Experiencing The Academy Awards Red Carpet Treatment In La La Land
When most people think of Los Angeles, they think of Hollywood, movies, TV shows and celebrities.
In reality when you live here or visit here, your experiences with such things are rare if at all or – as is the case with celebrities – chance sightings. And they are not exactly dressed the way you see them in the movies or on the red carpet.
But these things do exist in L.A., and I got an up-close view of it at the Rafi gifting lounge two days before the Academy Awards.
If you are not familiar with gifting lounges, these are the privileged places where celebrities are invited to attend and get a bunch of free swag in advance of their appearance at (or on) awards shows. The Rafi gifting lounge had, among others, Gladys Knight, Spike Lee, Marina De Tavira (Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee for ROMA), Peter Farrelly (Best Screenplay Oscar nominee for GREEN BOOK), Keegan-Michael Key and Gerard Butler.
Frankly, I was most impressed with the girl in the champagne dress. Yes, a girl was walking around with something that resembled a Christmas tree except instead of ornaments, she was wearing champagne glasses.
I grabbed a glass and went walking around the gifting lounge, ironically held in the exact ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills where I had been a few months earlier to cover the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner fight press conference.
This was better.
The gifting lounge was full of high-end jeans, suits, jewlery a tequila (it was National Margarita Day, by the way) a seven-day trip to a South Pacific spa resort and, upon exiting dozens, of roses courtesy of PassionRoses.
At the end there was live music from Rock N’ Roll Hall-of-Fame groups The Temptations, The Platters and the Grammy-winning group Mary Mary.
It was all very impressive and reaffirmed that yes, I do indeed live in La La Land. And while you won’t likely get this red carpet treatment, its good to know that it definitely is around you when you travel to Los Angeles.