**eastward movement is included


this crappy blog could really use a facelift ...

... but i don't have the time right now.

however, i did have the time to spend the last seven minutes of my life reading this article here.

the ideals discussed are most certainly applicable to the field of architecture, if not anything 'design.' this encourages/energizes me more than anything else since i had the pleasure of watching the webcast of this thom mayne lecture here.

on this sunny friday afternoon at 5.15, my goal was to pin down a blog-worthy article, filled to the brim with profundity, pithy observations and ... well, positivity.** needless to say, i couldn't have possibly found a better piece of reading material.

**this is apparently something i am completely devoid of.


there is sun and spring and green forever.

let me start off by saying that i'm struggling with my propensity for fighting losing battles. all it takes is five days sweating in kansas city and one computer rendering to find myself up to my armpits in something new to rant about; context.

thanks to one of my reliable sources, this morning i had the privilege of viewing the latest rendering of a new parking garage at kansas state, designed by architect ken ebert of manhattan, kansas. as one would expect, the building is utterly forgettable, a missed opportunity, a good reason to annul my annual donation, etc.

i sent the image to my dad, who replied that while the building isn't anything new, {which is obviously the point} it will 'match' the buildings surrounding it. whatever.

i only slightly agree. yes, the building is borrowing from the pre-existing aesthetic, but it’s pretty apparent the amount of thought pretty much ended there.

i’m sure the older buildings were built on different principles; stability, strength, and a regionalist sensibility in terms of their materials. this new parking garage proudly mimics those principles. i use mimic because of it’s inherent negativity.

moreover, while i am aware this is occurring in rural kansas, i still don't feel as though this is a reasonable justification for giving people what they 'think' they need. ksu students and staff have been bitching for years that the campus does not provide adequate parking. RIDICULOUS. everyone wants to drive to class when manhattan is a terribly small town. it's safe to assume that this university, like most universities, is full of forward-minded professors, designers and other staff. these highly educated, new york times-reading, espresso-drinking, op-ed-writing intellectuals should have seen this as an opportunity to do something great for the school, if not the community. this could have been something that represented a little foresight; perhaps even something just slightly unconventional. instead, they’ve created a structure that is prison-like, imposing, and dangerous {I can’t wait to hear about the first reported rape occurring inside that thing.}

lastly, while back home i took advantage of the FIFTY CENT bus fare {reduced 'ozone' rate, i know} and rode the bus the entire time in kansas city. i had the pleasure of riding in an air-conditioned vehicle, complete with cushioned seats and convenient and frequent stops wherever i needed. i parlayed this experience into a host of awkward conversations with family members and a few old friends, therefore constructing my own personal island built on principle and thrift.

in the end, it's clear that i've been infected by portland. all the things this town eccentrically prides itself on aren't necessarily applicable in other big cities, for good, better, or indifferent. however, ignoring the problems that we have created for ourselves in terms of waste and limited resources is the most harmful thing we can do to ourselves. the tired notion that "it's just kansas city" or "i can't live without a car" need to run their course.

rant over.


how do you spell 'SOLEY'?*

at last, i feel compelled to write about something besides music. i've addressed this habit before; my unwillingness to discuss anything related to 'work.' at this point, i'm considering this my version of 'not bringing work home with me.' more proof that i'm becoming more like my dad more and more every day. but i digress ...

two days ago {august first} was a special day for myself and a few of my co-workers. we took it upon ourselves to jump on the light rail {the 'max' if you're cool} and rode it to portland's hollywood district. hollywood is a strange part of town, not because it features a strange amalgamate of chinese, italianate, mid-century modern, and hilariously mediocre 21st century buildings similar to southern california's Hollywood, but mainly because of it's perplexing inability to reach it's full potential as a powerful, self-sustaining district. where cafes and restaurants should be wrought with activity, there are copy centers with oversized parking lots. where low to mid-rise residences should be proudly bordering Sandy Boulevard, predictable, reliable small-box-chains like starbucks and whole foods shops are posting up.

sandy boulevard cuts diagonally through the east side, much like new york city's broadway. as a result, wonderful triangular blocks are created. intuitively, these are attractive parcels, and seem conducive for an active street life and remarkable urban design. portland has a strange ability to create these incredible visual corridors, on both the west and east side. in terms of sandy's uniqueness, the views into the street from the peripheral, residential areas are abundant and dynamic. on the flip-side, these angles do create a significant amount of confusion in terms of driving, but i'm of the opinion this is a simple function of unfamiliarity and the construction occuring on the street itself.

in the end, we collectively postulated that much like Portland's thriving districts {the pearl, hawthorne, the 23rd/21st street corridors, st. johns, etc.} convincing the general public, as well as property owners and developers, that while investing in the enrichment of Sandy Boulevard is a a difficult and risky task, the upside is limitless. every new 'district' faces that obstacle. my boy nolan and i stand by entirely different standpoints about portland's rising {literally} south waterfront. it's a textbook example of a seemingly asinine development move, but is also one that will one day be considered 'necessary' and a 'visionary' move. i disagreed with him at first, but i think my argument is slowly crumbling. nolan did get his undergrad at colgate and a masters from penn in urban design. i went to a state school in eastern kansas.

the point is, this was an evening of ideals. everyone present still believes in all that is good and positive about really providing for the public. it is our responsibility in every sense of the word to be thoughtful, considerate, and calculated about what we do.

strangely enough, this 'walking analysis' was thrilling. we looked at hidden opportunities, missed opportunities, little mistakes, and outright criminal developer moves. in other words, i felt fucking alive. lucky, i work with a group of people who are so terribly in love with their work that their energy is undeniably infectious and addictive.


i leave in fifteen minutes for eugene to see the completed project i have been so consumed by over the past several months. a reflection piece via blogger? probably not. probably. who knows. right now, i'm too focused on my trip home next wednesday, preceded by a trip to crater lake and the official opening of the treatment center and celebratory tailgate party {i'm not kidding} with the oregon community. in howard slusher's words, "if you didn't like oregon before this project, you sure as hell will hate us now."


okay, i obviously can't help myself ...

albums currently rotating >

The National > Boxer.
Archie Bronson Outfit > Derdang Derdang.
White Rabbits > Fort Nightly.
Lucky Soul > The Great Unwanted.
The Fiery Furnaces > Bitter Tea.
Fugazi > Red Medicine.
Girl Talk > Night Ripper. **
What Made Milwaukee Famous > Trying Never to Catch Up. ***
Wilco > A.M.
Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton > Knives Don't Have Your Back. ****
Handsome Furs > Plague Park.
Clipse > Hell Hath no Fury. **

* question overheard by a co-worker {principal} while typing this. yes. i'm at work.
** again?? yes!! again.
*** this album is average, but i keep on listening.
**** this album is LEGIT.

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New York, New York, United States
I take myself too seriously most of the time and I am trying to do that less. I remind some people of Woody Allen. I occationally indulge in the weekend camping trip. I adamantly support the Kansas City Royals baseball club. My identity is wrapped up in a few simple things, most of which are continuously displayed on this here blog.

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