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Smaller-than-expected crowd disappoints vendors

July 7, 2009 | 12:57 pm


As the crowd outside Staples Center was losing some of its energy, and spontaneous outbursts of Michael Jackson’s songs grew less frequent, street vendors were becoming more aggressive. Nearly every five yards, someone was yelling, “Soda! Soda!” “Hot dogs! Hot dogs!” “Michael Jackson shirts!” “Get your button here!” with a decidedly aggressive, and increasingly desperate inflection.

The crowd of millions that sellers were geared up for never materialized, but the vendors were trying to make the best of it. Prices were sinking along with the hopes of the vendors. Some people were taking advantage of plummeting prices, snapping up two T-shirts instead of one.

One ice cream vendor pushed his cart along with one hand, the other grasping a wilting bunch of roses.

-- Louis Sahagun

Photo: Michael Jackson memorabilia is sold along Olympic Boulevard, just outside the security perimeter of the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times