Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Recovery mode
It was a fabulous weekend. (And if you click here, you can read about it in the Sydney Morning Herald.)
We stayed again at the Roosevelt Hotel, which is a bit of a Hollywood landmark (Clark Gable met Carole Lombard there and so started their affair ...) with fabulous Spanish-revival architecture and the comfiest beds I've ever experienced in a hotel.

Our hotel looked quite spooky seen reflected in the glass of the building next door (above). There's a massive advertisement for some English fashion label painted on the entire side wall of the hotel. This was the view from our room, and to the left of this we could just see Graumann's Chinese Theatre and the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars are held.
We drove up from San Diego and arrived in LA in time to see Jon Tarry's exhibition in a great little gallery on Wilshire Boulevard. Jon is a Perth artist, and lectures in the fine art faculty at the University of Western Australia.
He was showing a series of very neat little works based on aerial views of airport buildings and runways from all over the world, presented in clever combinations. So, for example, the dear little Shark Bay airport (lower right of this picture)...
... shares space with the far more complex and much bigger airport of Beijing, or Shanghai (I'm sorry, but I forget which one is in this picture).
There was also one of Perth airport ...
... and we had great fun trying to guess which airport was which, especially the smaller ones that were so obviously in outback Australia, like Uluru and Paraburdoo.
It all looked very impressive in this chi-chi gallery space in the heart of Los Angeles' Miracle Mile district.Jon, who was staying with friends in LA, was to be our guest at the dinner that night, and we met him for lunch before racing back to the hotel for a few quick zeds (zzzz ...) and then vast and elaborate preparations.
So it was that at just after 5 pm we left the hotel and walked in all our finery ...

... down Hollywood Boulevard in the twilight (praying I wouldn't trip over my long skirt as I ran across the road). It was a magic moment — Mr and Mrs Gumby from Perth off to a big galah in the middle of Hollywood. We pinched ourselves all night.A panhandler yelled out to Dave: "Hey! Looking good, big guy!" which made his night.
We had cocktails as guests of the WA Government before the main event, and then we were ushered up to the grand ballroom, though we lesser mortals were cordoned off from the red carpet and the battery of cameras ...It was as though Australian TV Week had come to life before our very eyes. Unfortunately, neither Dave nor I knew who most of the gorgeous young things were, but we had other more knowledgeable types in our party who could put names to the faces.
I loved it all. Every minute of it — I sat at our table and beamed all night. Dinner was cooked by Neil Perry and Wolfgang Puck. Calista Flockhart brushed past me on her way to the loo. I saw Andrew G. Our Livvy sang, though she couldn't entice John Travolta to join her on stage (she did really well for someone who had a bit of a reedy voice even in her heyday). Harrison Ford looked old and thin and grumpy — not sexy at all. There were video messages from Sting and Bono and Barry Humphries to congratulate Our Kylie on her award, and she got up and gave a cute little talk and then did an 'Aussie Aussie Aussie' call to which we felt compelled to respond.
Film-maker Phillip Noyce talked a little tearily, and beautifully, about how proud his dad, who died recently, would have been to see him get his award, and how happy his dad had been to see Mr Rudd win the recent election.
The event opened with Richard Walley playing didge — he is an Aboriginal Australian and one of the finest players of the didgeridoo in the world, if not the finest. It was spine-tingling. One felt very proud.
Next morning it was home to the burbs, two happy but unwalked dogs, and evidence of many McDonald's meals and teenagers. Sigh!

8 comments:

Meg said...

What a fabulous time in La La Land! There has been newspaper coverage of the event over here. When I saw it, I smugly thought, "I know someone who's going to that"!

Laura Jane said...

Looking sharp Lesley and the big Guy! Perfect outfits.

How sad that Harrison Ford didn't look attractive. Big bummer there. It has certainly attracted LOTS of media her at home, and I too was feeling brushed by reflected glory (or money to afford the tix and the tux and the threads!)

The aerial runway art exhibit is also very appealing, what a fascinating subject to choose.

I've saved your very glam photo!

Jordyn said...

I saw many photos of Harrison Ford from the event and a close-up video of him leaving and signing autographs. I thought he looked great!

Lesley said...

Good for you, Jordyn!
To me, though, the Harrison Ford of 20 to 30 years ago is the one I'll always love ...

Jennifer said...

OH how wonderful! You both looked like such stars yourselves, and so you were!! I could feel some of the energy right through your post. Do you know of any recordings of fine Aboriginal musicians? I see Richard Walley does have some recordings -- anything you've heard that you could recommend?

Ya know, I stopped thinking about Harrison Ford as a going proposition when I realized that he's the same age as my boss, the head of school here who's retiring this year. Ugh! No thanks....

Jordyn said...

Not good for me, Leslie. Just an observation and opinion:)

You and your husband look lovely in that photo, but I'm sure you'll agree that it would be awful and unfair to live under the expectation of looking like you did when you were 35 years old. Not to mention to then be scrutinized for not living up to that unrealistic expectation.

Lesley said...

Jordyn, you're absolutely right. We should congratulate him for looking his age (66), and rumpled, and not going the way of, say Olivia Newton-John, who's almost as old but looked about 21 on Saturday night.
Thanks for the compliment (though I wish I looked like i did 35 years ago!), and I'm sorry if I upset you. XX

Natalie said...

Once a hottie, always a hottie? In his case, I think so, but too bad about looking grumpy... lol. The real couple of the evening appears to be the Chapter III couple: Gorgeous! What fun!
On the subject of Australia and stars... we are feeling stunned by Heath Ledger's death. My son is keenly interested in film production and actors, and this is one of those shock moments, when you are struck by how unexpected death can be. It's very sad.