Sunday, February 25, 2007
And the Oscar goes to...
Ah, Oscar night in L.A. It's a time when Los Angeles finally gets it's Superbowl. The whole town is a-twitter the streets are eerily quiet and all you can really here are helicopters and blimps. It must be getting close to arrivals hour!
Every year I am quite torn over my feelings for the Oscars. On one hand I love the glitz, the glamour and the mocking of people in the public eye. On the other hand it all seems like a very elaborate plot to make me feel bad about myself when yet ANOTHER year goes by without the Academy taking note of MY accomplishments and passing me over for my Oscar.
This morning Lyle and I went to the Hollywood Farmer's Market. We used to go almost every weekend when we lived up on Hawthorne, but since we moved back we just haven't been as much. We tend to over buy produce and then it goes bad in the fridge. It all looks so good, but my god, how much salad can two people eat!?
So to set the stage, the Oscars are being held at the Kodak Theater at Hollywood Blvd and Highland ave. If you've been to see us, I've probably taken you there.
What that translates to, is surface street gridlock in every direction for the last week and half. by Monday of last week, they had already built the bleachers the fans sit in. By Wednesday Hollywood blvd was closed to traffic from La Brea to Highland. Close one block of any major arterial in LA and it all spills over, and over, and over until is creates extra traffic on Melrose and Fairfax which are about a mile away.
Add to that the after Oscar parties which take place in West Hollywood near the Pacific Design Center. They've been building the "temporary" tent for the Elton John after party for two weeks. A week ago I could see them installing hardwood floors.
This always brings us to the odd conversations you get only in LA.
"Where are you thinking of having Rob's birthday on Sunday?"
"I wouldn't. They're having an Oscar party that night. Even if they are open, you'll never get your car done there with the Vanity Fair party a block away."
So we wound up at Bill & Mary's favorite Mexican restaurant on Saturday night, El Compadre where we saw Drew Barrymore (name drop!) having dinner.
Or, we were thinking of going downtown to see the Chinese New Year parade on Saturday...
"Parking will be a pain, we should take the subway."
"Can't get anywhere near the closest subway stop. It's Hollywood and Highland and it'll be buried in Oscar."
Instead we are hunkered down in our house just trying to avoid getting trapped in hoopla.
This morning however, we decided to go get produce. It's quite a ways away from the Oscars, a block away from Sunset and Vine. Shouldn't be a problem. And it wasn't hard to get in and out, but the sights along the way... ah, here are your LA moments on Oscar Morning.
We left our house and drove up Highland. Highland has numerous signs posted all along it, OSCAR PERMIT ONLY THIS LANE. So we turned off and went further East to Cahuenga.
On Cahuenga is the Fire Department Museum and a large parking area in front of it. This is where they are staging all the extra emergency personnel from all over the city. I think they have one truck from every station lined up filling about two blocks worth of street, both lanes.
A block away is the office building that houses the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences a.k.a The Oscars. Here there are about 100 people freezing in long dresses and tuxedos waiting in line to board tour buses marked "SEAT FILLERS". These guys are in black tie at 10:30 am riding a bus to the theater so that when the camera pans the crowd you'll never see an empty seat while performers are backstage talking to press or presenting.
Behind the Arclight theater were small shuttle buses taking audience members to a theater next to the El Capitain Theater to attend a screening of the Academy Awards and then a live broadcast of the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Normally they could park at that venue, but not today. No one can get within about ten blocks of that area today.
As we leave the Farmers Market I stop Lyle and point out the Goodyear Blimp overhead.
When we first moved to LA, the first time Lyle saw the Goodyear Blimp he ran inside and phoned his mother. He was so excited!
I couldn't imagine getting that excited over a blimp. But then Lyle reminded me, "Think about it. Think about where I grew up in Northern Alberta. That blimp was NEVER going to fly over my house there."
Oh Blimpy... I can hear it flying overhead right now...