The Tremendous Bowl is rarely only a soccer recreation. However the nation’s largest annual sporting occasion, which is about to happen on Sunday on the futuristic SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, has taken on additional significance this yr.
There’s the truth that the Los Angeles Rams will probably be simply the second workforce to play a Tremendous Bowl in their home stadium, which gamers hope will give them an edge over the Cincinnati Bengals. (The primary was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who received the title final yr.)
The occasion can be serving as a sort of showcase for the brand new stadium — a mammoth architectural and construction feat — in addition to a nail-biting check of the sturdiness of Covid-19’s downward trajectory.
However above all, the occasion will shine a highlight on a reworked Inglewood, the place the event of the stadium and the realm round it serves as a lightning rod for broader debates about gentrification.
For a lot of, the opening of the stadium was an achievement, a testomony to the richness of the Black enclaves surrounding it that too lengthy suffered from disinvestment and neglect.
“Most individuals deal with the stadium and the Tremendous Bowl as a singular occasion that burst out like a supernova,” Mayor James T. Butts of Inglewood informed my colleague Tim Arango. “It was the fruits of our plan to vary the alternatives each socially, culturally, recreationally in your youngsters, to enhance our infrastructure.”
The halftime show that includes Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar — all central figures within the West Coast rap firmament — is supposed to function a celebration of the area’s standing as a producer of culture-defining artists.
For others, although, the gleaming construction and the occasion itself encourage ambivalence at finest.
“It’s the identical dynamic, the identical stress that’s at all times existed,” Erin Aubry Kaplan, a author and Inglewood resident, informed Tim. “The cultural heroes are Black. However the actuality on the bottom is absolutely completely different.”
There’s the site visitors and the noise. And there’s the sense that the glitz isn’t meant for the folks — principally Black and Latino — who’ve made communities in Inglewood, Compton, Baldwin Hills, Leimert Park and extra.
Consultant Karen Bass, who began her profession as a doctor assistant and neighborhood organizer in South Los Angeles in the course of the Nineteen Nineties, and who’s now working for mayor of Los Angeles, informed me that pleasure in regards to the Tremendous Bowl and efforts to fight gentrification don’t should be mutually unique.
“We have now to discover ways to have each: to have lovely venues and locations folks can afford to dwell,” she mentioned.
What in regards to the pandemic?
In Los Angeles County, which means guests going to indoor bars and golf equipment should present proof that they’ve been vaccinated and put on masks once they’re not consuming or ingesting. Within the metropolis of Los Angeles, guidelines are much more stringent: Eating places and plenty of different indoor companies should additionally ask indoor diners for proof of vaccination.
Anybody age 5 or older who attends the game itself at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood should present proof that they’ve been vaccinated or adverse check outcomes. They may even be required to put on masks once they’re not consuming or ingesting, no matter vaccination standing.
Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County’s public well being director, informed me that though upticks in circumstances have adopted huge celebrations up to now, the county is in a considerably higher place now.
Testing is rather more extensively accessible, together with speedy antigen checks, which public well being businesses will probably be distributing all through Los Angeles over the weekend. There may be the safety of vaccines.
“We’re in a a lot better place,” she mentioned.
Should you learn one story, make it this
Many states — together with deeply liberal ones, like California, the place officers haven’t hesitated to impose restrictions to forestall coronavirus transmission — are lifting their indoor mask mandates. Some Individuals cheered the strikes. However not everybody.
The place we’re touring
At this time’s journey tip comes from Duncan Barr, who recommends Mount Shasta:
“Not like Tahoe ski areas, the highways to get there hardly ever shut and snow solely begins 30 miles away. The ski space isn’t crowded with each knowledgeable and novice runs. The most important ice skating rink north of Sacramento is out there and plenty of cross-country ski programs exist.
Due to a big “banana belt” space quarter-hour away, one can ski within the morning and play golf within the afternoon at Lake Shastina. There are quite a few motels with rooms averaging $100 an evening and several other pleasant eating places.
Plus it’s a serene, bucolic space uncrowded and utterly accessible all winter.”
Inform us about your favourite locations to go to in California. E mail your options to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We’ll be sharing extra in upcoming editions of the e-newsletter.
With Valentine’s Day developing, we’re asking about love: not who you’re keen on, however what you’re keen on about your nook of California.
E mail us a love letter to your California metropolis, neighborhood or area — or to the Golden State as a complete — and we might share it in an upcoming e-newsletter. You possibly can attain the workforce at CAtoday@nytimes.com.
And earlier than you go, some excellent news
Should you’re lucky sufficient to have enduring long-distance friendships, you know the way arduous it was to be separated from your pals for years in the course of the pandemic. However vaccines have made weekend getaways potential once more, and the reunions have been candy.
The poet Ada Limón wrote in regards to the feeling of meeting her two best friends for laughter, tears and local wine in Sonoma for Condé Nast Traveler. (A Tremendous Bowl story that is most definitely not.)
Thanks for studying. We’ll be again on Monday.
P.S. Right here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Will get precisely proper (5 letters).
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/11/us/super-bowl-masks.html What to Know Concerning the Tremendous Bowl