Thursday, July 23, 2015

[back] to [back] to [back] to the future

july 3rd marked the 30th anniversary of the release of my all time favorite movie; back to the future.

to celebrate this 'red letter date in history' the nearby town of augusta hosted a screening of all three movies back to back in their historic theatre. upon hearing about this event i knew there would be no way i would miss it.

i could go on and on about how much i love this movie, which was originally what i thought this post would be about.  however upon driving to augusta and parking outside of the theater i was taken aback at how much the town had changed.  the downtown i had expected was no longer, instead i saw a redeveloped area.  growing up nearby in the 80's and 90's, i remember downtown augusta being blocks of abandoned buildings.  i would take photos there of the empty storefronts and rustic ghost-town-esque streets.  walking on the new and repaired street scape i was impressed at what the town had done since i last visited.

it was by no means a thriving metropolitan scene, but walking on the sidewalk, it was easy to see a few retail shops had opened up along the block giving it vibrancy. stores that just a few years ago, may have likely chosen a strip center on a different part of town.  the district was anchored by a couple large businesses, but the crown jewel had to be the old theater.  the night of the screening tables and grills had been set up in the street for people to enjoy food, music, a delorean and a marty mcfly look a like contest.  basically a perfect event for a downtown.

it seemed almost too ironic this event was held in a redeveloping downtown.  considering the movie, you'll remember hill valley in the 80's was a trashy wasteland of a place. basically a representation of downtown's everywhwere during that time. later on in the movie, when marty witnesses his town in the 50's, you can see the shock on his face when he sees it as a thriving, active and lively place in all its mid-century urban glory. in the sequel, "back to the future 2," marty travels to 2015 and is once again shocked to see downtown hill valley redeveloped and thriving again.

minus the flying cars, the city of augusta is proving "back to the future" right. it took it's downtown, an important area of the city which had been a bustling district 60 years ago which then fell into disrepair in the 80's and 90's,and is now redeveloping it, trying to bring life back. i'd recommend taking the short drive from wichita to check out augusta.  a town really go back to the future.

Monday, July 20, 2015

box full of [lyrics]

words cannot express how much i love wilco.

or maybe they can......

the other night some friends and i enjoyed a hot summer evening concert in kansas city enjoying wilco.  as i stood listening, being filled with the memories their songs always stir, i discovered almost every song had a lyric or phrase i would sing along to. words put together so beautifully they stick out as a beacon in a sea of beautiful lyrics and waves of wonderful melodies.

instead of a set list, i've put together a lyric list; one phrase from each song played that night. although it's just a few words from longer lyrics, they begin to show the emotion jeff tweedy and wilco fill their songs with and the reason i enjoy them so much.

-the hope i had in a notebook full of white, dry pages, was all i tried to save                

-i looked like someone i used to know and if i ever was myself, i wasn't that night

-i need a camera to my eye, reminding which lies i have been hiding

-i curl my lips and crawl up to you

-i have all the love i could ever ache and i leave almost with you, art of almost almost... almost...

-i'd always thought that if i held you tightly you'd always love me like you did back then

-you were a blessing and i was a curse i did my best not to make things worse for you

-did i catch you in the flashes?

-remember to remember me standing still in your past floating fast like a hummingbird

-the footprints of the lovers that come here to love, by the tides washed away forever more (cover)

-unlock my body and move myself to dance

-all i can see is black and white and white and pink with blades of blue that lay between the words i think on a page i was meaning to send her

-music is my savior, and i was maimed by rock and roll.

-you were right about the stars, each one is a setting sun

-sadness is my luxury

-but this is what love is for, to be out of place, gorgeous and alone, face to face

-all my daydreams are disasters, she's the one i think i love (cover)

-don't forget the flowers someday, i know i will

-so i'd give this world just to dream, a dream with you on our bed of california stars (cover)

-i can't find the time to write my mind the way i want it to read

-i've been young, i've been oldi've been hurt and consoled heart of coal heart of gold so i'm told

-what you once were isn't what you want to be any more

-true love will find you in the end this is a promise with a catch only if you're looking can it find you 'cause true love is searching too but how can it recognize you unless you step out into the light? (cover)

-you have to learn how to die if you want to want to be alive,

-for your sparkling cocky smile i've walked a million miles begging you to come and wed me in the spring (cover)

 -give back my tv, it don't mean that much to me, while you're giving back my things, give me back the key to my heart (cover)

-there's something there that you can't find honest when you're tellin' a lie. you hurt her but you don't know why. you love her but you don't know why

Sunday, July 12, 2015

gin blossoms [again]

it's hard to keep a good party down.

after a brief hiatus the annual [june bucket] was back the other weekend for it's fourth year.  old and new friends once again joined together to drink a gin cocktail out of a bucket using turkey basters. 

Saturday, July 04, 2015

summer break [or] summer school

this months #architalks topic is [summer break]

do architects ever take a summer break, or do they just think about architecture in new locations?

i don't vacation like regular folks, and i'm wondering if that's because i'm an architect.  when planning a vacation or trip one of the first things i'll do is look to find any architectural significant buildings within a 4 hour radius. a holiday trip to boston found me walking the m.i.t. campus, while a trip to portland found my friends and i touring an office building. when in l.a. it was a concert hall and church and museums almost every where else.  i'd like to blame my architectural history class on this, as anyone knows, having to study and be tested on a building naturally makes you interested in seeing it if you're ever near by.  however i think this love of structures and history started earlier.

growing up, our family was fortunate enough to take a summer vacation very year.  trips which occupy a several shelves in the childhood section of my memory library.  our family was always visiting historic sites and buildings.  i remember staying at several of these places, learning first hand from the owners about the building's history.  if we didn't stay there, we toured it!  our family was always seeking out interesting places, buildings or parks to take us to.  this is how i learned to vacation.  it wasn't until years later i realized other families vacations consisted of just snow skiing or boating at the lake.  all relaxing and wonderful activities, just not what i grew up knowing.  summer break does't feel like a vacation unless i've "toured" something, read a plaque or marker, taken picture in front of something historical, or took a brochure....and i wouldn't change that for the world

so now i'm wondering...

"do i tour buildings because i'm an architect; or did i become an architect because i toured buildings?"

please take time to visit these other #architalks blogs from other architects talking about [summer break]

Bob Borson - Life of An Architect
Architectural Bucket List

Matthew Stanfield - FiELD9: architecture

Marica McKeel - Studio MM
Summer Break = Extreme Architecture

Jeff Echols - Architect Of The Internet
Summer Break and Aunt Loretta

Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect
summer break

Marica McKeel - Studio MM
Summer Break = Extreme Architecture

Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC
Vacationing with an Architect

Jes Stafford - Modus Operandi Design
Summer Getaway

Rosa Sheng - Equity by Design / The Missing 32% Project
#Architalks 10 - Give me a Break!

Michele Grace Hottel - Michele Grace Hottel, Architect
#Architalks 10 - "summer break"

Meghana Joshi - IRA Consultants, LLC
Architalks: There, but not there

Amy Kalar - ArchiMom
Summer Break

Michael Riscica - Young Architect
Architecture Students Summer Break

Architect: Gift or Curse?

brady ernst - Soapbox Architect
The Education of an Agrarian Architect

Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect
Summer Vacation

Tara Imani - Tara Imani Designs, LLC
A Brilliant Summer Break

Cindy Black - Rick & Cindy Black Architects
Summer Break #ArchiTalks

Brinn Miracle - Architangent
Summer Break