one of the surprising things you’ll notice

if you ever come into our newsroom is how quiet it is

many people have headphones on, most talk in normal tones on the phone, and a lot of communicating is done on email or through instant messenger. so when you go downstairs to head out to lunch or to head home, as soon as you get close to the Spring Street lobby you can hear it: an intoxicating buzz from thrilled people who want proof of what they saw on tv and online.

all week ive been showing you blurry pictures from my iphone of the masses of people lining up to get wednesdays newspaper. ive been doing it because every day we at the paper think its going to end soon. but its not ending. the more we reprint the more they buy. and every time we go through the lines to get to work its so energizing in the wake of seemingly never-ending layoffs. the economy continues to tank the real estate market continues to sink and the businesses small and large continue to deep six yet in the midst of it, this week, there was something to celebrate. something huge. its weird that our building happens to be the center of this weeklong celebration, but you take the good with the bad, next week someone will probably be protesting us for something just like they did a week ago.

anyways today one of our columnists sandy banks wrote a beautiful piece about the people waiting in line for newspapers. i made me tear up a few times, so i would like to share some of it with you.

For three 12-hour days, our lobby has been jammed, and sales will go on through this weekend. “We get a new batch, and a half-hour later they’re gone,” circulation chief Jack Klunder told me. “But we’ll just keep printing.”

It caught us in the newsroom by surprise. More than 350,000 extra copies have been sold. “It’s bigger than anything I’ve ever seen,” Klunder said, as we watched, amazed at the line that just kept growing.

For years, we’ve been hearing that print is dying and we’ve been pouring energy into online features aimed at extending our reach.

But you can’t flip the pages of a cyber Times or post a framed blog on your wall.

“I want a piece of history, in black and white, to hold in my hands,” Connie Jackson told me as I moved through the line Friday, talking with readers about why they had come.

She bought eight copies of the paper and three replica plates Thursday, then came back Friday for more. She plans to frame a front page and mount it on her wall, and send copies to friends in other cities “who want something to remember this moment.”

Indeed, people havent been standing in line for just one or two papers (still fifty cents), but they have been scooping up “posters”, replica steel plates of the front page, even buttons and tshirts from entrepreneurs on the sidewalk.

“I’m getting everything you’ve got, as many as I can buy,” said Adrienne Foster, a college administrator who lives near downtown in Lafayette Square. “So everybody I know can be a part of this.”

In line behind us, Margaret Kean was listening. I could tell she wanted a chance to talk. She’s white, and has two adult biracial sons whose father is black. She grew up in the 1960s in Detroit — “a mile from the riots” — and moved here with her sons “so they could avoid trouble.

“This is my story, my kids’ struggle,” she told me, tears spilling from her eyes. “Now I know my belief that things are changing is right. I tell my sons, ‘You have no excuse not to succeed.’ . . . This is one of the most perfect moments in life.”

Banks continues with Kean who shares with her something that ties together this modern world with what brought us here:

She also saved a text message her son sent during the campaign. On Friday she showed it to me:

“Rosa Parks sat, so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Obama could run. Obama is running so our children can FLY.”

I read it aloud, and we both stood there crying.

lots of emotion out there in that line. and if youre in LA and want to witness some of it we’re selling papers today till about 4pm, and tomorrow from 9am (i think) till 4pm. i dare you not to get caught up in it all.

hey its answers from tony

starring your questions with pics of people waiting yesterday for wednesday’s paper:

JackassJimmy: Tony, How come listening to podcasts in itunes on my windows box causes it to crash but nothing else does…not even music in itunes?

its because streaming huge podcasts takes up way more RAM than relatively small songs. a half hour podcast (which is pretty short) has to be buffered in your computer’s short term memory before it’s played. as the podcast is played the RAM is constantly filling and emptying which takes a lot of work for your computer, especially if you have other programs open too. you might wanna clear your cache before you listen to a podcast next time, this might not fix your problem (more RAM is the more permanent solution) but it might do the trick for right now.

Krista: Where is the best place in the world to celebrate the new year?

canada, for sure. vegas comes a close second. but sloshing through the snow in a foreign land is pretty rad. especially with people named raymi pitt and krista.

