walkable neighborhood

What If (Canada, 2013)

Predictions: Alex has seen this movie. Kat…knew it starred Daniel Radcliffe? Thus, she predicted that it was about him wandering about town, wondering, “What if I were a wizard?” Stay tuned for as many Harry Potter jokes as we can possibly squash into this entry.

Plot: Daniel Radcliffe is a sad sack who has not yet gotten over his breakup of over a year ago. He drags himself to a party at his friend Adam Driver’s house, where he meets Adam Driver’s cousin, Zoe Kazan. They have a lot in common, and he immediately likes her, but upon walking her home he learns that she has a boyfriend. Since he is a decent person, they become friends instead.

Time passes. They continue to be friends. Zoe Kazan continues to have a boyfriend.

More time passes. Zoe Kazan’s boyfriend, hotshot copyright lawyer, moves to Dublin for what is supposed to be six months. Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan hang out even more, growing ever closer. Adam Driver marries a girl he met at that same party. Daniel Radcliffe realizes that he needs to express his feelings, but (blah blah blah) this winds up going terribly, and he and Zoe Kazan stop talking, even though she has broken up with her boyfriend anyway. Zoe Kazan takes a promotion in Taiwan, and Daniel Radcliffe decides to go back to medical school. Adam Driver and his wife host Zoe Kazan’s going-away party, and, at the last minute, Daniel Radcliffe decides to attend. They make up (and out! We will never tire of this incredibly lame barely-a-joke; hope you are looking forward to seeing it approximately 50 more times on this blog).

More time passes. It turns out they got married. How nice.

Best Scene: We really liked this movie, and it’s almost entirely adorable stuff between Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, so it’s tough to pick. One of our favorite parts, though, is when they first start becoming friends and are emailing each other. Just one of many lovely and organic parts to this film.

Worst Scene: Maybe the sequence where we’re shown the construction of a “Fool’s Gold” sandwich? A butter-covered loaf of bread, filled with peanut butter, jam, and 1 lb. crispy bacon. The internet says that it’s “surprisingly good,” but we find that difficult to believe. However, the internet also says that it’s 8000 calories, which we do not find difficult to believe.

Best Line: “I have a dead-end job, I live in my sister’s attic, and I never go out. …Uh, correcting pronunciation is my old thing, actually. My new thing is oversharing.” – Daniel Radcliffe, making a winning first impression upon Zoe Kazan. There are actually a lot of funny and/or touching lines in this movie, though. This just happened to be one that we remembered. Props to this movie! There was only one line in it we hated (see below).

Worst Line: Sigh. In the middle of this movie, there is your standard one-trick joke about Adam Driver accidentally sleeping with a trans woman. HERE’S THE THING ABOUT THIS JOKE: besides its being, you know, transphobic, it is SUCH A LAME, OLD, CONSTANTLY-REUSED GARBAGE PIECE OF JOKE. This shitty joke has appeared in basically every piece of media we’ve seen since middle school. Honestly. Come up with a new offensive joke, if you must.

Highlights of the Watching Experience: Toronto is beautiful, y'all!!!! So is Dublin. All the scenery in this movie, A+. We really covet Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe’s neighborhood. The walkability score looks excellent. But why are Daniel Radcliffe and his sister (both clearly British) living in Canada? Zero backstory was provided. Are their parents…also in Canada? Their parents seem to originally have been doctors in London… Discuss.

How Many POC in the Film: Basically none. Bad job, movie. The most we got was the knowledge that Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan had each dated one person of color in the past. Really, movie Canada? Even Hogwarts has, like, three or four POC, and that’s in movie BRITAIN.

Alternate Scenes: The scene in which Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan are out in the city of Toronto, and 50% of the background actors are POC. Alternately, a movie about the zombie apocalypse, in which super-pale Daniel Radcliffe turns out to be Patient Zero. It could still be a romcom, though. But they would be forever separated by his zombie-ness. So maybe not a romcom. A romantic zombie drama. A romzom…dram. Who wants to fund this?? Any takers????

