Breaking: The Los Angeles River with water in it

Many people believe the Los Angeles River to be a V-shaped storage area filled with the homeless, shopping carts, and film crews. But on one special day each year, the L.A. River has water in it.

After several days of intermittent rain, the normally bone-dry riverbed is filled with water, having been granted a permit by the L.A. Film Commission.

This photo was taken in Atwater Village (known as Atbonedrystoragearea Village the rest of the year) with Griffith Park, The Hollywood sign, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the background.

On most days the L.A. River looks like this, with an elegant “landing strip” of water flown in in post-production.


But in 1938, prior to its banks being fortified with concrete, a flood took out a bridge at the foot of Colfax Avenue at Ventura Blvd. in Studio City.

Here is that area recently.


The highest the L.A. River has been in recent years was in 2005. This picture was taken just below the bridge pictured above.


Conspiracy theorists will doubtless say, “It’s wet, it’s dry, it’s wet again. Don’t you see the pattern?” but I, like the Tibetan Book of the Dead, think that it’s a bunch of stuff that happened.

Previously: No greased lighnin’

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