robertogreco + sandiego   809

White supremacist violence has a long history in San Diego - The Washington Post
"Hideous racist violence never occurs in a vacuum. The domestic terrorist who authorities say killed one person and injured three others at a synagogue on the last day of Passover in Poway, Calif., did so less than 10 miles from my old high school. He may have acted by himself, but as history and his Internet trail show, he was in no way a lone wolf. To cast him that way perpetuates a misleading narrative of individual rather than shared responsibility. And that is not just ahistoric, but it also keeps Americans from taking any meaningful steps to combat the rise of white supremacist violence.

The entire United States has yet to come to terms with the national legacy of centuries of genocides and human trafficking, but San Diego, in particular, drifts along obliviously. The city where I grew up has hardly begun to acknowledge its own role in enabling and perpetuating a mind-set that can so effortlessly become racialized violence — especially when hate crimes are treated like a game, the perpetrators egged on by gleeful, ghoulish cheerleaders watching on Facebook Live and keeping virtual score on 8chan and Stormfront.

California, and Southern California in particular, has been held up as an example of successful diversity by some and hopeless liberal failures by others, but in reality the state has been and continues to be shaped by competing forces of demographic change and white supremacist reaction. Nowhere is this more distilled than at the very farthest edge of the country, San Diego, at the gateway to Latin America.

The Ku Klux Klan (more specifically, the Exalted Cyclops of San Diego No. 64) seems to have first appeared in San Diego in the 1920s as part of a resurgence across the country in reaction to an influx of immigrants and asylum seekers entering the United States after World War I. At that point, the Klan in Southern California functioned primarily as a way to keep Mexican and Mexican American workers terrorized out of any attempts at organizing or demanding better working conditions.

Later, the Klan’s rhetoric, normalized and slightly sanitized through popular media and newspaper coverage, informed the attitudes of many Americans toward the forced “repatriations” of the 1930s, when more than a million people of Mexican descent were sent to Mexico or simply dumped at the border. Later still, in the 1970s, offshoots of this chapter formed unauthorized patrols to round up undocumented immigrants in the direct predecessors of today’s border militias. They’re more than just historical echoes: The first “civilian border patrol” was a publicity stunt dreamed up in 1977 by Duke, then-KKK leader.

The Klan in Southern California also reacted to the growing number of African Americans moving to the region from the South, fleeing Jim Crow laws and widespread informal discrimination during the Second Great Migration. The group began to join up with others with similar aims, such as the Silver Shirts League. Farm associations and fishing companies contracted with these organizations to keep laborers from unionizing or conducting any other “communist” activities, and redlining reached new heights around San Diego, with real estate agents forming “gentlemen’s agreements,” sealed with a wink and a smile that kept anyone who wasn’t white out of certain neighborhoods and concentrated in others.

The targets were Jewish residents as well as black ones. A huge, famous and occasionally controversial cross on La Jolla’s Mount Soledad is a relic of that time, a visible reminder that Jewish families were not welcome in that community. The University of California at San Diego’s Roger Revelle deserves credit for sparking major change; he threatened to take his visionary university system elsewhere until San Diego could figure itself out. “San Diego was a medium-sized, stodgy city, about as far from being an intellectual center as one could get,” Revelle wrote later. “Social and political dissent were frowned on; La Jolla even had a real estate broker’s covenant not to sell or rent houses to Jews.”

Revelle won the battle, but white supremacy never left. It did occasionally rebrand: Fallbrook, Calif., television repairman Tom Metzger, who in the 1970s led unauthorized border patrols with Duke, created the White Aryan Resistance (WAR) to further that aim in the 1980s. A few years later, I would walk past graffiti representing that very group on my way to school.

Today, California has more than 80 known hate groups, more than any other state, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Map.” At least eight of these are active in San Diego, mostly white nationalist or anti-immigrant — including many that have grown dramatically amid the racially charged comments and corrosive disinformation that is a hallmark of the Trump administration.

Those of us who watch these groups have seen this all happen before. In San Diego in 2010, agitators gathered at Golden Hall to hurl anti-Semitic invective at then-Rep. Bob Filner (D). I tracked some of those responsible to the board Stormfront, where people who had attended the event promised to return with guns."
sandiego  whitesupremacy  history  lajolla  antisemitism  kuluxklan  mountsoledad  rogerrevelle  2019 
19 days ago by robertogreco
Ethnic markets and community food security in an urban “food desert” - Pascale Joassart-Marcelli, Jaime S Rossiter, Fernando J Bosco, 2017
"In recent years, the concept of food desert has come to dominate research and policy debates around food environments and their impacts on health, with mounting evidence that low-income neighborhoods of color lack large supermarkets and therefore may have limited access to fresh, affordable, and healthy foods. We argue that this metaphor, which implies an absence of food, is misleading and potentially detrimental to the health of poor and racially diverse communities because it ignores the contribution of smaller stores, particularly that of so-called ethnic markets. Current applications of the food desert concept in this setting reflect classed and racialized understandings of the food environment that ignore the everyday geographies of food provision in immigrant communities while favoring external interventions. Our investigation of ethnic markets in City Heights, a low-income urban neighborhood in San Diego with a diverse immigrant population, offers evidence of their positive role in providing access to affordable, fresh, healthy, and culturally appropriate foods. Our results contribute to research by providing a nuanced description of the food environment beyond access to supermarkets, focusing specifically on immigrant neighborhoods, and pointing to ethnic markets as valuable partners in increasing food security in diverse urban areas."
2017  sandiego  cityheights  food  supermarkets  markets  fooddeserts  race  ethnicity  class  culture  geography  immigration 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Should PoMo Architecture, at the 50-Year Mark, Be Saved? - The New York Times
"One significant Post-Modernist building hasn’t won the preservation battle. Despite a petition signed by 100 prominent architects and academics, a forecourt of pergolas with chubby columns completed in 1996 by the Philadelphia architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is now being demolished for a major expansion by Annabelle Selldorf, the highly regarded New York architect. Inside, Ms. Selldorf is repurposing, intact, Venturi Scott Brown’s entry vestibule, with its Pop-art, WHAAM! VAROOM! neon starburst ceiling, as a meeting hall and event space.

It’s complicated. Venturi, who died this September, kicked off Post-Modernism with his hugely influential “Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture” (1966), a searing critique of Modernism’s failure to communicate and relate to its users.

The couple’s La Jolla addition belongs to a distinguished and historic portfolio. Ms. Selldorf specializes in quiet, abstract Minimalist designs especially suited to museums. She professes “huge respect” for Venturi Scott Brown’s buildings.

Ms. Selldorf’s 43,000 square foot, $75 million expansion is the museum’s fourth and largest, each addition gobbling up the last like a Russian doll. But the core remains a crisp cubic house built for the philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1915 by Irving Gill, one of the world’s first Modernists. In a succession of additions over three decades, Mosher Drew, a San Diego firm, added gallery space and an auditorium, tying the composite of buildings together with a long colonnade. Venturi and Scott Brown removed the Mosher Drew colonnade in their expansion and painstakingly restored the Gill facade, which they then partially obscured by adding their pergolas for the museum’s entry and cafe.

Ms. Selldorf’s addition shifted the museum’s center of gravity, causing her to reposition the front door elsewhere, obviating Venturi and Scott Brown’s entrance pergola. Removing the cartoonish columns reveals Gill’s original facade.

Her clean-lined, geometrically disciplined buildings represent the Modernist architecture that Venturi famously criticized when he declared “Less is a bore.” As Ms. Selldorf removes the pergolas, she eliminates the complexity and contradiction Venturi Scott Brown layered into the ensemble, denaturing their eclectic addition. In a complex that otherwise remains a collage of architectural histories, the Minimalist chose to feature Gill’s early Minimalist icon. She subtracted rather than added.

In a case of competing histories, Ms. Selldorf had to make Sophie’s choice: which history? “The greater good was revealing the Irving Gill,” she decided.

Long after Post-Modernism’s retreat, the style wars continue."
mcasd  lajolla  sandiego  architecture  pomo  potmodernism  design 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Black Twitter: American Twitter gets its new terms from Black Twitter — Quartz
"African American English may be America’s greatest source of linguistic creativity.

A new study, led by Jack Grieve, a professor of corpus linguistics at the University of Birmingham in the UK, analyzed nearly 1 billion tweets to find out how new terms emerge on the platform. By looking at words that go from total obscurity to mainstream usage on Twitter in a short period of time, the research can begin to answer questions like: Is one part of the country more linguistically creative than the others? And do new words spread from a geographical origin outward, or does the internet allow them to emerge everywhere, simultaneously?

To some extent, the answer to both questions is “yes,” as I have written previously. But the study points out the particular importance of one community on Twitter in particular, concluding, “African American English is the main source of lexical innovation on American Twitter.”

To get to that result, the authors extracted billions of words from tweets by users in the United States. They then identified the words that were very uncommon around October 2013, but had become widely used by November 2014. After getting rid of proper nouns and variations of the same term, they settled on 54 “emerging words,” including famo, tfw, yaas, and rekt.

Identifying those terms allowed the researchers to analyze out how new words spread. That pointed to five “common regional patterns” of lexical creation: the West Coast, centered around California; the Deep South, around Atlanta; the Northwest and New York; the Mid-Atlantic and DC; and the Gulf Coast, centered on New Orleans.

Of those five, the Deep South is exceptional in the way it brings about new terms. Usually, a term starts in a densely populated urban area, then spreads to urban areas in other parts of the country. In the case of the West Coast, for example, terms tend to start in Los Angeles and San Francisco, then make their way to Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.

That doesn’t happen as much in the Deep South. There, the spread of creative new words appears to be driven more by culture than population density. Atlanta, the authors point out, is small relative to urban powerhouses like LA and New York. And terms that originate in the South do not spread by jumping to other cities; instead, they spread via areas with large black populations.

The map below shows the different regions the study uncovered; each county in the US is colored based on the pattern of spread it is most closely associated with. As you can see, the West Coast map shows several red hotspots well beyond California, popping up as far away as Seattle, Florida, and the Northeast. Several other maps look like that, too—the Northeast pattern has green splotches in Louisiana, the South, and Southern California; the Mid-Atlantic map shows deep purple in Chicago, Texas, and elsewhere. The Deep South, on the other hand, spreads straight out from the area around Atlanta, with only a very faint blue on top of San Francisco.

[maps]

That alone wouldn’t be enough to say that African American English is the “main source” of new terms on American Twitter. But the paper adds that three of the five patterns above seem to be “primarily associated with African American English.” That is to say, these patterns reflect the distribution of the black population in the US. Often, the study finds, the percentage of a county that is black appears to be more important than just the number of people living there in fueling linguistic creativity. In Georgia and North Carolina, for example, linguistically innovative areas “are not necessarily more populous but do generally contain higher percentages of African Americans.” This, they conclude, shows “the inordinate influence of African American English on Twitter.”

Many of the Black Twitter terms identified in the study will be familiar to any frequent Twitter user. Among the ones most associated with the Deep South region are famo (family and friends), fleek (on point), and baeless (single). But the fastest-emerging terms come from other places and cultures, too. Waifu, for example, a Japanese borrowing of the English word “wife,” is associated with the West Coast and anime."
blacktwitter  language  english  communication  invention  culture  2018  2013  nikhilsonnad  jackgrieve  linguistics  deepsouth  sandiego  portland  oregon  seattle  lasvegas  phoenix  westcoast  losangeles  sanfrancisco  california  atlanta  nyc  washingtondc  nola  neworleans  chicago 
september 2018 by robertogreco
Commentary: Critics say a San Diego museum's Postmodern entry should be preserved. But why keep what doesn't work? - Los Angeles Times
"Now, MCASD La Jolla is set to be reconfigured again. Selldorf, whose firm is known for work on historic museum buildings — including the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., and the Neue Galerie in New York — has been charged with adding 30,000 square feet of gallery space — the museum currently has no dedicated space to show its permanent collection — which she will achieve by transforming the auditorium into galleries and by adding another hall on a newly acquired property to the south.

To weave this Franken-complex together, she is removing a portion of VSBA’s arched facade and the pergolas. She is also shifting the museum’s main entrance to the south, aligning it with Mosher Drew’s auditorium building, which means that Axline Court will no longer serve as the principal point of access — though it will remain as a gathering space. It is these latter moves that have raised a critical outcry.

First and foremost, there is the question of the entrance.

As part of their 1990s re-do, Venturi and Scott Brown placed the main doorway to the museum behind their concrete pergola, where it was not only difficult to find but also competed visually with the rebuilt arched sun porch of the newly uncovered Scripps house a few feet away — an entryway that, ironically, no longer served as entrance.

Confusion over the location of the entrance was such that about a year after the expansion was completed, the museum asked the architects to devise some sort of signage that would help point the way, hence the addition of the word “MUSEUM” in yellow capital letters above the correct doorway.

Goldberger, who was architecture critic for the New York Times and the New Yorker before becoming a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, is one of the major figures who signed the open letter condemning the Selldorf plan. In 1996, he wrote a glowing review of the Venturi Scott Brown expansion in the New York Times, describing it as “an exquisite project.” But in the piece, he also noted the awkward position of the entrance, which required visitors to “make an illogical turn to the left to arrive at the front door.”

Goldberger said this was a minor issue, in light of the museum’s “graceful composition” and its “public presence on the streets of La Jolla.” But as someone who has directed disoriented visitors to the entrance on numerous occasions, I would argue that an important part of a public institution’s public presence is a clear and welcoming doorway.

Then there is the matter of the pergolas.

In a 1996 review of the expansion, Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight noted that the pergolas designed by VSBA echoed the delicate lines of a Gill-designed pergola that hugs the facade of the Scripps house, but that it did it on a much larger scale in “clever” “Toontown” fashion. The pergolas also serve to frame the Gill house, setting it apart from the street and the rest of the museum’s facade.

The petition argues that removing the Venturi, Scott Brown pergolas would “prevent visitors from experiencing [the Scripps house] in the way Gill intended: from the intimate, pedestrian-scaled space in front of it.”

But at this point, it’s hard to say what exactly we are experiencing of Gill’s original architecture.

When Mosher Drew wrapped its own building around the Scripps house in the 1950s, a portion of the Gill house was torn down during construction. This included demolishing the original sun porch, stripping part of the facade and filling in windows. In a lecture delivered in 1979, architecture critic Esther McCoy described watching pieces of the structure come down: “I saw the wrecking company razing it. Real labor to destroy a Gill building.”