Was the Poster Better or Worse than the Film: Worse. What is happening in this poster???? It is like the fridge magnets have come alive in an insect-y swarm between them. No, we don’t want that. We would not watch that movie.

Score: 8 out of 10 Harry-Potter-hangs-out-with-Kylo-Ren smooches. Guys, this is Adam Driver’s least abhorrent role! He is…perhaps a touch too free-spirited, but otherwise, he is mostly okay. He even has some pretty funny lines from time to time. His face is still weird, though.

Ranking: 10, out of the 78 movies we’ve seen so far. Not bad! Worth watching, if you haven’t seen it and are interested in enjoying some beautiful shots of unrealistically-white Toronto. (Seriously, though, what is this city in which even Chinatown doesn’t have any people of color? Is that Chinatown that Zoe Kazan and her boyfriend are strolling through? Kat genuinely thought it was, like…an Asian-themed farmers’ market. Red lanterns. White people. You know.)

I have to wake up at 4:45am to take a bus for an hour to get to work at 6:30. Tomorrow is my last day of training at the other location before I move to the new location that is a block away from my place. I am so glad there’s only one more day of this. Starting Thursday, my entire life will be within like 13 blocks of where I live. Including work, my studio, Jon’s job, all my regular bars and my garden plot. I finally live within a real walkable neighborhood. It’s so great. 

A few things I know to be true, Part 2.

1. Airplanes are great places to think about major life decisions.
2. You will find a way to stay in touch with the important people.
3. The short commute and walkable neighborhood are worth the extra rent.
4. The more you write, the more you will find to write about.
5. Teaching someone to tell their own story is more powerful than telling it for them.
6. It had nothing to do with you. Try your best not to take it personally.
7. Exercise will give you more energy. For real.
8. Having more clothes means doing more laundry.
9. Pedialyte really does help with hangovers. So does Excedrin.
10. Work that feels meaningful to you is worth more than all the gold in the world.

Part 1 is here

ClimateWorks is a San Francisco based foundation whose mission is to support public policies that prevent dangerous climate change and promote global prosperity. This infographic about wlkable neighborhoods is part of a document called Planning Cities for People, which was prepared for the Chinese government. The document, which contains 8 research-based recommendations that lead to prosperous, low-carbon urban areas, uses richly illustrated maps and diagrams to present examples of street-grids that promote walking, prioritize bicycle networks, create mixed-use neighborhoods and support high-quality transit.

SN: there is much to celebrate in the article abstract below but it’s counterpoint at the end was a lesson we should all take to heart. One that I often forget about when championing these concepts. What looks good conceptually for urban planning, i.e. More density, can actually inadvertently negatively impact citizens. See below for more. But back to the positive…

Buffalo becoming the first US city to eliminate parking minimums for developers is a big step for new urbanism in general. But because it is an old rust belt city battling a declining population, this move proves that similar post industrial cities can make bold moves such as this without waiting for the typical “preeminent” cities like NYC, Boston or Chicago to take the lead.

Buffalo Becomes First City to Bid Minimum Parking Goodbye

In overhauling its zoning code for the first time since 1953, Buffalo, New York, has become the first major city to completely remove outdated minimum parking requirements. (Other cities have done so, too, but only in certain districts or neighborhoods.) That means developers there will no longer be required to build a certain number of parking spaces for commercial and residential projects, regardless of whether there are mass transit options nearby or if the tenants even need them. The new code also follows a relatively new concept called form-based zoning, which emphasizes the relationship between public space and buildings.

Buffalo, like many U.S. cities, historically followed those conventional zoning codes from as early as the 1920s, which put heavy emphasis on making room for cars—hence the minimum parking requirements. Once considered one of the largest metropolises in the U.S., with some 573,000 residents at its peak in the 1950s, Buffalo’s population headed toward a dramatic downward spiral (the latest count by the Census Bureau puts the current population at a little under 259,000.) By the 1950s, when Buffalo implemented zoning codes that included minimum parking requirements, the city was undergoing major urban revitalization efforts that emphasized easy car access for suburbanites.

