Tuesday, July 12, 2011

West Coastin' pt. I

 Signature California

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out in California for 3 days. I went in hopes of snagging a 2011 Black Weblog Award for my work here on RoxFontaine.com. Unfortunately, I was bested in all 4 categories that I was nominated in.  It's all good though!  It was a fantastic experience full of exploration, new people and laughter. That was enough for me......this time.

I landed in LA at 10am on Friday. After flying to and from Japan so many times at 13-16 hours a clip, this 5 hour flight was a breeze. As soon as I touched down, everything was super smooth sailing. I grabbed my checked bag quickly, hopped on the hotel shuttle and checked in 5 hours early at no charge. Sweet. I stayed at the Renaissance LAX and it was a very enjoyable stay. Nice room, lame view though, great staff and convenient location.

I'm good in the 'hood.

I dropped my bags off and immediately took off to do some exploring. My first order of business was to find a barber shop and get my noggin in order. I walked over to Inglewood and got myself situated properly at Sport Cuts. My next stop was Culver City Mall (Fox Hills Mall for the OGs) to do some light shopping. I grabbed a few things after mulling around for a bit and then headed back to the hotel for some food and a much needed brief rest.

I kicked back in my room for a short while and then it was back up to shower and change for a private screening of the film "Attack the Block", courtesy of Screen Gems and the BWAs. We took a bus from the Marriott LAX to Arclight Theaters in El Segundo. We were quickly escorted and in and taken to our reserved seats in the theater. "Attack the Block" won an audience award at the Sundance Film Festival and it's easy to see why. The film is a tale of some tough kids from inner city London who thwart an alien invasion. If you're a fan of films like Grindhouse, Shaun of the Dead and/or the Scary Movie series, you'll like this film a lot. It's very funny, vulgar, gory in parts and wildly enjoyable if you're into this style.

Some other Hollywood sign.
On Saturday, after a solid nights rest, I got up early and took off to Hollywood before the awards show. It was very interesting to see the subtle differences between California living and New York living. Little things like bike racks on the city buses and parking cameras with open/closed space indicators or electric vehicle charging stations and parking meters that take credit card were very cool to see. I walked around the area, took a few shots and gazed on a few sections of the Walk of Fame.

Of all the stars that I could have happened upon, I was most excited about finding the star of Stepin Fetchit. That joy quickly turned to slight anger at the state of disrepair his star was in. While I didn't see all of the stars, I saw more than a few and none but Stepin's was defaced, broken or as unpolished. His controversial career in movies is still a source for debate but I'm of the mind that he was a pioneer.
Fix it!

I grabbed a few drinks at a local bar and then it was back to the hotel to shower and prep for the awards show. I was super excited as the reality set in that I was nominated for 4 2011 Black Weblog Awards. It was great to say while I was promoting and campaigning for votes but as the moments drew nearer, I became a bit nervous.  This was the first live presentation of the awards, so it was even more unnerving knowing that people would be watching everything in real time.

The awards were a blast. Hosts Rene Syler and Kim Coles were hilarious and despite several miscues (Not all their faults.), they kept us engaged in the show. The winners were announced sequentially with brief interludes in between groups of about 8 announcements and I came up short in all 4 of my categories. I was only slightly stung by my loss in the Best Photography Blog category. The winner of this category does NOT do photography. They shouldn't have even been nominated in this category. The site owner himself said so. However, I knew going in that I was likely by far the smallest of all the blogs nominated and that winning by popular vote was nigh impossible. In previous years, there was always a popular vote winner and a judges vote selection. Judges vote was apparently axed this year and despite attempts to find out why, I wasn't given a response.

It's all good though! I had a great time and met some really nice and interesting people. I have to again thank Britni of Clutch Magazine and Maya for their time and energy. I also want to thank the cool guy from London representing "Brothers With No Game" who needs to remain anonymous.  We hung out after the show and went to Roscoes Chicken and Waffles to chat and build. It was a ton of fun! There are so many quotables from the day that kept me in stitches however, hands down, the keyword of the day was "ratchet" courtesy of OluLuvvie AdeRatchet.

Check out a couple more photos from Friday/Saturday and check back for West Coastin' pt. II soon!
Cliche, but still cool.

Even Cali is on their NY $#!t.

Cali Valley Swag.


This would be plastered in NY!


Britni Danielle said...

i approve!

was great meeting you, sir. we MUST do it again soon.

Rox Fontaine said...

The pleasure was all mine. You're the best!

Luvvie said...

RRRAAATTTCCCHHHEETTTT!!! It was a pleasure meeting you, Rox! You had me cackling all night. Sorry to see you didn't win any of the awards. We can form a "Folks nominated in multiple categories but ain't win squat" club.

Rox Fontaine said...

Likewise, Luvvie! I'm so down for the club. LOL