Tuesday, October 12, 2010

McDonald's "Food" is Immortal!

Earlier this summer I spent a little time writing about McDonald's localwashing campaign and writing a few emails to the local folks behind the billboards. It turns out what what McDonald's is making isn't really "food" anyway (it doesn't seem to decompose after six months on a kitchen counter), so maybe arguing that it isn't "local" is beside the point?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Scenic Drive Factory

Somewhere on this site I wrote something about needing more production in the neighborhood, more workshops to go along with the bars, restaurants, stores, etc. When I said it (or thought it; I can't seem to find where I posted it), I was thinking places where people could be employed to create things that everyone needed, like furniture and clothing. Metrix opened last year, and I hear its fantastic, but I'm not really a laser/robot/technology type (though I was quite the Autocad drafter in high school); its DIY approach certainly piques my interest, but I have not really been able to envision how what people create there can be used as widely as, say, a chair. And I'm definitely not saying there is anything wrong with techno-centric tinkering; it's just not what I'm talking about here.

What I am talking about is the production of everyday objects, and the soon-to-be-opening Scenic Drive Factory combines the DIY ethic of Metrix, but is oriented toward producing such objects, namely those that can be created with sewing machines. Based on the photos they have posted on their site, the owners appear to be in the bicycle fashion and accessory biz (check out a NYT article on Bicycle Chic here), which is great, especially for someone like myself who ride bikes but isn't a cyclist, but they also will be renting their equipment out on an hourly basis to others in need.

[Photo from Scenic Drive Factory]

So if you've been looking to hone your sewing skills, create objects for personal consumption or resale, and do not want to invest in your own equipment, check out 'em out. It's like Office Nomads-style coworking for the material world.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The 1212 Project

If you've been paying much attention to this site, you know that Sean from Alleycat Acres is one of my favorite people here in Seattle. I turn one way, he's writing for Worldchanging.com, then look the other and he's speaking at City Council hearings; his group has started several farms around the city and now he has a new goal for 2011: to start 12 new farms, in 12 cities, over the 12 months of the year. His goal here is "to use urban agriculture to empower and inspire queer inner-city youth." A damn fine plan and, to repeat what I wrote earlier in a Facebook exchange, I can't wait for the new year so I can watch him knock this out of the fucking park.


Facebook Page:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NOW Urbanism, NOW Seattle

The first NOW Urbanism lecture of the 2010-2011 series is tonight at 6:30 in room 120 210 of Kane Hall on the UW campus. It will be "a conversation about the connections between past and present, built and human, local and global - in Seattle and beyond." The panelists are Lisa Graumlich (Dean, UW College of the Environment), William Rees Morrish (Dean, Parsons The New School for Design, New York City), and Phillip J. Ethington (History & Political Science, University of Southern California). The panel will be moderated by Ray Gastil (Gastilworks, former DPD Director of Planning). Though its unfortunate that Tim Gunn couldn't make it to represent Parsons, it promises to be a good event, and is put on by great people.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rush Hour in Copenhagen

Thanks to the Seattle Bike Blog for sharing this!

October 15th is Movie Night

In the past 24 hours I've received invitations to two great film-related events on October 15th. Both are political in nature, but one focuses more on built space while the other is essentially cultural criticism. Lucky for you they are not happening at the same time, so it would be easy to attend both!

In chronological order:

Event 1 -- Hollywood Film in the Era of Bush/Cheney:
A Contested Terrain

Dr. Douglas Kellner (UCLA)

Friday, October 15 at 4:00PM
BANNAN 102 (on the Seattle University campus)

Dr. Kellner’s talk will present some motifs from his recent book, Cinema Wars: Hollywood Film and Politics in the Bush/Cheney Era, which provides an exploration of contemporary Hollywood film in the 2000s. His thesis is that during an era of unparalleled socio-political turbulence and conflict, Hollywood film can be seen as a contested terrain between conservative and liberal forces. Examining a wide range of films, genres, and filmmakers, he documents how many popular films reproduce conservative and militarist discourses that replicate the positions of the Bush-Cheney regime, while other films criticize or satirize the conservative administration. He will engage both fictional entertainment films and documentary films in what he calls, “The Golden Age of Documentary.” In sum, he wants to document how Hollywood film in the 2000s has been a vibrant force of social protest, which helped create cultural conditions to elect Barack Obama. His talk will also address themes that will structure a second volume of his Cinema Wars studies that engage cultural wars over gender, sexuality, race, and class in contemporary cinema and that updates the first volume by engaging Hollywood cinema in the Obama Era.

Dr. Douglas Kellner is George Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education at UCLA and is author of many books on social theory, politics, history, and culture. Author of Herbert Marcuse and the Crisis of Marxism, Kellner is editing the collected papers of Herbert Marcuse, four volumes of which have appeared with Routledge. Kellner’s Guys and Guns Amok: Domestic Terrorism and School Shootings from the Oklahoma City Bombings to the Virginia Tech Massacre won the 2008 AESA award as the best book on education. Blackwell published Kellner’s newest book, Cinema Wars: Hollywood Film and Politics in the Bush/Cheney Era, earlier this year. His website is at:

Copies of Cinema Wars will be available for sale. The talk is proudly made possible by the Seattle University Philosophy Fellowship and is free and open to the public.

Event 2 -- You Cannot Kill Us, We Are a Part of You

Two sneak preview screenings of
You Cannot Kill Us, We Are a Part of You

Friday, October 15, 2010 7:00pm and 9:00pm
The AV Club in Georgetown, Seattle
$10.00 suggested donation, at the door

60 minutes, in English. Directed by Richard Jackman and Robert Lawson. A brief discussion will follow each screening. The 7:00pm screening will be captioned, with ASL interpreted discussion following the screening.

This screening of You Cannot Kill Us, We Are a Part You is funded by the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.

You Cannot Kill Us, We Are a Part of You tells the story of the "free state" of Christiania, a 39-year-old anarchist squatter community occupying an abandoned military base in the heart of Denmark's capital, Copenhagen.

Christiania was born in 1971 when youthful idealism and a severe housing shortage incited hundreds of young people to "storm the gates" and claim 85 acres of deserted brick buildings, woods, ramparts and canals as their home. Finding it politically unpopular to evict the young settlers, the Danish government declared Christiania a short-term "social experiment."

With the freedom to experiment, the Christianites built a distinct culture based on group consensus, and a thriving economy of restaurants, bars, cottage industries, and an open hashish trade. In every respect, Christiania became an alternative that challenged, inspired, and frightened the society outside.

39 years later, Christiania is still alive, despite increasingly uneasy relations with the Danish government, which plans to "normalize" Christiania. After years of struggle and compromise, many say that the end is near for this famous "social experiment."

The AV Club will also feature Laura Wright’s multimedia installation Ohio, funded by the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, simulating the sounds and landscape of Ohio on a summer night. Several films will be screened at the AV Club this fall. Email lauracwright@hotmail.com for more information.

Getting there

The AV Club is a metal building behind Georgetown’s Tacoma Screw Store in the alley between Flora Ave and Ellis Ave S. It is located behind the house at 6225 Ellis Ave S., Seattle, WA 98108. Please enter through the alley, there is no access from the front of the house. There is street parking on Ellis Ave, Flora Ave, 12th Ave South, and S Angelo St. Busses 60, 106 and 134 will take you to Georgetown.

For driving directions and further information about the screening, please visit www.busno8.com

Monday, October 4, 2010

NOW Urbanism at UW

Check out the NOW Urbanism lecture series at UW that will be happening throughout the academic school year.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Park(ing) Day Video

Shared by the good folks from Undriving.