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Former L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon:…

Waiting for Black Friday

It is now an annual ritual for these twenty-somethings at the Best Buys in Atwater Village.

I'm at the electronics mecca Best Buys in Atwater Village Tuesday night.

I'm not the first media person to come by this week. Many are fascinated what's become an annual ritual for the consumer elite--getting a great place in line for Black Friday sales.

Atwater Village residents Janel Bisnar and her boyfriend Jeff Oda are third in line.

They're snacking on pizza with the friends they made last year, who are also in line.

"This is our Thanksgiving," Bisnar tells me. "And our reunion."

The friends stayed in touch and decided to meet up again this year, making it a bit of a party, a bit of a festival, a little bit of Occupy.

They say they will stay in line through the holiday, rolling out their tents late at night after the security guards leave.

"Security's really cracked own this year," says Oda. "We used to be able to keep our tents up all day."

The line's already snaked all the way down the left side of the very large Best Buys building.

Come Thursday night, it will explode, they tell me, twisting  back into an adjacent parking lot, around the front of the near by Toys 'R Us, finally looping back to Best Buys.

Everyone seems to know their place in line. There's no one enforcing the number-taking. It's reached by consensus, with maximum respect going to the guy who's holding down first place.

He's been there for two weeks.

Bisnar and Odar tell me they are not in it for the money. They make a couple hundred dollars reselling to parents and friends who don't have the patience for this kind of vigil.

Their buddy Arotin Arakelia, from Glendale, tells me he does a little bit better, but his friends urge him to keep the dollar figure under wraps.

He doesn't want to attract competition, does he?

I do learn this: the goal's to get in the store quickly and grab up all the advertised specials before they're gone, usually long before dawn on Black Friday.

Television and laptops are the biggest moneymakers.

Tablets, not so much, Bisnar tells me, though she's going to buy one for herself.

The group doesn't plan to have a special Thanksgiving meal.

Picking up some extra cash while while putting their own spin on urban camping is good enough for them.

ROBERT E. FISHBACK November 23, 2012 at 03:20 PM
After all that I said, I may try it !
ROBERT E. FISHBACK November 23, 2012 at 03:38 PM
With materialism at front and center, I have an idea. Tow a trailor load of Porta-Potties around and charge a dollar a pop. No pun intended.
ROBERT E. FISHBACK November 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Out of curiosity, I googled Echo Park as the only memory I have of it was I passed the lake when riding the Pacific Electric Car to the Subway terminal bldg. as a child. I remember the Angelus Temple and first impression was "really weird" looking. My google reveals E.P. seems to be a magnate for creative and avante garde people. Famous people from all walks of life. It is a likely spot for a UFO to land some day. Maybe its a hot spot that I wrote about on a blog.....
EagleRockMom November 25, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Sleeping on the sidewalk for upwards of two weeks to buy a cart full of junk sounds lame.
ROBERT E. FISHBACK November 26, 2012 at 02:36 PM
E.R. Mom Now that you mention it.........:)

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