Monthly Archive for June, 2002

Biography of an Architectural Icon

coverI start­ed read­ing this book, Divid­ed We Stand, a biog­ra­phy of the build­ing of the World Trade Center.

Writ­ten before the col­lapse on Sep­tem­ber 11, though informed by the ear­li­er bomb­ing in 1993, the author offers con­text and cul­tur­al com­ment on what was arguably the world’s most famous build­ing (were they one or two build­ings?). What is espe­cial­ly shock­ing is that not only was it one of the last cat­a­clysmic ‘urban-renew­al’ mega-schemes held over from the 60s, (it was com­plet­ed in 1972), that elim­i­nat­ed 16 blocks of low-income (though thriv­ing) com­mer­cial space, but also it was the largest gov­ern­ment-spon­sored real estate spec­u­la­tion in the his­to­ry of the world.

Man­aged by the Port Author­i­ty of NY & NJ, a dubi­ous orga­ni­za­tion, it was pitched as a ‘ver­ti­cal-port’, to replace the decay­ing ship­yards below, (which were trad­ed quid pro quo to NJ for their ‘ok’ to build the WTC). What it became, was a state-spon­sored play­thing for the Rock­e­feller broth­ers, (both Gov­er­nor Nel­son, and Chase Man­hat­tan CEO David). With mas­sive tax breaks for ten­ants, the city of New York lost mil­lions of dol­lars in tax rev­enue, and by the mid-1970s was bankrupt.

Pres­i­dent Ford, at first, decid­ed to let NY wal­low, but polit­i­cal pres­sure forced him to orga­nize a bailout. Fun­ny. How could you con­sid­er let­ting America’s first city implode, and expect to get elect­ed as America’s first citizen?

hi! Detroit Sucks. Big Suprise.

hi! Detroit sucks. big suprise. my aunt has one of those black Dells that that dumb blonde kid on TV is always telling peo­ple they’re going to get “it”… and she has a cable modem. so hot.

The cig­a­r­rette smoke here can be cut with a wed­ding cake knife. In fact, i’m doing that now… wav­ing, and wav­ing a knife around so as to breathe.

UPDATE: I don’t appre­ci­ate the ras­cist com­ments, so I am fil­ter­ing them now.

I will allow neg­a­tive or dis­re­spec­tive com­ments, but cer­tain kinds of lan­guage are out-of-bounds.

Play nice & thanks,

That Detroit de Stijl

Tomor­row is very busy…

I have to pre­pare and give a pre­sen­ta­tion to the M.I.S. depart­ment at the City of Nia­gara Falls in the morn­ing… via con­frence call. Always fun. We will be dis­cussing the Web site that I want to build for them. It will be MySQL dri­ven with Con­tent Man­age­ment and every­thing. The goal is to allow their sec­re­tary (or intern?) to be able to update the site, if need be. I have to build the tools to get it done.

Sec­ond, I’m fly­ing to Detroit in the after­noon. Wednes­day is my Cous­in’s wed­ding (!!!). I don’t know what to make of Detroit. Per­haps I will have more to say when I get back. Hey, it’s the home of the White Stripes, and, after­all, i’m from Buf­fa­lo… so? Should be fun.


i’m in but­ta­lo. i need to leave now. it’s get­ting late.

The Bilingual Hoax

I know that peo­ple might find this objec­tion­able, but if said peo­ple just took a step back, I think they’d see it’s very good news…

> City’s bilin­gual pol­i­cy repealed

Sebastian, You’re in a Mess…

Belle and SebastianBelle and Sebas­t­ian released a sound­track to the Todd Solondz movie Sto­ry­telling. I need to buy it.

Also, I’ve got 4 tick­ets to the Strokes and White Stripes show in august at Radio City. I am some­what psy­ched, that is for sure.


Here is my reli­gious break­down, accord­ing to the high­ly sci­en­tif­ic Belief-O-Mat­ic. I find it amus­ing that I was raised Catholic, yet it’s at the bot­tom of the list. I think it must be a func­tion of my revulsion.

Also, I’m some­how 77% New Age, and 64% Sci­en­tol­ogy. Booooooooo. Fuck­ing Scientologists.

