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.