As the years passed, the codes would prove to hurt more than it helped. Following a suburban model of development, the city allowed stores to be built on huge lots without pedestrian access, rather of promoting walkable neighborhoods. And sidewalk dining at neighborhood restaurants, for example, was technically illegal without a zoning variance. And with the parking requirement, Shoup argues, everyone—including those who can’t afford a car—end up paying for parking.

The Lesson / Reminder

Critics worry that the city’s push for urban revival increases rent prices. While form-based zoning promotes density and development, which are economical for cities like Buffalo, “it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the types of development taking place are going to allow for either the retention or increase in affordable units,” says Robert Silverman, a urban planning professor who studies inequality in inner-city housing markets at the University of Buffalo.

He predicts that Buffalo may end up following the path of Miami and Denver—the only two other cities to adopt form-based code, and are facing affordable housing crises. “Even though Buffalo is losing population, its Green Code really focuses on dense development in a much smaller footprint, and having less density in older neighborhood outside of it,” Silverman says. “So it essentially creates more demand in a smaller area for development to take place, which has an upward pressure on the cost of commercial and retail property and also on housing.”

I’m playing Pokémon Go, and it’s a lot of fun, but it’s also given me an opportunity to witness something very strange. I’m lucky to live in a walkable urban neighborhood with multiple gyms, and they’re all controlled by this one kid, who’s maybe around ten years old.

This sounds cute, right? WRONG.

The kid is a little shit, and he’s unilaterally nasty to anyone who tries to talk to him. There’s a gym outside a local café, where I’ve had the odd experience of sitting and watching him at work. If someone sees him playing and asks for help or advice, he tells them that he doesn’t want them to get better than him. If someone asks him to ease up so that they can train at the gym, he tells them that they don’t deserve to play if they’re too weak. And so on. The kid is really serious about pokémon, and he seems to only be able to have fun with the game if no one else is.

This situation has forced me to reevaluate the premise of the Pokémon games, in which the player-character is, similarly, a ten-year-old kid who apparently doesn’t have anything better to do with his life than to walk around fighting everyone he encounters. It’s a lot of fun to be that kid in the games, but watching the expression of that attitude in real life is… kind of upsetting?

anonymous asked:

Can you post what restaurants you eat at please? Thanks!

Oh man. As you can probably tell, I’m one of those if-my-dog-can’t-go-I-don’t-really-want-to-go type people, so I’m assuming you’re asking about the restaurants I take Chubby to? My favorite haunts are:


Bette’s Oceanview Diner - Berkeley, 4th Street - it’s an East Bay institution so I hear, as such staff is usually swamped on the weekends and don’t pay particular attention to the dogs

Cafe M - Berkeley, 4th Street - servers are friendlier and they’ll bring out a bowl of water for le Chobley

Zazie - SF, Cole Valley - it’s usually pretty crowded, but the wait for outdoor seating is first-come, first-serve! I arrived once at peak hour to an empty outdoor table and couldn’t believe my luck… they also bring out a bowl of water for your dog

Outerlands - SF, Outer Sunset - long wait (hmm sensing a pattern…), lots of outdoor seating with heat lamps for the pervasive cold/fog that hovers over Outer Sunset. People are really friendly and there are bound to be other doggies brunching with their humans


Gregoire - Berkeley, Gourmet Ghetto - limited outdoor seating, but they love the doggies! The cook will offer the pups fresh pieces of chicken if he isn’t too busy. Chubby often stops by on a walk and makes a beeline for the chicken even if we aren’t actually eating there that day

Cheese Board - Berkeley, Gourmet Ghetto - if it’s really crowded, you can order a pizza and walk over to Live Oak Park to picnic with your dog

