Archive for April, 2010

Streetscape Improvements

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Warning! Curse Words!

Yesterday I biked home from some errands and as I was locking up my bike outside I noticed a man standing in front of our steps staring at the pavement at his feet and taking photos of it and I thought, A FRIEND! So I sauntered up to ask if he wanted to share sidewalk photos when I realized that he was photographing a ruler on the sidewalk and I thought, How clever! I just measure the sidewalk with my feet! He is so resourceful! And I said, hello new friend! Why are you taking photos of this here sidewalk? I waited for him to embrace me and say, so we can make streetscape improvements together and save the world! But instead he said, These landlord dipshits were lazy and put down some bricks here instead of some concrete and some poor shmuck tripped on them and fell.


Wha.. I… What do you… I don’t understand.  Friend! We both know that brick is a good thing!  I gasped for breath and pointed to the brick on the other side of the sidewalk. It is a good thing! I panted. It adds character to what might otherwise be a very boring concrete sidewalk! I briefly considered opening my urban design notebook and showing him examples from Old Pasadena, California and how streetscape improvements can increase pedestrian activity and act as traffic calming methods but then he said, I take it you live here. I nodded.  Then he leaned in real close and said, I’m a private investigator, honey. Then he nodded at my building and said, these jerks are gonna get sued.



Friday, April 30th, 2010

I don’t usually blog about this type of thing because the internet is a public and vulnerable place but months ago I went out with a fellow who went to Harvard Law and is now getting another money-making type degree at Penn and we went on two dates and ate expensive drinks and foods and I tried but it did not work out and I did not think about it much until yesterday when I walked into the library and I passed him all of a sudden and I said, oh hey and he said oh hey, and we were civil and continued on our way and then I sat down to work on my Law Exam and looked up and realized I was sitting right behind him and then I thought it would have never worked out that guy is not for me and now it is 24 hours later and I am still working on my Law Exam and I have not gotten past page 1/1,155. Love is cruel.

PeterB. He dances.

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Transportation Financing

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Ok I know these posts are the dumbest but my transportation professor is retiring and he is my favorite and I sat through most of his classes like this and when I read his transportation textbooks to study for my Final Exam I get super amped and I think I should blog about this and then I think nobody will want to read this but I will post it anyway. Because these things are important to know.

“In the United States, one still finds widespread misunderstanding of this issue. There is belief that highways are fully paid by their users through fuel and other taxes (and a few of the highways through tolls), that airlines are independent commercial enterprises, and that transit and the national passenger railroad system are “failing” because they require federal government subsidies. Actually, the fact is that no passenger transportation system, including highways and air transport, covers all of its costs without government funds.” Vukan R. Vuchic, Urban Transit: Operations, Planning, and Economics


Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Here’s a fun way to feel vulnerable. Take photos of your bedroom, post them on the internet, and see if anybody’s interested.

I am subletting my room for the summer from late May to mid/late August. I asked my roommate what I should say in my craigslist sublet posting and she said tell people we don’t have the tv because that can be a deal breaker. So I wrote, ok we have the internet but we dont’ have tv because we watch tv on the internet 2.0.  I don’t know what kind of roommates this will attract.

DO you want to sublet my room for the summer? Tell your friends. $750/month.

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Hello SF. Goodbye HC.

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The good news is I officially accepted the internship position in San Francisco on Monday. I took statistics last semester nbd so I calculated my chance of getting this internship and discovered that I had a .007% chance of having 100% confidence intervals or something Berna let me know if this is slightly off. I ran into my transportation professor today at the second year’s picnic and she gave me a high five and said, I heard that was hard to get, and I said thank you for the recommendation, and she said it was all you, and I said, ya I guess getting paid $0 to walk around new york city and observe people on streets for two years paid off. Then I ate fried macaroni and cheese.

The bad news is that the gig starts June 3 and I can’t go to the Hamilton College 5 Year Reunion. I know. Besides missing out on friendship city I will also miss out on the chance to not be impressed by all the  sorority engagement rings (except for Kaitlin’s duh). Peter I might send you a photo of myself to carry around and then when someone everyone is like where is AlexSweet dot com? You’ll hold up a photo of me looking really happy and thin and rolling around in diamonds and be like hahaha she’s at Penn planning cities and then San Francisco called and hey were like COME OVER and she was like duh and now she’s fixing streets in San Francisco that’s so funny you ask because she’s doing FANTASTIC. And then they’ll be like, omg really? And you’ll be like ya she’s a billionaire. Does this make me seem shallow?

At 200 Word Paragraphs I used to have to write 200 word paragraphs about class reunions and instead of writing about class reunions I would write 200 word paragraphs about the anxieties often associated with class reunions and how people often exaggerate their success and lie about their family life so when someone asks wow what have you been up to for the past five years you will say I’m a billionaire and have thirty engagement rings!

Peter, here’s my photo. Feel free to print it out. I’ll also send you two wallet sized copies. 1 for the reunion and 1 for your dorm room at Dartmouth Community College.

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Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

I have had a splitting headache for the past 6 hours. I am on Motrin set #3, which I think means 6 motrin. How many am I not supposed to take within 24 hours?  How many more can I take? Dad how often do you read this?

I’m sitting in the Apse (the studio) doing a lot of this waiting for someone to come over and rub my back and tell me it’s ok why don’t you take a nap. But instead everyone is just getting ahead of me in work. Did I get a headache because I turned down my 3rd job offer today?  Like how I did that? Smooth?  My teeth hurt wtf.  Is this interesting?


I’m drinking coffee. Someone said, It’s probably a caffeine headache and you’re probably an addict.  I don’t know how this makes me feel.

Paper Title?

Monday, April 26th, 2010

The Chicago Metered Parking System Concession Agreement:
How the Windy City Blew It


Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Here’s a photo of me writing my transportation term paper. It’s about Chicago’s decision to lease 34,500 parking spaces to Morgan Stanley for 75-years in exchange for what I called the financial equivalent of a high-five. Way to go Chicagogogo.

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Even lottery winners get tired.

The Genesis of Parking

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

“In the beginning the earth was without parking. The planner said, Let there be parking, and there was parking. And the planner saw that it was good. And the planner then said, Let there be off-street parking for each land use, according to its kind. And developers provided off-street parking for each land use according to its kind. And again the planner saw that it was good. And the planner said to cars, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over every living thing that moves upon the earth. And the planner saw everything he had made, and, behold, it was not good.” D.Shoup