We ripped off our jackets and tossed our hair back like supermodels as we stepped off the Southwest airplane we had boarded in overcast San Francisco, to arrive in Burbank’s summer heat at the start of our Hollywood weekend. As Editor-in-Chief of FitNFabs Magazine, I was invited by its publisher, Rosalidia Dubon to tag along with her as she prepared for the summer issue release pool party. Rosalidia got behind the wheel of an over-sized sedan and whisked us off to our Airbnb accommodations at the La Belle apartments neighboring the famed Hollywood Tower.
Stop number one on our itinerary was lunch at Dream Hollywood Hotel’s rooftop poolside restaurant. I wore a blue shirt dress with flip-flops, and my companion went with a form-hugging burgundy dress. Our table for two looked out on the city streets below and onto the rooftop pool deck across the street. Aromatic planter boxes overflowing with lavender plants lined the low concrete barrier and protective glass panel walls.
As we waited for our lunch order to arrive, Rosalidia said, “Let’s take a selfie!”
Phone at arm-length we took a few pics. In one of them, my smile was too goofy, and in the other I had a low-key bemused look which was good enough to go social. Rosalidia got to work adding virtual eyebrow darkener and lipstick to my face with an Instagram app. I nodded consent when she was done touching us up and out it went onto Instagram and Facebook.
Still not completely comfortable with taking selfies, I had the chance to watch Rosalidia in action as she took selfies after getting her makeup done by a professional makeup artist the next day. Snapping pictures in a booth with perfect front lighting, she kept the phone high above her head and to the side. I’m thinking this helps slim the face and eliminates double-chins and wrinkles.
Social Photo Ops
That night we rocketed to the 71st floor of the US Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles. OUE Skyspace occupies the building’s top floors and offers 360 panoramic views of the LA skyline. A clear slide attached to the outside of the building descends two stories at the height of 1,000 feet. The slide attracts tourists during the day, and a new ultra-lounge with unbeatable views draws adults at night. We were invited to check out the unique digs by a past FitNFabs cover model, singer Ranella Ferrer.
When we arrived and were looking for the lounge, we passed several photo opportunities. There was a recording booth with hanging mic, LA sports memorabilia and an odd psychedelic decorated mailbox to nowhere. Rosalidia struck a Mariah Carey pose in the booth, while I pretended to put a letter in the mailbox commemorated by a super silly Boomerang video.
We found our way to a staircase that took us down a level to the lounge. A DJ played mid-90s hip-hop/R&B the same stuff that was blasted at my high school dances. Two outdoor viewing decks looked out on the sparkling hillsides and streets below. From our vantage point, we were looking down on nearby skyscrapers. A glass deck panel had a set of decorative fairy wings decaled on it. Rosalidia took my picture in front of the wings and city below. I feel pretty good about the picture, although it’s dark!
Back inside, two touchscreen photo stations were set up so that visitors could take pictures against different fun backgrounds. It was difficult to figure out where the camera was within the screen and made for many disconnected and awkward shots. Finally, one came out where we were both looking in the right direction.
Many Ways to Social Share
The next day, FitNFabs pool party was held at Sunset & Vine Apartments, with the Hollywood Walk of Fame as the sidewalk. Apartment residents and FitNFabs fans from LA and the San Francisco Bay Area joined in the tropical pool-side fun. Another DJ played hip-hop while swimsuit-clad 20 and 30-somethings cooled off, socialized and drank up around the pool.
A mix of selfies, live-streaming to social media and photo booth collaborations documented the release party. The FitNFabs sponsored photo booth offered outlandish hats and funny disguises for attendees to play with. A camera took automatic shots of the crazy poses, either printing them out or delivered them via email.
At the party, I exercised my new found selfie-taking skill and took part in a few photo booth shoots. Thanks to my trip to Hollywood, I got enough practice to feel confident in whipping out my cell phone to take great-looking selfies!