Thread Central


toast re; your coffee-bar question. we have had such a place for about 4 yrs or so in Gville and it seems every even small city i have been to in last year or so has at least one.

i read this piece awhile back and that's where i learned term "third -wave" coffee (which i just think is hilarious). from what i gather it all started with intelligentsia/stumptown over last decade.

i worked at a charter school for a year between Ba + MA and have good friends who teach/have taught in charters/public/and virtual schools.

generally the big plus with charters is smaller/focused classes/instruction as well as personal relationships between teachers/students. you likely not going to have 30 kids in a classroom like a friend does this year at a public middle school.

not sure if there is a clear definition/difference between magnet/charter schools but they both seem a cut above public schools int hat they have a more focused mission (arts, science etc).

I do have mixed feelings though as i would prefer that all public schools were smaller/and offered more of a charter/magnet level of teaching rather than just bifurcating educational opportunities.

Aug 24, 13 2:16 pm

here's the gist of today's conversation with an educator:


A small number of charters is probably ok, but there's a tipping point in terms of % share of schools as to when they start doing more harm than good.  For all the problems with the teacher's unions, they've done a great job of providing support and fostering a culture of professionalism in education - something you lose once too many schools don't fall under their jurisdiction (it would be sort of like if we disbanded the AIA, NCARB, and  state licensing boards, and no longer required architects to be licensed).  The absolute last thing we want is the privatization of schools because then no one is held accountable.


plus some stuff about providing early childhood education to lower-income families.  anyway - It's a complicated issue - but if you talk to enough experienced educators, they'll all tell you that charters ultimately aren't so great because they're for-profit and they don't pay "teachers" very well, but the real issue is that public schools need a little more autonomy and freedom from standardized testing, and we need to reform the unions (but not get rid of them).


back to coffee - yes!  exactly!  that's what these places are like!  That's so funny.  Even a few of the smaller more traditional local shops have started giving you trouble if you ask for dairy in certain roasts.  It's like you're asking them to dip their first born in your cup of coffee.  I just want a medium roast that doesn't taste like brown water or burnt toast.

Aug 24, 13 5:19 pm
Tinbeary There there

And high school is mostly just a big waste of time.

Aug 24, 13 6:19 pm

Thursday went out to a potential project site... Friday thought about it know dream kind of thoughts.....went back today to measure and fell in LOVE!.  One floor of  loft apartments and another for a funky  office.  The office space was the hook....old  late 1800's building  amazing brick masonry and granite with steel columns and big ass wood beams with 1 3/4"  wood flooring.   I WANT THE OFFICE SPACE FOR MYSELF.  Field stone walls and brick walls with  8X8  wood post and  8X10 beams with a wood deck ceiling and beat up concrete floor just begging to be polished.  Hope I win the lottery.  Ya it it is a  couple hundred feet from a nice New England river, where I see myself taking lunch on summer days.

Aug 24, 13 7:50 pm

Donna, great call on Saint Mary of Maytag, thanks. Brutal exterior with amazing grace and lightness inside. A wonderful space and beautifully detailed structure. I was surprised at the size of the building - it's monumental. 

Aug 24, 13 10:05 pm


I don't have a problem with how it tops off as an "agitator."  The issue I have is that it sits on a block-y base which lacks the drama of the upper part of the church, just like a really articulated tower on a bland podium which doesn't match.  How they would have done that is beyond me (* playing Monday morning quarterback to Belluschi and Nervi *).  However, the soaring feeling inside is very nice and the fins of the "agitator" were an opportunity to wrap stained glass at their edges to form a cross, seen more clearly from inside the church.  Now, why didn't Stephen Holl think of something like THAT?

Aug 25, 13 1:42 am
Glad you liked it, Miles. I was unexpectedly blown away by it when I saw it. I knew I like Nervi, so I expected it to be good, but not *that* good!
Aug 25, 13 8:55 am

night TC, also you guys talking about this place? somehow i missed it when i was in San Fran 2 yrs ago...

Aug 25, 13 10:38 pm

Yes, Nam.  That picture is flattering.  That looks like a view from the southeast, and shows the curvature up on the "agitator."  Viewed straight on from Geary Blvd., the front elevation is kind of severe and the "agitator" looks more flattened than sculpted.

