Archive for July, 2008

Regress

Stupid machine.  That is all.

Progress

True Story: The City of Seattle has taken space away from cars and given it to cyclists. And not just any space, but the most sacred kind of space there is in car culture: parking. A new bike lane will soon open on the west side of 4th Ave between Yesler and [...]

It’s The Water

In the several reviews that followed the release of Jared Diamond’s book Collapse, it seemed as though a multitude of the reviewers concentrated solely on Diamond’s summary of the event’s that led to the end of human occupation of Easter Island. The tone was universal, as though this information was some sort of shocking [...]

That Which Shall Not Be Photographed

The downtown office core harbors a cornucopia of uncanny urban spaces. The other day I happened to pass by the one shown above and couldn’t resist busting out the Panasonic DMC-TZ3, thinking I’d probably want to write something about how these grand entry plazas are usually such a stupid waste of space. But [...]

Answers That Lead To More Questions

I am thoroughly nonplussed and disheartened that the hugeasscity readership did not have the wherewithal to correctly identify the reason for the three-story windowless concrete penthouse atop the Financial Center building. As is screamingly obvious in the photo above, the blank concrete band at the top of the building was a critical design feature, [...]

Summer Street Scene

Orange

There are aspects of the building shown above that are more consequential than the orange wall, though that bad boy is a piece of work, to be sure. Pb Elemental’s designers, not known for subtle gestures, continue to be the local masters of ignoring context — not that that is necessarily a bad thing, particularly [...]

“The Greatest Mass Exodus of Vehicles Off America’s Highways in History”

By the year 2012, according to a new report (pdf) from CIBC World Markets on the effects of the rising cost of oil. Among the predictions:

oil at $200/barrel and gasoline at $7/gallon by 2010
10 million fewer vehicles on the road by 2012 (peak at 240 million)
15% reduction in vehicle miles traveled by 2012

If these [...]

Windowless Concrete Penthouse

What is up with that ~30 feet of blank concrete wall at the top of the Financial Center Building at 4th and Seneca? That’s a good three stories of wasted building height way up there where the views are best. Ten feet above roof level to screen rooftop mechanical equipment would not [...]

The City Called Reality

[ Illustration by Jules Feiffer ]
From The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster:
“Many years ago, on this very spot, there was a beautiful city of fine houses and inviting spaces, and no one who lived here was ever in a hurry. The streets were full of wonderful things to see and the people would often [...]

What Housing Bust?

I’m not one to bemoan the coming of more high-density housing to Seattle, but still, something seems a tad out of touch with reality in the scene shown above (and have you ever seen such a magnificent application of blue tarps?).
Seneca Towers, a 25-story, 285-unit condo tower, will soon to rise from this site at [...]

Seattle Magazine Shatters Record for the Number of Times the Word “Hugeass” Has Ever Been Printed in a Mainstream Publication

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I can hear the Seattle Magazine readership already: “Honey, I think I’m gonna get me one of them hugeass Rolexes like in that ad on the back cover.”
But really, I have to thank Seattle Mag for the kind words. Too kind probably, considering the dour tone of many of my recent posts (note [...]

Is the Writing on the Wall?

 
Here are a couple thought-stimulating quotes from a New York Times article from July 2, 2008, “Fuel Prices Shift Math for Life in Far Suburbs”
 ”More than three-fourths of prospective home buyers are now more inclined to live in an urban area because of fuel prices, according to a recent survey of 903 real estate agents [...]

Staring Up

Sunshine screaming louder – 
Sunshine look away – 
Ecstasy awakenings – 
The bringing forth of day. 
Pleasure splits the silence.
The countdown’s torn in two. 
Each part clenched between
The shudderings in you. 
Passion fruits in the maze within,
Seething like a time bomb. 
But the ancient condemnation’s just,
And crushed the spiral cord. 
The moment occurs again,
And shines without its gold. 
And chances left untook,
Have turned abrupt [...]

Billboards Are Mental Pollution

That Tulalip Casino billboard sure adds a nice touch of class to the Pearl Apartments. Why the hell do we put up with these fuggin eyesores? And the thing is, they are more than just eyesores: In the words of Adbusters founder Kalle Lasn, billboards are mental pollution:
“Our mental environment is a common-property [...]