected, briefcase empty. Traffic back. Nerves calm. Seacrest safe.

And the view on Wilshire:

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