Aug 25, 13 11:46 pm

The interior is magnificent, a sort of organic brutalism. The exterior is just brutal. That pedestal looks like the kind of thing a second year arch student would do. The building would be much better if the interior arches and pylons were honestly expressed as structure on the exterior.

Aug 26, 13 2:25 am

quite similar to tange's st mary's in tokyo

the SF version is not what i would call brutal myself.  its pretty quiet on the outside really.  interior is very nice.  sorry i missed visiting it last time i was in the city. spent my time looking at herzog and demeuron.

Aug 26, 13 8:08 am

Spent the day babysitting contractors doing a window reinstall in a gallery.  I have to say, I'm learning a lot about doing construction in very restrictive environments lately!

Aug 26, 13 9:46 pm

Reinstall implies it wasn't installed correctly the previous time. Is that why you're babysitting?

Aug 27, 13 2:05 am

No, it's actually a replacement.  Windows from 1971 being upgraded. Good grammar catch! It's babysitting because it's in a gallery space where they can't be without supervision/a security presence.

Aug 27, 13 8:19 am

were they all single pane with steel frames?

Aug 27, 13 9:17 am

Aluminum storefront, essentially, with aluminum storm windows on top. Mold on all the interior surfaces around them.

Aug 27, 13 9:38 am

yuck - I hope you're supervising proper flashing installation too.


hey - saw this awesome bike trail a while back.  I'm not sure how it ties into Indy's existing bike infrastructure, but it's pretty exciting to see stuff like this appearing in the midwest.  Have you had a chance to ride it?

Aug 27, 13 10:41 am
I've ridden it but walked a lot of it, and did/am doing a few projects for it. Last week I saw a presentation by Susannah Drake of dlandstudio of her urban bioswale work. She had a great graphic of a sponge showing that if you use the term plant sponge instead of bioswale or storm water mitigation or whatever it makes the idea much more accessible/acceptable to people.
Aug 27, 13 12:34 pm

Hmmm. "Money sponge". Good visualization for capitalism. 

Aug 27, 13 12:49 pm

Hahahaha.  I love seeing a thread titled Miles Jaffe with the most recent comment by Miles Jaffe.  It looks funny.  Miles, whatever else gets posted on that thread you have to always have the last word.

(attn: other TCers: take that as a challenge.)

Aug 27, 13 1:05 pm

Sorry, her term is "sponge park" (tm).  I found it while looking for the graphic:

Aug 27, 13 1:07 pm

The top 10 breeds of dogs which are likely to bite someone on one's property, according to home insurers in the U.S.

Except for the German Shepherd, I don't like any of the others.

Aug 27, 13 8:22 pm

Toured Greene and Greene's Thorsen house today. It's now a frat house at UC Berkeley, well used and in need of much work. But wonderful details abound and the frat pres. gave us a well versed and informative tour. Amazing woodwork, very much inspired by traditional Japanese timber construction. Also a nautical theme expressed in a few areas. Very inspiring. I've always admired their work and it was a privilege to see and touch it. Try doing that at the Gamble house (which I'd also love to visit!).

Aug 28, 13 1:53 am

Here's a funny little number, and it goes like this; so, I've been sick for the last 5-6 weeks, no insurance, and today I finally see the doctor. I know, I know, I was hoping just to get some antibiotics just to kill the fucking thing. Well, I proceed to get into an argument with the urgent care physician because he wants me to get all sorts of blood work and imaging to rule out colon cancer. Fuck all. Lets twist again, like we did last summer.....damn no single payer bullshit, damn insurance tied to employment, damn too cheap as fuck and not carrying insurance employer. 

Aug 28, 13 2:12 am

It's a crime, holding your health and life hostage for profit. Motherfuckers should be stripped of their insurance, assets and jobs, then given cancer and be left to navigate the health care extortion racket. Even that is too good for them.

Every time we pay a tax we're buying care for others that we can't have.

Aug 28, 13 2:36 am
Who is it that you want to deprive of healthcare miles?

Politicians I guess?

