The Big Picture: A Night at the Oscars

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{A super excited selfie on the way to the Bowl!}

It doesn’t feel like an authentic L.A. summer until there’s a trip to the Hollywood Bowl. Not only is it a quintessential experience when living in the City of Angels, it also happens to be my favorite place in L.A. if I had to pick one.

This past Labor Day weekend found me right where I wanted to be: with my guy, a small picnic dinner, and seat at the Bowl ready for a night of movie music under the stars. The Big Picture: A Night at the Oscars was an enchanting extravaganza celebrating music from Academy Award winning films that magically echoed through the warm September night. Conductor David Newman and the immensely talented Hollywood Bowl Orchestra recreated soundtracks to some of Tinseltown’s most renowned stories masterfully playing the score over live picture projected on their new state of the art LCD screens. As clips from famous films such as To Kill A Mockingbird (1962), The Artist (2011), An American in Paris (1951), and The Wizard of Oz (1939) played on the large screens, I almost forgot that the accompanying live music was even happening! The synchronicity and the crisp, booming sound were so solidly fused with the visuals, you felt like you were just watching a movie as you would any other time.

What was particularly special about this night was the eclectic mix of films and genres the program chose to highlight. Instead of the very obvious choices you might expect on a night like this, films such as Bullitt (1968), Up (2009), and You Only Live Once (1937) were saluted. In fact, I admired that they didn’t focus merely on films that won the coveted Best Picture award, but films that won accolades from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a variety of areas from film editing, to acting, to screenwriting.

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{Making our way up to the cheap seats…yet again.}

Unlike this time last year with an engaging Jason Alexander as host – there was a weakness in the show with this year’s selection. Mary McDonnell (the President’s wife who dies in Independence Day) was an odd choice. She was ever so gracious, but clearly reading from a teleprompter and just didn’t have that natural relaxed spirit you’d expect in hosting duties on a night like this. I’m not one to be too harsh in this situation, I can only imagine what it’s like getting on stage in front of an 18,000 seat amphitheater, but I was often taken out the evening festivities when she was on stage. She just wasn’t the right person for the gig unfortunately. This would be my biggest criticism of the evening (outside of some obnoxiously loud people behind us.)

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Otherwise, the night was another huge success. This time I went homemade with a ham and cheese sandwich (sometimes a girl just needs one), good conversation, lots of people watching (you couldn’t ask for a better place to do this!), and a night dedicated to two of my greatest loves: movies and music.

If I’m still carrying anything with me as I write this, the evening inspired me to check out films that I haven’t ever seen before or want to watch again. I see a night curled up on the couch with The Wizard of Oz and some popcorn in my near future.

The Hollywood Bowl is located at 2301 North Highland Avenue in Hollywood. Their summer season ends this month.

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2012 Best in Blogging: My Favorite Posts

One of the best things I did last year was start All That Glitters. I think of it as a mixture of both a guide to and celebration of life in Los Angeles. I love this city and while I am always struggling with what’s next and how to get there, I love my life too. I love this blog. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Today, as we enter the last week of January 2013 (which is pretty hard to believe), I want to take a step back and officially close out all things 2012 with my top 10 personal favorite blog posts from the year. Each of these were not only fun to write, but I was also happy with how they turned out both in content and my somewhat mediocre photography skills. Within each of the ten posts also lies some my happiest memories of 2012.

{TEN.} Graffiti Coffee Bar – Perhaps it’s a sentimental choice because this was my first real blog post, but I think it’s also because this set the tone for how I wanted my blog to be: topical, sharply written, while saluting and celebrating my love of all things L.A.. However, even I found it completely ridiculous to even think lattes and valet parking should ever go in the same sentence. (Oh! A latte sounds so good right now! I’ll be right back…)

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{NINE.}  Making Arrangements  Me as Martha Stewart for a day (okay, maybe more like 30 minutes) trying to make my own floral arrangement with a little help from Lauren Conrad (of all people). My favorite D.I.Y. post of 2012. I was so proud of my little creation.

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{EIGHT.}  Dirty Dancing in the Cemetery – A look at my first time experiencing the super popular young L.A. thing to do on a hot summer Saturday night, a Cinespia film screening at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This post reflects on how I had the time of my life and the first time I’d ever seen a shooting star in the night sky. Hey, like the post says – I live in L.A.! Shout out to myself on what has to be my most cleverly titled post.

