Filed under: GREEN BUILDING, POLITICS, SMART GROWTH
Get 200-plus civic-minded people together in a room, ask them to envision a “sustainable” city, and you can be sure of one outcome: They’ll come up with some high-minded ideas.
The ultimate question, of course, is how — or whether — anyone will ever convert those dreams into reality. But that’s not the question that the EnvisionATL brainstormers were trying to answer Tuesday, Scott Briskey of Sustainable Atlanta, the nonprofit that organized the event, insisted toward the end of the three-hour session.
Read the rest at Green Building Chronicle.
This photo illustrates how Atlanta has developed in the modern age.
Background: Cool view of the downtown skyline
Foreground: Ugly parking lot marring otherwise nice view
I walk all over town and take tons of photos exactly like this. In the distance, a really great view of the skyline — including some distinctive buildings that are Atlanta’s urban calling card — but right in front of you, some modern monstrosity that completely eclipses whatever you’re looking at.
In some ways, it’s even more jarring in Buckhead where you’ll see ultra-modern skyscapers on one more corner, and across the street an old-school Rooms to Go with acres of parking out front.
I was recently at the new location of the Atlanta Press Club at 191 Peachtree Street. And the view from the 49th floor is quite interesting; intellectually you know Centennial Olympic Park is a hop, skip and a jump from Peachtree but it’s amazing how close they are when seen from up high. On the ground? Just feels farther, probably because some of the streetscaping you pass on your way to the park is hideous.
But otherwise, everything is great! Have a nice weekend.
Perkins+Will architects Bruce McEvoy and Paula Vaughan took me on the layman’s tour just before Thanksgiving of what may be Atlanta’s most significant renovation of the year.
Their firm’s new building, directly across from the High Museum, used to be an early 1980s oddity with a glass facade that stair-stepped between concrete supports. Not only was that western face an invitation to solar frying, but the building’s Peachtree Street presence was basically a wide, cobblestone driveway into a parking deck that occupied the first floor.
After a gut job so thorough that the building’s tracking Platinum for LEED Building Design and Construction, those two bizarre features have become strengths. Check out the photo tour and my article about it on GreenBuildingChronicle.com.
I sometimes console myself about Atlanta’s transit woes by comparing our city to Los Angeles. No one doubts L.A. is a great, world city, even though it does not have a comprehensive subway system like New York or Boston or London.
But now I read in The New York Times that Los Angeles is making SERIOUS investments in extending its existing subway system and also building a light rail system.
In Los Angeles, Big Step Ahead for Mass Transit
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
Published: November 25, 2010
The auto-obsessed city has embarked on the biggest expansion of its mass transit system in decades.
Read the story here.
As we head into the holiday season and think about those things that we are thankful for, there are certain traditions in which we and our families all partake.
Let’s place near the top of the list our enjoyment of this 2008 Thanksgiving video by then-Gov. Sarah Palin. It has become a seasonal rite around our holiday to watch this interview — and I hope it will become a seasonal rite for yours as well. For the few of you who hadn’t seen this video before, the interview took place after Ms. Palin had pardoned one turkey inside and stepped outside into the slaughtering area.
What are you thankful for?
Oh and gobble gobble Happy Thanksgiving a little early!
Oh this is no ordinary popcorn. She combines butter, cheese and I think maybe brown sugar or caramel with hot popcorn, and oh it’s addictive!
When I arrived at the market last Friday for lunch, I was heading to Ciao Bocca, the Italian lunch counter I’ve written about. But you see Miss D. as soon as you enter the market, and I’m powerless to say no to popcorn. Also, Miss D. is quite persuasive! Just look at that face (above)!
So popcorn was my appetizer. Here was my main dish, courtesy of Deborah at Ciao Bocca:
I mention Sweet Auburn Curb Market on this blog because a central market is a key part of any city. I mention it because the market is a place where you can hang out. You can see what the vendors have, maybe grab a coffee at Cafe Campesino, look at books at the new book stall, chit-chat with other shoppers about the news. And maybe catch a flick (Ciao Bocca and Grindhouse Killer Burgers both project movies at their lunch counters).
Atlanta’s only public market is a work in progress. And it’s a work in progress that I like to observe regularly. So I like to make it a destination on Fridays. As a freelance writer often working at home, I can feel isolated. Going to the market allows me to take a break and do something that humans have been doing for centuries — shop at the market.
In a story on Creating Loafing’s site, Chad Radford quoted the owner as saying the business has been suffering because it doesn’t have a booking agent for musical acts.
That’s probably the reason the owner has decided to forego a liquor license and de facto call it quits.
But, here’s a thought: how awful is the location? See it in all of its glory in the photo above.
I know, I know: hipsters like gritty, industrial spots. But this place doesn’t scream Last Chance Saloon in the Edward Hopper vein.
This screams: dead-end, not-going-anywhere, developers-couldn’t-bother-to-build-a-nice-shopping-center, city-couldn’t-bother-to-ensure-new-developments-are-not-eye-sores, now-I’m-going-to-off-myself-but-it-may-not-even-work-and-I’ll-survive-but-in-bad-shape.
There’s also the fact that it’s actually a bit tough to find.
From walking around that area a lot, I have the impression many people proceed south on Boulevard and don’t know where to turn (actually it’s not a turn, it’s a veer-off onto the weird elevated part of the road that leads to DeKalb Avenue). And once you miss the turn, it’s not easy to find your way back.
Just my two cents!
Hopefully Lenny’s is able to hire a booking agent and stay afloat. The Historic District Shopping Center may find it hard to fill that space with another tenant.
The state DOT PR woman told me staffers counted 24 members of the public at a public hearing last night in Atlanta to review recommended routes for a proposed high-speed rail line to Chattanooga.
I pointed to my one-year-old son and asked if they included him in that number. She said they’d actually talked about that, and decided not to count him.
Well, really now. I have got to protest: At the rate that Georgia builds passenger rail, my son may have been the only person in the room who stood a chance of actually riding the thing. Of all people, shouldn’t he be counted?
This week, the high-speed line is moving one … very … small … step closer to maybe …
Check out Georgia Health News, a nonprofit news site launched today by former AJC reporter Andy Miller.
I predict that Andy’s site will become a significant resource for health industry workers, advocates, policy makers and a lot of us patients. In fact, if you’re interested in local health-care news at all, you will now have a dependable place to keep up with it in Georgia.
OK. Yeah. I’m biased. Andy’s a friend of mine and I did a wee-wee-wee bit of consulting for him in the early stages of his venture.
But if you stop and think about it, Read more