Chop Bar - Oakland, Jack London Square - brunch/lunch spot. Greatest burgers in the world and doggies allowed in the patio seating area with their own bowl of H2O 

TrueBurger - Oakland, Lake Merritt - Chobley is obsessed with their burgers… there’s only one table in the outdoor nook, so if it’s packed get your burger to-go and walk your pooch over to Lake Merritt. The lake can be pretty meh depending on time of the year (geese crap and pungent algae), but the 12th Street Restoration is finally complete!! Now there’s a gorgeous new waterfront grass and seating area perfect for eating and frolicking for both man and dog

Jack London Square Farmer’s Market - Oakland - not a restaurant, but great foods to try out (we love Cholita Linda), lots of dogs and a beautiful oceanfront

Bi-Rite Market/Creamery - SF, Mission - also not a sit-down restaurant, but great for getting sandwiches and ice cream and heading over to Dolores Park to picnic with your doggie in the glorious sun

Hope this was informative! Most of these places are situated in very walkable/dog-friendly neighborhoods and commercial areas or near parks where dogs can play. 

I went to LA a couple months back and had a pretty terrible dining experience at an amazing restaurant. They were billed as dog-friendly, but the dogs were only allowed to be tied outside the patio seating area. Our group was placed in a corner far from where the dogs were situated and that distance made Chubby very, very anxious. I asked to be seated closer, but the staff didn’t want to put an extra chair out at a table meant for 4. We ended up taking Chubby back to the car where he could at least lay down and relax… but that meal was totally ruined for me. The food was superb, but all I remember is feeling very anxious/guilty. There’s nothing better than being able to go out and eat great food with your pup by your side, then go on walkies together afterward!

Chubby at the aforementioned restaurant in LA looking optimistic about his dining prospects… little heartbreaker.


Stepping out with the family on a rainy day and with no car: High Museum edition

Finding family activities for a dreary, wet day in Atlanta — ones that don’t involve getting in a car — can be a challenge. Today we took the MARTA train up to the Arts Center Station and walked across the street from the station to the High Museum, where admission is free on the first Saturday of every month to all Fulton County residents.

It’s a good place to visit no matter what the weather, but it’s a particularly nice place on a rainy day because of how the museum’s airy and bright interior offsets the gray skies outside (see the High’s beautiful atrium, above).

We’re lucky to live in a place with good transit access; not everyone in Atlanta does. I hope that the future will bring a greater number of family-friendly housing can get built in walkable neighborhoods served well by MARTA.

We’ve really enjoyed living in this environment, taking long walks and MARTA trips on the weekend and leaving our car in the garage. I recommend this living situation to others, though apartment units appropriate for families (multiple bedrooms, sound proofing) seem to be in short supply in pedestrian-friendly, intown places that have good transit access.

We had a tough time finding an apartment for our family that would allow us to get by on one car and use MARTA (and walking and bikes) for many trips. I’m glad we succeeded. But it shouldn’t be that hard.

My roommates are throwing me out. Please help.

Here’s the whole stupid story.

Yesterday, one of my roommates sent me a Facebook message saying that she and my other two roommates had independently decided that I was “too extroverted” (I’m not an extrovert) and that I “disrupt the vibe of the house,” “cause tension,” and “we just think you’re too weird and we don’t like you.” They’ve given me till June 30 to move out.

Up till this point, there was absolutely zero indication that they had any problem with me. I made repeated attempts to make them comfortable; I asked, over and over again, if I was talking too much, infringing on their space, etc. They always said it was fine. Always. They acted nicely to me. I bought them groceries when they couldn’t afford it, cleaned their dishes for them, fixed the broken drainpipe, fixed the internet when it went down, stayed out of their way when they had guests, and we had a lot of the same interests. I only ever wanted to be their friend.

But I’m apparently just ~too weird~ for their fucking house. 

