Being a concert promoter turned land-use watch-dog, with forays into arts advocate and blogger has the weird effect of sometimes imagining a parallel world in which all my ideas come true.
I am posting this while listening to a public hearing, in the real world, of the actual project, by Roxy Rapp about 261 Hamilton, the University Arts building.
Rather than granting building owner about $20 million dollars worth of bonuses, why not build over the historic Spanish-Colonial a giant Good Humor bar that spells out the words BUILDING ENVELOPE?
Like Noam Chomsky, I believe better self-governance in a Democracy can come from a close watching of the little things, like words and letters.
Earlier this week I watched a presentation of people wanting a BIG STUPID SIGN at Embarcadero at Newell that might say BIG STUPID SIGN. I am not for that idea — I wanted a giant book by Claes Oldenburg — but am jonesing to get an artist to sketch my idea (the actual idea just said ART CENTER & LIBRARY — same difference).
I think I saw what could be a reference to my idea and I, as a public service and fair use, cut and paste it here.
I propose at 261 Hamilton superimposed on historic building a giant Good Humor bar spelling BUILDING ENVELOPE?
edit to add: what about a public safety building in the shape of the letters PUBLICSAFETY
(261 according to the proposed architect is an L-shaped building — why not add the P, U, B etc? Or maybe simpler, just a building shaped like POLICE)
edit to add, 40 minutes later, during Pat Burt’s remarks: Mr. Burt said he was thinking hard about this case, which made me think — literally, I was not trying to think, but I could not stop myself — that it is not our problem with words, even seven-letter ones, but shapes. We need someone who can, for example, solve or at least explain or has heard of Poincare’s Conjecture. As New York Times said, “where are you Grisha Perelman?”
There is also, closer to home, a lady named Doris Fischer who is very good in math and a ceramicist and maybe could help shape this discussion.
edit to add, Friday of that week: I have a few more notes from the meeting, which ended well, to the extent council voted 8-1 to send Roxy back to drawing board. The Weekly meanwhile has an editorial “For developers, tough sledding: Citizen activists put city staff and council to the test in reviewing new projects” which is ok, but I think understates the case. I posted thusly on their site. Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North
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Mark Weiss is a registered user.
When I ran for City Council in 2012, Gennady Sheyner of the Weekly said I did nothing but “railing against the developers”. If that was true then, it is less true now. I am putting a lot of energy into blogging against the developers. For instance:
I continually say that the Weekly, even above, is for some reason too soft on the developers.
The election is about 100 days away and I am imagining another 50 or more such essays and posts and rants even about the political climate here — and the occasional post here as well.
Regarding Monday’s meaning, which also included council rejecting Fred Balin’s appeal re College Terrace, my notes on 261 included that Greg Scharff used the term “twisted-pretzel”, which to me fits with my rabbit and Good Humor. In less a good humor, Scharff pigeon-holed me Wednesday at “Our Palo Alto” and asked me why I write such “nasty” things about him. I guess I should get him to define “nasty”: like Janet Jackson, and he likes the fit of my jeans, or like the Romanian tennis player of the 1970s and he thinks I should simplify my delivery, or has he merely never heard of Sullivan v. The New York Times, the landmark case on Free Speech and comment on public figures. The night before, I had greeted him and mentioned that I had written favorably about his tenant at 661 University, the chiropractor/artist/producer Aaron Vanderhoof. I proposed to our former mayor that we meet over coffee perhaps at Books Inc to clear the air. I have known slightly Greg Scharff since the fall of 2009 when we were both first-time candidates for council. The last time, before twice this week, that I recall speaking with him was Election Night November, 2012 when at the results party that I soon-after left, he asked me whether I considered myself more or less electable than a homeless schizophrenic who never takes a bath. I don’t recall what my actual reply was but considering that my vote tally increased from 800 or so in 2009 to 4,000 or so in 2012 I would say that it might be worth running one more time just to see whether you consider it a linear or geometric progression of votes that best describes my ass scent, Greg.
edit to add, Aug. 6, 2014: I actually read this, or most of it, into the record, at HRB, in honor of Stephen Turner and his 16 years of civil service here. Good luck in Redwood City, climate best by governance by people like you, Aaron and Curtis. Maybe I will be joining you somewhere down the line.