It's so strange that USA still can't its shit sorted because of a really weird philosophical bend in one of the parties. Since health care ends up being a barrier to small business in the current model it seems like conservatives would be all for it.

We have yearly health checks here paid for by govt cuz not doing that is more expensive in the long run. Kids are free and insurance is mandatory and run by the govt alongside private companies. We never wait for care and hospitals are private as often as not. USA should be able to at least manage what Japan has thrown together. Not as good as Canada of course. Not as bad either.
Aug 28, 13 3:35 am

Since health care ends up being a barrier to small business in the current model it seems like conservatives would be all for it.

This exactly.  And this is also why I am an employee again - self-employment couldn't pay for our mortgage and food AND health insurance we rarely use. Prices of health insurance have gone up tens of times the rate of inflation. Every time someone asks me why I decided to move out of self-employment I make my answer a political statement: I needed health insurance, and the current system is unaffordable for small businesses.

I do wonder what 2014 will bring.

Aug 28, 13 8:13 am

conservatives aren't interested in helping small business.  the core of conservative belief is 'trickle-down economics.'  they want to give more money to people who already have a lot of money.

some people earn their income with their labor.  that means they drag their ass out of bed in the morning and go to work.  that encompasses everyone from the person who owns an architecture firm with 100 employees to the person who scrapes dead shit off the road.  others earn their income from other people's labor.  this includes things like investment income, inheritance, and some of the banking/finance industry.

GOP policy consistently promotes giving more money/benefits/incentive/etc. to the second group, often at the expense of the first group.  helping small business doesn't help people who don't work for a living, due to the fact that small business owners typically work pretty hard.  asking someone who earned their wealth by having it handed to them to contribute to an insurance policy that helps people who work for a living is very much in opposition to conservative core belief.

Aug 28, 13 9:11 am
Tinbeary There there

I wonder how people that live off inheritances and investments get health care.

Aug 28, 13 10:18 am

Providing publicly funded care to some (civil servants, "elected" and appointed officials, etc.) while denying it to others is a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. But as we've seen, that document has less value than toilet paper. 

Aug 28, 13 11:27 am

I wonder how people that live off inheritances and investments get health care.

If there are large enough streams of income, they can buy it.  If they have stuff on their medical record that makes it less than spotless, then they would be denied under the current underwriting climate, and the stuff that torques them is stuff that anyone can get to 65 with (hypertension, high cholesterol, insomnia/tranquilizers, etc.) until they get Medicare.  On Jan 1, the preexisting issue goes away.

What I wonder about is what people who finally retire, are on Medicare, and want to live somewhere else (South America or Europe, for example) do with that.  How do they get access to health care given that they've paid in to the U.S.'s system?  I know that if you're on vacation and have to see a provider if in Europe, it ain't free to a 'Murrican.

Aug 28, 13 12:08 pm
Sarah Hamilton

As a teacher at a public school, I am a state employee. My health insurance was so expensive that I got rid of it, and now pay 437 a month for my family of three for private insurance. 

Aug 28, 13 1:38 pm
Tinbeary There there

I buy on the individual market too. My insurance company sent me a letter this week telling me that my insurance was going to go up with the new laws and if I wanted to lock in my rate now, I could. WTF is that about?

Aug 28, 13 1:44 pm

I don't know.  Some states are doing their own exchanges and others are defaulting to the federal model.  On Oct 1, everything is open book, as far as rates go.  If they want you to commit before Oct 1, something is weird.

Aug 28, 13 1:51 pm

The legislation was written - all 2200 pages of it - by insurance and drug companies to protect - or increase - their profits. The Feds insure payment and subsidies to cover some number of people without insurance. Estimates were around 30 million, but estimates of people without insurance range from 50 million to a whole lot more. 

The fovt. already insures over 100 million through the VA, Medicare and Medicaid. Easy and obvious solution is to eliminate private insurance entirely but then congress would lose their lifetime platinum  coverage AND all that campaign funding and lobbying dough. 

