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Crosstown revelry

You missed a noteworthy component when you named the venues that USC students are patronizing in downtown L.A. [“No Helmets Required,” Nov. 30]. Of the four bars you mentioned, none are frequented by SC students with any real magnitude. And after reading the comment by Daniel Ness, “We don’t need to cater to them ... you don’t want a bunch of frat guys spilling Jagermeister everywhere,” I can see why.

My partner Mark Verge and I purchased Casey’s Irish Bar in 2002, long before any of the bars on your list were in existence. We reached out to the students at SC, and they responded in numbers. To our surprise, we learned that many of those students had heard about our place through one or both of their parents who had frequented Casey’s when they themselves were students at SC in the early ‘70s. Now, there’s not a night that you can walk through our bar and not run into someone wearing cardinal and gold. On Saturdays there are no fewer than 100 students and alumni crammed around the TVs to watch road games, or coming in to celebrate before or after home games. The USC Knights hold their membership meetings here and almost every house on the Row has booked the place for a party.

With just a little more research, you would have come across the one bar in downtown L.A. that actually does resonate with the students of Troy.

MICHAEL WINN

Los Angeles

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The fluff piece you wrote about the rival drinking habits of UCLA and USC students wouldn’t normally have irritated me any more than other annual pack mules like “Old Town is new again” or “Winter is a great time to go to the beach.”

However, there was one inane statement that I could not abide. When you began to describe UCLA hangouts, you wrote: “Though far from a destination neighborhood, Westwood does have a few bars and clubs within a bike ride of campus.”

Are you saying that no one attends the three dozen or so films premiering there every year, let alone the half-dozen theaters within a half-mile radius? No one goes to the Hammer Museum or the numerous bars that dot the village? Nobody except fugitives sees the JazzReggae Festival or the L.A. Times Festival of Books? Only old pensioners with early-bird coupons must eat at the restaurants and enjoy theater at the Geffen Playhouse.

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What you are really telling us is this: Westwood does not conveniently fit into your definition of “what’s the latest coolest thing,” until, of course, next spring, when you run out of places like Eagle Rock, Echo Park and Abbot Kinney to pimp. Either you don’t know Los Angeles very well, or you don’t know what a destination is.

Sloppy writing, even within the Calendar section, is not only careless but assumes ignorance on the part of the media audience.

STEPHAN ROBLEY

Santa Monica

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I just wanted to point out that you neglected to mention UCLA’s a cappella groups.

UCLA’s Awaken A Cappella is Southern California’s oldest co-ed a cappella group (yes, they were here before USC’s), and has recently made quite a splash in the music world outside of collegiate a cappella. Their cover of Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” is one of the top requested songs on KCRW-FM (89.9).

In addition to Awaken, UCLA boasts at least three other groups: Scattertones (also co-ed), Random Voices (all female), Bruin Harmony (all male, and new this year), as well as groups that perform in hospitals and around the community.

Though the crosstown rivalry doesn’t really apply here (the groups often perform at each other’s concerts and work together to raise money for AIDS Walk Los Angeles), I felt the need to point out this oversight. USC is not the only one with fantastic collegiate a cappella.

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KIMBERLY WEISBERG

Woodland Hills


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