The first time I ever went to a CoLAB, I thought to myself: "Wow, this feels like a modern version of those salons from the 1800's." And then I had to go home and look up "salon" on Wikipedia to make sure I wasn't completely full of shit. Sure enough -- "a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to increase their knowledge of a field through conversation." In which case, CoLAB counts as a salon on steroids.
On the second Tuesday of every month, painter/sculptor/explosion enthusiast/all-around badass Kevin Flint and his cohorts hold a gathering at the Dystopian Studios compound inside the old Pabst Brewery, where adventurous souls from all different worlds -- film, art, music, gaming, tech, fashion, literature, science, business -- get together to exchange ideas, network, and most importantly, collaborate, forever building a better mousetrap thanks to each other's expertise. (All while drinking a fair amount of the host's fine boxed wine selection.)
It makes for a fascinating, knowledge-sponging kind of night -- last time I was there, I met a guy working on a book about the cultural history of divorce, another who builds automatic weapons that shoot Airsoft pellets, and a gobsmackingly attractive female news anchor from Cartagena who had probably seen more decapitated bodies than anyone I've ever met personally (and who, in a weird coincidence, was a big fan of a horror movie I wrote a few years ago.) Just goes to show you never know who you're going to cross paths with at something like this. Get thee to the Brewery tomorrow night, the world needs better mouse-traps.