I have no Irish blood in my body, but having grown up in the Boston area, I like to think I know a thing or two about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. This year I had the opportunity to check out the festivities as a guest of Tam O’Shanter in Atwater Village.
I arrived and immediately noticed the place was bustling with patrons of all ages. An elderly couple was dressed in elaborate costumes and ready to head home just as I was getting started. Children ran around devouring green ice cream cones. I stood in line with my companion for fifteen minutes waiting to check in. The young lady who greeted me was full of smiles as she handed me my four tickets (normally $8 each) that were good for food or beverage. We wandered into a giant tent filled with people dancing and enjoying the Irish music stylings of The Ploughboys.
I walked to the bar to wet my whistle. For $16 (two tickets), I ordered a Guinness and a Jameson on the rocks. I watched as the bartender poured my Guinness into a tiny plastic cup and proceeded to take a tiny little plastic shot glass and measure what would have been a half shot anywhere else. I’ll accept this practice under protest at the Staples Center. However, for an establishment that charges $21 for their cheapest entrée, it is nothing short of tacky.
We were very curious to try the food inside the restaurant, but with the wait being long and the prices being sky high, we opted for the street food. A corned beef sandwich on rye or a roast beef sandwich were priced at $8. For $12 you could get a corned beef and cabbage plate that goes for $26 on their regular menu. We chose to split the corned beef sandwich on rye. The meat was flavorful and tender but by the time we arrived at a table, the cabbage on the side made the rye bread soggy and crumble in our hands.
My plus-one and I decided we would avoid another sandwich fiasco and split another drink with our final golden ticket inside the hot and humid tent. Despite the hot temperature, the band playing onstage made every bead of sweat worth it. Their energetic performance truly dictated the atmosphere of the party. Parents indulged in green beer as children danced in front.
Tam O’Shanter’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party: County Fair feel at Disneyland prices.
Yes, the Sundance Film Festival is a playground for moviemakers, but indulging in its unique fashion, food, and music events is part of the whole experience.
The largest evening of independent music at Sundance, Koffeehouse Chateau featured fourteen sublime acoustic artists playing before a roaring fireplace in the intimacy of a private manor miles from Park City. One of the performers, American Idol alum, Crystal Bowersox glowed, "I'm so happy to be here. My first Sundance! I just finished my second album (due late March). It has a duet with Jakob Dylan, and all original except for one track (“Here's Where The Story Ends” by The Sundays)."
Kari Feinstein's Style Lounge offered new lifestyle brands for the celebrity set (Katherine Heigl, Courtney Love). Feinstein, now in her 13th year of hosting style lounges, says, "Style is the way you carry yourself and your attitude and the way you feel about yourself. If you feel good about yourself, and have confidence - you have style." Who also showed up? Matthew McConaughey (photo courtesy of KFPR).
Sean John at TR Gifting Suites went the extra mile and donated brand new coats to needy New Yorkers for every coat they gave away at Sundance as part of New York Cares Coat Drive.
OAKLEY LEARN TO RIDE
Oakley Learn To Ride escorted festival-goers up the mountain with Olympic medal winner Danny Kass, and taught them (and celebs Adrian Grenier, and Brazilian supermodel Allesandro Ambrosia) how to snowboard. By night, Oakley's space transformed into Sundance’s own Hyde Lounge.
Snowboarder and rapper, Lil Jon, and pal Octavia Spencer at Oakley Learn To Ride (photo courtesy of Getty Images/Fingerprint Communications):
Then, animal lovers convened on CatDance, a celebration of cats in short films. Adorable celebrity host, AnnaLynne McCord, proud owner of two kitties, cited "What's New Pussycat?" as her favorite 'cat' pop song. Proceeds from the limited edition black and grey cat-inspired hats (seen here on McCord) benefit the ASPCA.
THE PROMONTORY FEAST
The culinary highlight of Sundance was Chef Bill Reilly's exclusive five star Italian feast (inspired by the Sundance winning film, Big Night) at The Promontory, THE luxury community in Park City.
Carlo Mondavi, grandson of Robert, presided over the meal's wine pairing with his 2009 Continuum Cabernet - full of dark chocolate and black cherry accents. Needless to say: Mmmm! If you can find it, check it out!
GREY GOOSE BLUE DOOR
Speaking of alcohol, the Grey Goose Blue Door on Main Street, which also featured a fantastic Sorel boots gifting suite, served my favorite cocktail in all of Sundance: a Hot Apple Pie. Here's the recipe...
1 ½ oz Grey Goose Poir (pear)
½ oz B&B
¾ oz Cinnamon
4 oz Hot Apple Cider
A hot mug and garnish with lemon zest and clove (You're welcome)
Needless to say, we all felt warm and happy with this cocktail. Already looking forward to next year in Park City!