Matt Welch: Why don’t you wipe the hand lotion off your camera lens? When am I going to see you next?

my iphone camera has never delivered the best photos. sorta reminds me of lots of the pics i used to see on a certain warblog which will remain nameless. but you’re right, if im gonna use that thing as much as i do i should get it cleaned. its over a year old. you will probably see me mid november at petes house.

Keira-Anne: Dear Tony, How come I feel like you love Canada less than you used to? Sincerely, Keira-Anne P.S. xo

my love for canadah will never fade. its real, its true. problem is my work is way more demanding than ever before so its hard to verbally daydream about our 51st state. but wasnt it just a few weeks ago that showed you pics of me with the current playmate of the year who is from ontario? video of me interviewing her to come.

zona: are you going to promote your new film at Sundance or will you join the boycott of the Mormon State? I just wanna know cause I’m moving to Salt Lake and was hoping you’d get me into all the cool parties at Sundance

ive never been to sundance and have no desire to go. im way more about sxsw. as for boycotting utah. some of my best friends live there. plus no one from utah voted in the california elections, so if anyone wants to be pissed they should be angry at cali residents or the governator who vetoed similar legistlation – twice.

Ali: Gears of War 2 or Resistance 2?

im a lover not a fighter. you should work out your virtual aggressions in hotter ways.

Radiohumper: Did you hear what happened to your colleagues at Buzznet yesterday? What’s the best way for bloggers to use any social currency to help your homies who are fighting the good fight?

i did hear about it and i loved the photos on LAist. the best way for bloggers to do anything is to continue blogging about things, using digg and reddit, linking to their posts on facebook, and spread the word via twitter. the Lord has given us many ways to tell compelling stories. seems to me that this election and its fall out contain some amazing tales that people wanna know about, so everyone should share their stories with the world. the world is listening.

bluescityref: Milk, Regular or 2%?

i used to always have a half gallon of whole milk in my house. i blame karisa for convincing me that i should eat my cereal without milk. the only time nowadays you’ll ever see me with milk is when i have an upset stomach – i will drink chocolate milk which i believe is 2%.

Sarah: How come you go on dates with [censored] [girls] who say that have mono, but they don’t? Valid question.

as you know, sometimes i will date young women who are probably younger than i should be with. when youre young you dont know that you can just be straight up with some people. you might also think that a guy with a blog that says “nothing in here is true” might enjoy a lie or two. truth of the matter is the way to my heart is to keep it real, give me a reason to trust you, and just have a good time. lifes short.

timmay!!!!!: how long will obama’s honeymoon last? how long should it last?

the day after the president elect was voted in i listened to a few minutes of rush limbaugh and the honeymoon never even started in that circle of the mainstream media. rush was picking apart barrys acceptance speech like the broadcaster had taken a red pen to the thing. however, if you look around downtown LA, or near my workplace, you will see that the honeymoon is very much still happening. we’ve printed over 250,000 extra copies of wednesdays paper. men are selling tshirts and buttons and bottled water to folks waiting around the block for those historic newspapers. its a pretty awesome sight to see and hear. good feelings should last as long as possible, but that doesnt mean that one should resist being critical to the most powerful man in the world.

Sycz: Tony, what can the Cubs do?

1. break hearts. 2. inspire beautiful dreams. 3. shock the world. 4. all of the above.

bloopy: whopper or big mac?

grilled chicken at either mcdonalds or jack in the crack.

katie: or

i like dogs a lot more, so the latter please.

Mike: C’mon Tony… Vancouver… New Years…


Sharp (aka Azreal Darkskies): What’s a quick recipe that tastes awesome? (no cop-out answers like frozen foods)

you have come to the wrong blog if youre seeking cooking advice. i havent used my oven in years. heres how i cook if im in a pinch – open can, dumb contents into bowl, put plastic wrap over bowl, shove in microwave, cook. eat. repeat.

keir: If Jake Peavy goes to Chicago, who should the Cubs trade for him?

we dont need any more pitching. we need to teach fukudome how to hit american pitchers.