There are a couple of reasons that I was more than happy to attend this recent black tie gala to celebrate the completion of the Brain Mapping Foundation’s 2017 conference. The first one is that it was held at the gorgeous Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown LA. I hadn’t been to a function there in awhile, so the venue was extra-special to me. My friend and I felt like we were in a movie just entering the hotel!

The gala dinner banquet room.  Photo by Karen Salkin, as is the big one at the top of the page.

The gala dinner banquet room. Photo by Karen Salkin, as is the big one at the top of the page.

Secondly, (which should really be the primary reason, but need I remind you that I’m shallow?,) ever since I had that mini-stroke last year, I’m always interested in any research that pertains to the brain. I had always taken my brain for granted, (as I think most humans do,) and had never thought about the health of it. But now I know more about how brains work than I could have ever imagined. And there’s so much more to learn! Even with all my worry about my own situation, I find the topic fascinating.

The subject of brain-mapping is too long to get into here, but if you’re curious about it, I included the Brain Mapping Foundation’s website at the bottom of this page, so please check it out when you get a chance. With knowledge comes power, so the more we all know about the brain, hopefully, one day, all these disorders will be a thing of the past.

The chicken-and-vegetable kabobs. Photo by Alice Farinas.

The chicken-and-vegetable kabobs. Photo by Alice Farinas.

Now back to the shallow aspects of the evening, which I’m sure even the most brilliant doctors there also enjoyed. The beautiful cocktail reception was held in the Tiffany Room. The lovely wait staff, especially our favorite server, Jose, kept the generous hors d’oeuvres flowing for hours! I swear, we never had to wonder when another tray would be coming around; it seemed like one was always on offer. It was a perfect assortment of tasty tidbits. (But they were so much more hearty than mere “tidbits.” Each one was practically a meal unto itself!) There were colorful chicken-and-vegetable kabobs, beef skewers, vegetarian egg rolls, and our favorite—potato samosas. And each one came with a side of a different, interesting sauce. (And there was still a full dinner, featuring filet mignon, to come! Are you beginning to understand just a little bit of why I love events at the Biltmore?)

Photo by Alice Farinas.

Photo by Alice Farinas.

Here’s something that I found very interesting that I’ve never seen at an event such as this one before: While the hungrier guests ate and drank in the Tiffany, the main portion of the assemblage opted to hang-out in the hallway outside the cocktail party room! They were just happily mingling out there! Maybe they felt it was better lighting for the many photos that were being snapped all night. Who knew that doctors and scientists could be such a convivial group?!

Inside the Tiffany Room for the cocktail portion of the evening.  Photo by Alice Farinas.

Inside the Tiffany Room for the cocktail portion of the evening. Photo by Alice Farinas.

Speaking of the crowd, I give the guests major props for looking great and being dressed appropriately for the occasion. They all took the words “Black Tie” on the invitation seriously! This was the most gowns I’ve seen since the Oscars! (And none of these were screaming for attention as those awards show frocks were.)

Wonderful food, well-dressed guests, a classy venue, and amiable service—what more could you want from an event? Just the medical knowledge that the speakers imparted, which you can learn for yourself below.

For information about the Brain Mapping Foundation, please go to: www.brainmappingfoundation.org


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