Wednesday, July 25, 2012
OBSERVING LA PRIDE
As I continue to seek an identity in Los Angeles, I was
exposed to expressions of LA cvic pride at two events.
The Central City Association ( http://ccala.org/http://ccala.org/ )
organized an intelligent and dignified ceremony honoring people
who had contributed to the enhancement of life in Los Angeles.
"How Los Angeles Invented The World," a stupid exercise
in civic boosterism was presented as part of "Pacific StandardTime"
http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/ at The Getty Center.
(See my blog posts regarding this event:)
The Central City Association has played a central role in the
revitalization of Downtown LA by representing the interests
of downtown real estate owners and investors. In the 1970s
when New York City was on verge of bankruptcy, Manhattan
real estate owners recognized that the value of their properties
would decline unless neighborhood cleanliness and amenities
were maintained. ABNY, Association for a Better New York,
was founded to protect Manhattan real estate investments.
Since that time, ABNY has become a paradigm for other cities,
including Los Angeles.
CCA's "18th Annual Treasures of Los Angeles" event was held
in the Grand Ballroom of the Bonaventure Hotel (see above).
I understand that approximately 600 people attended paying
$500 each. This testifies to an endorsement of the CCA's program
and to individual and corporate expressions of civic pride. The
honorees this year were:
Yang Ho Cho, chairman and CEO of the Hanjin Group, whose
subsidy, Korean Air, is constructing a new hotel on the site of the
present Wilshire Grand.
Good News Foundation, a non-profit charity bringing together
the talented women behind television news.
LA Galaxy, the championship Los Angeles soccer team.
Hugh Hefner, the legendary founder of Playboy magazine and
its associated enterprises.
Andrew Meieran, innovative developer of night clubs and other
Helen Ziering, arts benefactor, humanitarian and philanthropist.
They join the list of honorees shown above. This constellation of
civic leadership demonstrates that there are cadres of Angelinos
in all walks of life who demonstrate pride in their city and contribute
to its vitality.
As confused and disconnected as I continue to be in Los Angeles,
I can recognize that there is a dedicated constituency of people who
contribute to its emerging role among a constellation of global
cities. I have worked with such people in New York, Paris, and Rome.
Those cities benefit from the legacy of generations of residents who
have contributed to the fabric of city life. Los Angeles does not have
that kind of social and cultural history; however, it clearly has a
group of citizens who view their city with affection and who contribute
to civic endeavors.
Above: Honoring The Last Remaining Seats Committee of the
Los Angeles Conservancy, on the stage at the Orpheum Theatre,
Los Angeles, June27, 2012.
As a member of the Last Remaining Seats Committee of the Los
Angeles Conservancy, I joined other committee members on the
stage prior to showing "Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood." As a
volunteer, I was being recognized for a minor contribution to the
cultural life of Los Angeles.
When I walk around the streets of New York, I am constantly reminded
of when and how I made contributions to the life of that city. Not to
diminish the significance of the Last Remaining Seats Committee, I
hope that I might yet find a niche in Los Angeles and, like the many
Central City Association honorees, contribute something of value to
the lives of others who reside here.
Posted by Allon Schoener at 4:44 PM