Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Crime and the City Solution

Today the fed cut interest rates by .5%... My financial analyst tells me that they might even go lower in March if i truly wanted to refinance. The glittery mortgage shackles just get more appealing... At the same time, I am battling the sense of shiftless identities this city is hemorraging. Innercity spaces are not becoming urban, they're turning suburban and people less trustful, less community based. It might have to do with this recent article on partitioning where i see my neighborhood looking more and more like Auburn (and in a strange twist - the demographic now moves to Kent???)... Maybe it's not that all, but the increase in crime in the news... Urbanism is eating it's own. But, maybe not according to statistics. In any case - is Seattle the kind of town where you can run free in a museum, or is it one that has the "Hand's Off the Sculpture Park" signs?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hurt until it Gives

I'm going to a friend's benefit party with an idea to auction off several home-made t-shirts with the phrases that provoke dialogue and make the wearers my sentence fragments. I'll tell a long and rambling narrative which will have people wondering what I'm saying, but ultimately be a big apology to everyone i've ever wronged. Maybe that - or maybe it will be just a collection of fashion-forward hyperbole and mistrust. I will work in fabric paint and googley eyes. Fashion on the edge!!

However, in the meantime, if you want to give to venerable causes, I suggest donating to a site like Kiva where you can give microloans to true startups in other countries. I just got back my $50 after a year and reinvested it into countries Africa and Asia.

Monday, January 28, 2008

SOTU is Suture

I won't watch the SOTU. I am instead concentrating on getting through my routine and 25 minutes of intense cardio. I know what the transcript is already going to say. Yay us. Look what we did. I know that people will stand and clap and they won't represent our interests. I know that W will throw around vernacular that will defend wiretapping and bombing Iran. He'll suggest the surge is working (it's not). He'll mention facts that are not entirely true, but with enough rhetoric, he'll take credit for a few datapoints of success while we are sliding into a recession. I can't be too angry, I'm just too tired at the moment. Instead, I suggest you do a little reading up here...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Seattle Style Crash

I've left an angry rant over on SLOG with the post that they finally got the Chinatown arch up. It is pretty to look at, but it's like putting a new door on a house badly needing it's foundation fixed. The potential for the ID to really take off has been stifled and with the boom kinda nearing over these days, I think they (the landowners) missed the boat on opportunities to make the ID more urban residential. A few years ago - i was asked to participate by the ID Development Authority on what I thought would bring more people/growth the ID. Simple - I said, Let some of these spaces that are in need of repair (those that are not condemned), rented out to artists and push the artwalk east from P-square. Ok - kinda a wacky idea, but that's pushing growth forward if you get more creative elements and small businesses opening up (KOBO at Higo is a great development!!). As it stands, I see more and more businesses failing and moving out. I don't think there's enough to sustain these overtime - especially as Uwaijimaya is the dominant grocery store and now there's talk of a big box retail development to open up on Dearborn.
Granted, my ethnic identity is not tied up in the ID, and the Asians that do participate are there for mostly commerce and a certain % cultural identity. But even so, it's underutilized and quickly becoming the Chinatown like Vancouver (known drug area), and has created a wall between first wave immigrants who can't afford to live in the suburbs and the office workers who quickly vacate at 6pm (and with Amazon moving to SLU, it's going to be even more empty).
I guess it just makes me angry that whole blocks of healthy retail on Pike/Pine (Belmont) are taken out while there's actual properties that could be renovated. Maybe it's the cost of repairs -- and if that's the case, some dialogue should happen if having a building that's a health menace should still be around if no one can live in it (read - Rainer Cold Storage), or if it's worth saving some heritage. Ironically enough, the arch is right next to the empty Publix Hotel, a scary lynchian building where all of it's residence were sent packing last decade. Across the street from there is a sports bar where the indigent and drugged out loiter all day. I don't see revitilization coming any time soon.