Tuesday, December 31, 2013
First of all, the town is practically empty. Most people from the industry are gone, terrorizing the help in Hawaii and Aspen. There’s very little traffic. You can actually make the fifteen minute drive between Brentwood and LAX on the 405 Freeway in only forty minutes. It’s like you’re flying! Hard to get into restaurants? Not this week. Spago will even make reservations for people they don’t know. And at 7:00 not 10:30. (Unfortunately, their chefs are probably in Aspen and Hawaii.)
Los Angeles is so deserted I heard of a friend who found a parking place at the Grove shopping mall. But that’s still just a rumor.
For industry guild folks there are free movies. In the hopes of snaring nominations from any organization that gives out awards (even the WGA), studios let eligible voters and guests attend contending movies gratis. It’s also their way of giving back to the community. However, the nanosecond the nominations are announced this lovely gesture ends instantly. And they go back to the business at hand – busting the unions.
Most of the city’s attention this week is on the upcoming Rose Parade and Bowl. If you have six friends over to your apartment to play poker, the Rose Queen and her court will come and speak to your group. This year's queen is thinking of going into neurosurgery. Can't you just see her in the operating room wearing a tiara?
The Rose Bowl is the "Granddaddy of Bowl Games" and this week. It's the 100th edition and fifth being sponsored. So this year we must refer to it as the "Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO". How fucked is that? The combatants are Michigan State vs. Stanford. And again we have to suffer through Brent Musburger doing the play-by-play. Keith Jackson, please come back!!!
Highlight of the Rose Bowl festivities is the Lawry’s Beef Bowl. Lawry’s is the greatest prime rib restaurant in the world (a more popular attraction to Japanese tourists than Disneyland). Every year they invite each team and feed them as much prime rib as they can eat. Usually the winning team tops out at around 630 pounds of beef. During the Rose Bowl, you’ll notice half the players sleeping the bench. That’s why. They've served over 20,000 players since 1956. Not one salad.
This will be the second Rocking New Years Eve without Dick Clark (although his name is still in the title). Which means another three minutes of air time for Ryan Seacrest -- who really needs it.
The Rose Parade is tomorrow morning. Idiots have been staking out spots along the parade route since Thanksgiving. Every local channel will broadcast the parade. KTLA gets a 50 share, everyone else gets a 2. Why these other stations still bother is beyond me. KTLA coverage begins at like 3:00 a.m. Five hours of watching people paste flowers on floats and the spectators on the street freezing. KTLA will begin replaying the parade immediately upon its conclusion. Then they replay it again. And again. Sometime around January 15th they return to regular programming.
Bob Eubanks has been hosting the parade since the floats were powered by horses. His co-host is L.A. talkshow goddess, Stephanie Edwards. Last week when I filled in on KABC, Stephanie was my guest and had great insider info on the parade. Here's the podcast of that interview. I invite you to listen. She's a terrific fun guest.
Be safe and sane tonight so you'll be alive for the parade. Happy New Year everybody.
And for my fellow Angelinos – enjoy it while you can!
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM