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,
Ned

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.

Buttalo

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.

Belief-O-Matic

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%)

<sports>


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 “WE’RE 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.

fdgh

fdgh

Burnt

fook.

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.