Tag Archives: oviatt penthouse

On to Year 2!

Somewhat shockingly, it’s been a year since our amazing wedding at the Oviatt Penthouse in Downtown LA.  Where’d the time go???  Happily, we’re both still just in love as we were a year ago, and as much as we were when we first met.  I think it helps to be best friends with your partner, and we certainly are.  Anyway, we celebrated our anniversary a day early as who wants to go out on a Sunday night?  So we went to dinner at Cicada, the restaurant on the ground floor of the Oviatt.  It’s a striking art deco restaurant and we’d seen it briefly before when visiting the Penthouse before the wedding.  It was a great idea to go back – and apparently we were one of a few who wanted to be there that night, as the place was kind of empty.  Even the Oviatt Penthouse wasn’t having an event that night.  Kind of surprising, but what can you do?

We had a good time, taking an Uber there, and then indulging in the 5-course menu and enjoying a lot of Montepulciano wine.  We even saw a mid-level celebrity during dinner – Doug Savant – who had a whole bunch of his family there.  Anyway, here are pictures:

Apr 29, 2017 – Anniversary Dinner at Cicada

We had a very wonderful time at the restaurant, the service was great, the food was delicious (Italian-ish for the most part, although my main entree was a filet mignon while Larry had duck), and the ambience was just very nice and relaxed.  A great way to celebrate our wedding a scant 365 days before.

The next day, we had to recover a bit, but then ended up meeting Nicki & Austin at A.O.C., a very popular restaurant and at times, rated one of the Top 10 in LA.  So it was exciting to get to go there for brunch!  Nicki was very sweet and got us flowers and some supercool books by Abbi Jacobson (from Broad City), and also treated us to brunch.  We’re not worthy.

Anniversary Brunch @ A.O.C., April 30, 2017:

Afterwards, it was time to watch Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion and La La Land….ah, bliss.  And then of course the weekend ended and it was back to the grind.  But as a weekend, this one was not bad by any means.  In fact, kind of awesome.

Downtown Day 2017: Skyspace, Central Library, and Bradbury Building

Larry and I have had a few previous downtown days, with some being harmless fun exploring the sights….

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…in which we looked at some potential apartments as well as the MOCA and Union Station; and then a trip in which it was pretty much a pub crawl….

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….it did start out educational as we saw the Space Shuttle, but then it became pretty much an exercise in drinking around downtown LA.  It was awesome.

So today was a bit random, as I just proposed going downtown to the Skyspace experience on a whim.  I didn’t want to sit home and there were no good movies out, and after proposing it, Larry agreed, and off we went.

The OUE Skyspace LA attraction is basically the long-awaited Observation Deck that Downtown LA should have had since the U.S. Bank building was built in 1990.  But DTLA wasn’t really a tourist destination for the longest time, but now with the Staples Center, LA Live, and a whole host of people living down there now, DTLA is much different.  And I think finally it made sense to keep expanding what there was to do, so last year the top deck of the building was built to make this observation deck a reality.   Not content to be just a view, they also built a glass slide that drops you from the 69th floor to the 68th – outside of the building.  It’s a very short ride, but it is quite a thrill nonetheless.

Anyway, I get ahead of myself.  You first make your way into the lobby of the building, process through, and then go up to the 58th floor.  Up there are a few neat interactive exhibits like giant video screens showing various LA cityscapes at different times of day, a very cool peak down a very deep hole lit up like a disco, and some other random stuff.  I guess it’s to justify the cost of the ticket?

As you can see, the magic chasm was pretty fun to play around with in pictures.  After you walk through all this excitement, you take another elevator up to the observation deck on 69 – and it’s pretty damn awesome.  A nice job has been done making a very clean, open space with quite clean windows to look out and take pictures through.  I do hate when observation platforms don’t bother to keep the windows clean as you’re kind of beholden to them for pictures.  Anyway, I digress – we did take a lap around the enclosed 69th floor to get a sense of what the views were, but held off on taking too many pictures as I wanted to be outside to get those.

But you don’t take the stairs to go down to the level below…you take the SKYSLIDE.

Yeah, it’s kind of awesome.  Brief, but awesome.  Some more from the Skyslide experience:

Alright, the remaining pictures are a lot.   I couldn’t help myself though as there’s just so much to take in.

Initial Looks:

View of the Oviatt Penthouse!

Alright, a whole lot of pictures of DTLA:

Okay, I then tried to capture LAX in the distance…

And some last pics before we went back to the ground:

Alright, so that was quite a cool experience.  I’d like the opportunity to go up closer to a sunset and get those kinds of colors too, but that can be for another time.

