[FAR-West] Site for this year's conference

Smith, Nick nsmith at cityofpasadena.net
Mon Jan 26 16:46:26 EST 2009

This is purely unofficial, and not in the context of my position on the
board, but I wanted to present a couple of impressions of this year's
conference site, just to get people thinking...

1) The rooms for private guerrilla showcases are really nice. It felt
like they were larger than in past years. We had roughly 20 people
standing inside one of these sleeping rooms, during our tour of the
facilities. Not 20 seated, but even so, think about that for a
moment...Standing room for 20 people in a hotel room...

2) This year's conference site gives folks the option of taking the
train to and from the conference, which would mean fewer baggage
problems for musicians. The Irvine train station serves both Amtrak and
Metrolink. That means if you're traveling from the Los Angeles or San
Diego areas, you can travel by train quite inexpensively. Amtrak from
Los Angeles to Irvine is $13, and by Metrolink it's only half that!
There's a taxi stand at the train station. It appears to be about a
10-minute taxi ride to the hotel from the train station, which means
pretty cheap if you have a couple of people sharing the ride.
The train ride from either San Diego or Los Angeles is pretty
comfortable. From Los Angeles it's about an hour. From San Diego, it's
about 90 minutes.

3) We might swamp the main restaurant at meal times, but the hotel has a
small, informal coffee shop which will take some pressure off at
breakfast and lunch. In addition, there are a couple of restaurants
roughly a block from the hotel, including a Souplantation. So, barring
bad weather, there are walking-distance options.

4) There are some really nice outdoor areas, so if the weather is good,
those might make good jamming areas. Please understand that almost any
weather in this area would be considered good by the standards of most
of the region... :-)
We are currently experiencing what southern Californians consider "bad
weather". That means it rained a little last night, and the temperature
is under 60.

--Nick Smith

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