Newsletter | Jan/Feb 2007Volume 35:1 | Search
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Travelogue from the EditorShare #38
Happy New Year one and all! I have started 2007 at a running pace and thankful for it. However to counterbalance the hurriedness I have committed to practicing yoga. And for that I have OWA to thank. I initially got interested in yoga at the OWA Annual retreat last September. Then after a second class (see below) I decided to commit to one year of yoga. I'm delighted to have found a studio only four blocks from my house with convenient morning classes! The teachers are terrific and very encouraging for a newbie like me.
I experienced a lovely December enjoying impromptu get-togethers with family and friends with little or no holiday stress, yea! It's a liberating experience to decide NOT to be chained to the holiday hoopla and let events unfold as they may.
A long time artist friend of mine was invited to have an art exhibit at the Sundance Resort in Utah. So, being one of her 12 closest friends I got to go for her opening event. Wow-Sundance is unlike a typical resort setting. It is non-centralized, it has no large lobby for people watching, no snotty staff, and a taxi system of hybrid vehicles to shuttle you around as needed. The people at Sundance, in Utah, and even at the airport were remarkably nice, polite, and helpful. When we arrived mid-December it had just snowed for 48 hours-a skiers paradise. It snowed for the entire hour long drive from the airport to the resort. The drive through the wall of mountains is stunning to look at as well as the several cars that just seemed to drive right off the road. The exit to Sundance lead to a winding road that ended at a snow drenched parking lot. A very pretty parking lot. Luckily the resort assigned staff to direct new arrivals as any signage could not be seen under the snow!
The first morning I woke up and looked outside I thought I had arrived in Narnia. Every tree, shrub, and eave was dusted with snow. I could hardly wait to get outside but was happy to be snuggled beneath a warm stack of blankets. While the accommodations are very comfortable and thoughtful they are not luxurious or ostentatious. The draw is nature. Icicles, snow laden trees, semi-frozen waterways, and meandering paths leading you eventually where you want to be. The ski lift was situated between the townhouse-like suites and the communal places, restaurants, store, reception, and deli. It was fun just to stop and watch the skiers flying down the hill.
Sundance Resort was the second setting I took a yoga class: 'Yoga in a Yurt'. And at 35ºF it was the polar opposite of Bikram yoga. Good thing my room had a steam shower to thaw out in.
My friend's opening was a huge success. The paintings and video installation looked awesome. This trip was so good, so much fun that we are planning a yearly reunion.
My Favorite ThingsShare #39
I was the lucky and grateful recipient of two terrific books this holiday season. I'm sharing this with OWA members because I think you might enjoy them as much as I did.
The first gift book is almost 500 pages of photographs by the inspiring Annie Leibovitz, A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005, Random House, NY. If you haven't seen it or read a review these photographs tell a personal and individual story. I have "read" this book at least three times in the last month. I strongly recommend reading the introduction by Ms. Leibovitz It's as revealing as her photographs. She leads an unconventional and non-conformist life. Good for her.
The second book I received and read which left an imprint on me was, The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan.The Penguin Press Without a clue to the contents and having not read reviews prior after reading this "expose" I was delighted, repulsed, and changed. I am thinking about food purchasing and food consumption in an awake state now. The book is not about not eating meat; it's about meat production, vegetable production, and dairy production. Organic or not, all that glitters is not gold.
Movies. If I harbor any holiday traditions movies would be it. After returning from Sundance I was looking for a Redford movie (DVD) I hadn't seen. I found a good one: The Clearing. It also stars Helen Mirren and Wilhem Dafoe. I would say it's compelling and unexpected. Another good "under the radar" film I recently watched was Stranger than Fiction with Emma Thompson, Will Farrell, and Queen Latifah. Miss Thompson plays an author with a terrible case of writer's block, Mr. Farrell plays a CPA with the IRS who falls for one of his "clients", and Ms. Latifah plays the assistant we all need from time to time.
Informal Group EventsShare #40
On a related note, my neighbor and OWA member Mui Ho recently introduced me to the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley, just down the street, in the shadow of the Berkeley Rep Theatre. Checking out their web site I found an upcoming play, called "Private Jokes, Public Places" written by Oren Safdie (son of Moshe Safdie) and directed by Barbara Damashek. This is a satire on academia, specifically architecture. It is set during a thesis presentation by a young woman to a panel of men. It runs April 6-May 13, 2007. I'm thinking it might be a lot of fun to get a group of us together to see. Send out a Yahoo! Group email if you're interested.
Another event that the Steering Committee is interested in organizing is a round table discussion on "Best Practices of Architectural Firms" focusing on billing issues, reimbursable expenses, employee vs. independent contractor, etc. We are looking to do this casually at a restaurant on a Sunday afternoon. We are thinking about 8-10 participants and if more people are interested we'll try to find a restaurant with a private room. We'll send out an email to solicit interest and restaurant suggestions.
OWA Annual DonationShare #41
As most of you know who attended the Holiday Benefit party, the Steering Committee had planned to ratify a donation of $5,000 to a non-profit group called, Unitus. Our call for a ratification vote elicited many questions concerning who, what, where, and why. At the end of a lively discussion the vote was not taken. In the next newsletter the Steering Committee will address those concerns.
Yahoo! GroupShare #42
We encourage members to join the OWA Yahoo! group. This is a dynamic forum that can address questions, topics, etc more readily and efficiently than our bi-monthly newsletter.
For instruction about how to join the Yahoo! group, please refer to the group instructions.
Holiday Benefit PartyShare #83
On the MoveShare #46
Double congratulations to Elaine Hsieh on successfully passing her LEED AP exam and on her new position as a Green Building Specialist at Kema Services, Inc. in Oakland. After two years (+) service to OWA Elaine is transitioning off the Steering Committee. We have two new members on the Steering Committee and would still like to add a "web-savvy" person to work with us on the web site and database issues. Please contact Elaine for more information on this position.
Many thanks to Elaine for her dedicated work on the OWA Steering Committee. As Elaine transitions off the business end of OWA we hope to see her at events throughout the year. Also our appreciation to Elaine's husband, Ryan McCormack, for getting our web site and other technically challenging projects up and running. Again many, many thanks to this dynamic duo!
Newest Steering Committee MemberShare #47
Judith Rodden is a registered Architect and relatively recent transplant to the San Francisco Bay Area from Northern Virginia. She is a Virginia Tech alumnus and has many years of diversified experience in institutional, commercial, residential, and transportation design. Her primary focus in the last ten years has been on the planning and design of educational facilities. She switched coasts I n2005 to manage the Bond Program at Cabot College with DMJM Management. Her most recent experience has been as a senior planner in DMJM's San Francisco office working on the Master plan for the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field. Judith Rodden has a standing commitment to sustainable and environmental design and is a LEED Accredited professional.
Since leaving DMJM this past June, Judith has been concentrating her efforts on the production of an hour long pilot/special for PBS titled: Architecture: San Francisco Bay Area Style. She hopes it will be expanded to a series highlighting architecture in other cities.
Also in June, she welcomed her daughter and new son-in-law to the Bay Area. Judith lives on beautiful Telegraph Hill in San Francisco overlooking the bay and looks forward to being an integral part of the OWA.
Welcome Judith. We look forward to working with you!
In our next newsletter we will meet another new Steering Committee member, Larissa Sabsay.
2007 OWA CalendarShare #48
The 2007 OWA Calendar has been posted. Take a look at all of the exciting things we have coming up!
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