From coast to coast tonight, millions of movie-loving people will get together to celebrate a year of filmmaking and raise their glasses (and bowls of popcorn) to the best of the best. There will be pre-show voting, red carpet discussions and, if it’s a good party, lots of yelling or cheering at the TV screen as the awards are announced.
No matter where you live, if you love movies, Oscar night is important.
But if you love movies so much that you’ve given your life over to the craft and live in the greater Los Angeles area, Oscar night is one of the biggest events of the year. In fact, for us Hollywood folk, Oscar night is bigger and more exciting than Christmas/Chanukah/New Years/and our birthday combined.
Here, on Oscar day, “No Parking” signs go up everywhere, traffic slows, stores are gutted of food and wine, nail salons and waxing booths are flooded with men and women primping for the show and whole streets become parking lots for gala attendees.
Of course, little things, like going to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market are made nearly impossible by the Oscars. My usual Sunday morning routine was hampered by street after street of NO PARKING signs. When I finally found a parking lot, I wedged my car between a tuxedoed Oscar night employee and a photographer with his arms filled with expensive looking cameras.
At the market I found half of the vendors missing. Was it the rain that kept them away or was it the Oscar drama? With my guest list in hand and a pocket full of tip money, I bought a bag’s worth of produce (green tomatoes, broccoli rabe, bok choy, cherry tomatoes, spinach and arugula), a bag of kettle corn (which I promptly left at a vendor’s stall and completely forgot about) and a loaf of bread for this evening’s festivities.
The menu? No, not caviar on brioche toasts. My Oscar party shall not compare to the Super Bowl party with Chef Travi. Oh no. Tonight, my guests will be eating orecchiette with swiss chard, broccoli rabe and cherry tomatoes. Nothing fancy, but that’s all the market (and my budget) would allow.
And in the meantime, we’ll be crossing our fingers for all those aspiring like ourselves, hoping that some day, maybe one or two of us will make it to the Oscars, too.