Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Where the Streets Have No Name.

Canal St. after Katrina
Originally uploaded by jtpuck.

A view of Canal Street, 3 blocks from Bourbon St., on August 30th, 2005, after Hurrican Katrina hit the shores.

City of Blinding Lights.

Bourbon Street
Originally uploaded by jtpuck.

A view of Bourbon Street, 3 weeks ago, Friday, August 12th, 2005.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Movie Maturity?

It's funny how your tastes change as you get older, more mature. Tap water become Perrier, while others switch from regular coke to Diet. Back seat to front seat; front row to back row in a theater; Dr. Seuss to Socrates. For me one of the most obvious changes has been in my taste in film. It's gone from scenery to story. As much as I love visual effects, production design, and gross out gags, I find myself questioning their validity. How does it help the story? What is the story? I bring this up because of 3 films I saw over the past week for the very first time.

"The Incredibles", from Pixar Animation, had a wildly imaginative story, very clever, and answered all my questions leaving me wanting more. "The Terminal" on the other hand did not. Mind you, I'm not one to ever question Steven Spielberg, until now. (and I haven't seen War of the Worlds) There were too many stories being told in the film, and I only really cared about one: Would Viktor Navorsky get out of the airport and into the U.S.?" I didn't care about the love story, I cared about his friends a little, and I really didn't care why he was visiting. Anyway, it was a beautifully shot movie, but there were too many things going on that didn't matter. Lastly, "The Brothers Grimm" from visionary Terry Gilliam. Bad first half, great second half, tons of great scenery but not enough story. I had too many questions here that made it hard to enjoy until the action really started halfway through....but then I just wanted to see action as the story got lost. 11 years ago, I would have never questioned that sort of thing. 11 years ago I also closed my eyes when John Travolta stabbed Uma Thurman in "Pulp Fiction."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Swamp Man

The Swamp Man
Originally uploaded by jtpuck.

Last weekend in New Orleans turned out to be a blast! The W Hotel was modernly beautiful. Bourbon street was packed, the architecture was detailed, and the swamps were, well, swamps. The coolest swamps I never thought I would ever enjoy. Hungry alligators, huge spiders, and Devil's Horse Grasshoppers. Great tour Captain Derrick! Everyone should do this next time there in New Orleans.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Big Easy.

In a couple hours I'll be on my to New Orleans to visit some friends and celebrate the end of bachelorhood for one of my high school/college buddies. Should be a blast as it always is when we get together. I haven't seen most of them in a year now since we've moved to Georgia. Got a couple errands to run today before driving to Birmingham for my Southwest flight. Hopefully I can do some research on the airline while I'm in the air for my branding class. Pretty much have my logo nailed down to a couple of choices. I'll try and post them next week for any feedback.

Right now I'm waiting to meet with a prof for my 'official' logos class and for the third time in 5 weeks, he's running 40 minutes behind schedule. Not good on a time tight day like this one. See you in a few days.

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Let's Talk about Minimalism.

Minimalism is a rediscovery of the value of empty space. A radical elimination of everything that does not coincide with a program; extreme simplicity. And if I didn't have an emotional attachment to most of my stuff, I would be a complete minimalist. Ask me what kind of shirt I tend to buy, and I'll say a 'solid color.' Favorite kind of architecture? Simple, linear forms. One thing I do most at our apartment? Throw stuff away. Even in design, my heart yearns for simplicity and cleanliness. So how do I get rid of items that I haven't even looked at in a year? How do I toss those posters I haven't put on the wall since college?

Next month Lyndsey and I just might be moving into a new place, a bigger place, with room for me to work and not spill out all over the apartment. Our goal is to really cleanse ourselves of meaningless items. It'll help in our move, and make us feel better about our new place. Why trash up a perfectly clean abode with useless materials. I've already consolidated my CD's and DVD's into Case Logic books, ridding myself of plastic cases and 'most' liner notes. Hopefully Lyndsey and I can work something out with the rest of our junk (treasure?).

Monday, August 1, 2005

The Cost Factor.

Prototype Infill Housing Project
Originally uploaded by jtpuck.

Being a full-time design student, part-time Borders lackey, and excited married man doesn't bode well on the pocketbook. Am I the only person who feels like the rest of the world has no concept of money and prices? Why should we have to PAY for good design when it should be inherent in our everday lives? Just for tonight, let's talk about housing; apartments, townhomes, condominiums, lofts, single-family homes, et. al. I'm a renter. A design enthusiast, with a little architectural training, and dreams of a unique, functional, living space for me and my family. I also subscribe to DWELL magazine, a fantastic publication made for someone like me, but with money.

Pictured above is half of a small 4-unit project in Dallas that excited me. A dream concept by an experienced architect who wanted to "bring the single-family home back to the urban infrastructure." He adds, "Homes that are still somewhat affordable." Hopes rose from the grave until he mentioned they were $275,000. Ok, so I guess that is somewhat affordable for a 2/2 townhome, with 1,700 sq. ft. in the city. BUT it's not affordable for me, and that's why I'm writing here tonight. Isn't there anyone out there willing to take a risk for the young couples tired of wasting their low-salary wages on pet deposits, shared water meters, and rent that shows no return?

I know this is just a soapbox rant, but I'm tired of overpriced housing. I'm tired of overpriced good design. Good design should be for everyone.