Los Angeles SOF group hosts epic regional event to coincide with CAA 2009 annual meeting

lapostcardVintage postcard of LA’s Gin Ling Way, site of the 2009 SOF Los Angeles regional event

“YALE UNIVERSITY HAS BEEN MOVED TO SAN BERNADINO.”

Well, anyway, that’s what the sign said at the College Art Association conference hotel in Los Angeles this past Friday, 27 February 2009.

yalesanbernadinoSign of the times? Credit: John Marciari

Apparently, Yale had changed the location of its annual CAA party to a ‘San Bernadino’ ballroom in the hotel—but in these tough times, one never knows.

Meanwhile, to mark the 97th Annual Conference of the College Art Association, the Society of Fellows and friends of the American Academy in Rome moved decidedly off-premises, instead descending on Gin Ling Way in LA’s historic Chinatown.

The Los Angeles SOF Group had put together the warmest southern California welcome imaginable, at the ultra-hip Mountain Bar. Great Chinese food and Chinatown-themed gift packages awaited all who made the scene, as well as Mai Tais and much else.

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No matter how fascinating your conversational partner, it was hard not to glance over his or her shoulder and up at the screen on the central wall of the Mountain Bar. There was projected a mesmerizing montage of film clips—from the 1950s up to the present second—of how Los Angeles represents itself in cinema.

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Spotted: William B. Hart (AAR Chair of the Board of Trustees) and Constance Eaton; SOF Council members T. Corey Brennan FAAR’88 and John Marciari FAAR’98; SOF Los Angeles mainstays Robert Gurval FAAR’97, Leslie Rainer FAAR’99, and (the producer of the LA film compilation) Maureen Selwood FAAR’03. Very much missed: Council member Michael Gruber FAAR’96, who did much of the organization for the event, and then was called out of town at the last moment in the greater service of architecture.

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Extra bonus: as the evening progressed, Mountain Bar resident DJs Fadah Sparrow, Mr. Chin and Mr. Frew spun massive reggae and dance hall classics through a veritable pounding system.

What’s there not to like?

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