31 October 2009

Born Again

Happy Halloween

J. Cobb's artwork on display at MiCa 12V now.

30 October 2009


Senate Restuarant, about to open:

[where: 1212 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202]

29 October 2009

Zombie Subdivisions

Click CNN to see a news video about why these new streets have no houses on them:

View fayetteville in a larger map

Then look at this graph comparing sales of existing and new homes:

I'd like to see the graph above with a line added showing old house demolitions/abandonments, because in the recent past, we were building more than we needed... or at least more than we could afford.

I Need Change


28 October 2009

NYC Bike Lanes

Great video explaining the bike paths in New York City. The paths range from Class 1 which is a protected path separated from traffic with parked cars, to Class 3 which is a smaller, shared street. I have heard from associates in NYC that the pedestrian and bike friendly redesign that is expanding all over Manhattan is making the streets much more usable.

Springfield Township

Hamilton Avenue: Unincorporated Area.

I remember this area of town pretty well from when I was little. We had a great aunt that lived right around here, and there are some side streets here named after presidents: Roosevelt, Lincoln etc.. that have modest houses on tiny lots:

This was Franks Nursery and Crafts, Now "OverFlow" Church:

Franks sign still up:

Across the street a closed, quanset hut drive-tru. I rember going here with my dad a long time ago:

27 October 2009

FLW in Oak Park

When in Oak Park, IL last week, we did a quick walk around to see some Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. I have seen them all before, but I was much more fascinated with Unity Temple than I had been previously. The interior space does not photograph well, but flows exceptionally well. Anyone interested in architecture really should visit this building IMO.

Unity Temple facade, supposedly influenced by childhood play with Froebel Blocks, facing the main street of town. Where is the grand entry of most churches?

Elevation Dwg of side street elevation, entry in middle:

Here is the Floor Plan they give you at the church. Where the words say "Unity Temple" that is the main street side:

All early cast concrete:

concrete planter:

Unity Temple interior

Dance on interior

Then a few houses:

Heurtley House circa 1902. This was were we explained "horizontal" to my son:

Hills-De Caro House, circa 1906. This was a remodel of an existing Victorian house:

Nathan G. Moore House, circa 1895 English Elizabethean. This is not purely Wright, as it was a remodel from a Tudor, remodeled a second time by Wright in 1923. I like it a lot. It sits on a corner, and this is the back porch:

Not sure of the name of this one:

FLW Home and Studio Entry

Stone FLW Nameplate at home and studio:

26 October 2009

Spirit of Cincy Car


Seen at Home Depot near Ridge Road

25 October 2009

Court St Comedy

Anybody know anything about this new occupant?

The Comedy Box, Inc. I like the flower pots.
[where: 36.5 West Court St., Cincinnati, OH 45202]

24 October 2009

Halloween Color Scheme

Seen in Covingtong, near Mainstrasse:

23 October 2009

Issue 9 Mythbusting, or Why Issue 9 is not only about the Streetcar

There are a lot of myths flying around about Issue 9 as we approach the election. It seems every stage of the process has been designed to confuse and deceive voters. I thought the use of "deceive" was a little harsh until I heard COAST defending their wording of the ballot issue, now I feel very comfortable with it.

Now I am not saying I have heard all these myths from COAST. Some are only implied in their rhetoric, and some I have heard from others. I am also sure you can add more in the comments, please feel free.

MYTH: Issue 9 is only about the Streetcar
FACT: Issue 9 will affect a much broader range of projects

I don't think we need to belabor this point. We have already covered COAST's use of the "Queen's English" (their term for technical legal latin abbreviations) that make the wording appear to focus on streetcars and trollies, while covering any light passenger rail. I know COAST likes to mock the issue of it affecting the train at the Zoo (even though it would). I am more concerned of the impact on passenger rail systems like the proposed high-speed rail connection in Ohio. If I really wanted to be more conspiracy minded I would pursue the fact that most of COAST's members live in the burbs, and the effect of this issue could cause the rail to stop in one of those communities rather then go into the city. All in all, if you are against the Streetcar, voting Yes on 9 is like going after a fly with a sledge hammer.

MYTH: Voting Yes on Issue 9 will stop the Streetcar
FACT: Voting Yes on Issue 9 will require another vote to stop the Streetcar

Here is the Yes on 9 sign:

It's kind of your worst work-realted nightmare. The meeting to determine when we need a meeting. The only thing a Yes vote guarantees is that we will have a vote if the city wants to build a Streetcar, or use public funds to bring high-speed rail into the city, or expand the train at the Zoo. Seems silly, doesn't it. Now to be fair, "For Cincy Jobs" seems a bit of a stretch for the No on 9 signs, but Yes on 9 will not stop the streetcar.

MYTH: Voting Yes on Issue 9 is a vote for democracy
FACT: Voting on Issue 9 is democracy already

I find it amusing that they wrap this issue in the concept that Yes is about democracy. "We Demand a Vote". Well, we have a vote. It's called representative democracy. We vote representatives into office, and they make decisions. If we don't like those decisions, we vote them out. We do this because a majority rule on every single detail of public issue is truly counter-productive. It is not because people are too dumb to vote on it, it is because people don't have enough time to fully educate themselves on every project. Rail is going to require a big-picture perspective on things. It is going to require that the decision makers balance a number of issues. It does not work well in a sound-bite popular vote. We can already see how folks are trying to deceive voters.

