Most people don’t need an excuse to fly into “SoCal,” or Southern California as it is known. Rolling out’s reason was a rather good one: the fifth anniversary of Tiffany R. Warren’s AdColor Awards in Beverly Hills. This premier industry conference is dedicated to ushering in diversity and inclusion in the advertising, marketing and media fields in America.
The greater Los Angeles area arguably possesses the largest collection of recognizable landmarks, streets, events, places and personalities of any city the world. And it doesn’t hurt one iota that La La Land boasts tropical temperatures year-round.
Midnight Thursday-Friday: We landed at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) just after midnight. We checked into the Radisson Los Angeles Airport hotel on Century Boulevard, a street with a bevy of every kind of hotel to tend to any sensibilities, prejudices, tastes or appetites.
8 a.m. Friday: After a short rest, we loaded up for our one-hour trek from LAX, which is actually located in Inglewood, to the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. In non-rush hour traffic, the drive would only take about 15 minutes. But there is no such thing as non-rush hour traffic in Los Angeles. We opted to take La Cienega Boulevard from the airport through L.A. and into Beverly Hills instead of taking I-405, which resembles a backed-up sink — in both directions — for most of the day.
La Cienega is one of the main arteries that cut through the region and an assortment of famous landmarks are sprinkled liberally along this endless road. On the way, we passed by Randy’s Donuts which has been featured in countless West Coast rap videos. We raced by both of Magic Johnson’s properties — Magic’s Starbucks and Magic’s T.G.I. Friday’s in Baldwin Hills. We also inched passed one of my favorite LA eateries, Grand Luxe, at the Beverly Center. And you’ll also see Larry Flint’s headquarters towering above the traffic. The SLS hotel is a magnificent edifice of comfort that General Motors put me up in during the NAACP Image Awards in March. Yes, my friend — that was name-dropping done right.
The Beverly Hilton, where the AdColor awards weekend was held, is as ostentatious as it is famous. The Golden Globes is hosted here every year. It is also the place where I shook hands with Michael Jackson during Jesse Jackson’s birthday party in late 2007.
In the afternoon, my colleagues and I needed to gather some supplies, so we ventured down Crenshaw Boulevard, another famed vein that cuts through the region, and stopped at Baldwin Hills’ Crenshaw Mall. Having already been to the nationally known Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, we decided to visit Earlz Sandwich Shop for deliciously sloppy chili dogs and pastrami sandwiches. On a previous trip, we headed down Wilshire Boulevard toward Pacific Coast Highway and stopped off for breakfast at Snug Harbor, which offers absolutely delicious menu items and a soothing atmosphere.
Later in the day, after departing the Crenshaw area made famous by Boyz N the Hood, we checked into the Renaissance Hotel, also off Century Boulevard, for the evening. With two statues of marble lions patrolling the lobby area, this hotel has comfort with a bit of flavor.