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{SEVEN.} How I Spent 100 Years in Hollywood – My night at the Hollywood Bowl celebrating Paramount Studios 100 years in the movie making  business, told with the help of George Costanza and the most notable movie music in all of cinema. A night to remember and a post that I always look back on fondly.

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{SIX.} Farmers For A Day – The day I left the city behind and headed out to the country (ok, not literally the country but it wasn’t too far from it) and spent some time on an apple farm picking fruit and hanging with the native country folk. This was a day of trying something new and it being oh so fun!

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{FIVE.} Food To Die For: El Coyote Mexican Cafe – My account of what happens when you eat at my favorite Mexican Restaurant in L.A., El Coyote. Please read carefully, you’ve been warned of the side effects of food consumption on these premises. Oh! And God bless re-fried beans!

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{FOUR.} Snow in L.A. – Psst! Hey you. Yeah, you! I’ve got a little secret to tell you. It snows in Los Angeles. No, really. Seriously! It snows right in the middle of LA and I’m letting the cat out of the bag. I loved this post because it meant that festive time of year was finally here. It was officially Christmas!

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{THREE.} Cupcakes and Cashmere L.A. Book Signing – A treat to stop by and say hello to my favorite blogger, Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere fame, at her L.A. book signing. Cheers to the art of blogging!

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{TWO.}  2012: Best in Books, Guilty Pleasure – My delicious account of the book(s) that rocked my world during the summer of 2012. It was so much fun writing this post and reliving all the delectable moments between Anastasia Steele and our dark friend, Christian Grey. (Insert mischievousness voice here) Happy reading and laters baby!

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{ONE.} Mission San Juan Capistrano – Admittedly, I like this post more because of the crisp stunning images that bring me back to such a relaxing and happy day spent on boyfriend’s birthday. This is not my wittiest post when it comes to writing (see #2 and #4 above for that fix) but I think of this day as my most memorable from 2012 and in the end, it’s these types of posts that stick with you.

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Thank you for reading All That Glitters!  I hope you enjoy the posts as much I enjoy writing them. I promise you 2013 will be filled with even more sparkle! 🙂

How I Spent 100 Years in Hollywood

Location: 2301 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood

Unquestionably, if I had to pick one of my absolute favorite places in all of Los Angeles, it would be The Hollywood Bowl. The open sky, a perfect view of the Hollywood Sign right in front of you, and the unique vibe of “Bowl-goers” picnicking and hanging out on the grounds before the start of a live musical show. It’s an exciting place to be, and while the nearly 18,000 seat venue would be intimidating, I always found it to be one of the most intimate places you can possibly be in LA. There isn’t a bad seat in the house (and trust me, our seats were about as high up as you can go). I spent my second night in a row over the holiday weekend under the stars. This time, celebrating a century of movie music with Paramount Pictures.

{Making our way to the high, high (read: cheap) seats} 🙂

{“Bowlers” hanging out before the big show}

{View just as we arrived to the amphitheater}

Host, Jason Alexander; conductor, David Newman; and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, took us on a journey through the best musical scores of our time as Paramount Pictures turned 100 years old. An opening montage comprising 174 feature film clips from their library kicked-off the night. What a treat to look back over some of the most famous movie sequences scored with live orchestral music. After George Costanza Jason Alexander took the stage for a short opening monologue, the night took a turn to highlight those films that are particularly memorable not only in picture, but most importantly, in sound; touching every decade since the 1920’s. The great scenes from Sunset Boulevard, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Godfather Trilogy, Titanic, and Mission: Impossible (among others) projected on the big screen as the full orchestra below brought each frame and line of dialogue alive with the recognizable melody that made the film iconic.

It was a night filled with humor, music, film, and the best tuna on wheat Subway sandwich I’ve ever had (my personal happy point). What a wonderful way to celebrate Hollywood’s only remaining and oldest film studio. Happy Birthday Paramount Pictures! Thank you for your part in cultivating my love and life filled with cinema. Here’s to another 100 years of movie magic and making it to Mission: Impossible 33 (where yes, Tom Cruise will still be alive to star in the film, looking exactly the same, and doing his own stunt work).