So when VSBA uncovered the Gill structure, it wasn’t simply uncovering. It was also rebuilding. And to their credit, the architects went to terrific lengths to get it right: using poured concrete where Gill had used poured concrete and reinserting windows that matched the ones in historic photographs of the house.

The Scripps house now largely exists as fragments embedded in the larger museum, the most complete original portion of which is the entry foyer. And even that is not in its original state: It was refurbished first by Mosher Drew, then by VSBA, which added gray wainscoting. (One can only imagine what Gill, who was all about stripped-down Modernism, would make of wainscoting.)

Lastly, there are the issues of urban planning.

One of the principal arguments for leaving the current design untouched is to preserve the ways in which the museum relates to the streets of La Jolla. “Its street frontage, museum store and cafe extend the rhythm of Prospect Street’s lively storefronts,” reads the petition, “celebrating the museum’s location in the village commercial center and drawing visitors towards the building.”

In my experience, that is an optimistic view of how the museum relates to the street.

Although the museum sits within a commercial zone, it is at a point where the area grows increasingly residential. Pedestrian traffic tends to peter out two blocks away, both on Prospect Street to the north and Silverado Street to the east. One of the closest commercial sites to the museum is a restaurant more than a block away that was recently shuttered for renovations and shows no signs of reopening. Most folks who land at the museum arrive intentionally, not because they happen to wander in.

Moreover, the critical focus on the street ignores the site’s larger natural context: namely, the Pacific Ocean.

For whatever reason, MCASD La Jolla has historically turned its back on this incredible feature — with loading docks that offer views of the water and a sidewalk cafe that overlooks ... asphalt.

Moreover, if, as intended, you approach the museum by walking south on Prospect Street, the first thing you encounter on the museum’s property is not a garden, cafe or gallery. It’s the parking lot — a parking lot with resplendent views of the ocean where I’ve seen families (including my own) pose for group pictures amid the parked cars. It is absurd.

In their design, Venturi and Scott Brown smartly dealt with some of these challenges. The architects sliced windows into Mosher Drew’s more oppressive structures, allowing visitors glimpses of coastline in galleries that had once been boxed in. And they linked the ocean-view garden on the site’s eastern slope — now the Edwards Sculpture Garden — with the museum for easier access. (Previously, it was accessible to the public only from Coast Boulevard; the garden will remain unchanged in Selldorf’s design.)

In her redesign, Selldorf is working to reorient the entire museum complex to the ocean, its best asset. Parking will go underground, allowing for a public park, a more pastoral place to enjoy ocean views. Other spaces that engage the Pacific will include terraces, meeting rooms, an event space. In this regard, her makeover is overdue.

Postmodern architecture is experiencing a critical moment. It is at a point where it looks old enough to be outdated — too flamboyant in our age of austere iPhone minimalism — but not old enough to have achieved the status of venerable. Iconic structures, such as Michael Graves’ Portland Municipal Services Building in Oregon and Philip Johnson’s AT&T Building in New York (now the Sony building) have faced the threat of wrecking balls and ill-conceived renovations.

I am wary of erasing architectural history. But as Aaron Betsky noted in a column in Architect magazine about the case of MCASD La Jolla, “advocates are asking us to preserve a building that has a somewhat confused organization, banal spaces and ridiculous ornamentation.”

Selldorf’s plan holds on to elements of the site’s myriad design histories — to which she will add her own story. In a way, it’s in keeping with the museum’s own history as a place of continuous architectural evolution. There is no reason that evolution should stop in the 1990s."
2018  carolinamiranda  lajolla  mcasd  sandiego  architecture  design  history 
september 2018 by robertogreco
The (In)Visible Project
"Objective
The (In)Visible Project is a multimedia installation that presents an intimate and dignified human portrait of San Diego’s homeless population. Through timeless photographic portraiture and first-person stories, it offers residents and visitors the opportunity to challenge their perceptions of those living on our city’s streets. This project confronts the stigma surrounding homelessness, raises awareness about the realities facing San Diego’s homeless population, and provides a space for our community to come together to learn, discuss, and take action to address the issue.

Context
There are now almost ten thousand men, women, and children in our community who carry on with their lives hidden in plain sight. We often pass by – or look away from – our homeless neighbors because we feel there’s little we can do to help.

The number of people living on San Diego’s streets is rising. Families continue to be impacted by the ongoing economic crisis, losing jobs and homes. Veterans are returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan without the support they need, and many of them are ending up on the street.

For social, economic, and humanitarian reasons, we must explore new ways of addressing homelessness before it reaches epidemic proportions in our community. Many of those on the streets seek refuge on sidewalks, in doorways, in parks, and underneath highway overpasses throughout the city – in wealthy neighborhoods and poor ones alike. It is a reality that concerns us all.

We believe that challenging public perceptions about homelessness is the first step to finding real and lasting solutions to the bleak reality faced by far too many people in our city. (In)Visible reveals the faces of the individuals and families we often fail to see, and shares the stories of those we fail to hear.

For installation description, please visit the Exhibit page."
sandiego  homeless  bearguerra  photography  homelessness  photojournalism 
september 2018 by robertogreco
Fonografia Collective
[via: https://clockshop.org/project/south-of-fletcher-fonografia-collective/ ]

"Fonografia Collective believes in empathetic and culturally-sensitive documentary storytelling about everyday people around the world. We find and craft compelling stories about human rights, politics, the environment, and social issues (or any combination thereof) and share them with the general public using radio, oral histories, photography, the printed word, multimedia, public installations, gatherings and events.

Since 2005, we've been working together to advance our vision of a more inclusive and diverse approach to nonfiction storytelling, focusing on communities across the U.S. and Latin America that are often underrepresented or misunderstood by the mainstream media or the public. As consultants with a variety of institutions, nonprofits, and individuals, we strive to do the same. We also run Story Tellers, a social media platform connecting storytellers from around the world to gigs, funding, collaboration opportunities, and to one another.

We are producers and board members of Homelands Productions, a 25 year-old independent documentary journalism cooperative. Until Spring 2017, we collaborated with public radio station KCRW on a year-long multimedia storytelling series about aging called "Going Gray in LA." At present, we are developing a storytelling project about the Bowtie in conjunction with Clockshop, an arts organization in Los Angeles, and California State Parks.

*******

Bios

Ruxandra Guidi has been telling nonfiction stories for almost two decades. Her reporting for public radio, magazines, and various multimedia and multidisciplinary outlets has taken her throughout the United States, the Caribbean, South and Central America, as well as Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico border region.

After earning a Master’s degree in journalism from U.C. Berkeley in 2002, she assisted independent producers The Kitchen Sisters; then worked as a reporter, editor, and producer for NPR's Latino USA, the BBC daily news program, The World, the CPB-funded Fronteras Desk in San Diego-Tijuana, and KPCC Public Radio's Immigration and Emerging Communities beat in Los Angeles. She's also worked extensively throughout South America, having been a freelance foreign correspondent based in Bolivia (2007-2009) and in Ecuador (2014-2016). Currently, she is the president of the board of Homelands Productions, a journalism nonprofit cooperative founded in 1989. She is a contributing editor for the 48 year-old nonprofit magazine High Country News, and she also consults regularly as a writer, editor, translator and teacher for a variety of clients in the U.S. and Latin America. In 2018, she was awarded the Susan Tifft Fellowship for women in documentary and journalism by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Throughout her career, Guidi has collaborated extensively and across different media to produce in-depth magazine features, essays, and radio documentaries for the BBC World Service, BBC Mundo, The World, National Public Radio, Marketplace, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Orion Magazine, The Walrus Magazine, Guernica Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic NewsWatch, The New York Times, The Guardian, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Atlantic, among others. She’s a native of Caracas, Venezuela.

*

Bear Guerra is a photographer whose work explores the human impact of globalization, development, and social and environmental justice issues in communities typically underrepresented in the media.

In addition to editorial assignments, he is consistently working on long-term projects, and collaborates with media, non-profit, and arts organizations, as well as other insititutions. His photo essays and images have been published and exhibited widely, both in the United States and abroad.

He was a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism for the 2013-2014 academic year at the University of Colorado - Boulder; a 2014 Mongabay Special Reporting Initiative Fellow; as well as a 2014 International Reporting Project Health and Development Reporting Fellow. In 2012, he was chosen as a Blue Earth Alliance project photographer for his ongoing project "La Carretera: Life Along Peru's Interoceanic Highway". Other recognitions have included being selected for publication in American Photography (2005, 2015, 2016) and Latin American Fotografía (2014, 2016, 2017); an honorable mention in the 2012 Photocrati Fund competition for the same project. Bear has also been a finalist for a National Magazine Award in Photojournalism (2010).

A native of San Antonio, TX, Bear is currently based in Los Angeles.

For more information, a CV, or to order exhibition quality prints please contact Bear directly.

Editorial clients/publications (partial list): The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Le Monde, The Atlantic, Orion Magazine, The Boston Globe Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, OnEarth, ProPublica, National Public Radio, BBC's The World, California Watch, High Country News, Quiet Pictures, Texas Monthly, Time.com, Earth Island Journal, O Magazine, Glamour, Ms. Magazine, NACLA Magazine, Yes! Magazine, SEED Magazine, The Sun, The Walrus, Guernica, and others.

Nonprofit/NGO clients & other collaborators: International Rescue Committee, Doctors Without Borders, Lambi Fund of Haiti, Children's Environmental Health Institute, Community Water Center, Environmental Water Caucus, Collective Roots, Other Worlds Are Possible, Immigration Justice Project/American Bar Association, Fundacion Nueva Cultura del Agua (Spain), Chinatown Community for Equitable Development, St. Barnabas Senior Services, Jumpstart, Global Oneness Project, Quiet Pictures."
bearguerra  ruxandraguidi  radio  photography  audio  storytelling  everyday  documentary  humanrights  politics  environment  society  socialissues  print  multimedia  oralhistory  art  installation  gatherings  events  inclusion  inclusivity  diversity  nonfiction  latinamerica  us  media  losangeles  kcrw  fronterasdesk  sandiego  tijuana  kpcc  globalization  sanantonio  fonografiacollective  srg  photojournalism 
september 2018 by robertogreco
Simón Limón
"Located in the Barrio Logan Art District of San Diego, CA Simón Limón is a curated retail showroom and creative space that will promote independent contemporary artists and designers who are bringing forth new and interesting ideas to the conversation.

The space will act as a platform for passionate “artipreneurals” to showcase and sell their work, seek advice, and collaborate. The space will be furnished with goods made by artist from both north and south of the San Diego border creating a space without borders. In an effort to educate individuals on the importance of ethical fashion and purchasing practices we will be hosting monthly workshops in differing mediums where people can explore their creative side and learn the processes that go into creating the goods they purchase.

Creating this space will not only directly benefit and support our local artist and maker but it will also benefit our community as a whole by promoting the growth of small businesses within San Diego and enrich our community."
bariologan  sandiego  shopping  art  design 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Where Did All the Jacaranda Trees in Los Angeles Come From?
"When you look up at a vibrant purple jacaranda tree—or a bush of bougainvillea, sprout of birds of paradise, or fragrant patch of jasmine, for that matter—you can thank Kate Sessions, a pioneering female horticulturalist who helped make over the natural environment of Southern California.

Sessions was born in Barbary Coast-era San Francisco, amongst the gold speculators and vigilantes. Early in her childhood her family moved near Lake Merritt, which, in 1870, would be designated as the country’s first official wildlife refuge. She went on to be among the small cohort of women to attend U.C. Berkeley in the initial years after the Board of Regents opened admission to female students, and, in 1881, received her degree in natural science.

After graduation, Sessions went on to enroll in business school in San Francisco, but was lured south by an offer of a job as a school teacher in San Diego.

Plants had always been her passion, but once she arrived in Southern California, that passion exploded. Her job as a teacher lasted only one school year, but she quickly purchased a nursery and flower shop and established flower cultivating fields in Coronado, Pacific Beach, and Mission Hills.

She was fascinated with plants growing in exotic parts of the world, and was experimenting with bringing seeds and plants from Europe, Mexico, and South America, as well as cultivating native California plants. She became the most sought-after landscape designer for fashionable homeowners and residential developers in the fast-growing city.

In 1892, she made the deal that would change California’s landscape forever. Sessions leased 32 acres of land owned by the city of San Diego which was then known as City Park. The field was barren, pest-ridden, and lacked any formal landscaping. Sessions agreed to amend the situation by planting 100 new trees per year in the park and 300 trees per year elsewhere on public lands around the city. In exchange, she could use the property as a kind of laboratory and growing field. That property was filled with cypress, eucalyptus, palms, and jacaranda—and, along the way, was re-dubbed Balboa Park.

A bronze statue of Sessions was placed in the park in 1998, and it’s still the only statue of a historical woman anywhere in San Diego. In 2006 the Women’s Museum of California inducted her into their Women’s Hall of Fame and produced a short video about her contributions to the city.

[video embed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JmBhL_R-e0 ]

Word of San Diego’s transformation into a colorful and lush environment quickly spread up the coast, as did the popularity of the exotic plants that Sessions demonstrated could flourish here. Jacarandas, with their beautiful blossoms in a distinctive purple color, were an easy sell, and in the 1920s and ’30s they were planted extensively in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

Sessions died in 1940, but her legacy continued as Los Angeles grew and jacarandas became one of the most recognizable trees in the region.

Most of the jacarandas seen in L.A. are Jacaranda mimosifolia, one of the 49 different types of flowering jacaranda trees. One specimen in Santa Ana is on the official registry of Big Trees, measuring 58 feet high, 98 inches around the trunk, and more than 73 feet across the spread of the branches."
katesessions  jacarandas  california  losangeles  trees  plants  2018  sandiego 
july 2018 by robertogreco
The Essential Guide to Eating California - Eater
"In the American imagination, California has always been viewed through a haze of fantasy. Early on, it was dreams of fist-sized gold nuggets lying in wait. Then a generation of Okies schlepped West, to eventually populate the pages of Steinbeck and the photos of Dorothea Lange, looking for a utopian land of plenty. More recently, it’s reveries of glamour and fame. Of in-ground pools. Of cheap avocados and convertible road trips to Coachella. Of picnics beside granite waterfalls. Of another gold rush, but made out of code. Of palm trees and beaches and children riding surf boards to school.

This is all mostly the stuff of California’s well-marketed mythology: There are swaying palm trees, but no public guacamole fountains. There are uncannily good-looking people and overnight millionaires, but few top-down joyrides (hello traffic). And then there’s the food. The beautiful idea that pretty much anything you can put in your mouth is better in California? That part, it turns out, isn’t a fantasy.