Aug 28, 13 3:04 pm

This is, at best, a work in progress.  Like the tax code, I'm sure revisions and (hopefully) simplifications will come.  One thing is for sure:  it'll be easier to pay the premiums than pay for the health care that comes with mild MS or mild diabetes than pay for it out of pocket.  The other thing is that post-college "kids" who have to get off their parents' policies after age 26 and don't have the greatest jobs can tap the health insurance market, and may even qualify for assistance.  Most of that inner city, gentrified neighborhood hipsterish crowd doesn't carry insurance and some of their cronies go snowboarding or climb big rocks, so they could get hurt.  Whether they have insurance or not, they'll still do those "generational" things, just like they'll continue to smoke pot or whatever else they do.  Not being cool, I don't know what they do.

Aug 28, 13 3:16 pm


When they said "A picture is worth a thousand words," they weren't kidding.

Aug 28, 13 5:02 pm


^ some people are just too smart, never thought about it, and don't forget; no pre-existing conditions! you're treated like a congressional leader, without having to be in  Michelle Bachmann's presence!!

Aug 28, 13 7:26 pm
Sarah Hamilton


I need high school appropriate examples of poor graphic design, before tomorrow morning!   I thought this would be easier to find, but I'm only getting sexual innuendoes.  Hilarious, but not school appropriate.

Aug 28, 13 9:13 pm

Obviously my first thought was Dick Busch Architects.  Not appropriate.

I think the Visit Indy log is awful, here.  It is too reminiscent of Arbys.

Aug 28, 13 11:11 pm

Basically, blue states are tending toward their own exchanges.  Red states are either defaulting to the federal exchange, or trying to push through a waiver/delay/exception.  When they had the state health pool system to help people out, 33 states were in and 17 were out.  Which 17?  Mostly in the Southeast, including Georgia.  So, even with progressive ATL, Georgia can be pretty "necky."  A few others were in the lower Midwest plus Rick Perry's republic.

Funny that 4 states bill themselves as commonwealths, mostly in the east, and one as a republic - the Republic of Texas.

Aug 29, 13 12:17 am
Sarah Hamilton
I don't know, Donna, it reminded me of Friendlys or Culver's. I LOVED Friendlys as a kid. That clown Sunday rocked!
Aug 29, 13 7:59 am

Today I feel like, if this Facilities employment gig doesn't work out, I could possibly go into Design Build.  Because I swear I know more about construction sequencing and building smart than do most of the contractors I work with. (Sense the frustration in the post: I just finished a conversation over the problems that cropped up when they didn't do it the way I suggested four days ago.  Ugh.)

Aug 29, 13 9:11 am

Design/build can be very frustrating if you don't have good subs. I solicit input from all, which helps me determine their capability and often furthers my knowledge of construction.

The last thing you want to do is make someone do something that they are not comfortable doing, which should not be confused with challenging them to do something a bit different. Good subs are craftsmen with a invaluable depth of knowledge and experience.

Still stunned by the detailing of Greene and Greene's Thorsen house. Would love to see the Gamble house ...

Aug 29, 13 12:13 pm

From the work angle, D-B is an education for both an architect or a CM type because they get to learn the other part of the equation.  It can suck, I suppose, if it's a larger entity and there is a cultural pecking order of CM over architect, just like there can be in A/E firms where it might be engineer over architect.

For the consumer, it's best for the savvy (enough) consumer who either has their own expertise, has built this way before, or has established a relationship with a D-B entity they trust.  There's no doubt that, from a quick inspection of the org. chart, this procurement method offers less protection for the naive or less experienced consumer.

Aug 29, 13 2:50 pm

Oooh, this is good; I might have to buy this book:

If that poor woman had collapsed from heat stroke, we docs would have written the cause of death as heat stroke and not lack of trees and public transportation, poor urban form, and heat-island effects. If she had been killed by a truck going by, the cause of death would have been “motor-vehicle trauma,” and not lack of sidewalks and transit, poor urban planning, and failed political leadership. – Jeff Speck, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America

Aug 29, 13 2:54 pm

^ Excellent. Thanks for the link.

Aug 29, 13 4:08 pm
Thats a good wiote donna.

Those kinds of death are always about poverty. If we really want to deal with that stuff we need to become politicians. Planning is not enough.

Did you get the window installed properly in the end?
Aug 29, 13 7:24 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: