Bread and Circuses

BY: Wendy Fontaine

While roasting a chicken for dinner and mixing banana bread for the weekend, I turn on the television to listen to the news, mostly for background noise. The regular reporting is on hold, though, as the driver of a red Ford Explorer leads the California Highway Patrol on a chase through North Hollywood, Studio City, and Sherman Oaks. Normally, these pursuits happen at night, under cover of darkness on relatively empty freeways, blue lights flashing through the neighborhoods of Los Angeles. But this chase is different: it is happening at five o’clock in a residential area near the Westfield Fashion Square shopping center off Woodman Avenue. I know the area well; it’s one block from my yoga studio, two blocks from my favorite nail salon.

I set the oven to 350 degrees, then turn up the volume on the television.