Once we got on the ground, we were right outside the Central Library of Los Angeles, which is itself quite a stunning building.  So we went in to take a look, and also we both got a library card.  It’s my first one in what feels like forever.

Central Library, Inside and Out

We didn’t check out any books today, but maybe one day soon?   I was getting hangry, so we then started walking towards Bottega Louie but a block before getting there, we ran across Karl Strauss Brewery.  Love the place from its Citywalk location, and that felt a little more relaxed than going to Bottega Louie.  So that’s what we did – perfect fit, getting beer and grub.   After that, we then walked our way over to the Bradbury Building.  Why?   Well, Larry had figured out where it was while we were up top and we figured if we’re down here, let’s go take a look.  It’s well known for having quite the dramatic and unique interior and also for having quite iconic films set within it – notably Blade Runner.  My pictures here didn’t come out quite as clear as I’d hoped, but you get the gist.

Food, Broadway, and the Bradbury Building

Then it was a walk back to where we parked, and along the way, caught one last glimpse of the US Bank building and the Skyslide:

And now we’re back home after a  fun afternoon.  Still figuring out where to eat having had a fairly late lunch.

Getting Hitched: Getting Hitched!

There’s happily a whole YouTube recording of the ceremony because we wanted our friends and family who couldn’t make it, yet still wanted to see it, to have that ability.  Marie, our wedding coordinator, suggested this as an option and it worked pretty great.  It streamed live while it was happening while also recording it – which is how I can embed it here in this post.  Note, you can watch it here by just clicking the Play button, but it won’t let you watch it in full-screen unless you click on the YouTube icon on the bottom right to open up the video in a new tab.

Some timecode notes:

  • The first 22:30 minutes are of people arriving and sitting down, so while that actually is kind of cool to see, at least to me, you can drag the slider over and past that point and start to see when everyone is mostly sat down and Cantor Kerith comes out.
  • The entrance’s music is a little hard to hear as it comes in and out…not sure why, especially when the cantor’s words come out pretty clearly.
  • At 38:15 is when both Larry & I realize that the wedding rings are safely back in the “getting ready” room, followed shortly after by Kerith smoothly handling it and reassuring us it wasn’t a big deal.  Erin then offers to go get the rings and finds them like a champ!
  • 47:20 is when the MVP Nicki single-handedly catches the chuppah from collapsing in on itself due to increasing winds!  Still can’t believe her reflexes there, and she suitably impresses Kerith, who deftly includes some praise for good, quick friends!

We loved the ceremony and were so happy it went as well as it did!  I am so happy that Larry ended up finding the music we used to have as entrance music:  The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s medley of “Waterloo”, “Fernando,” and “Dancing Queen.”   There were a couple of possibilities we bandied about leading up to this decision, but once Larry found this I think we were both immediately sold.  And the exit music of “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do” was almost a no-brainer.

Here are some pictures from others during the ceremony!

I think there’s one more post ahead to post stuff related to the reception, and then after that will likely be a giant post, or set of posts?, to show the actual professional pics.  Still haven’t looked at them yet.  🙂

Wedding Links:

Getting Hitched: Those 2 Hours Before the Ceremony

Everything that looks effortless in fact takes a TON of work. This wedding was no exception.  It’s amazing how much time, money, and effort went into what could be called relatively small in size and attendance – you’d think it’s just book a place and it’s done.  HA!  HARDLY.  The invitation start time was 6pm on April 30, with an expectation that the actual ceremony will start around 6:30pm.  Of course you don’t put THAT on the invitation as then people won’t show up until then.

Anyway, the Oviatt only allowed people into the venue, even those who were setting things up, at 4pm.  So we had 2 hours to do whatever it was we needed to do before guests started arriving at 6pm.  Boy howdy, were those 2 hours packed.

Larry & I left from the Hotel Wilshire around 3pm to try to get through LA traffic – and driving on the I-10 east on a Saturday guaran-fuckin-tees you’ll be in traffic.  Our initial plan had been to Uber there so we didn’t have to worry about cars, but we had so much of the centerpiece stuff and other signage in Larry’s car and we tossed our initial idea of moving everything into some random Uber out the window once I started realizing that was taking a risk.  So we drove.  Of course, we hadn’t thought about making the valet available until 5:30pm, so oops, wedding party, you’re gonna need to park yo’selves!  Luckily there was an empty parking lot conveniently directly across the street from the Oviatt and that’s where pretty much everyone in the wedding party, as well as our wedding coordinator, parked.  Sveta had actually gotten there a bit early and told us that the curb area in front of the Oviatt wasn’t even clear – there was construction equipment blocking it.  I MIGHT HAVE HAD A SLIGHT MELTDOWN?  Happily, when we arrived there, we saw that equipment, but it was in the process of getting carted away.  WHEW.

