Gore 2.0

This American Prospect cover story by my favorite blogger—and now full-fledged journalist&mdashEzra Klein give me some great hope for the future. A number of things are coming together lately to make me feel like we’ve passed a point of inflection, that we’re beyond the nadir of this—in too many ways—crappy decade. I have to hope that we’re at the start of a new enlightenment.

New Digs

Just moved into new virtual digs here. Needed some more bandwidth and storage for my…kilobytes of content and…non-existent readers. Can never be too careful.

Ohwell. Not working? Lemme know.

Urban Vision

This article from today’s NYT has got me all happy and excited. I’d previously heard of—and enthused about—Teddy Cruz’s project with Casa Familiar in San Ydisdro, which is, in my mind anyway, similar in concept if not in form to such projects as the Scandinavian-inspired Yulupa Cohousing development in my own town, and to a lesser extent the Fruitvale transit village in Oakland.

These types of projects deal with several areas that would be the focus of my work were I to get into the urban planning field:

  • Densification of the US urban space, for the purpose of reduced energy usage. (Mantra: The current development pattern in the United States is harmful and unsustainable from the perspective of resource usage, and therefore needs to change.)
  • Densification of the US urban space, for the (subjective) purpose of increased quality of life and greater community. My viewpoint may be naïve, but I’ll need to find that out in my own time.
  • A personal love of the organic, hyper-mixed-use, always innovative and inventive urban spaces frequently seen throughout Latin America. Much like Mr. Cruz, I’d love to see such concepts adapted for use in the US.

Everything I need to know I learned from paper products

Wisdom that I quite liked from my Starbucks cup this morning:

The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

— Anne Morriss

Glimpses of Suburban Dystopia

The most recent article in the New York Times’ excellent series on class in the US has terrified and nauseated me for reasons I can’t fully verbalize. It focuses on the transient upper-middle-class denizens of new (primarily) Sunbelt satellite suburbs like Alpharetta and Plano. The views, priorities, and desires of these people are simply so distant from mine that I have a difficult time comprehending them. But more than that it feels…insidious.

…maybe I’ll manage to expound on this later.