Obscenely wonderful produce is abundant year-round, but there are also peerless sushi bars and Sichuan restaurants and kebab shops and beach burger shacks and prix fixe palaces and pho specialists and bread bakeries and chaat shops and French bistros and tacos — lo, the tacos! This is where even toast sparked a national obsession.

In the course of putting together Eater’s first-ever guide to the entire state of California, we shipped our national critic out West for two months, recruited more than a dozen local experts, ate hundreds of meals, and drove just about every imaginable strip of highway to help you live our favorite version of the California dream. From the definitive list of the state’s 38 essential restaurants to a Central Valley taco crawl to an artist’s statewide search for a Beijing specialty, here’s Eater’s entirely true guide to the totally fantastical state of California — palm trees optional."
food  restaurants  california  centralvalley  centralcoast  sanfrancisco  losangeles  bayarea  socalnorcal  eating  littlesaigon  sangabrielvalley  marin  sonoma  sandiego  orangecounty 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Which City Has The Most Unpredictable Weather? | FiveThirtyEight
"You can easily make out the path of the Rocky Mountains in this map. Cities just to the east of them — like Denver and Great Falls, Montana — have much more unpredictable temperatures than almost any place to the west of them.

Cities just to the east of the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico have the most predictable temperatures. San Diego’s temperatures are the most predictable of anywhere in the continental United States (Honolulu’s are the most predictable overall). Seattle and San Francisco have highly predictable temperatures, as does the Florida peninsula."
weather  predictions  2018  statistics  climate  california  visualization  honolulu  sandiego  hawaii  losangeles  sanfrancisco  fresno  phoenix  westcoast  classideas  foreden 
june 2018 by robertogreco
City of Exiles — The California Sunday Magazine
"Every month, thousands of deportees from the United States and hundreds of asylum-seekers from around the world arrive in Tijuana. Many never leave."
tijuana  sandiego  cities  refugees  border  borders  us  mexico  2018  deportation  asylum  danielduane  yaelmartínez 
june 2018 by robertogreco
A new U.S.-Mexico border? At the Venice Biennale, imagining a binational region called MEXUS
"As part of their research into watersheds, Cruz and Forman have created an inventory of public lands in Los Laureles that can serve multiple purposes — as green space, environmental education center and natural buffers to mitigate flows of waste. And they are working to see how they can create a mechanism to invest in those spaces so that they might be preserved.

“Instead of the investing in the wall,” says Cruz, “can we invest to get the poor settlement to regulate the flow of waste? Can we get the poor residents to take care of the rich estuary?’

The subjects are tricky, but in these types of projects, Zeiger says she sees plenty of optimism.

“In architecture, if we don’t allow ourselves to visualize a condition that is different than the current condition, then we really cut off how we will impact the future,” she says.

For Forman, that consists of fomenting a new type of border culture.

“Citizenship,” she says, “is not an identity card. It’s about coexisting and building a city together.”"
teddycruz  fonnaforman  carolinamiranda  border  borders  us  california  mexico  sandiego  tijuana  texas  arizona  newmexico  2018  venicebiennale  architecture  citizenship  politicalequator  geography  geopolitics  mimizeiger  annlui  afrofuturism  architects  mexus  walls  nature  watersheds  land  maps  mapping  territory  ybca 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Maps | Kenneth D. Madsen
"U.S. Border Barriers

California .jpg .pdf
– Kelly San Diego waiver 8/2/17 .jpg .pdf
– Duke Calexico waiver 9/12/17 .jpg .pdf

Arizona .jpg .pdf

New Mexico & West Texas [coming soon]
– Nielsen Santa Teresa waiver 1/22/18 .jpg (map only) .pdf (w/ photos & waiver text) [updated 2/6/18]

Texas [coming soon]

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Waivers

Comparison of all eight legal waivers to-date .jpg .pdf [updated 2/8/18]

Note that mileage calculated from maps created prior to Dec. 2017 (i.e. CA & AZ maps above and summary handout below) over-estimate actual distances due to a projection error. Percentages are still largely correct, however. Corrected maps are forthcoming.

summary handout 8.5″ x 11″ .pdf"
kennethmadsen  borders  border  california  mexico  us  texas  arizona  newmexico  sandiego  calexico  geopolitics 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Is it inspired or irresponsible to call Donald Trump's border wall prototypes ‘art’?
"We reach the intersection of Cuahtémoc Norte and Juventud Oriente, where a small roundabout serves as memorial to those who have died crossing the border. A European curator who is working with Büchel on the prototypes project — but who declines to go on the record — points out the memorial to the group.

I ask her and Diers whether they had ever visited Tijuana before working on Büchel's prototypes project. Neither had.

Within 20 minutes, we are standing in a hilly colonia on the eastern fringes of Tijuana, just before the metal border wall.

On the Mexican side of the dividing line are the junkyards that contend with the overflows of waste generated by Tijuana's maquiladoras, which craft the cheap goods that will ultimately end up in the U.S. On the other — al otro lado — are the looming prototypes.

Just south of the fence sits one of the stone obelisks that marked the border during the late 19th century. Diers notes that the simple presence of the obelisk was once enough to mark the international dividing line: "It was a conceptual border more than a real border."

Since they were completed, the border wall prototypes have turned into architectural celebrities of sorts — debated on the news, filmed by drones and scrutinized by critics. The Times' architecture critic, Christopher Hawthorne, describes them as "banal and startling," a combination of "architectural exhibition and the new nativism rolled into one."

Beyond their political implications, it's easy to see why the structures have drawn so much attention: They are absurd — bloated security theater in a color palette befitting a suburban subdivision. (So many shades of putty.) It was only a matter of time before an enterprising artist horned in on the action.

All the attention has also had the effect of turning this humble settlement into a tourist attraction. A folding ladder is placed near the metal wall, and we each take turns climbing up to get unobstructed pictures of the prototypes.

Soon we are joined by Alexis Franco Santana, an ebullient 22-year-old tijuanense who lives in a small room across from the site. Santana, outfitted in white tank, red headphones and constantly pinging cellphone, says the structures have drawn visitors from all over the world.

He thinks the prototypes are laughable.

"It's like Donald Trump said, 'Go to Toys R Us and bring me all the toys, and I will choose the best one,'" he says. "They can make the wall from here to the sky and we can find a way to get around it. Los mexicanos tienen maña." Mexicans have knack.

His neighbor, Juan Manuel Hernandez Lozano, takes a dimmer view.

Hernandez was born in Mexico but was taken to Los Angeles without papers when he was about 5. He spent almost his entire life in Los Angeles and speaks English laced with the musical cadence of the Eastside. To prove his real-deal L.A.-ness, he shows me a Raiders tattoo.

Nine years ago, he was deported. His family lives in L.A., but he's stuck in Tijuana. In that time, he has missed the funerals of both parents and a brother.

"It's been hard," he says. "I got sick over here. I have cancer. I should have been dead a year ago."

I ask him what he thinks of the idea of turning the prototypes into a national monument.

"It's a racist thing," he replies. "Why would they do something like that? What are they getting out of it?"

When the Manzanar internment camp was designated a national historic site by Congress in the 1990s, it was not without controversy. The camp, in the Owens Valley, had once harbored upward of 11,000 Japanese Americans, who had been interned there during a period of intense anti-Japanese paranoia during World War II.

Japanese American activists — among them, former internees — had called for protection of this contentious site as a way to remember this dark episode in U.S. history. ("A national symbolic step that must go forward," activist Sue Kunitomi Embrey said at the time.)

But some groups fought the designation. In a letter to the National Park Service, which manages the site, one critic described the portrayal of Manzanar as an internment camp as "treason." Others preferred that the camp be depicted as the benevolent provider of wartime "housing" for Japanese Americans.

The efforts to sugarcoat history ultimately failed. Manzanar is today one of the most prominent sites in the U.S. to commemorate the internment of Japanese Americans.

The making of a monument is a messy business. It requires unflagging advocates, inevitable detractors and a majority vote in Congress.

It also requires time.

Manzanar was declared a national historic landmark in 1985, four decades after it was shut down. It became a national historic site seven years later. And it all came as a result of a groundswell of support for the idea that this was history worth commemorating.

In the case of the border, that history is still being written. The border prototypes could become monuments to racist folly or reawakened white supremacy. All of it leads me to wonder what the reaction would have been in 1943 if a European artist had visited Manzanar, and then described the place as a "land art exhibition" in a press release.

Toward the end of the tour, Dier gathers us in a circle and asks what we think of the idea of turning the prototypes into a monument. One person says they could serve as "a monument to hubris." Another says they could be preserved like an American Auschwitz. I suggest that in the spirit of the border, where U.S. goods and ideas are constantly being recycled by Mexico, perhaps we should allow the residents of Tijuana to dismantle the prototypes and use them to build something new.

Members of the group disperse to catch their final snapshots. I ask Santana, who has been hovering in the background, if he's OK with turning the prototypes into art.

Not in their current form, he says. "If it's going to be art, they should paint them. They could put a beach scene on one or a forest on the other. But they need to paint them, otherwise it's not art."

The group clambers into the van and we make our way back to the other side — the one where many of us, through accidents of fate, just happened to be born."
carolinamiranda  border  borders  sandiego  tijuana  california  us  mexico  art  2018  donaldtrump  policy  christophbüchel  renéperalta  gelarekhoshgozaran  whitesupremacy  race  racism  xenophobia  politics  history  berlin  berlinwall  manzanar 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Our personalities are shaped by the climate we grew up in, new study says - The Washington Post
"Take two children with similar backgrounds. Both are boys. They’re raised in families with the same socioeconomic status. They live in similar-looking neighborhoods and have the same access to education and health care.

The only difference is that one of the boys grows up in San Diego, where it’s comfortably warm most of the year and the average high temperature is about 70 degrees. The other is in Marquette, Mich., which is significantly colder. The average high there is just 50 degrees.

One of these kids is significantly more likely to be agreeable, open and emotionally stable, according to a new study, simply because he grew up in a warmer climate.

We know anecdotally that weather affects our mood. Summertime temperatures seem to lift our spirits, while the coldest weeks of winter put us in a funk. The study, which was published in Nature on Monday, says it does more than that in the long run.

All else being equal, the kid in San Diego is more likely to grow up to be friendlier, more outgoing and more willing to explore new things, the study suggests."

[Study: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0240-0.epdf ]
eather  friendliness  personality  sandiego  california  2017  psychology  mood  openness  climate  stability  emotions 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Cul-de-sac : Open Space
"San Diego’s always been easy to malign; but the endlessly unfurling line of sunny boosterism endemic to San Diego’s civic self-image is all wrong also. When it comes to considering “America’s Finest City”, the national imagination sways between two poles: paradisiacal invention of temperate waves, fresh-fish tacos, and soft sand; or, cultureless void, psychologies sun-dulled into a blank embrace of his-n-hers wax-n-tan salons, stucco sprawl, and the artisanal F/A-18 Hornet."



This cross-national fact pervades all aspects of life in “San Diego.” Not just a border town; a border county. (A border country?)

And yet, San Diego’s often referred to as a geographical cul-de-sac, where the high mountains to the east and the border to the south create a physical and psychological lock-in-place. Cul-de-sac: a dead end, a deadlock, literally, the bottom of the bag. Says who?

When I stay in San Diego, I stay with my partner in Golden Hill, on an actual hill above downtown, whose slopes and inclines afford views of the bay to the west and south. Once the home of socialites and philanthropists, then in long decline as haven for junkies, dealers, and of course, artists, Golden Hill is now about one-third of the way through its “urban-revitalization.” It is bordered on one side by largely Latinx Sherman Heights/Barrio Logan, home to Chicano Park, and on the other by picaresque South Park, quiet, expensive, pretty, and pretty white. Bay Area residents would feel at home wandering Golden Hill’s blocks of Victorian mansions, Craftsman bungalows, and multi-decade representations of apartment complexes in various stages of upkeep or decay. The current fashion in building, though, is for high-priced, small-scale condos (“Starting in the low $500s!!”).

I’ve located myself, I know “where I am,” but it feels sensationally, essentially, placeless.

Street names, all called after other places: Arizona, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania. Uninventively named Ocean Beach nests beaches within beaches: avenues called by the names of other beaches. Newport, Narragansett, Saratoga, Santa Monica, Santa Cruz, Pescadero, Bermuda. Infinite displacement. Signs point elsewhere, the same as nowhere.

Like LA, San Diego’s hot, it sprawls. But not as hot, and the sprawl is uneager, tepidly accepting of, even pleased with, itself. To the west, the sparkling sea, and to the east, waves of expensive tract housing punctuated with low-slung shopping plazas crowded with corporate chains. Post-place USA? Along the coast, each in a string of seaside villages — first increasing and then decreasing in wealth concentration from south to north — has its own distinct flavor of blowsy undercurrent.

This “city of villages” is a net or concatenation of communities built on mesas, regularly separated by canyons, crevasses, the occasional waterway or stream — and often, freeways — and these light divisions create personality and economic boundaries between them. Hillcrest, North Park, East Village (in the city), or El Cajon, Del Mar, Santee (around the county). Traveling between them, or braked for a minute at the top of a hill, I’m always sensing myself on an edge — of something. Shore, skyline, precipice, border, cliff. Of understanding? The views are often grand or sweeping, but they don’t seem to send back “possibility.” The sky in San Diego is just the sky."



"Retirees and invalids, margarita- or beer-drenched drifters, yogis and transcendental meditation addicts, real estate agents, biotech execs, personal trainers, sailors, and a multiplicity of immigrants both international and domestic — and still somehow not a city of dreams. Or, a “city of broken dreams” (Mike Davis). A city of dreamless sleep, with sunny days spent ambulating dream-slow through the enervating heat."



"San Diego has no cover, no face, or is simultaneously all face. Which?

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and native San Diegan Rae Armantrout famously, unpopularly, wrote that San Diego has no charisma, is blank. That’s put unkindly perhaps, but it’s not all wrong. She also points to the odd quiet, the deep silence beneath whatever aggressive hum. Let’s call it the somnolent subconscious / the deeply sedimented unconscious — the veneer is thin here; you can feel it.

In fact, one isn’t any one here. One’s an atom, roasting in the sun.

“Perhaps living in San Diego prepares you to become a Buddhist,” writes Rae.

