A bit of housekeeping before we jump into this week’s post:
-This is me doing my best not to drop the F.U.-bomb on the BCS. What a imbecilic way to crown a national champion. The good news for ‘Bama is it doesn’t really matter as long as we keep winning.
-I fear the ole C.Rushing blog may be impacted by my travel schedule over the next couple of weeks. I will try to try to stick to weekly postings on Mondays, but there is a chance that a) they will suck more than usual, and b) they will be off topic. Consider yourself warned.
|My upcoming travels will take me to |
Tuscaloosa to see if this scene repeats itself.
One of the great advantages of being self-employed is that scheduling is self-directed. The challenge is to design the day efficiently in order to maximize effectiveness. This is done over time through trial and error, and has to account for events that are inflexible. I’m still trying to master this skill, but over the course of the past six years I have become far more attuned to my daily rhythms. Most mornings, I’m a machine: creative, clear minded and focused. After lunch, I’m worthless till about 3. There is a brief moment of focus in late afternoon, followed by another period of worthlessness. From around 7 p.m. until the time I choose to go sleep I’m a machine again. I’m probably slow on the take with this one, but I am just now fully getting a grip on how to take advantage of myself (wait… that didn’t sound right).
Understanding these cycles has made it easier for me to schedule my time efficiently. I try to schedule all of my meetings in the afternoon, leaving the mornings free to get “real work” done. As an introvert (for the Myers-Briggs geeks out there, I’m an INTJ – 33%, 62%, 25%, 78%) keeping to that schedule allows to me recharge in solitude in the morning so that I can be “on” for meetings with others in the afternoon.
|Saint Nicholas Saban is a fellow INTJ|
I’m shooting from the hip (in that I have no research to back this up), but I think cities may have cycles as well. Perhaps they can’t always be “on”. I’m not sure that cities and communities can sustain inexorable marches in any direction indefinitely. Cities are influenced by all number of factors from economies (international, national and regional), social movements, transportation concerns, weather patterns, and natural disasters. But even if you put those considerations aside, can any community maintain keen focus and purposeful drive for even a generation?
To be frank, we saw a waning of “energy” downtown since the completion of the 21st Century Waterfront project. A variety of excuses have been proffered for that trend: global and national economic conditions, an overbuilt market, national and local political changes, to name a few. Who knows, maybe the answer is one of those or perhaps a combination of those. Perhaps the answer is something altogether different. Perhaps the community just needed to take a deep breath after 20-something years of remarkable change. Maybe this lull would have occurred without the recession or change in the cast. We will probably never know. In the end, the cause does not matter, only our recognition of the occurrence does.
Playing the blame game – singling out things, phenomena, and people does not accomplish anything; it is a waste of time and is usually detrimental to constructive community dialogue. It would, however, behoove us to be self-aware. We should query and question ourselves to see if we can become more attuned to our civic cycles. If we can identify our cycles of productivity and rest, then we can more ably focus our resources and attention efficiently.
|Get thee to the Community Design Forum! |
Why woulds't thou be a breeder of sub-urbanites?
If you read this blog, you’re probably tuned in to what’s going on downtown now. There seems to be a renewed energy in the civic conversation regarding downtown. The River City Company’s Urban Design Challenge has played to hundreds of attendees (be sure to catch the next installment on November 10th at 5:30 at the IMAX). The Community Design Forum has become fertile ground for idea generation and discussion of urban design and community. From a programming and development standpoint, it appears that things are starting to bubble up again. We seem to be on the leading edge of an oncoming cycle. All of us: designers, political leaders, developers, community leaders need to find a way to marshal this groundswell of energy and use it to build a better city.
...and yes, he did just drop some Hamlet on you...