At the corner of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Fryman Road, about 25 protesters and numerous residents from the surrounding neighborhood eagerly awaited President Obama's motorcade Thursday evening.
Among them were members of Campaign for a Fair Settlement, a group seeking to hold banks accountable for how they deal with homeowners at risk of foreclosure.
"We're here to just let our president know that we the homeowners are still hurting—we are in need of loan modifications," said Melvina Bogan, who with her husband, Richard, traveled to Studio City from their home in San Pedro.
Mrs. Bogan said she and her husband are retired and have been in their home for 14 years, and have seen its assessed value drop from $670,000 to $380,000. So far they have been able to make their payments but if their adjustable mortgage resets at the end of the year, she said, they may not be able to keep up.
"All we need is for our bank to sit down with us and make a modification," she said.
Mrs. Bogan said that she would remain an Obama supporter.
"We are definitely going to vote for him to be back in office, but we need him to know that he has to be more assertive with the banks," she said. "I hope he'll see our signs."
During a brief press conference organized by the group, Peggy Mears of Fontana called banks that are refusing to modify loans "predators."
"We're sick and tired of the banksters robbing people and putting them out of their homes," Mears said before leading the group in a chant of "Hey big banks, you can't hide. We can see your greedy side."
At about 6:15 p.m., all traffic disappeared from Laurel Canyon Boulevard as police closed it down. Then, at 6:34, the president's helicopter, Marine One, flew overhead on its way to the Burbank Airport.
About 20 minutes later, as the flashing lights of the president's motorcade could be seen approaching from the north, all protest chants stopped. As Obama's black SUV limousine quickly passed by and made the right turn onto Fryman Road, hoots and hollers filled the air.
In a matter of seconds, the vehicles raced out of sight, on their way to a fund-raising dinner at the home of actor George Clooney,
Some of the protesters excitedly noted that the president had looked at them as he went by.
One protester holding a "Full Federal Equality" banner exclaimed, "He saw it! He saw our sign!"
A few steps away Suzanne Barber and her husband, Bill Nugent, of Studio City were eyeing the picture she had taken with her smartphone.
"That was him," Barber said. "That was totally him. He waved and everything."