Diffuse, fuzzy around the edges, thick. My mind feels like that too, sometimes — it takes longer to shake itself awake. Is it the heat, the sun-glaze, is it in the water?"



"In 2016, 34.9 million tourists visited San Diego, spending 10.4 billion dollars.

San Diego is the most biologically rich county in the continental US. And the most threatened, with nearly 200 at-risk animals and plants.

Western snowy plover, coastal cactus wren, California gnatcatcher, least Bell’s vireo, arroyo southwestern toad, Stephens’ kangaroo rat, San Diego fairy shrimp, Quino checkerspot butterfly, San Diego thornmint, Dehesa beargrass, coastal sage scrub, Engelmann oak woodlands…

Seventy-four percent of ex-offenders return to prison within two years of release, in San Diego. The state average is sixty-five.

Autobiography of a Yogi, “the book that changed the lives of millions,” was penned by Paramahansa Yogananda at his Self‑Realization Fellowship ashram and retreat center in Encinitas, in North San Diego County. Ashtanga Yoga, the practice that changed the lives of millions, also had its US nativity scene in Encinitas, when K. Pattabhi Jois arrived here in 1975.



If my thesis is that the city is ungraspable, neither the sum of its parts or possible to glimpse in prism, this not-place-ness must be the prize/prison of manifest destiny become the end of history.

Jim Miller, in Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See: “cul-de-sac also means, finally and most poignantly, a situation in which further progress is impossible.”

On the other hand, says who? At the lift, box, and cycle gym I go to when I’m here, people chat, they say hi. I’m on the floor doing crunches while the Counting Crows song “Mr. Jones” is blasting over the deck. Suddenly I’m experiencing liberation — from every high-urban fantasy I ever had for or of myself.

Near the crest of a hill, up the block from a café I frequent, there’s a large pink stucco apartment building in a vaguely Spanish-modern style, trimmed in white. Someone’s installed a red-letter electronic ticker on the side of this building at its highest point, and programs it to spit out philosophic citations from Lao Tzu, Sophocles, “Anonymous”… From their perch on the hill the flickering banners appear to headline the city. For example: Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall — Confucius, spelled out one letter at a time.

I puzzle a long time over this enigmatic line, dropped out of context and attributed to G.K. Chesterton, poet, theologian, philosopher, overt anti-Semite, and father of the Father Brown mysteries: Do not try to bend, any more than the trees try to bend… Try to grow straight, and life will bend you.

Red-letter warnings, invitations to unsubtle visions, and confusing mandates to the individual overcasting her gaze on the sparkling bay, the seventeen construction cranes hovering over downtown, and the freeways, distantly humming, palm trees swaying in the too-bright light, hand on forehead shielding eyes. Blink, blink, blink."
suzannestein  sandiego  gkchesterson  2017  lajolla  ucsd  undertheperfectsun  jimmiller  isolation  meaning  border  borders  mexico  us  place  srg 
november 2017 by robertogreco
West coast is something nobody with sense would understand. : Open Space
""West coast is something nobody with sense would understand."

That’s a line from Jack Spicer’s “Ten Poems for Downbeat,” written in 1965, just before the Los Angeles-born poet died, age forty, in San Francisco. Was it true then, is it true now? What are some ways to make sense of this place (which isn’t one place), in this time (when it seems like there’s so little time)? Speculative, subversive, meditative: here are a few attempts."
westcoast  sanfrancisco  losangeles  jackspicer  1965  2017  place  speculative  subversion  speculation  meditation  pendarvisharsha  art  guadaluperosales  elisabethnicula  sophiawang  jennyodell  suzannestein  sandiego  cedarsigo  leorafridman  trees  fog  annahalprin  dance  eastla 
november 2017 by robertogreco
El Diablo in Wine Country « LRB blog
"The big picture, then, is the violent reorganisation of regional fire regimes across North America, and as pyrogeography changes, biogeography soon follows. Some forests and ‘sky island’ ecosystems will face extinction; most will see dramatic shifts in species composition. Changing land cover, together with shorter rainy seasons, will destabilise the snowpack-based water-storage systems that irrigate the West."



"This is the deadly conceit behind mainstream environmental politics in California: you say fire, I say climate change, and we both ignore the financial and real-estate juggernaut that drives the suburbanisation of our increasingly inflammable wildlands. Land use patterns in California have long been insane but, with negligible opposition, they reproduce themselves like a flesh-eating virus. After the Tunnel Fire in Oakland and the 2003 and 2007 firestorms in San Diego County, paradise was quickly restored; in fact, the replacement homes were larger and grander than the originals. The East Bay implemented some sensible reforms but in rural San Diego County, the Republican majority voted down a modest tax increase to hire more firefighters. The learning curve has a negative slope.

I’ve found that the easiest way to explain California fire politics to students or visitors from the other blue coast is to take them to see the small community of Carveacre in the rugged mountains east of San Diego. After less than a mile, a narrow paved road splays into rutted dirt tracks leading to thirty or forty impressive homes. The attractions are obvious: families with broods can afford large homes as well as dirt bikes, horses, dogs, and the occasional emu or llama. At night, stars twinkle that haven’t been visible in San Diego, 35 miles away, for almost a century. The vistas are magnificent and the mild winters usually mantle the mountain chaparral with a magical coating of light snow.

But Carveacre on a hot, high fire-danger day scares the shit out of me. A mountainside cul-de-sac at the end of a one-lane road with scattered houses surrounded by ripe-to-burn vegetation – the ‘fuel load’ of chaparral in California is calculated in equivalent barrels of crude oil – the place confounds human intelligence. It’s a rustic version of death row. Much as I would like for once to be a bearer of good news rather than an elderly prophet of doom, Carveacre demonstrates the hopelessness of rational planning in a society based on real-estate capitalism. Unnecessarily, our children, and theirs, will continue to face the flames."
mikedavis  2017  fire  fires  winds  diablowinds  santaanawinds  bayarea  napa  sonoma  sandiego  oaklandhills  santarosa  santacruz  stephenpyne  nature  urbanism  urban  capitalism  greenland  climatechange  lacienega  pacificnorthwest  cascadia  vanouve  britishcolumbia  phoenix  jerybrown  california  oakland  carveacre  mcmansions 
october 2017 by robertogreco
The New York Times: Youth in San Diego: Skateboards, Beach Hangs and Chicano Culture
“The city breathes skateboarding,” said Bruna Stalliviere, whom John Francis Peters met while photographing young San Diegans this summer.
sandiego  photography  johnfrancispeters  diversity  skateboards  skateboarding  skating  fashion  joannanikas  california 
september 2017 by robertogreco
What you need to know about California's housing crisis | CALmatters
"Half the state’s households struggle to afford the roof over their heads. Homeownership—once a staple of the California dream—is at its lowest rate since World War II. Nearly 70 percent of poor Californians see the majority of their paychecks go immediately to escalating rents.

This month, state lawmakers are debating a long-delayed housing package.

Here’s what you need to know about one of California’s most vexing issues."
california  sanfrancisco  sanjose  losangeles  sandiego  housing  economics  policy  politics  benchristopher  mattlevin  2017  inequality  rent 
august 2017 by robertogreco
San Diego welcomes more refugees than any other California county | CALmatters
"For nearly a decade, no California county has received more refugees than San Diego County, followed by Los Angeles and Sacramento, according to state and federal data. A large number of refugees are assigned to San Diego because of its concentration of four resettlement agencies and the existence of several rooted immigrant communities already in the area. The trend dates back to the Vietnam War, when hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asians landed at Camp Pendleton for U.S. resettlement. Many stayed, helping make the area a beacon for people fleeing from violence, hunger and instability.

“San Diego historically has been a very welcoming county,” said David Murphy, executive director of the International Rescue Committee there that resettled Namagazuzyo’s family and hosted the English class. “There is now a vibrant multi-cultural population living in San Diego.

At a time when President Donald Trump cites terrorism as justification to crack down on immigration—the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld, for now, his ban on refugees—California lawmakers are working to extend the Golden State’s welcome to the world’s displaced people. Democratic legislators from counties with significant refugee populations are pushing bills to help with education and employment, and secured a $10 million budget allocation to help refugee children."



"You see it, hear it and feel it as you walk the streets of the City Heights neighborhood east of downtown San Diego, where shoppers throng Somali, Ethiopian and assorted Asian restaurants and a cacophony of languages ricochets in the air. In the nearby city of El Cajon, where Arabic speakers do a brisk business in shops along Main Street, Iraqi Christians known as Chaldeans number an estimated 60,000, and many arrived as refugees.

“San Diego has the fault of having the best weather in the world,” said Bishop Bawai Soro of St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Church, which is now looking for a third location in which to hold its overflow services. Soro himself arrived in Chicago as a refugee 40 years ago, and today he ministers to the infusion of Iraqi refugees in San Diego.

“The wars that took place in Iraq didn’t just destroy buildings and bridges and infrastructure—they destroyed the human soul as well,” he said. “These Iraqis are luckiest people in the word because they came to America.”

The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees defines a refugee as someone who has “been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence.” The U.S. government further defines a refugee as someone who may “face persecution based on religion, political opinion, race, nationality or membership in a particular social group.” As a result, waves of refugees tend to reflect global conflict zones.

Once refugees have applied for refugee status from the U.N., the agency, the U.S. Embassy or other non-governmental agencies may refer refugees for resettlement in the U.S. That referral kicks off an application process that can take years.

The average wait time in a refugee camp is 17 years.

When considering a refugee, the U.S. conducts one of the most rigorous vetting processes of any person allowed into the country, according to the U.S. Department of State. Accepted refugees have little say about to which state or county they will be sent. Two factors play a role: if a refugee has family members in a certain locale, and if a large community of refugees from the same country has already settled in a given area. The idea, Murphy said, is to provide a home where refugees will find support and a network to help them settle in.

More than two-thirds of refugees, he said, do have some sort of family connection in the States.

Refugees enter the U.S. on refugee status and after a year they must apply to become a Legal Permanent Resident, which grants them a green card. After five years in the U.S. they can apply for citizenship.

In San Diego, the majority of recent refugees are from Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the San Diego Refugee Forum, a collaboration between the four resettlement agencies in the county—IRC, Catholic Charities, Jewish Family Services, and the Alliance for African Assistance.

“We want California to put out the welcome mat for refugees, many of whom assisted our military as interpreters overseas, to help them normalize their lives and be more productive members of our communities,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, a Democrat from San Diego and co-author of the refugee bills currently being considered in the state Capitol."
sandiego  refugees  california  2017  immigration  migration 
july 2017 by robertogreco
YBCA: Visualizing Citizenship: Seeking a New Public Imagination
“Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman

Visualizing Citizenship: Seeking a New Public Imagination

Mar 10 2017 — Jun 18 2017

The Mexico-US border is a geography of conflict from which a more inclusive political vision can be shaped, based on integration and cooperation, not division and xenophobia.” - Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman

In the face of a new, more divisive, political landscape, the public narrative around borders surfaces fears on all sides of the political spectrum. Yet for architect and theorist Teddy Cruz and political scientist Fonna Forman, border communities are opportunities for civic and political creativity, rather than criminalization. These sites, to which they refer as “geographies of conflict,” are the basis of three projects that present case studies for more expansive and inclusive ways of thinking of the relationships between the United States and its neighbors, and more broadly propose that citizenship is organized around shared values and common interests, and not on the action of an isolationist nation with a homogeneous identity.

Composed of videos, diagrams, maps, and visual narratives designed in collaboration with Studio Matthias Görlich, the exhibition presents The Political Equator (2011), a video and wall diagram that captures a collective border-crossing performance through a drainage pipe joining two marginalized neighborhoods along the border wall that divides an informal settlement in Mexico from a natural estuary in California. Produced for this exhibition, a series of posters synthesize their work on the Cross-Border Citizenship Culture Survey (2011-ongoing), the result of a collaboration with Antanas Mockus, the former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia; his think tank, Corpovisionarios; and city officials in San Diego and Tijuana. Also featured is The Medellín Diagram (2012-ongoing), which presents a new political and civic model for creating public spaces that facilitate cultural, political, and knowledge exchange based on the example of the city of Medellín and its extraordinary social and urban transformation."

[See also:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BUKugmPB1ev/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BUKuesOhEW3/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BUKucvjBnb4/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BT91baWBDUT/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BT91XhMB1B5/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BT91TldB9-0/ ]
ybca  teddycruz  fonnaforman  border  borders  sandiego  tijuana  medellín  antanasmockus  bogotá  matthiasgörlich  studiomatthiasgörlich  corpovisionarios2011  2012  cities  urban  urbanism  transformation  us  mexico  politcalequator  conflict  integration  cooperation  politic  geopolitics  art  design  california  medellin 
may 2017 by robertogreco
The Best Thing About San Diego Is Tijuana - CityLab
"Across the border, I found a vibrant scene that helped me appreciate California."
2016  tijuana  sandiego  cities  saralibby  california 
february 2017 by robertogreco
California Trip • Dennis Stock • Magnum Photos
"Dennis Stock’s remarkable 99 black-and-white photographs are the result of the author’s travels through the unique state of California during the1960s. Traversing the state from Sacramento to San Diego, Stock says of this collection, “Even though I found the sun and fog, sand and Sierras which conveyed a firm image of stark reality, the mother vision of life, the state seemed unreal. The people were conducting layers and dimensions of life that unsettled me. Surrealism was everywhere, the juxtapositions of relative levels of reality projected chaos. For the young man with traditional concerns for a spiritual and aesthetic order, California seemed too unreal. I ran.”

This classic photo essay on California captures the contrasts of the state and its people, from the mountains of the Sierras to the sands of the coast, from the people on a spiritual quest to those doing research at the cutting-edge of technology, all during time of intense political, cultural and social exploration in America’s history."
california  1968  photography  dennisstock  sacramento  sandiego  losangeles  venicebeach  novato  santamonica  coronadelmar  monterey 
january 2017 by robertogreco
The Lesson of 2016: No One Wants New Housing – Anywhere - Voice of San Diego
"The rejection of Measure T in Encinitas and Measure B countywide sent a message that many county residents simply aren’t open to new development – whether it happens in established metro areas, or in rural spaces."
housing  sandiego  selfishness  nimbyism  nimbys  2016  mayasrikrishnan 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Poverty In San Diego County Higher Than During Great Recession | KPBS
"Nearly three-quarters of working-age San Diego County residents who were living in poverty surveyed 2011 to 2015 reported working some amount in the week before the survey.

