I spent most of Sunday virtually attending the Oscars, including all pre- and post-ceremony events. It was a long but interesting day.
My Oscars experience actually started about two week ago when I was approved for press coverage. Next came several pages of Oscars protocol all reporters must observe. The rules covered everything, including how we needed to set our name on Zoom, what we could and couldn’t share and a detailed timeline we had to follow. With more than 600 writers going in and out of the eight-hour Zoom session, this type of organization was necessary and actually welcome.
It even included a dress code. While I always dress appropriately for Zoom media sessions, I never saw specific rules governing dress codes. It was refreshing seeing all writers at their best.
The experience was surreal. A lot of what I saw was broadcast either on television or online, but I was able to interact with other writers throughout the day. We also had opportunities to talk to everyone there, but due to time constraints and the number of writers, interactions were limited. Most of my conversations were with lesser-known nominees in lower-profile categories but still interesting folks.
The ceremony was followed by after-party celebrations. This part was a bit odd. Since there was no interaction with writers, it was like an uninvited guest peering in the window of someone’s party. After a long day for all, the party-goers deserved to celebrate without being hounded by the press.
Because this was my first time covering the Oscars, despite the large set of guidelines sent, I had no idea what to expect. In the end, it was a very smooth, professional operation. Even with the tight guidelines, I was still able to have lots of fun with staffers, celebrities and other writers.
— John Wroblewski, online writer
For all its cosmopolitan trappings, Singapore remains, at heart, a tropical island. The city planners determinedly preserved gennery and the high groves of concrete and glass, and for a complete escape from urban bustle there still remain patches of the jungle and mangroves that covered the island when Sir Stamford Raffles first established a trading outpost here in 1819.
In this era of 6,500-passenger mega-ships, any cruise vessel conveying fewer than a thousand voyagers is considered a small ship, including high-end luxury liners, deluxe expedition ships and the world’s riverboats. The focus on many small ships is the destination rather than the conveyance, the expert chat rather than the Broadway show, the watersport rather than the casino, the scenery and culture rather than the full-service spa and specialty restaurant. Passengers make a travel style choice, forgoing the options and pleasures of a resort-sized vessel for the deeper, more immersive experience of a yacht-scaled ship.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Air Tahiti Nui resumed service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Papeete (PPT) last week. To welcome travelers back to French Polynesia, Air Tahiti Nui offers fares starting as low as $775 round-trip from Los Angeles, and $789 from San Francisco (SFO). The airline also allows a free date change on all of its tickets.
Turkish Airlines, already flying to more countries than any other airline, announced its 10th U.S. gateway: Newark Liberty International Airport. Service will launch May 21, with four flights per week between EWR and Istanbul (IST). Beginning June 1, the frequency increases to daily.
Magdalena, a Maryland Bistro in The Ivy Hotel partnered with Uncle Nearest premium whiskey to create a Preakness-inspired cocktail ahead of this weekend’s event. The Laws and Lilies libation honors the contributions of Black jockeys in the early days of American horse racing. Emmanuel S. West, Jr., director of food & beverage, The Ivy Hotel, crafted the cocktail using Uncle Nearest’s 1856 Premium Whiskey.