I’ve been so busy with life but I’m happy to have found some time to cover Hollywood’s biggest event of the year: the Oscars. The weeks leading to the award ceremony are filled with excitement — you can feel it in the air and you can see it at every store and cafe’ window, restaurant, and party with themed decorations, menus and more. The city swells up with celebrities, foreign and domestic press, designers and, of course, tourists. If you’re accidentally visiting town during this time, take a deep breath, cope with worse traffic and madness than usual and enjoy the show! If you’re purposely here to get the most out of it, then I suggest to go for a tour that will bring you back in time. The Oscars have been held in many different venues, but the ones that I recommend visiting are the very first ones: the Roosevelt Hotel (1929) and the Biltmore Hotel (1930s and 1940s.) You will be charmed by the old Hollywood architecture of the Roosevelt and by the sophisticated elegance of the Biltmore, which also features a rich gallery of pictures from all the ceremonies that took place at the Crystal Ballroom.
You might also want to dine at Musso and Frank; opened in 1919, this restaurant is steeped in Hollywood history, having been the hideout of a host of famous Hollywood celebrities from days gone by. It is named for original owners Joseph Musso and Frank Toulet. As Hollywood’s oldest eatery, Musso & Frank is the paragon of Old Hollywood grillrooms. In Hollywood’s boom years it was a prime destination for Hollywood’s movers and shakers, including, directors, movie stars, producers, and noted writers.
If you want to have a closer look at the modern day Hollywood, you should visit Hollywood Boulevard between Orange and La Brea right before Oscar night. This block is closed and decked out with larger-than-life Oscar statues, red carpets, flowers, bleachers and lights, but you can still get a great view if you actually go to the Hollywood & Highland complex, home of the Dolby Theatre (Former Kodak Theatre) where Sunday’s ceremony will take place. You will literally rub elbows with all things Oscars and this is the closest you will get to the action. There is a stairway leading to the theatre with the names of all the best movie winners since the very beginning, the next one will be revealed tomorrow; I bet Lincoln will win, but anything is possible on Academy Awards night and who knows? Maybe you will end up rubbing elbows with the winners at an after party.