Damn, damn, DAMN!. I spent a significant portion of my weekend writing a twelve-hundred word blog post that I am not going to publish. There is a new building in town that is so heinous, so insipid, so…bad, that I momentarily resolved to suspend my standing policy of not critiquing the work of local architects. My post was hard but fair, truthful and funny. I even produced photoshopped images of Pitbull and LeBron to illustrate my points (in addition to gratuitous comparisons with the Fresh Prince). Yet after taking a few hours to let it breathe before clicking “publish”, I decided "not gonna do it, wouldn't be prudent at this juncture". Chattanooga is a small place and we all need to get along. I think it is best to try to shepherd our wayward brothers and sisters into the fold rather than berate them for their shitty work. Besides, what is the point of having a policy if you only follow it when it’s easy and convenient? (I can't resist leaving you a clue)
Anyway, I think I can make my point without having to call anyone out. The point, once again, has to do with how (in)effective design guidelines are. In this case, there is a new building in a well-known design review district. This new building presumably satisfies all of the design requirements. Yet, the building is a belligerent affront to reasonable sensitivities. I won’t describe what makes it bad, as that would betray the identity of the project. Let’s just say it’s like pornography- you’ll know it when you see it. (If you really want to read what I wrote, catch up with me at my Cherry Street office for the usual Friday session).
So now I’m left scrambling to think of something to write about this week…
As she has been the off and on butt of jokes in this space, I must observe that Paula Deen has received her just desserts. She can now eat some humble pie…(Insert your own bad food joke). If you haven’t followed, she has been outed as a racist and bigot and fired from the Food Network. The fact that the twitterverse developed one of the wittiest threads ever (#PaulasBestDishes) on Juneteenth is indeed delicious.
Being the avid football (soccer) fan that I am, the Confederations Cup has been welcome reprieve in the sporting desert that is mid-June in America. The Cup is being held as a warm up for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. You may have noticed that hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Brazilians have taken this opportunity to take to the streets in protest. Seeing the protestors against the backdrop of Oscar Niemeyer’s work brought a smile to my face. How very appropriate. Neimeyer, a favorite architect of mine once remarked “ More important than architecture is protesting in the streets. That is the important stuff. When someone feels good…and believe that they’re not a piece of shit, that they can be useful.” Rest in peace Oscar, your countrymen are doing you proud.