1. Uni­tar­i­an Uni­ver­sal­ism (100%)
2. Lib­er­al Quak­ers (91%)
3. Neo-Pagan (79%)
4. New Age (77%)
5. Main­line to Lib­er­al Chris­t­ian Protes­tants (77%)
6. Reform Judaism (73%)
7. Sec­u­lar Human­ism (72%)
8. Mahayana Bud­dhism (67%)
9. Bah?’? Faith (65%)
10. Sci­en­tol­ogy (64%)
11. New Thought (64%)
12. Sikhism (59%)
13. Hin­duism (56%)
14. Ther­ava­da Bud­dhism (55%)
15. Chris­t­ian Sci­ence (Church of Christ, Sci­en­tist) (54%)
16. Ortho­dox Quak­er (53%)
17. Jain­ism (51%)
18. Tao­ism (50%)
19. Non­the­ist (46%)
20. Ortho­dox Judaism (46%)
21. Islam (42%)
22. Church of Jesus Christ of Lat­ter-Day Saints (Mor­mons) (28%)
23. Main­line to Con­ser­v­a­tive Christian/Protestant (27%)
24. Sev­enth Day Adven­tist (24%)
25. East­ern Ortho­dox (16%)
26. Roman Catholic (16%)
27. Jeho­vah’s Wit­ness (14%)


I real­ly am tempt­ed to write a Slate-like cranky crit­i­cism of the new Buf­fa­lo Bills uni­forms, but I will try to say some nice things: The dark blue is great. I like the stripes with the gray on the helmet. 

(Here comes the cranky part) So, if you’re going to make an “update” with the new dark­er blue, why would you keep the lighter roy­al blue? Wouldn’t it be nice to put the num­bers in red, or gray? or the new dark blue? Doesn’t that light blue look just as dat­ed now as it did last year? Why do the white uni­forms have a blue bar on the shoulders?

And the logo—change the f*cking logo. I think the Sabres got the logo RIGHT. It’s tough, mod­ern and looks fuck­ing great on the front of the uni­forms. The Bills logo (much like the orig­i­nal Sabres jer­seys) is the bor­ing old abstract cor­po­rate-art that is a direct rip-off of that 1970s Buf­fa­lo pro­pa­gan­da “WERE TALKING PROUD”. Talk­ing Proud? We’re talk­ing MISERY.

Let me tell you what I real­ly think. In a move true to this nos­tal­gic age we live in, the Bills tried to pre­serve many ele­ments of the old uni­forms, while updat­ing the col­ors a lit­tle. The result? It’s an inco­he­sive mish­mash of styles and col­ors, try­ing to be every­thing to every­body and it fails all around. There is noth­ing intim­i­dat­ing about these jer­seys, nor is there any­thing “new”.

Fear and Loathing in the New Economy

I’ve been feel­ing hor­ri­bly anx­ious today… Try­ing to find an afford­able apart­ment in Cam­bridge for Sep­tem­ber with­out a job is not some­thing I’d rec­om­mend to the squeamish.

We found a jew­el of a place at 922 Mass Ave. It has hard­woods, a small kitchen, large eat­ing room, a small­er bed­room (who cares), and a large liv­ing room. It’s on the 4th Floor, (no ele­va­tor, which sucks), and it faces Mass ave.… $1100 a month. That’s noth­ing in that neigh­bor­hood between Har­vard and Cen­tral Squares.

One tiny prob­lem: they don’t take stu­dents, and they want us to earn a com­bined salary of $60,000. So let’s tal­ly this up: Between the two of us we have one job, that ends this month… and one of us just grad­u­at­ed in may, (odd­ly, she is the one with the job).

Now this is a com­plete­ly dumpy build­ing in-between two great neigh­bor­hoods. The halls remind me of an army bar­racks or some­thing. There is noth­ing here that shouts ‘wealthy pro­fes­sion­als’. The motif is gray, It’s a huge build­ing that does­n’t look well kept. But ohhh… that apart­ment is so nice, and it’s only $1100/mo. Imag­ine the lav­ish vaca­tions and high-end elec­tron­ics pos­si­ble from such low rent. And, it’s a few blocks from the red sub­way line. No more anx­ious dri­ving and park­ing and dri­ving to find parking.

So, it’s time to find gain­ful, law-abid­ing employ­ment. Time for lit­tle Ned­die to grow up. Still the fear… and the anx­i­ety is get­ting to me. I think the moti­va­tion is also wrapped up at the promise of free anti-depres­sants via a health plan. What a con­cept! Health insurance.





i got burnt– we went to the beach in Glouces­ter today… i layed on my stom­ach, lis­ten­ing to the red sox — yan­kees game, and neglect­ed to put sun­screen on my calves of all things. Red as popped-cherry.