MYTH: Voting Yes will slow down those hasty politicians
FACT: Seriously? The problem in Cincinnati is we move too FAST on things?

It will slow down the process by creating extra hurdles, but is Cincinnati's problem that we move too fast, or we move too slow? We all know the apocryphal Twain quote. And wow, Fountain Square west moved SO fast. And that Bank's project... if we could have only slowed that down.

MYTH: Vote Yes because the government shouldn't be making these decisions without a vote
FACT: Why are we starting this now? The government already makes these decisions

You remember when we all voted for the Fort Washington Way project? And on the proposed expansion of 75? When are we voting on the Brent-Spence Bridge? Oh wait, we don't. The government heavily subsidizes the road system. I'm glad they do, but the gas tax isn't paying for all of the cost associated with the system. Frankly I could care less about the 75 expansion, I don't need to ride that section of 75. So why don't we vote on that? Because we need folks to look at the big picture, and make planning decisions that benefit the whole region, not just me.

MYTH: If you are against the Streetcar you should vote Yes on 9
FACT: A LOT of anti-streetcar folks are voting No on 9

Have we mentioned the scope is beyond streetcars. Even Bill Cunningham expressed dismay over the wording of Issue 9. Listen to the audio. He thought it was a bad issue (though he said he won't be voting on it since he lives out of the city). And he cannot stand the streetcar. There are a lot of council members and candidates who are against the streetcar, who are very much against Issue 9.

What kills me, is the GoCoast Twitter account twittered this:

More Half-truths. Willy DID say we should stop the ridiculous trolley, but he also said Issue 9 was bad. This is yet another purposefully misleading statement from COAST.

So, in my opinion, whether you are for the streetcar or not, you should vote No on 9. It is a bad piece of law we don't want in our City's charter.

22 October 2009

News Flash - Cars Kill

About 100 people die in car accidents every day in this country. In the Enquirer, several times a year, we read about another child run-over in their own driveway.

I happened upon these remnants of an accident on I75 near Sharonville yesterday:


Some Chicago Pics


I didn't even really like this sculpture, but the photos are ok:
torsos 2


Train arriving

Looking out the front of the El Train

Frank Gehry, self pleasuring himself:

Gehry more restrained

walking across the bridge

Michigan Avenue Skyline

Banking area


And a few of the suburb of Oak Park:
Business area buildings

Great building entry:

Kick ass corner building at street level

21 October 2009

Sleeping with Infants

We had kids in our bed often from birth to about 2-years old, and it never seemed unsafe in any way. I have heard of cases like the one yesterday in Lebanon, but I had assumed that there were unusual circumstances such as the dad being drunk or having a medical condition. That was apparently not true in this case. Wouldn't you would have to be a really heavy sleeper to roll-over onto an infant and not wake up?

20 October 2009

Two Weeks to Election Day

There are several important issues on the ballot November 3rd, and I have read most of the ballot language and have decided how I am voting on every issue. But none of them is as important as issue 9. Not because I believe the streetcar is the answer to everything. Not because I believe passenger rail to Columbus and Cleveland will solve that many transit problems. Not even because I love the Zoo Train. The reason is because if issue Nine passes, rail transit is demoted below all other types of transit, especially those that use asphalt and gasoline.

But roads, especially construction of new roads, already have priority over any other type of construction. I was talking with a manager of a Cincinnati Suburb recently, and he was lamenting the fact that newer areas like Mason are getting all kinds of Federal and State money to build new infrastructure, but his community cannot get any funding to repair existing sewers, roads and storm systems. The system is already built in favor of sprawl and new asphalt. Why should Cincinnati write such lopsided priorities into our City Charter?

Cincinnati has been on its knees for a long time. Crawling forward while other cities are up and running. I sense that things are on the cusp of really changing, perhaps changing in a fundamental way.

Please, vote against the status quo, Vote No on Nine.

Willis Tower

I have not been posting much due to work and tons of family activities, including our recent trip to Chicago. I think the blog may slow down a bit for the next month or so while other things like work, the election, work, soccer, scouts, wrestling, and more work take precedence.

Anyway, we took the kids and stayed in a hotel in Oak Park, and took the El into the Loop to sightsee. We had a fantastic time. I'm sure the kids will remember this trip the rest of their lives. I'll post a few pictures today and tomorrow.

The first thing we did when arriving was go to the Skydeck in what was once called the Sears Tower. It is now called the Willis Tower. They added glass boxes off the side that make for a thrilling view:

Glass Box:

View South with streetlights coming on:

19 October 2009

Tree Climbing


What City

I have a hundred photos I'd like to post from our trip this weekend, but until then, guess the city:

UPDATE, Yes...Chicago:

This has to be the most photographed modern sculpture in the world! When we were heading to Millenium Park, we were following huge crowds, all converging on this reflective bean:

whole bean 2 

The fact that we are all attracted to a huge mirror maybe says something about human nature?