Posted: April 23rd, 2010 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: blog challenge, GOOD.is, local, neighborhood, urbanism | No Comments »
City slickers love telling everyone what neighborhoods they live in. It’s become a kind of shorthand for what sort of person they are, what they value, where they like to hang out. It makes sense: As small as the world has gotten, it’s still really big, and carving out a little piece of it that feels familiar and pride-worthy is a basic human urge.
But forget for a second where your apartment is, and think about the blocks that surround it, the guy one door down you’ve never spoken to, the people you mill around at the flea market or pass in the bike lane on your way to the grocery store. You probably have as much in common with them as you do with your friends, but you’ve never even met.
Now, if you’ve read my blog (TB3N) for any time now, you’ve seen me advocate for more lively neighborhoods more than once. At it’s base, what they said above is 100% true. We do tend of generalize people, even within our own community, based upon where they live.
Does your block have something to say about you?
Or do you have something to say about what your block really is?
The first step is getting out there and finding out the truth and seeing what you can do to be more involved.
The first step to building a better neighborhood is the step out your front door.
To read more from GOOD.is Guide, click here.
(This is Day 30 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, be sure to check out the other participants at #30DayBC)
Posted: April 22nd, 2010 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: #earthday, blog challenge, environment, green, local, phoenix | No Comments »
(image from GOOD.is)
There we are, Phoenix. Number 12 on the survey for Least Wasteful Cities.
Not too bad. Let’s see some of the details:
Ranked 12th in the nation as America’s Least Wasteful City
Ranked 20th in 2009
Phoenix’s high rankings:
- 5th Never driving their car for trips that are less than one mile from home
- 7th Participating in their city’s sustainability/environmental programs
- 7th Turning off the water when brushing their teeth
Phoenix’s low rankings:
- 23rd Shutting the lights off when not in the room
- 23rd Hanging their clothes out to dry when possible
- 24th Buying locally grown/produced foods
So oddly we’re good at walking for short trips, which I’d expect us to be awful at because of the heat, and we’re awful at hanging clothes to dry, even though it only takes 0.8342 seconds to dry off here.
But here’s the part I loved best:
Efforts/Decisions to more environmentally friendly
- 84 percent recycle
- 78 percent use energy efficient bulbs
- 75 percent shop locally
Hooray for shopping local!
So we moved up from 20th to 12th in one year. No reason we cannot crack the top 10 next year.
To learn more about Phoenix’s environmental and sustainability efforts, visit http://phoenix.gov/greenphoenix/index.html
(This is Day 29 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, be sure to check out the other participants at #30DayBC)
Posted: April 21st, 2010 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: architecture, blog challenge, design, green | No Comments »
Based on my previous posts about architecture, design and sustainability, I’m certain the casual observer would expect that I’d also appreciate this award-winning design from Peleg/Burshtein Architects.
It’s got solar power, wind power, clean lines..what’s not to like?
Well, the fact that it’s an industrial chicken coop.
Sure, this place generates it’s own power and converts the waste into bio-fuel, but it’s still a coop. A long hallway that these chickens have to spend their entire life in.
You know what’s an even better, more sustainable way to house them? Let them be open range. Earth, already made, naturally ventilated.
(This is Day 28 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, be sure to check out the other participants at #30DayBC)
Posted: April 20th, 2010 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: blog challenge, minimalism, movies | 1 Comment »
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
French writer (1900 – 1944)
Minimalism is something I’ve appreciated for a long time.
Get everything you want, and get it all in a small, tidy package, and you win.
This is probably also why I’m drawn to design that is crisp, natural, free of frill and overall, simple.
For example, my iPhone. I’m far from a Mac fanboy, but I have to admit that my iPhone is the best phone I’ve seen, period. the sleek exterior, the minimal buttons, the smooth interface. Note also that every alleged “iPhone killer” comes with a full keyboard attached, something that no iPhone user has said they needed. Good design shifts you just slightly out of your comfort zone with the glimmering allure of an easier, more concise life.
So then, I’m sure it’s no surprise that I was drawn to the Re-Visioned movie posters of Youseff Ibrahim.
1.) This work evokes in me a memory of old book covers, and thus a connection to good times spent reading dusty paperbacks; NOT something typically associated with movie going or move posters.
2.) I love the idea of showing only a glimpse into the plot or an iconic scene, instead of just showing the lead actor/actress and the title.
(This is Day 27 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, be sure to check out the other participants at #30DayBC)
Posted: April 19th, 2010 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: action, blog challenge, do something, monday, motivation, work | No Comments »
“Don’t let your ideas stew for too long before moving into action.”—Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter
Last week we rolled out a project at work that had been the major focus of my professional life for the last few months, and had been needed for the last decade that I worked there. Being able to create a new product that solved the problems everyone had been having for 20+ years was fantastic and draining.
Admittedly, if I’ve been snarky about the concepts of democratic processes and meetings and committees lately, it’s because I was fighting battles to see this project through.
Now that it’s done, though, I look back and think “Did we REALLY wait all these years because of petty in-fighting and lack of leadership?”.
Having been on-board with this project ever since I gave a presentation about our future business a year ago, I know pretty much everything that went into it, and am baffled by:
- how fast we were able to execute it, and
- how long we wallowed around thinking it couldn’t be done.
“The purpose of a strategy is not to come up with the right answers. It’s to enable you to act.”—Frans Johannson, CEO of the Medici group
At the same time, my brain doesn’t naturally turn off it’s project analysis just because this project is completed, so I’ve been in a bit of an “over-drive” lately.
One of the things that has driven absolutely bananas is seeing my colleagues in the same place, the Pit of Nothing Will Ever Change, spending time having meetings and lamenting over minutia.
“We have a strategic plan; it’s called doing things.”—Frans Johannson
In work, just as in life, you need to treat the disease, not the symptoms. But the first part is just getting up and treating something. Doing…Anything!
Today is Monday. You have a choice.
- You can get to work and go about your normal countless e-mails and set-up meetings where nothing will get done……..
- Or you can use today as the starting line of a new race, hurtling towards whatever it is you really want to get done.
I like the second choice, but I can’t make the decisions for you.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi
(This is Day 26 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, be sure to check out the other participants at #30DayBC)
Posted: April 18th, 2010 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: baseball, blog challenge, five things, yankees | 1 Comment »
Weekends in Spring & Summer make me think of two things: new movies and baseball. Right now we find ourselves two weeks into the season and my Yankees are in 1st place in the division.
Yes, I live in Phoenix, could walk to D-Backs games, but I love the Yankees.
(here’s why, after the jump)
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 17th, 2010 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: 80's, blog challenge, Dear Ryan | No Comments »
The column where I take the time to answer pressing questions that nobody asked me. In fact, they actually asked other people, and I decided to chime in. See how we’re all happier now?
Should I tell the girl I love this?
I love a girl, very much. Shes liked someone else for like 3 years, but he doesn’t like her and she only thinks of me as a friend. We used to talk all the time but now we don’t. I want to go up to her Monday and just talk to her and tell her that until the day I die I am going to love her, because it’s true. I’ve never had a girlfriend before, and she is the girl I want.
so should I say this?
This is a pretty classic conundrum, and one that has been gone over pretty relentlessly in classic 80′s cinema. I recommend that the first thing you do is make yourself familiar with some of those films, especially Sixteen Candles, because it sounds like you’ve been forgotten about.
As far as what to do about this girl, I recommend doing nothing. Forget about it and move on, because clearly this girl is into dudes who ignore her. You paying her more attention is actually hurting your cause. Trust me, if it’s ever going to happen, it’ll happen only after you’re seeing someone else. Then she’ll start to wonder “why isn’t that me”.
Or you can keep tagging along, playing the Ducky role. In the end he never got Molly Ringwald but he did upgrade and snag Buffy, so… not totally awful, but huge waste of time.
(This is Day 24 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, be sure to check out the other participants at #30DayBC)
Posted: April 13th, 2010 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: blog challenge | 2 Comments »
It’s now Tuesday morning and I didn’t post anything on Monday.
So much for #30DayBC… now known as 30-ish Days. LOL
Actually, I don’t feel bad about missing the deadline. Instead of staying at home and writing, I went out and had a great evening at Postino’s, (part of my 3/50 commitment) catching up with an old friend.
We could all use more time away from screens and keyboards (heresy, right!), and spend that time out enjoying our surroundings.
It’s spring, you’re supposed to play hooky.
(This is Day 20 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, be sure to check out the other participants at #30DayBC)
Posted: April 11th, 2010 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: blog, blog challenge, why I write, writing | 2 Comments »
Way back when, I started blogging not because I thought people wanted to read what I had to say, but because I wanted to document what I had to say, because I was going through a time of a lot of changes and didn’t always know a constructive outlet to express how I felt about things.
I’d always thought I was a creative writer growing up, and recall with great esteem my triumphant moment when I got an A+ on my essay 5 Reasons Every Girl Should Date Ryan G. So, if I could do it then, why not now?
Of course, at that time, I thought I had brilliant ideas, but I look back on them and realize that my ideas were pretty typical for a young, angsty adult. Hopefully they were a bit more eloquent than most, but still typical nonetheless.
Then after my life became less of a whirlwind, my blogging desire waned and I started just using my blog as a place to record things I thought were funny or cool.
Shortly after that, I started talking to a few other people who blogged, and realized that I was quickly becoming known as the “funny picture/video guy“. Whoa, whoa! That is NOT a title I wanted.
I like being funny, but I have a serious side here, too. Crap, now I have to pull of a Robin Williams/Jim Carey Funny/Serious duality thing…
So around the holidays I decided to take up the mantle of trying to see what I could produce if I really wanted to use my blog as a tool/platform for my writing.
Of course, a big part of writing is knowing what others are writing about, knowing what’s relevant, what’s been rehashed too much already, and what can be elaborated on without being dull. To that end, I started reading a lot more blogs on various topics I had an interest in.
The outcome; I’ve learned more about things I never knew I felt this passionately about, and have profited by having an increased understanding of many topics.
I’m certain that several of my posts about urbanism or vibrant neighborhoods would not exist if I hadn’t started this whole process 4 months ago, because back then I wasn’t even sure how to answer when people said “you really like living downtown?”
So while I’m very clear that I’m far from a skilled writer yet, I know that I’m a much better thinker because of the exercise of writing and reading to be able to write.
I know I’m not a great writer yet, but I’ll get there. I believe it.
(This is Day 19 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, be sure to check out the other participants at #30DayBC)
Posted: April 10th, 2010 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: 3/50, blog challenge, local, Lola, Postino's, Public Market, Royal at the Market, TotallyTay, Urban | 5 Comments »
I first learned about the 3/50 Project by reading fellow ##30DayBC-participant and Scrabble Grand-Champion Taylor’s blog, TotallyTay.
(Yes, I actually click on those links people put on the sidebars, especially if it looks like a well-designed link.)
The point of the 3/50 Project is to support “the brick & mortars our nation is built on”; meaning using our dollars to support local businesses we love RIGHT NOW, instead of lamenting their disappearance later on.
I love this concept for two reasons:
1.) I love brick buildings anyways.
2.) Local/Indie businesses may cost a little more, but the service you get is 100x better than at a chain, and the money stays here.
So I don’t mind paying a little extra (if that’s even needed) to support a local business because it means that the workers there, who receive my dollars as their wages, will in turn spend the same dollars nearby. In the end my same dollar bounces around and support dozens of buisnesses. Now THAT is “stimulating the local economy”. Plus, local businesses = less empty buildings = less blight = less crime = better neighborhoods.
Consider THAT next time you make a run to Wal-Mart.
So the concept is pretty simple. Pick out 3 business you would hate to see go under, and spend $50/month at those spots. Sure, this sounds like a financial commitment that can have an impact on people trying to make ends meet, but the idea is not to spend more, it’s to spend there instead.
So here’s the three I’ve picked for April:
- Royal Coffee / Urban Grocery (because of their symbiotic relationship, I’m counting them as one)
- Postino’s Central
- Lola Coffee
This week I’ve gone to Urban Grocery for lunch twice and Royal Coffee three times. I went to Lola this morning. I went to Postino’s last Sunday and will be returning on Monday night.
I’m pretty sure that next month I’ll include places like All About Books & Comics, Cheese-n-Stuff, and hopefully I’ll find a good, local bookstore, so I don’t have to always go to Borders/B&N.
Think about the three places you’d hate to see go. Show them some appreciation today.
(This is Day 18 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, be sure to check out the other participants at #30DayBC)