Peter Brownell, research director at the San Diego-based Center on Policy Initiatives, says the Great Recession wiped out many good-paying jobs. The recovery that followed hasn’t brought them back.

“Even as the jobs numbers nationally improved, you saw employment was improving but wages weren’t moving at all. I think that’s a big story in San Diego,” Brownell said. “In terms of the jobs that we lost during the Recession, a lot of those were more middle-income jobs in industries that pay more in middle incomes and the jobs that we’ve seen in the quote-unquote recovery have been a lot of service economy jobs that are lower-paying jobs.”

What’s more, Brownell said, many workers living in poverty are holding down part-time work but would take full-time employment if they could get it.

Data from the latest five-year Census survey suggests that could be the case in San Diego County. Among prime working-age individuals living in poverty who had worked in the previous 12 months, 79.1 percent were working part time compared with 20.9 percent who were working full time.

In that case, San Diego seems to reflect a nationwide trend. A report published last month by the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank focusing on low- and middle-income workers, found that 6.4 million Americans want full-time work but are stuck working part-time jobs. The report found that the number of people working part time involuntarily was 45 percent higher than it was before the Great Recession.

“We’ve created jobs as jobs but they’re not the same quality jobs in terms of both the pay and the hours that are available to folks,” Brownell said."

[same article also here: http://www.cbs8.com/story/34183993/poverty-in-san-diego-county-higher-than-during-great-recession ]
sandiego  economics  poverty  2016  2017  employment  underemployment  unemployment  singlemoms  work  labor  inequality 
january 2017 by robertogreco
America’s Love of Sprawl Starts Right at the Border - CityLab
"Every day, students living in Juarez cross the border to go to school in El Paso. Travelers flying into the Tijuana airport can walk over to San Diego on a pedestrian bridge. Folks living in Mexico work on the American side of the border every day to earn a living in dollars. Around 350 million such people cross the border every year, many through ports of entry designed to welcome rather than ward off. Among other reasons, that’s because the U.S.-Mexico border is a boundary separating several sister cities that are, essentially, one urban and economic unit.

But while these border cities have grown together in recent decades, that growth has manifested differently for a variety of economic and cultural reasons. The difference in their urban footprints is evident in a new map, created by cartography enthusiast Sasha Trubetskoy.

Using land use data, Trubetskoy, who’s studying statistics at the University of Chicago, has arranged 14 border cities (each pair with at least 15,000 residents) side-by-side:

[image]

What’s immediately apparent is that, by and large, the Mexican cities seem more densely urbanized. In an accompanying table, Trubetskoy also notes that these cities are generally more populous, and calls this clustering of folks on the dense, Mexican side of the border the “urban pileup effect.” On the American side, the cities tend to sprawl.

Among the 14 urban areas he maps, San Diego is an exception with more people (around 3.2 million) than its Mexican counterpart (1.9 million). That said, its residents occupy a larger area*:

[image]"
us  mexico  tijuana  sandiego  texas  california  cities  density  urban  urbanism 
january 2017 by robertogreco
InternetBoard v1.0: "Solidarity" A UCSD Professor On Why He Will Strike 9/24 Source Mike Davis
""Solidarity" A UCSD Professor On Why He Will Strike On September 24

The UC strike com. asked me this morning to write a short piece on 'solidarity'*

Mike Davis
1331 33rd St
San Diego CA 92102
mdavis@ucr.edu

Many years ago in the faded Art Nouveaux splendor of a Gorbals (Glasgow) pub,
I met a man who told me an extraordinary story about his grandfather, a
coalminer who had been killed in a pit disaster before the First World War. A
methane explosion, followed by a roof collapse, had trapped his grandfather
and his mates deep in the mine, where they were eventually asphyxiated. When
rescuers reached their tomb days later, they found a final, defiant message
chiseled into the coalface: 'God save our union.'

The spirit of these doomed Scots miners isn't easily replicated in rational choice
models of social action. Nor can simple economic calculation explain the fervor
with which Lancashire cotton workers, whose wages depended upon Southern
cotton and the British domination of India, supported Lincoln and later Gandhi.
Likewise, from the 1934 San Francisco General Strike to Justice for Janitors in
the 1980s and 1990s, California working people have repeatedly translated their
passion for justice and dignity into the slogan 'an injury to one, is an injury to all.'

The labor and civil rights movements, to be sure, aren't fairy tales, and the
heroic moments are often counterbalanced by the petrification of militancy into
leaden bureaucracy and the selfish calibration of seniority. Solidarity is too
often an orphan. In our case, there are disheartening examples of the tenured
strata ignoring the recent picket-lines of catering workers, secretaries,
lecturers, and students.

UC faculty, indeed, are much like the residents of Jonathan Swift's city of Laputa:
distracted by their departmental micropolitics and the distribution of FTEs while
they float on a cloud above the existential distress of K-12 and community
education. The Senate faculty also must share responsibility with the Regents
for the system's transformation into a vast machine for the transformation of
public research into corporate profit. Most UC campuses now more resemble
gated communities than public temples of learning.

A lot of us have complained about this situation for years, but our discomfort
has seldom moved us to action. But the challenge is now epic-historic: equity
and justice are endangered at every level of the Master plan for Education.
Obscene wealth still sprawls across the coastal hills, but flat-land inner cities
and blue-collar interior valleys face the death of the California dream. Their
children - let's not beat around the bush - are being pushed out of higher
education. Their future is being cut off at its knees.

The September 24 strike movement, in my opinion, is most important because it
defends non-tenured employees and demands public disclosure of the Regents'
secret diplomacy. It is an elementary reflex of a progressive, humane
consciousness: an antidote to the staggering selfishness and elitism of Andrew
Scull and his Gang of 23.

A strike, by matching actions to words,, is also the highest form of teach-in.
This seed of resistance, of course, will only grow to maturity through cultivation
by unionized employees and students. They are the real constant gardeners,
and hopefully branches of a unified fight-back will quickly intertwine with the
parallel struggles of CSU, community college, K-12 and adult-education
workers.

The strike also provides a bully pulpit to counter the still widespread belief that
the UC system has a unique dispensation and can once again negotiate its own
special deal in Sacramento. Many of our colleagues are simply in denial. This
time around, the first-class passengers are in the same frigid water with the
kindergarten teachers and community college janitors.

The 24th is the beginning of learning how to shout in unison. And whatever the
outcome, it at allows us write our beliefs on the coalface.

* UPTE/CWA has voted to strike U.C. on September 24"
mikedavis  sandiego  ucsd  2010 
january 2017 by robertogreco
A Boom Interview: Mike Davis in conversation with Jennifer Wolch and Dana Cuff – Boom California
"Dana Cuff: You told us that you get asked about City of Quartz too often, so let’s take a different tack. As one of California’s great urban storytellers, what is missing from our understanding of Los Angeles?

Mike Davis: The economic logic of real estate and land development. This has always been the master key to understanding spatial and racial politics in Southern California. As the late-nineteenth century’s most influential radical thinker—I’m thinking of San Francisco’s Henry George not Karl Marx—explained rather magnificently, you cannot reform urban space without controlling land values. Zoning and city planning—the Progressive tools for creating the City Beautiful—either have been totally co-opted to serve the market or died the death of a thousand cuts, that is to say by variances. I was briefly an urban design commissioner in Pasadena in the mid-1990s and saw how easily state-of-the-art design standards and community plans were pushed aside by campaign contributors and big developers.

If you don’t intervene in the operation of land markets, you’ll usually end up producing the opposite result from what you intended. Over time, for instance, improvements in urban public space raise home values and tend to become amenity subsidies for wealthier people. In dynamic land markets and central locations, nonprofits can’t afford to buy land for low-income housing. Struggling artists and hipsters inadvertently become the shock troops of gentrification and soon can’t afford to live in the neighborhoods and warehouse districts they invigorated. Affordable housing and jobs move inexorably further apart and the inner-city crisis ends up in places like San Bernardino.

If you concede that the stabilization of land values is the precondition for long-term democratic planning, there are two major nonrevolutionary solutions. George’s was the most straightforward: execute land monopolists and profiteers with a single tax of 100 percent on increases in unimproved land values. The other alternative is not as radical but has been successfully implemented in other advanced capitalist countries: municipalize strategic parts of the land inventory for affordable housing, parks and form-giving greenbelts.

The use of eminent domain for redevelopment, we should recall, was originally intended to transform privately owned slums into publicly owned housing. At the end of the Second World War, when progressives were a majority in city government, Los Angeles adopted truly visionary plans for both public housing and rational suburban growth. What then happened is well known: a municipal counter-revolution engineered by the LA Times. As a result, local governments continued to use eminent domain but mainly to transfer land from small owners to corporations and banks.

Fast-forward to the 1980s. A new opportunity emerged. Downtown redevelopment was devouring hundreds of millions of dollars of diverted taxes, but its future was bleak. A few years before, Reyner Banham had proclaimed that Downtown was dead or at least irrelevant. If the Bradley administration had had the will, it could have municipalized the Spring-Main Street corridor at rock-bottom market prices. Perhaps ten million square feet would have become available for family apartments, immigrant small businesses, public markets, and the like, at permanently controlled affordable rents.

I once asked Kurt Meyer, a corporate architect who had been chairman of the Community Redevelopment Agency, about this. He lived up Beachwood Canyon below the Hollywood Sign. We used to meet for breakfast because he enjoyed yarning about power and property in LA, and this made him a unique source for my research at the time. He told me that downtown elites were horrified by the unexpected revitalization of the Broadway corridor by Mexican businesses and shoppers, and the last thing they wanted was a populist downtown.

He also answered a question that long vexed me. “Kurt, why this desperate, all-consuming priority to have the middle class live downtown?” “Mike, do you know anything about leasing space in high-rise buildings?” “Not really.” “Well, the hardest part to rent is the ground floor: to extract the highest value, you need a resident population. You can’t just have office workers going for breakfast and lunch; you need night time, twenty-four hour traffic.” I don’t know whether this was really an adequate explanation but it certainly convinced me that planners and activists need a much deeper understanding of the game.

In the event, the middle class has finally come downtown but only to bring suburbia with them. The hipsters think they’re living in the real thing, but this is purely faux urbanism, a residential mall. Downtown is not the heart of the city, it’s a luxury lifestyle pod for the same people who claim Silverlake is the “Eastside” or that Venice is still bohemian.

Cuff: Why do you call it suburbia?

Davis: Because the return to the center expresses the desire for urban space and crowds without allowing democratic variety or equal access. It’s fool’s gold, and gentrification has taken the place of urban renewal in displacing the poor. Take Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris’s pioneering study of the privatization of space on the top of Bunker Hill. Of course, your museum patron or condo resident feels at home, but if you’re a Salvadorian skateboarder, man, you’re probably headed to Juvenile Hall."



"Jennifer Wolch: Absolutely. However it’s an important question particularly for the humanities students, the issue of subjectivity makes them reticent to make proposals.

Davis: But, they have skills. Narrative is an important part of creating communities. People’s stories are key, especially about their routines. It seems to me that there are important social science skills, but the humanities are important particularly because of stories. I also think a choreographer would be a great analyst of space and kind of an imagineer for using space.

I had a long talk with Richard Louv one day about his Last Child in the Woods, one of the most profound books of our time, a meditation on what it means for kids to lose contact with nature, with free nomadic unorganized play and adventure. A generation of mothers consigned to be fulltime chauffeurs, ferrying kids from one commercial distraction or over-organized play date to another. I grew up in eastern San Diego County, on the very edge of the back country, and once you did your chores (a serious business in those days), you could hop on your bike and set off like Huck Finn. There was a nudist colony in Harbison Canyon about twelve miles away, and we’d take our bikes, push them uphill for hours and hours in the hope of peeking through the fence. Like all my friends, I got a .22 (rifle) when I turned twelve. We did bad things to animals, I must confess, but we were free spirits, hated school, didn’t worry about grades, kept our parents off our backs with part-time jobs and yard work, and relished each crazy adventure and misdemeanor. Since I moved back to San Diego in 2002, I have annual reunions with the five or six guys I’ve known since second grade in 1953. Despite huge differences in political beliefs and religion, we’re still the same old gang.

And gangs were what kept you safe and why mothers didn’t have to worry about play dates or child molesters. I remember even in kindergarten—we lived in the City Heights area of San Diego at that time—we had a gang that walked to school together and played every afternoon. Just this wild group of little boys and girls, seven or eight of us, roaming around, begging pennies to buy gum at the corner store. Today the idea of unsupervised gangs of children or teenagers sounds like a law-and-order problem. But it’s how communities used to work and might still work. Aside from Louv, I warmly recommend The Child in the City by the English anarchist Colin Ward. A chief purpose of architecture, he argues, should be to design environments for unprogrammed fun and discovery."



"Wolch: We have one last question, about your young adult novels. Whenever we assign something from City of Quartz or another of your disheartening pieces about LA, it’s hard not to worry that the students will leave the class and jump off of a cliff! But your young adult novels seem to capture some amount of an alternative hopeful future.

Davis: Gee, you shouldn’t be disheartened by my books on LA. They’re just impassioned polemics on the necessity of the urban left. And my third LA book, Magical Urbanism, literally glows with optimism about the grassroots renaissance going on in our immigrant neighborhoods. But to return to the two adolescent “science adventure” novels I wrote for Viggo Mortensen’s wonderful Perceval Press. Above all they’re expressions of longing for my oldest son after his mother moved him back to her native Ireland. The heroes are three real kids: my son, his step-brother, and the daughter of our best friends when I taught at Stony Brook on Long Island. Her name is Julia Monk, and she’s now a wildlife biologist doing a Ph.D. at Yale on pumas in the Andes. I’m very proud that I made her the warrior-scientist heroine of the novels, because it was an intuition about her character that she’s made real in every way—just a remarkable young person."
mikedavis  2016  interviews  economics  california  sanfrancisco  losangeles  henrygeorge  urbanism  urban  suburbia  suburbs  jenniferolch  danacuff  fauxurbanism  hipsters  downtown  property  ownership  housing  populism  progressive  progressivism  reynerbanham  planning  urbanplanning  citybeautiful  gentrification  cities  homeless  homelessness  michaelrotundi  frankgehry  richardlouv  gangs  sandiego  friendship  colinward  thechildinthecity  architecture  fun  discovery  informal  unprogrammed  freedom  capitalism  china  india  england  ireland  famine  optimism  juliamonk  children  teens  youth  development  realestate  zoning  sanbernardino  sciarc 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Best of San Diego 2016: People | Nicole Capretz - San Diego CityBeat
"In the eternal words of Kermit the Frog: It's not easy being green.