Happy things we noticed while arriving – the entire wedding party was there and on time!  Also, the alcohol vendor was already there and unloading the boxes!  SWEET – people will be able to drink!!!  Sure enough, right at 4pm, they started letting us up.  Nicki then gets there and we see the chuppah’s pieces for the first time, and I know I was a little overwhelmed at first to see the giant posts/tree trunks, along with all the cement bases she decided on getting.  Wisely, she realized having the wedding party hold these massive trunks up was NOT gonna work.

During the course of that first hour, we schlepped all the signage and chuppah stuff up, along with our suits as we did not wear them there knowing we’d have to likely get dirty.  But the photographers arrived and they’re like, you need to get dressed and we want to document that too!  Ohhhh-kay!?  So we started getting dressed, started taking some pictures, and then our amazing cantor and officiant, Kerith, arrived and before we knew it, it was time to sign some legal documents.  Shockingly – Larry & I were married long before all you guys saw us in that ceremony as we signed the paperwork at 5pm or so!

4pm – 5pm on April 30, 2016 @ the Oviatt Penthouse

Some family started arriving in the 5-6 pm hour too, and luckily the Oviatt has plenty of places for people to wander around in.  All the parents were there so it was then time to sign the Ketubah with parents and the cantor.  That was quite an amazing and emotional bit of ceremony that not everyone got to see – I’m so glad we did that.  We’ll post a picture of the Ketubah eventually as it is quite beautiful to see.  (sidenote:  The photographers just sent us today the link to all the official wedding pictures they took – we’re waiting to look at them just a little bit longer….but I know they probably took some great photos of this occasion.)

5pm – 6pm on April 30, 2016

We were getting down to the wire and happily Nicki was able to knock out the amazing ketubah in enough time for us to do a dress rehearsal of the ceremony entrance.  I had already written out the musical cues when each wedding party member would enter the ceremony accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s ridiculously awesome and perfect ABBA medley of “Waterloo”, “Fernando,” and “Dancing Queen.”  So great.  The first run-through was a bit messy as we really hadn’t figured out who would go on what side, and then we wanted to balance the dress colors between the sides.  Happily, our second time doing it went perfect, and was the baseline for getting out the door for the real thing.

And of course, it must be said that this day went as smoothly as it did not just because of Larry and/or me, but DEFINITELY because of our tireless wedding coordinator, Marie.  She brought her husband, Nick, along with her to help out with the technical stuff, as well as just a second set of hands, and they took care of absolutely everything related to the vendors and making the ceremony go off without a hitch.  SO MANY THANKS TO HER.

Alright, that’s it for now – the next post, we’ll be talking about the ceremony!!!

Wedding Links:

Fran & Joel Out in Los Angeles / UFOs

Last night we drove down to DTLA to meet up with Fran & Joel as they’re out here for a banking convention.  We’ve not seen them since our engagement and Fran hasn’t seen Larry even when he got sick, so it was good that we all got a chance to see each other.  Not that Larry is doing bad, in fact, he’s doing pretty great.  Just can’t drink for now.  🙁

LosAngeles_UFO

Anyway, did you hear the story about the Trident missile that got test-launched over Los Angeles?  I was one of the many many people last night who did see that while we were driving down in to the city and believe me, I really didn’t know what the hell I was seeing.  It was kinda surreal as to me, it looked like a spotlight from a hovering aircraft, but you couldn’t see the aircraft.  I almost thought maybe a blimp’s searchlight was what I was seeing, but I did actually see the blimp that was hovering over the Coliseum for the USC game, so I knew that wasn’t it.  I didn’t think much more of it after it disappeared and then when I looked at my phone later, my NBC4LA app headline briefly talked about residents seeing weird lights in the sky, and I realized I wasn’t crazy!  While the rational side of me can appreciate the story of it being a missile test-launch to remind other countries we also have long-range ballistic missiles, I also like the idea that it was a UFO checking out the lights of DTLA.  As you can see below, they’re pretty!

2015 11 07 – Driving Downtown at Night

Dinner at Public School with Fran & Joel

More Shots of the Oviatt

Fran & Joel were up for some walking, so we walked from their hotel at the JW Marriott to Public School for dinner, then from there, it was just a few blocks over to the Oviatt.  We couldn’t go up top, but we did want to show them what it looked like.  It’s pretty cool at the bottom at night all lit up.