Thu, Sep 30, 2010 - Page 7 News List

Heat wave in LA takes some sizzle out of Hollywood


It was so hot in Los Angeles on Tuesday that even Spider-Man took the day off.

As temperatures soared to 37oC, tourists along Hollywood Boulevard were disappointed to discover that an autumn heat wave has just about the same effect on Spider-Man — and Batman and Wonder Woman — as kryptonite does on Superman: It turns them into mere mortals.

“The costumed characters really suffer in this heat. They have to stay inside,” said John Oren, who had loaded up on sunblock, bottled water and diet soda before setting up a stand where he sells wind chimes in front of the Kodak Theatre.

Only Catwoman, bundled up in what she acknowledged was an uncomfortably hot suit that included a leather mask, tights, corset and boots, was brave enough to step outside and meow to passers-by.

Like her comic-book counterpart, she declined to reveal her true identity.

Although Tuesday’s high of 37oC in downtown Los Angeles was 4oC below the record for the day, it was still 9oC above normal. The temperature reached a record-high 45oC on Monday.

Tourists carried not only cameras on Tuesday, but also bottles of water and — usually a rare sight in sunny Southern California — umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun.

Residents out to walk their dogs carried two bottles of water, one for the animal and another for them. At the edge of the city’s sprawling Griffith Park, trainers at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center were struggling to keep scores of horses cool by hosing them down, limiting their workouts and running cooling fans in the stalls.

As the heat wave continued, schools curtailed or canceled physical activity.

No heat-related deaths were confirmed, but the Los Angeles County coroner’s office was looking at two possible cases.

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