These words ring especially true in San Diego. Our uniquely Southern Californian love of car culture, paired with a conservative mayor—whose party has yet to recognize the severity of climate change—puts a serious damper on anyone trying to pass environmentally conscious legislation.

And this is why we're lucky to have Nicole Capretz, founder of the Climate Action Campaign, a San Diego nonprofit with the singular goal of stopping climate change.

A 20-year resident of San Diego, Capretz sees our city as the perfect vanguard for grassroots environmental innovation.

"We're a living lab where we can do this major political, economical and environment shift," she says. "We have the talent and resources to be a world-class city."

From anyone else, that may sound like idealistic lip service, but Capretz has the drive to make it succeed (she's a self-described "bull in a china shop"), citing cross-sector participation and working from the bottom up (i.e. within local government) as the keys to her success. Seriously, anyone who can muster support from both Mayor Kevin Faulconer and SANDAG for progressive legislation is doing something right.

Although we have a long way to go before we're a walkable/bikeable city, Capretz has seen "huge progress" in the two years of the nonprofit's existence, especially when it comes to her work in surrounding cities.

"Del Mar just passed a 100 percent clean energy climate plan," she says. "Solana Beach, La Mesa, Oceanside and Encinitas are right behind.""
sandiego  2016  environment  sustainability  nicolecapretz  activism  grassroots 
december 2016 by robertogreco
Best of San Diego 2016: People | Julian Klincewicz - San Diego CityBeat
"Adept at VHS videography, modeling, music and more, San Diego artist Julian Klincewicz is usually on the road for work. In the past 10 months he's traveled to Los Angeles, New York, Italy, Cuba, Iceland, Paris, Moscow and Tokyo.

"Between January and October I haven't been in San Diego for more than three weeks at a time at most," says 21-year-old Klincewicz.

Klincewicz's resume makes him an in-demand artist, hence all the traveling. He's shot video for fashion institutions such as Vans and Acne, held art shows and performed music in Tokyo, designed for trendy lines like Retrosuperfuture and filmed the YEEZY Season 3 presentation for Kanye West in Madison Square Garden.

Klincewicz likes creating at home in San Diego but wishes there were more art opportunities. He thinks individuals with money and real estate should invest in the art community.

"My general feeling towards San Diego is that there's a lot of younger people 30 and under who want to do visual arts...and don't necessarily have a place to grow that's within San Diego," Klincewicz says.

Most recently, he put together a local fashion show. Part of his ongoing project, "Hey I Like You," the show was held last month at San Diego Art Institute. Klincewicz says he designed 30 looks, packed the venue and got press coverage.

"If I can do that, there's no reason that all the people who actually have money and resources can't make that happen in a much cooler and better and relevant way," he says."
sandiego  art  funding  julianklincewicz  2016 
december 2016 by robertogreco
California Today: The Rise of a Design Capital - The New York Times
"Overseas, California as a brand is now a crucial selling point for product makers when it comes to technology, automobiles and architecture.

“If you’re able to say, ‘Hey, this is truly Californian,’ there is a real appeal to it,” said Kevin Klowden, the executive director of the Milken Institute’s California Center.

That cachet, of course, has been supercharged by Silicon Valley. Design scholars point to Apple’s devices. Even as its manufacturing moved overseas, the company added a line to its products: “Designed by Apple in California.”

But what does California design say to consumers?

Simon Sadler, a professor of design at U.C. Davis who is principally interested in architecture, talked about the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Coast Highway, the open style of modern homes, as well as an intangible sense of “magic and possibility.”

“We don’t do monuments, we do nodes,” he said. “And this is how we end up with the most famous California design of modern times, which is the iPhone. You know, it’s barely there. It’s always just an interface.”

Kevin Starr, the California historian, said global enthusiasm for the Golden State was in some ways recasting landscapes well beyond the state’s borders. On the roads, cars by nearly every automaker that sell in the United States are now designed in California.

And take a look at architecture around the world, Dr. Starr added: “Places like New Zealand, Australia, Argentina — they are all beginning to increasingly look like California. It’s the internationalization of design out of California.”

Many design experts still point to New York, with its recognizable monuments, as America’s design capital. There has long been a feeling in architectural circles that New York looked down on California. But that may be changing.

“What is surely exasperating for our colleagues on the East Coast is whether or not we’re ditsy, we’re onto something,” Professor Sadler said. “And the ascent of California as a center of design has been unstoppable.”"



[and at the end]

"In the 1960s, when a new bridge bisected the largely Mexican-American neighborhood of Barrio Logan in San Diego, residents were outraged.

They responded by painting colorful murals on the bridge’s concrete columns that depicted Chicano heritage and heroes. Over time, Chicano Park, as it was named, became home to dozens of the soaring artworks along with sculptures and landscaping.

Now, a campaign is underway to designate the park as a national historic landmark.

Representative Juan Vargas, a Democrat in San Diego, introduced a bill last year that would require the secretary of the interior to assess the park’s suitability for the designation.

On Wednesday, the measure was unanimously approved by a congressional committee.

Nominees for the National Historic Landmarks program are chosen for their historical as well as aesthetic value. In California, 145 structures bear the designation, among them bridges, forts and churches.

In a statement, Mr. Vargas said Chicano Park deserved to be included, calling it “a cultural mecca that highlights the activist and artistic contributions of our local community.”"
california  design  2016  architecture  technology  apple  simonsadler  kevinstarr  iphone  cars  homes  barriologan  chicanopark  sandiego  modernism  nodes 
november 2016 by robertogreco
What I learned from a week at the Mexico border wall | Fusion
"As I looked back over the footage I’d shot, I kept coming back to that far eastern edge of Tijuana, where the city is at its most emergent and the wall ends. Many of the roofs were covered by what appear to be recycled billboards. A random smattering of advertisements face skyward, targeting no one. Models’ faces, beer cans, cars, movie posters. A jumble of discarded messages from the culture: 1-800-GET-THIN, Toyota of Riverside, Ariel from the Little Mermaid, a Mercedes, More Energy, Party!, Jack Black, a trumpet, Bud Light, a robot crossed out, Lying Game, Choose Me, a truck cab, Ringer, Any ID, Want More?, Love the Artist, Man on a Ledge.

My border experience felt like this kind of boisterous collage. Two countries connected by global capitalism, by local culture, by Spanglish, by the weather and the sunset and tiny blue-tailed lizards, by the Raiders, by Juanes, by trucks and cargo containers and radio waves, by Tecate and Dos Equis, by Tinder, by Disney princesses, by skinny jeans, by hair dye, by checking the Border Wait app to see how long it’s gonna take to cross.

The border as a wall, as a line on a map, as a way of life, as something you never visit until relatives come from out of town, as the storehouse for all the pieces that seem to go missing from every immigration story, including my family’s own."
sandiego  border  borders  us  mexico  2016  alexismadrigal  tijuana  calexico 
october 2016 by robertogreco
SD Homeless Awareness — Profile — Medium
"About 20 San Diego media outlets and personalities will report on homeless issues on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. Follow along here."
sandiego  homeless  homelessness  scottlewis 
august 2016 by robertogreco
How These Wooden Fences Became A Symbol Of Gentrification Across Los Angeles: LAist
[via: http://www.curbed.com/2016/6/29/12009800/oakland-flip-leaning-house ]

"It's not clear where or when this wooden slat revival started exactly, but it was roughly a decade or so ago and has been creeping through Los Angeles like kudzu ever since. In decades to come, it'll be a signifier for the exhaustive pace at which the city has changed in the past 5 to 10 years—for better or worse. And even though it can be spotted throughout the greater L.A. area or other markets entirely, architectural designer Marc Cucco finds the slat to be "specific to Eastside L.A. There's a variation in other 'hot' markets, like Austin or Denver. But the speed at which prices surged in northeast Los Angeles, as compared to the rest of the country, means that the aesthetic look is the result of a 'process' designed to provide quick curb appeal to properties which have been thinly, and cosmetically, updated."

Over the past decade we have a dominant theme in American cities: neck-snapping rates of (depending on your ideological slant) development/gentrification/transition as many parts of our cities have become desirable again. In so many ways, L.A. looks very different than it did a decade ago, and the wooden slat fence—a.k.a. the hipster fence or the flipper fence—will be the defining architectural symbol of an L.A. and the desire to own one in this period.

The slat fence is not some anomaly but instead a logical extension of the 21st century middle-upper class obsession with mid-century modern aesthetics and case studies, extending from inside the home with Eames chairs and Noguchi tables spilling into our yards. The main reason the slat has become so dominant is that wooden fences—a relatively affordable addition—might be the most direct and cost effective way to attract prospective home buyers who want a want a touch of design without breaking the bank. But maybe it's not just a cheap trick for looks. Having any sort of fenced in front yard in modern homes might be a holdover from the '80s and '90s violence in L.A., a way to barricade oneself from "super-predators" or whatever shitty euphemisms that are creeping back into the lexicon. The wooden slat fence splits the difference between barred windows and no barrier at all between the house and its exterior. Through its semi-privacy and vague nod to affluence, the slat becomes the most direct symbol of transition.

Architectural designer Dave Bantz has lived in L.A. for the past decade, and finds the slat fence to be "most prevalent in neighborhoods where an owner or potential buyer senses some kind of right of crime or burglary in the neighborhood, or their lot is small enough to where they need a defensible and contained space to play with children and pets." He adds, "I think we see this fence in transitioning neighborhoods because it can be built cheaply and quickly and it exudes a modern appeal that signals that the home itself may also be updated." So, in that respect, the slat is a wordless billboard with the subtext, "this neighborhood has potential. But it's still a place where you're going to want a sense of protection from the street."

Before the slats came in, northeast Los Angeles was and still is also heavy on stone and wrought iron front fencing, prevalent in Latino neighborhoods in particular. "My Guatemalan neighbor actually told me that he and many of his older friends in the neighborhood consider a metal wrought iron fence to signify wealth, quality, durability much more than a wood fence," Bantz explains. "My neighbor asked my why I wasn't building a metal fence with masonry posts like the rest of the home in the neighborhood and I told him that it was a matter of style and preference (and cost)."

To be fair to the slats, it's not just fences. There's a whole flipper design element starter set: a fresh gray paint job, san serif minimalist address numbers, or a Nightmare on Elm Street blood-red door. You can pick and choose or get the combo. Either way, if you see any of these telltale symbols, odds are the house has recently changed hands or will be soon. And there's a high chance that if you go inside, you'll see subway tile, exposed bulb fixtures, or a farmhouse sink in the kitchen. And in the backyard, there's at pretty good chance you'll find a gas fire pit.

These flipper design elements are increasingly common but also so commonly just slapped on. It's like a magic trick—in order for it to work, the quality of execution has to be high. Even though the real estate market in these flipping neighborhoods is in many ways bonkers. Bantz explains, "Buyers of these flips are not stupid. They know the difference between a well-maintained original craftsman, a new construction stucco flip, and a renovated modern bungalow... and the real estate agents and pricing shows this clearly. Many people buy a flip knowing full well that they will have to invest in replacing or fixing much of the work that was done by the flipper."

It's difficult to speak on the subjects surrounding the these architectural accoutrements without acknowledging the housing crisis L.A. is buckling under. The oversimplification of the problem is that there isn't enough affordable housing to meet the demand. There isn't enough rentable property at a given moment, and it's become too difficult to build in California, zoning-wise.

The politics and prevalence of the slat run parallel to the history of mutli-family versus single-family units and the battle over L.A.'s density. From the Dingbat to the craftsman to the Orsini, how we break down living is inherently politicized and tells the story of how living in L.A. is changing in a physical sense. The slat can be a visual correlative of a neighborhood's demographic shift, and that change curves towards the more professional and wealthier, higher educated, and whiter.

But slats—as a design element, at least—are not inherently bad. Like anything in our copycat culture, a good idea can easily replicate into oblivion through mis- or over-use. Joe Tarr—architectural designer and Angeleno of eight years—admits it's not the slats' fault. It's how people use them. "I don't think these [wooden slats] are necessarily 'bad' design elements," he says. "Just that they are often over-used and applied in a formulaic way that doesn't pay attention to the specifics of the house or the combination of elements as an overall composition." So it's not concept but execution. The same complaint might be levied at paint-by-numbers xeriscaped front yards or a standard grass lawn with no barrier structure or landscaping choices.

Could slats be the L.A.'s new glass bricks and stick around for decades upon decades? Architectural designer Melanie Freeland doesn't think so. "I don't think the flipper fence is a material that will last as long as glass brick," she explains. "I would say plywood cabinetry, or reclaimed wood is this generation's material of choice. That or white subway tile."

Every trend cycle has its inflection point. Sadly, even the slat fences seem like like they might be on the way out, as even cheaper solutions—like corrugated metal—have been creeping up in style, especially in northeast Los Angeles. But if we've learned anything about our cannibalistic design culture, it's that nothing ever really dies. Especially if it's associated with mid-century aesthetics."
fences  gentrification  losangeles  sandiego  california  oakland  jonnycoleman  2016  modernism  davebantz  housing 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Tijuana Shelters Help With US Immigration Backlog Of Haitians | KPBS
"U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that the agency will process these migrants on a “case by case” basis. While migrants await their turn, Tijuana's shelters offer food and a place to sleep. At Madre Asunta, the Haitian women made friends with women from Central America and southern Mexico, who were also staying at the shelter. Their children played together as they communicated in a mix of gestures, smiles, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

“We’re a family,” Mevil said.

She told a Mexican woman about her difficult journey through Latin America, concluding, “I have more lives than a cat.”

The Mexican woman responded, “That means you have six more,” and they giggled together.

Footsteps away from Madre Asunta, a men’s migrant shelter called Casa del Migrante is accepting Haitian men as well as some women and children, because there aren’t enough beds at the women’s shelter.

Director Pat Murphy called the influx of migrants a “crisis” and “an emergency.”

“People here have told us, ‘there are thousands of people coming behind us,’” Murphy said.

During an especially busy day last week, Casa del Migrante slept 56 Haitians in addition to about 150 migrants from southern Mexico and Central America.

In less than two weeks, Murphy said his shelter received migrants from 11 different countries, mostly from Haiti. Murphy said he considers them refugees.

Although these migrants seek to enter the U.S., Tijuana must address the surge during the immigration backlog.

Casa del Migrante and three other Tijuana shelters are offering the migrants food and beds. Mexican immigration officials let the shelters know when U.S. Customs and Border Protection is ready to process a few more people.

“When their place in the line is ready, they call us, and we transport them right to the front door of immigration,” Murphy explained.

But he said Tijuana officials are relying too heavily on the shelters, which depend on donations.

Haitian migrants came just as the shelter was seeing a spike in Central Americans and southern Mexicans fleeing violence, Murphy said. Some had to sleep on the floor.

He said he thinks Tijuana should open a shelter of its own, like those opened during heavy rains tied to El Niño.

“They have to just admit that this isn’t a temporary problem, that this is going to continue for a while,” he said.

In the meantime, Tijuana residents are bringing food, clothes and other donations for the Haitians, Africans and other migrants.

“The best news of all this was the generosity of the people, just showing up at the door, saying, ‘here’s food for 50 people,’” Murphy said. “Even though they’re not rich themselves, they realize, ‘I may have a little bit more to share.’”

Twenty-five-year-old Haitian Jeff Son Pascal arrived at Casa del Migrante in early June, also by way of a two-month journey departing from Brazil.

Like hundreds of other migrants, he slept on the sidewalk just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry for the first few days. Then he was redirected to the shelter while awaiting his turn to see a U.S. immigration official.

He said he is grateful for Casa del Migrante, where he and other Haitians take turns helping with domestic duties, such as washing clothes and serving food.

“The Casa is very good, very good,” he said in broken Spanish.

Son Pascal embarked on his journey alone, without friends or family, but he said he has made many friends in Tijuana, both Haitian and Mexican.

He said he dreams of a better life in the U.S.

When asked how many people are coming behind him, Son Pascal sighed and said: “Many, many, many, many, many.”"
sandiego  haiti  immigration  border  borders  mexico  brasil  brazil  tijuana  refugees  casadelmigrante  2016  migration  sanysidro  us 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Every Piece of Public Art in San Diego, Mapped - Voice of San Diego
"One thing the map makes clear: Public art is hardly distributed equally throughout the city."
sandiego  publicart  art  maps  mapping  vosd  2016 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Life under curfew for American teens: ‘it’s insane, no other country does this’ | US news | The Guardian
"Tonight though, leniency was in short supply. “Happy hunting,” was how commanding officer, Sgt Jay Moser, kicked off the sweep at the Boys & Girls Club. By 10.13pm four kids were under arrest and six more came in throughout the night. That’s an average number, says Moser. Some nights it’s higher – the division record is about 50. Others it’s lower, especially recently. “That’s not a failure,” Lt Ziegler says of the decline in numbers, which is probably a combination of police getting the word out about curfews and kids becoming more savvy at avoiding sweeps. “Basically it means that we’re doing our jobs.”

Bardis Vakili with the ACLU of San Diego questions the premise that curfews, and curfew sweeps, are the best tactic. Calling the approach “very heavy-handed”, he says that it has a lasting effect on kids. “[What is does] is cite them, offer diversion programs that are difficult to complete, and ends up in involvement in the criminal justice system,” he said, suggesting expanded after-hours options for youth instead. At the very least, he would liked to see “a real dialogue” around the topic.

One problem is that analysis of curfews is relatively scant, and opinions often fall in the more emotional realm. “It’s a gut-level sort of response,” said Councilmember Emerald, when asked about her support for the laws. “It’s not real scientific, is it?” The data though, does exist, with the California Criminal Justice Statistics Center (CJSC) keeping detailed statistics stretching from 1980 to 2014.

While officials in San Diego reject the notion of racial bias in the city’s curfew law, a Guardian analysis clearly shows that it has a disproportionate impact on minorities, especially Hispanics. In 2010, Hispanic youth accounted for 59% of all curfew arrests, as opposed to 16% for white youth. Comparatively, census figures for the same year put the city’s population at 28.8% Hispanic and 45.1% white. The data also shows that diversion programs are indeed keeping more kids of all races out of the courts. In 2011, a majority of curfew cases were handled within the department for the first time in decades. That trend has continued, with only about a third of curfew cases going to juvenile probation 2014.

As to whether the curfew actually reduces crime, critical findings like Males’s are often countered with University of California professor Patrick Kline’s research, which concludes that “curfews are effective at reducing both violent and property crimes.” The Voice of San Diego took perhaps the closest look at the situation locally.

A 2012 article challenges the alleged benefits, finding that “neighborhoods without the sweeps have reported greater drops in crime in the last five years than those with them.” Males says that, again, he’s seen a similar, broader, pattern in his research. Noting that between truancy laws and curfews kids could conceivably only be allowed outside for a few hours a day, he says, “the underlying assumption [is] that most youth are criminals.”"
sandiego  youth  lawenforcement  police  2016  curfews  law  children  teens 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Home × Sosolimited
"The studio was founded by Justin Manor, John Rothenberg, and Eric Gunther. The three met at MIT where they collectively studied physics, computer science, architecture, arts and music. Today, we have locations in Boston and San Diego, and continue to operate at the boundary of art, design, experience and information.

Our design studio is focused on the creative applications of new technologies. We help our partners and collaborators solve difficult technical problems with aesthetic flair. These projects have been recognized with awards from The Art Directors Club, Creative Review, and Cannes Lions, to name a few.

As an art practice, Sosolimited applies the language of data visualization and information design as an artistic medium, focusing on the live transformation of broadcast media. The studio has exhibited artwork internationally at festivals and museums including Ars Electronica, Transmediale, Walker Art Center, Cooper Hewitt, Shanghai Biennial, and the ICA Boston."
justinmanor  johnrothenberg  ericgunther  sandiego  boston  technology  via:sophia  via:enzo  design  datavisualization  dataviz  data  informationdesign  information  installations  art 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Can Republicans Act on Climate Change? - Scientific American
"San Diego mayor shows how there can be bipartisan consensus to move away from fossil fuels"
climatechange  politics  sandiego  2016  fossilfuels  kevinfaulconer 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Experts Predict Spike In Migration From San Diego To Tijuana | KPBS
"San Diego has long been a popular place for Mexican immigrants to make their home. But real estate experts predict Tijuana will develop a large community of expatriates from the north.

“Each day I see more and more people from San Diego turning to Tijuana," said César Leal Partida, director of business development for Seica, a Mexican construction company based in Tijuana. "Before, I think they looked at us as not a nice part."

Leal was one of dozens of business leaders who attended the "The Future of U.S./Mexico Real Estate" conference at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina on Thursday. Among other topics, speakers discussed a predicted spike in Americans moving to Tijuana.

They said the cheaper cost of living in Mexico and the comparatively low unit prices are already inspiring numerous San Diegans to move south of the border.

"When they see what they can get — the quality of construction they can get, the quality of their building, the quality of life — they're like, 'Wow, and still I'm a 20-minute drive from downtown San Diego,'" Leal said.

He said San Diegans who move to Tijuana often continue working north of the border, which they cross using the trusted traveler program called Sentri. According to Leal, this new community is solidifying the San Diego-Tijuana identity as a region of literally cross-border citizens, adding that he considers himself one of them.

"I don’t live in Tijuana; I live in Tijuana and San Diego," he said.

Leal's company is behind Mexico’s second LEED certified building in Tijuana: VIA Corporativo, a skyscraper that has attracted unprecedented interest from foreign food lovers because it houses Misión 19, the city's most famous restaurant. Leal said the rising food scene — both street food and fine dining — is helping Tijuana capture the attention of foreigners.

Near VIA Corporativo, Seica is developing a large Tijuana condominium project called Arboleda Residencial, which Leal said is already luring American buyers.

Speakers at the real estate conference noted that Tijuana has long been a destination for migrants from lower-income areas of Central America and southern Mexico. But they said the city is starting to appeal to Americans.

Investments in Tijuana are also shifting from low-wage, low-skill industries to those that are higher-profile and higher-value, partly thanks to cross-border collaboration, said Cristina Hermosillo, president of Tijuana's Economic Development Corporation, which helped organize the real estate conference.

She said the conference is meant to provide a platform for industry leaders from both sides of the border to work together on the evolution of the region.

"We feel that putting together both of our strengths, we can actually market our region more efficiently as a globalized mega-region that integrates talent, innovation, infrastructure and advanced manufacturing," Hermosillo said.

Leal agreed, noting that Tijuana has a surplus of engineers graduating from university while San Diego has a deficit. He said cross-border companies and residents can turn local idiosyncrasies into regional strengths.

He recalled going to school in Monterrey, Mexico and encountering surprise when he told his friends he was moving back to his home town of Tijuana, a smaller city.

"They said, 'Why would you? Monterrey is bigger than Tijuana,'" Leal said. "And I said, 'Yeah, if you compare Tijuana with Monterrey, I agree. It's bigger and more important, whatever you want to call it. But if you put together Tijuana and San Diego, we burn Monterrey easily.'""
sandiego  tijuana  border  borders  housing  costofliving  realestate  2016  migration  viacorporativo 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Finding a cure for the ‘Huffman virus’
"It's barely 9 a.m. and the humidity is already stifling what would otherwise be a mild August day. In front of a Tudor-style cottage in City Heights, charming with its pitched roof and multi-paned windows, there's a single tree casting shade across the sidewalk.

It's an oasis amid all the concrete. On either side of the Tudor—the only single-family home that remains on this particular stretch of 36th Street—are faded apartment buildings fronted by multiple parking spaces. Next to those are more drab apartment buildings and more parking spaces. It's a scene that repeats up and down the street.

Dubbed "Huffman six-packs," after developer Ray Huffman, these buildings, squeezed into narrow lots meant for single-family homes, are the result of hasty, shortsighted urban planning.

"Utilitarian" is how Hanan Bowman, housing director at the City Heights Community Development Corporation, puts it. Huffman-style properties were built fast to meet a perceived economic threat, he says. With new Mission Valley shopping centers luring consumers away from neighborhood businesses, midcentury Mid-City—North Park, City Heights, Normal Heights, Hillcrest, University Heights and Kensington— needed more density to help those businesses compete. In the late 1960s, Huffman started buying up single-family homes in the Mid-City area and replacing them with eight- to 10-unit apartment buildings (though few are six units, the "six-pack" tag stuck). Other developers, like Conrad Prebys' Progress Construction, followed, using Huffman properties as a model. It wasn't until the 1980s that city planners tried to curtail this sort of development. "San Diego's unhappy history of higher-density housing," is how a 2004 article in smart-growth magazine The Urbanist put it, with the consequence being a lingering hostility to any effort to increase density.

"They weren't really all that well-constructed," Bowman says of Huffman-style apartments, with "the parking in the front taking up a significant percentage of the lot space, the monolithic face of the buildings and such—while utilitarian and purposeful in the '60s and '70s, today is not appropriate for the look of the neighborhoods."

"Subdivided into meaninglessness," says Stephen Russell.

Russell's standing in the lone tree's shade, looking at the two buildings next to it. The architect and board president of the City Heights CDC is both fascinated and frustrated by Huffmans, so much so that in 2010, while at the NewSchool of Architecture, he wrote a thesis on how to revitalize older neighborhoods—Mid-City being his focus—that have been plagued by this sort of piecemeal development. What he set out to do, he says at the end of the 142-page study, was "to find a ‘cure' for the ‘Huffman virus.'"

Ideally within a year, a City Heights Huffman will become Russell's laboratory. Last month, the City Heights CDC was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to help with the purchase and rehab of a Huffman property, which Russell will use as a case study. The question to be answered: "Can the Huffman structure be sufficiently rehabilitated, both its footprint and its street appeal," Bowman says. "Or, from a cost-benefit perspective, is it more efficient to tear it down and rebuild?"

The project's still in the early stages, and the CDC will have to cobble together money to acquire the building. The goal is to make the project replicable while also being mindful of the challenge of preserving the neighborhood's affordability. City Heights includes some of the poorest census tracts in the county, and older housing stock, like Huffman properties, are de-facto affordable housing.

"How do we come up with a solution that the market isn't going to seize on and do what the Huffmans did and just destroy all the affordable housing?" Russell says. "Because in many cases, you can't even replace what is there under the zoning.… With public monies, foundation monies, there may be a formula that works for the affordable-housing market."

The goal isn't to add density, but to better accommodate it. The density's already there: According to census data, more than half of City Heights households are considered overcrowded under standards set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Huffman-era properties are typically one-bedroom units, many no larger than 500 square feet.

"These places aren't so very dense— what they are is they're crowded," Russell says. "We've crowded everybody in this little footprint in small units."

To address the need for multi-bedroom units, the project will look at whether Huffman-era buildings were constructed in a way that would allow them to be reconfigured into a mix of unit sizes, going up to a three-bedroom space. Another option is looking at whether the parking spaces that front the properties could accommodate a couple town-home-style units.

Huffman-era apartments are defined by long stretches of driveway that allow for four or five parking spaces in the front of the building. Another four or five spaces in the back give each unit dedicated parking. But, at the same time, those front lots reduce the amount of on-street parking while also undermining public use of the sidewalk.

"You've pretty much abandoned [the sidewalk] to a car that uses it 15 seconds a day," Russell says. "Parking doesn't have to drive all of this."

So-called "reverse-diagonal" street parking—angled parking that you back into—is one option to replace those dedicated spaces. It's bike and pedestrian friendly and has been used successfully in cities like Seattle, Portland and Austin, Russell notes in his thesis. Community lots are another option. "We [need to] get past the idea that I have to have my space in front of my place," he says.

Many of the buildings have an illegal extra space, Russell points out, where the owner pulled out landscaping and poured in concrete. Some owners simply replaced the landscaping with concrete to cut back on maintenance costs. All that impermeable surface means that when it rains, polluted run-off is going into the city's storm drains. Getting rid of the front-of-building parking spots would allow for landscaping that would capture that run-off.

(There's a five-block area in City Heights that Russell refers to as the "magic blocks" because there's not a single multi-family unit. Those blocks lack the alleyways for extra parking, making the lots unattractive to developers.)

The CDC, right now, is just focusing on the acquisition and rehab of one property. But as Russell walks through the neighborhood, he can't help but see the bigger picture. He has a map with him, showing the redevelopment potential of each parcel in a four-block area of City Heights. All those Huffmans surrounding the Tudor cottage are "frozen" parcels—dark blue on the map. The rule of thumb, he says, is that for a property to be attractive to investment, a developer would need to be able to double or triple its current density. That worked great for Huffman and others who purchased single-family homes and replaced them with multi-unit dwellings. But those sites, in response to Mid-City's Huffmanization, have since been down-zoned, meaning that unless a developer can combine parcels into a larger project, this isn't an area that's going to attract market-rate development.

