In my eight years as a reporter, I’d never gotten an assignment quite like this one: Fly to Los Angeles for a weekend to cover the Emmys as a guest of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board’s Meet L.A.
Late Saturday afternoon, Sept. 19, I arrived at the Loews Hollywood, a sleek, 20-story hotel just around the corner from the TCL Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. I had time for a quick look around the legendary movie palace before heading to Cleo, The Redbury Hollywood hotel’s nouveau-Mediterranean, 200-seat restaurant, for dinner with a representative from Meet L.A. Our server offered to bring out the kitchen’s favorite dishes, and he showed no restraint — we sampled reinterpreted spanakopita and spicy cigars, Brussels sprouts roasted with hazelnuts, oysters, tuna tartare with citrus and avocado, branzino, and roast lamb with Israeli-style couscous. After the meal, we headed up to The Library, the hotel’s indoor-outdoor rooftop bar, for cocktails and a commanding view of the Hollywood Hills.
Sunday morning we visited the Grammy Museum, where the 200-seat Clive Davis Theater, a terrace, and several smaller spaces are available for events, followed by brunch at Faith & Flower in L.A.’s South Park district. There was a mad dash to blo W Hollywood for hair and makeup before we headed back to the Loews Hollywood to get ready for the 67th Primetime Emmys. Before the broadcast, we joined a group of planners, also hosted by Meet L.A., for a cocktail reception at The Conga Room, a kitschy-chic lounge co-owned by a handful of celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez and will.i.am.
The Emmys were held at the 7,100-seat Microsoft Theater, part of the L.A. LIVE complex downtown. It was exactly 100 degrees on the red carpet — which is much longer than it looks on TV, by the way. The view from my seat in the first row of the mezzanine was fantastic, and the show’s organizers found a great way to keep the audience in their seats during commercials. The large-panel screens framing the main stage encouraged people to take a photo with the person next to them and post it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #myemmysneighbor. (Here are more Emmys-inspired planning tips.)
The three-hour ceremony gave way to a slow shuffle down to the lobby level of the theater and then through a mazelike parking garage, where I saw Frances McDormand — who mere hours before had won an Emmy for her title role in the HBO miniseries “Olive Kitteridge” — and her husband, director Joel Coen. The evening ended with an intimate outdoor reception at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE, where planners and representatives from Marriott and Meet L.A. hit up the buffet for a late dinner and showed off their celebrity snapshots.