Wednesday, August 06, 2008


On July 11, I attended the Farmlab's "Under Spring Optimist Breakfast...So-named because the first such program was held early in the morning in 2007 underneath the N. Spring Street Bridge on a Friday the 13th. 'That's a date and time only an optimist would love,' said one of that program's organizers. The upbeat moniker stuck" (link).

It was great catching up with old friends from USC, like my Professor Manuel Castells, who gave the keynote talk at lunch later in the day and at breakfast, whose talk proceeded, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. It was also sweet running into Janet Owen, who participated in a USC Free Culture panel I helped organize and moderated entitled, "“Free[ing] Culture in Los Angeles: Beyond the Ivory Tower" (link). See my photo-stream from the day.

Mayor V rolled in well after the morning's talks had begun. It was amusing watching the Mayor scan the "room", urrr, outdoor public space under the bridge, trying to find fellow V-supporters to make eye contact with. It was even more interesting to see the Mayor respond to Manuel Castells' talk on "Grassrooting the Global City," particularly how Los Angeles could create a system of "distributed, grassroot parks" and move away from the inclination for "grand" central parks. Take a listen of the talk, unfortunately, I ran out of memory when Castells get to the heart of how Los Angeles can embrace such a vision. Given that Castells is one of the most intelligent men on the earth, it's still a good listen. Enjoy.

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