Condo conversions—where apartments are upgraded and turned into condominiums, offering a way around the down-zoning conundrum—prettied up Huffman properties in neighborhoods like North Park, Hillcrest and University Heights. But, largely unregulated, the conversions—which took rental units off the market, many of them affordable to lower-income folks—became another example of how not to revitalize an area. Russell says that regulations put in place by the City Council a few years ago have made City Heights unattractive to developers looking to make quick money from a condo conversion.

"Dark blue," Russell says, pointing to one of the Huffman parcels on 36th Street. "If you tore it down, you could put up half of what's on the site."

"What we did is we acted against perceived crowding by saying, ‘Stop, no more development," he adds. "So, now we're stuck with exactly what we have. It isn't going to change, and is this what we want? No, we want to stop this from happening after it happened, as is so often the case.""
kellydavis  stephenrussell  cityheights  sandiego  apartments  huffmansix-packs  urbandevelopment  urban  parking  sidewalks  density  architecture  1960s  conradprebys  progressconstruction  history  rayhuffman  mid-city  northpark  hillcrest  normalheights  universityheights  kensington  housing 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Escuela Libre de Arquitectura
"Somos una institución educativa que ofrece estudios para la formación profesional de arquitectos de vanguardia que se proyecten a nivel estatal, nacional e internacional con propuestas innovadoras, sustentadas en la recuperación del entorno local, el respeto ecológico y la incorporación de su obra al contexto considerando los recursos naturales, los estatutos sociales y las tecnologías para el diseño y materialización de las ideas.

Queremos compartir nuestra visión invitando a que se incorporen a nuestro programa a los prospectos a estudiar arquitectura que deseen aprender nuestra propuesta filosófica, artística, sociocultural y profesional a través de una oferta educativa, congruente con la situación actual de la profesión, mediante un proceso educativo formalizado y sistematizado, a la vez que flexible e integral.

Nuestra intención es promover la formación de profesionales comprometidos con el desarrollo de la Arquitectura desde la perspectiva profesionalizante y reconocemos que la educación que impartimos tiene como fundamento una filosofía humanista, en donde la persona es la razón de ser; motivo por el cual, todos los procesos formativos y organizativos se sustentan en sus principios, aportando a la sociedad, a través de sus egresados, personas con capacidades y potencialidades intelectuales, físicas, sociales y culturales, con un acervo de valores que le permiten incidir para el desarrollo de la sociedad en donde se desenvuelven.

[video: https://vimeo.com/100450803 ]

MISIÓN

Formar integralmente a profesionales éticos y competentes, que aprenden haciendo, a través del autoconocimiento, autovaloración y detonando su talento humano- social, con sentido de pertenencia y lealtad hacia su ciudad a través de la Arquitectura, concibiendo proyectos sustentables e innovadores respetando el entorno, que tengan como fin el bien común, arraigados a la sociedad donde se desenvuelven, y que administren y gestionen todos sus recursos tangibles e intangibles, con responsabilidad y honestidad.

VISIÓN

Ser la institución educativa del arte de la Arquitectura de mayor trascendencia en la región, con alcance nacional e internacional, al estar involucrados en proyectos conjuntos con organizaciones sin fines de lucro y gubernamentales, con un fin: alcanzar el beneficio a la comunidad, que coadyuve a la formación de estudiantes competentes y competitivos, cuyos egresados destacan con sus obras de impacto artístico, social y cultural.

VALORES

• Respeto: Hacia el medio ambiente, los recursos, palpables e impalpables, así como hacia las personas individualmente y en grupos.
• Humildad: al proponer y formar parte de un colectivo que brinde un bien a la comunidad.
• Honestidad: al administrar y gestionar los recursos de un proyecto.
• Lealtad: hacia la sociedad, quienes depositan su confianza en ellos como arquitectos para realizar proyectos donde se ven involucrados y beneficiados.
• Pertenencia: hacia nuestro país, estado, sobre todo hacia nuestra ciudad y comunidad.
• Integralidad: al percibirnos como parte de un todo, donde cada quien realiza una actividad en específico que contribuye al crecimiento conjunto como sociedad."

[See also: https://vimeo.com/126544484 ]

[See also:
http://www.plataformaarquitectura.cl/cl/626033/escuela-libre-de-arquitectura-en-tijuana-una-escuela-de-arquitectos-para-arquitectos
http://curbed.com/archives/2015/11/16/tijuana-architecture-school-jorge-gracia-escuela-libre-de-arquitectura.php
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2014/dec/07/arquitecto-construye-nuevo-estilo-de-escuela/
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/miranda/la-et-cam-tijuana-architecture-jorge-gracia-20151029-htmlstory.html ]

[via: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vosd-experience-tijuana-tickets-19813003226 ]
architecture  education  tijuana  sandiego  design  mexico 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Most Likely to Succeed | American RadioWorks |
"In most modern work places employees are expected to be self-directed and also work collaboratively. But do conventional public schools do enough to encourage creative and critical thinking?

We’ll hear from Ted Dintersmith, executive producer of “Most Likely to Succeed,” a film that takes a look at how traditional high schools need to change in order to prepare students for the innovations of tomorrow. Dintersmith wasn’t always a film producer. For 25 years he was a successful venture capitalist. He says he noticed that many of the people he hired looked really good on paper – they’d done well in large, structured corporate environments. But they didn’t seem to thrive in smaller, more innovative environments. At home, Dintersmith also noticed that his children’s homework assignments focused on getting students ready for standardized tests, rather than getting them to think creatively. Ted Dintersmith recently spoke to American RadioWorks associate producer Suzanne Pekow."
mostlikeltosucceed  hightechhigh  teddintersmith  2015  sandiego  education  learning  schools  kipp  colleges  universities  collegeadmissions  standardizedtesting  standardization  problemsolving  meaning  purpose  lcproject  openstudioproject  unschooling  deschooling  edg 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Nonprofit Seeks Public Art 'Gathering Spaces' Along Chollas Creek | KPBS
"This summer, residents in southeastern San Diego's Chollas View neighborhood should be able to stroll down a new pathway along Chollas Creek and pass by entrances and exits decorated with public art.

That's the plan laid out by the nonprofit Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. It's using grants and federal and state funds to restore Chollas Creek, including redirecting the creek flow to reduce flooding, building pedestrian bridges and adding native plants.

The project also includes a walkway from Euclid Avenue to Market Street, with small parks and overlooks along the way.

Jesse Kleist, construction project manager at the Jacobs Center, said the project will give students from nearby Horton Elementary School a safer place to walk.

"They can cross the creek, instead of on Guymon Street, which is a narrow sidewalk and it’s pretty busy," Kleist said.

Construction started in August and should be done in March, he said.

Angela Titus, executive vice president of the Jacobs Center, has more plans for the walkway. She's working with the community to install public art "gateways" at its entrances and exits on Euclid Avenue and Market Street.

"That will allow us to have a really beautiful gathering place that will hopefully become a centerpiece of the work that we’re doing here and something that residents can use for lots of different reasons," Titus said.

Chollas Creek runs through the heart of the neighborhood and alongside the Jacobs Center, so it provides an opportunity to create a community center, she said.

"It runs straight through the community, and I think it will really be a centerpiece for the community and a gathering place," she said.

Thirty-nine artists from across the country and one from Spain applied to create the public art installations. A Jacobs Center committee of artists, teachers, planners and community representatives narrowed the field to two artists and one artist team:

• Ramon de Salvo, a local artist who created the "Song Rail Bridge" over state Route 94.

• Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii, a husband-and-wife public art team from North Carolina.

• Madeline Wiener, a stone carver from Colorado.

Each will submit a proposal for public art gateways by the end of February. The community will be able to review and comment on the designs before the selection committee makes its recommendation to the Jacobs Center.

"This is part of a larger effort for us to transform the community, not just through physical redevelopment, but also through some of these other kinds of things that improve overall livability and the economics of the residents that live here," Titus said.

The National Endowment for the Arts gave the Jacobs Center $30,000 to fund the design of the art projects, but the center still needs funding for the chosen artist or artists to complete the work."
sandiego  chollascreek  jacobscenter  romandesalvo  jimhirschfield  sonyaishii  madeleinewiener  art 
december 2015 by robertogreco
The Neverending Hunt for Affordable Housing Funds
"Q: One of the big criticisms that comes up in any discussion of affordable housing is that it costs too much to build. How do you handle that argument?

A: We build things like four-bedroom apartments. Three bedrooms, you’ll find in upscale new developments that that are high- to mid-market, truly market rate. Here, the market would never produce them. So, we’re building things that the market doesn’t do and doesn’t do for a reason.

Housing traditionally does not serve all classes. When you go back in history, what you typically have is tenements. You have naturally affordable housing that is obsolete or substandard and therefore not commanding a market price. It’s cheap because it’s not the most desirable. And so that’s how, in most of human history, the poorest people have lived in undignified conditions. Our goal as an organization is to try to provide dignified, safe housing for all members of society.

Q: What about for-profit developers who say, “Just make it easier for us to build market-rate housing, just increase the supply and then there’s … ”

A: The trickle down? There’s some truth in that. If you want to talk mega economics and go back to [urbanist and activist] Jane Jacobs , she will talk about diversity as being desirable and one of the diversities is diversity of [housing] tenure — the types, sizes, whether people rent or own. Diversity of age is valuable because … in an ideal world, you’re constantly providing almost enough housing so that there is always stuff falling into lowercase-a “affordability” — hopefully it’s not too obsolete and not too degraded.

But we have these incredible housing cycles of boom and bust, so we have big gaps in when housing is aging. There hasn’t been enough housing produced here. I think you’d have to go back to maybe the ‘60s to find a time when enough housing was being produced. … So that’s that boom-and-bust cycle and suddenly nothing older’s coming on the market and suddenly, boom, everything is aged out to 30 years. If we could smooth out the cycles, that would certainly help.

But the core issue: Is just gross supply part of the formula? And the answer is yes, of course. But can we build our way out of it? There’s some builders who are sitting on subdivisions because they know they can make more money releasing it in tranches over time. They have 10, 20, 30-year business plans. Are there people saying, “Release us to build and we shall build,” who actually have land they could build on? There are some of those, yes. Is it too difficult to build? It can be.

Q: But then you have communities that absolutely don’t want you to add another unit of housing.

A: The question of density is key. From an environmental standpoint, we know that the “City of Villages” is essentially a climate action plan, if you will, of transit-oriented development, really focusing on transit and putting the density in the right place where people can live rich, fulfilled lives within a narrow walking radius.

We’re going to have to work to see that enough multifamily land is zoned. Look at where we are right now. This zoning doesn’t exist everywhere in the city. We couldn’t do this and just replicate it down the street. The issue of density is, one, we have to get more multifamily zoning. In every community plan update we do, we have to look at where it makes sense. And then we have to show how it improves quality of life and I think we’re starting to get more examples.

When [Metro Villas] was being built, there was a lot of community opposition, “We don’t want more affordable housing.” Well, now we hear, “We want to see more things like this.” It’s the high point of the neighborhood. We have marvelous, beautiful examples of affordable housing being the finest housing in the community.

Similarly with density, people are screaming to get into North Park, they’re screaming to get into Little Italy. We simply have to do a better job of demonstrating the quality of life benefits and actually funding improvements to the public realm that make it so that it is more desirable … so that it has a vibrancy as opposed to a crowdedness. Is it crowded or is it vibrant? It really depends on all of these other environmental cues and how did they get there? Are you sitting next to cars and parking or are you in a plaza? All these different kinds of elements come together."

[See also: http://cityheightsinitiative.org/historic-projects/metro-center/ and
http://www.sandiego.gov/redevelopment-agency/pdf/affhousing/fsmetrovillas.pdf ]
sandiego  housing  2015  stephenrussell  affordablehousing  funding  redevelopment  cityheights  density  metrovilla  landuse  class 
december 2015 by robertogreco
When San Diego Hired a Rainmaker a Century Ago, It Poured | JSTOR Daily
"Critics claimed Hatfield was a huckster who merely benefited from coincidence. As Spence pointed out, many so-called rainmakers “were little more than gamblers, betting their time and what reputation they may have had that rain would fall while or after they commenced their machinations.” By working only in the midst of dry spells, Hatfield could improve his odds of timing an impending rainfall. Indeed, Hatfield likely profited from his keen knowledge of meteorology and close examination of weather records. Knowing when storm fronts were imminent, he could target cities in advance of the rain and claim success when moisture fell from the skies.

Others saw Hatfield as a forerunner of modern-day cloud-seeding, in which chemicals such as dry ice and silver iodide—perhaps among those used by Hatfield—are introduced into cloud banks to foster the formation of ice crystals and raindrops. These chemicals provide particles around which water vapor can condense and eventually fall as rain once the droplets reach a sufficient size. The condensation process generates its own heat, which causes air to rise and fosters the growth of additional rain clouds.

While Hatfield relied on the ascension of chemical vapors into the skies, rainmaking went airborne with the advent of the aircraft. The U.S. Army Air Service began experiments to determine if rain could be produced from electrified sand in 1921; however, the modern science of rainmaking truly began in 1947 with Project Cirrus, a joint venture of General Electric and the U.S. military under the direction of Nobel laureate Irving Langmuir that seeded clouds with dry ice. “The results of Project Cirrus gave scientific credence to the mystic works of such pioneer rainmakers as California’s now famous Charles Hatfield,” wrote Donald D. Stark in the California Law Review.

A century after Hatfield’s exploits, the science of rainmaking and the effectiveness of cloud-seeding remain points of contention, as Virginia Simms wrote in a 2010 article in The International Lawyer. Even so, cloud-seeding is on the rise. A 2014 report from the World Meteorological Organization found that 52 countries had active cloud-seeding programs, up from 47 the previous year, and 39 weather-modification programs were in place west of the Mississippi River.

Even after its experience in 1915, San Diego continued to be seduced by the hope offered by rainmakers. Incredibly, in 1961, the city council considered hiring Edmond Jeffery, who promised he could make it rain 40 inches in 40 days for a fee of $8,000. This time, with memories of “Hatfield’s Flood” still echoing in their minds, San Diego’s councilors refused the offer."
sandiego  california  drought  history  charleshatfield  rain  water  via:vruba  1915  1961  edmondjeffery  cloudseeding 
december 2015 by robertogreco
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