In any case, I need a new place to live. Unfortunately I also don’t know if my job is renewing my contract yet, but I still want to cover all my bases. A temporary place to crash while I work out more permanent housing so I can be out of this toxic, passive-aggressive, two-faced house would be nice too.


  • Must be within ~30 minutes driving distance of Hunt Valley, MD, in any direction. City living / walkable neighborhood preferred but I’ll take anything really. 
  • Less than $500 a month.
  • My own room. 
  • Stove essential
  • No smokers, no 420 (I am allergic)
  • No dogs (I am allergic)
  • Parties are fine so long as they’re at a reasonable volume and not constant
  • Woman roommates preferred; yes that includes trans* women, and excludes trans* dudes (sorry trans* dudes)

About me: 

I am a 27 year old bisexual cisgendered (but trans* supportive!) woman. I am at the end of a 3 month contract as a QA tester for a local video game company (you can probably guess which one) and am waiting on renewal of said contract for another three months (It’s not a sure thing but I’m pretty confidant)

I am clean, tidy, and mostly friendly. I do need my alone time sometimes but for the most part I am a giant chatterbox and will literally talk your ear off if you let me… but! If you need me to, you just need to tell me to cool it, and I will. My own personal space can be a mess but I keep common areas clean. I love videogames, boardgames, classical literature (of all nations, Let Me Tell U About Genji), postmodernist literature, science fiction and fantasy, dumb action movies (AVENGERS), smart action movies (PACIFIC RIM), and cooking. I will cook for you. I am NOT a vegetarian, though I don’t eat pork. 

My work schedule can be a little nuts, and often involves 9 AM to 9 PM days and weekends. This does make it hard to plan sometimes :( 

Thanks guys. If you want to contact me privately, ryuutenshi@gmail.com is a good bet, put ROOMMATES in the headline. 

filmedertorials  asked:

Hey Hank, I've been wondering something. Which is better for the environment: paper towels or electric hand-dryers? The electric ones usually say they're better, but it seems to me since they are powered by fossil fuels (I've never seen a solar powered one), made of metal and plastic (unlike a renewable source like wood), and not biodegradable (unlike paper products) this seems like a dubious claim. I was just curious and figured you'd know something about the topic.

Paper towels are also powered by fossil fuels. Trees are cut down and processed by machines powered by fossil fuels and shipped across the country in trucks. And, of course, cutting down trees has its own set of ecological problems that have much more to do with individual forests than the Earth’s climate. 

So the answer is, I don’t know. What I do know is that hand dryers are cheaper and easier to maintain than paper towel dispensers, which is the actual reason public restrooms have them. And also, I know that your hand drying choice has a very small impact on the environment. Much smaller than, say, where you choose to live (in a small apartment in a walkable neighborhood or a big house an hour drive from work.) Or what you choose to eat (meat vs anything but meat.)

Walkable NYC

New York City is one of the most walkable cities in the country, and over half of the city’s households don’t have a car. But what does it mean to be a “walkable” city? Even in NYC, neighborhoods vary in how walkable they are, and a recent NYC Health report also reveals that the walkability of a neighborhood can affect the physical activity rates of local residents.

In 2011, NYC Health conducted the Physical Activity Transit (PAT) Survey to understand whether neighborhood design is linked to patterns of physical activity in local residents. The survey and report defined walkable neighborhoods as having high intersection density, high residential density, a mix of residential, commercial, recreational and institutional land uses, few retail stores set back behind parking lots, and good access to public transit.

The report used a “walkability index” to measure and score neighborhood walkability. The results ranked Manhattan as the most walkable borough, followed by Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.

The report also showed that New Yorkers who live in very highly walkable neighborhoods are more likely to be physically active than those living in low walkability neighborhoods, averaging 100 more minutes of physical activity per week. This difference translates to 690 verses 1200 calories burned per work, a large enough difference to impact obesity rates.

Check out the full Neighborhood Walkability and Physical Activity in NYC report, and get more information from the NYC’s Active Design Guidelines and new Sidewalk Supplement.