Last night in Hollywood a crowd of lucky fans got to sit in on a Q&A with the cast and crew of NBC's seminal soap, Days of Our Lives, at the Harmony Gold Theater. The evening, hosted by Outfest, NBCUniversal, and Absout, honored the daytime drama's socially-conscious and historic storyline involving Will Horton (played by the Emmy-nominatedChandler Massey), who recently came out of the closet to his friends and drenched-in-drama family (played by actors Bryan Dattilo, Alison Sweeney, Lauren Koslow, and Wally Kurth, who were all in attendance).
Also in attendance was veteran actress Deidre Hall, who plays Marlena, everyone's favorite doctor who's been kidnapped, killed, brainwashed, and possessed by Satan (ah, the 90s). She also happens to be Will's understanding, unconditionally loving, and super stylish grandmother (!).
What made Hall return to the show that made her and her character a household name (she left a while back) was the rejuvenated, character-driven storylines that were focusing more on family and relationships, particularly the one showcasing Marlena's grandson.
During the panel, moderated by Entertainment Weekly's Tanner Stransky, co-executive producer Greg Meng said he's proud to introduce the timely story and promises that this won't be a flash-in-the-pan stunt other soaps have been guilty of committing. He very much stressed that Will's journey will unfold "organically," in a realistic way, and continue to have an effect on those around him (stay tuned: his mom, drama queen Sami, reacts in classic, Sami fashion).
When asked if he did any research while preparing for Will's emotional epiphany, Massey credited some of his friends back in his native Georgia, where they had been openly gay in high school -- in a town with a population of 8,000. The actor went on to say that despite the positive reaction and support viewers have given him, there was one surprising instance that stands out: shortly after his character's sexual awakening, he received a bible in the mail from the mother of an ex-girlfriend (We wonder if that bible-thumper still has Days on her DVR).
Check out what stars Deidre Hall and Chandler Massey shared with us at the afterparty during which fans had a chance to get up-close with the actors:
We're loading up on some New York pizza, Chinese food (that fortune cookie reads "Your tongue is your ambassador" -- chew on that), and bagels, so check back with us next week when we're hating ourselves while cringing on the scale next to the Christmas tree.
In the meantime, enjoy some shots from the East Coast as we prep to head back to L.A. and jump back into the swing of things soon.
Where can you see late-night host Jimmy Fallon play a cowboy with a split-personality, get slapped by French supermodel, and do a one-on-one interview the great white from Jaws? Only in Hollywood.
HIH got to hang out with the comedian after he rocked center stage at Universal Studios Hollywood on Thursday to perform a witty rendition of “Tram-tastic,” a new theme song he penned to mark his small screen debut as “Host” of the theme park’s signature behind-the-scenes Studio Tour, an attraction that has taken over 150 million visitors behind the scenes of the movie and television industry’s biggest hits.
As the Studio Tour's new “Video Host,” Fallon will introduce a series of clips that will be seen on the HD monitors located in each Tram car to augment the “live” narration provided by Universal Studios Hollywood’s tour guides. Each clip features Fallon inserting himself into a variety of roles within a Universal Studios backlot location that replicate an array of movie scenes and depict how various settings are utilized in film production.
“We really had fun with filming my role," Fallon said. "We brought some writers out from our show and added some jokes, more play with the Studio Tour guides, the tram drivers and we added a song or two. The tour itself is a classic, a really great experience. For anyone with any interest in show business, it’s all there: the glamour, the glitz, all the hard work that goes into making a movie or a TV show can be experienced on the Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour. I’m very happy to be a part of it.”
Stay tuned for some video footage from our fabulous day in the park!
...for her new movie, Friends with Kids. Also starring Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt.
The comedy is about a couple who decides to have a child and keep an open relationship after seeing the stress kids create in their friends' relationships. We're guessing Megan plays a temptress who snags herself a married man.
Last night entertainment group Cake Live hosted a special evening of comedy at The Improv on Melrose, and HIH had the privilege to attend.
Emceed by Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander, the night delivered plenty of laughs brought on by the comic talents of John Henson, Bruce Fine, Jamie Kaler (My Boys, pictured below), and Elon Gold (Bones).
Also in attendance were members of the hot new band The New Admirals (above with Jason Alexander, and below) who are poised to break out in 2011 (more details on their debut album later...stay tuned for some news straight from their recording sessions).
The special event, the third annual of its kind, benefited the Boston University in L.A. Scholarship Fund.
Hollywood just added another hot address to its map.
The Alta Hollywood is the latest residential property to make a splash in Los Angeles. Literally located across the street from the famous Hollywood and Highland complex, the gorgeous residence offers varied levels of comfort and luxury. Two-story penthouses with fabulous 20-foot ceilings. Dazzling lofts to use as you choose. Spacious terraces with incredible views of the city and Hollywood hills. In every home, stainless steel appliances reflecting an ultra-modern style. And stunning quartz counters in the kitchen and baths.
Luxurious amenities are available for every resident. Get some cardio in the Techno Gym, cool off in the pool, then walk down the street for some lunch at one of the city's world-renown restaurants.
Melrose Place ain't got nothin' on these apartments (Miniskirt-wearing vixen landlady not included).
Wanna know more? Contact Alta at altahollywoodCM@laramarapts.com.
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