Tag Archives: architecture

David Byrne Journal: 9.28.09: Austin

David Byrne Journal: 9.28.09: Austin http://ow.ly/xaQe Inter-disciplinary Observations & thoughts about bicycle life whilst in Austin, TX

original link: http://journal.davidbyrne.com/2009/09/92809-austin.html

Excerpt from archived link

9.28.09: Austin

Bikes, Cities and the Future of Getting Around

I’m on a one week tour — a series of events focusing on bikes and cities timed to coincide with the release of my Bicycle Diaries book. I told the publisher I didn’t think I’d be very good as a reader — which is the usual way authors are trotted out to promote their books — so I suggested instead we do a series of forums focusing on our cities and how bikes have become a symptom of a new interest in urban living in North America. (This has a little bit of the added effect of hinting that the book is not just about riding a bike.) The publicity department of Viking, the publisher, generously helped put these events together. Sometimes they are held in bookstores, as those are the venues the publisher knows; and sometimes, like last night in Austin, in small theaters.

At each event there will be a representative of the local city government; an advocate; a theorist/designer/planner or historian; …and me. We each do short (10-15 min.) presentations about our area of expertise and then there is some Q&A and then we’re done. So far, I’ve been to NYC and Austin and Seattle and it’s working pretty well. By bringing these elements and people together the events serve as a catalyst, a reminder and a symbol that perception and policies are changing — about bikes as a way of getting around and about how our lives in cities can be. The interest and turnout might be as much for the content as what’s on stage.

The morning after I arrived here I rode around Austin and discovered that a surprising amount of the downtown area has been given over to parking.


There are parking lots everywhere and, maybe because of the oppressive heat in the Texas summers, lots of indoor parking structures as well. Some of these take up a whole block and some only take up the ground floor of a downtown building. Either way, they kill any potential for life, business, interchange and encounters on those blocks. It seems that not only did the city accommodate cars with some massive freeways that are often jammed up, but they have given some of their best downtown real estate simply to house automobiles. I was reminded that the vibrant “people” streets (South Congress and 6th St.), no matter if you love or hate those scenes, would never exist if there were massive parking structures on every block there. The vacant lots on S. Congress are now filled with tent kiosks and tiny Airstreams and other trailers that serve as specialized food carts (like the ones in Portland). I got a mushroom tamale and berry smoothie at one, and they were great.

David Byrne’s new book “Bicycle Diaries”

I love David Byrne’s new book “Bicycle Diaries” His thoughts about (folding) bikes, architecture, design, music and urban places worldwide

Douglas Coupland’s: The House Next Door via The New York Times

The House Next Door – The New York Times > [limit/paywall]

boundaries have collapsed between…

Bruce Sterling (hero) – article: “boundaries have collapsed between architectural objects, conceptual art, and theoretical science” 

Thanksgiving with Absinthe and Fungi Tea – Choogle on #54

Thanksgiving with Absinthe and Fungi Tea

On Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, Uncle Weed and friends enjoy Absinthe from Barcelona, with carmelized with raw sugar and a magic mushroom tea infused nature stroll with a strawberry-grapefruit joint under the Trans Canada Highway where 2 people fell through the gaps. 

Pour a glass of Thanksgiving with Absinthe and Fungi Tea – Choogle on #54 (19:35, 17MB, .mp3)

Subscribe to the Choogle on feed, via Chillaxin’ feed, or in iTunes   Out n’ About with Uncle Weed – Travelin’ Man Vidcast – ShowFeediTunes Cannabis Cup 2002 and Nederlander Stroll – Scenes of life at the 2002 Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam plus trips to Deventer, Madurodam, Haarlem and just strolling the streets en route to coffeeshops. Featuring Uncle Weed, Cosmo G. Spacely and Gazoo. Clubside Breakfast Time podcast – Cosmo G. Spacely’s and guests chatting about Olympia music, news, tasty food and miscellaneous sundry topics at Olympia’s Clubside Cafe or other downtown locales. Dopefiend.co.uk – podcast network with Dopefiend, Queer Ninja, Lefty, Black Beauty, Zandor and more – see also The Grow Report Absinthe FAQ forgotten sippycup

London Town Wander Night – Choogle on #46

London Town Wander NightPhotos by Victoria Potter – art’ed up by Uncle Weed Music: Two Gallants “Feels Like Home to Me”

An extended length (ideal for summertime listening) features a late night walk around the heart of London Town with rambling topics from public drunkeness, Cleopatra’s Obelisk, party boats, Shakespeare’s Globe theater, Internet kiosks, Sir Drake’s Golden Hind, The Clink Jail, Millennium, Black Friars and Tower bridges, Cornish pasties, take away falafels, cellar temperature ales, Dali art, Falklands naval veterans, CCTV cameras, miscellaneous wars, royal largess, overfilled hotel baths and a spontaneous fire in Piccadilly. 

Grab ahold of London Town Wander Night – Choogle on #46 (.mp3, 54:39, 50MB – and worth it!)

Stoney Streets of San Jose with California Medicine – Choogle On! #41

Stoney Streets of San Jose - Choogle on Cannabis Podcast

[album art by Bread the Producer, photo by UWon Flickr]

After a pleasing smokedown of California medical marijuana, Uncle Weed wanders back to his luxury hotel – passing San Jose’s domed, modernist, fountain-laden City Hall – and rambling about New York City neighbourhoods, smells and pubcrawls plus grouses about stinky hotels, late flights, sleeplessness and democractic candidates while sneaking tokes as cops roll by in quiet Silicon Valley. 

Stoney Streets of San Jose ~ Choogle On! #41 (.mp3, 26MB, 19:00)

Continue reading Stoney Streets of San Jose with California Medicine – Choogle On! #41

Greenwich Village Rooftop NYC Diesel Smokedown – Choogle On! #40

Late night hoots on a historic Greenwich Village rooftop with Uncle Weed talking with a Canadian friend about NYC scenes and buildings plus 9/11 recollections, vacuum tubes, ferries, oreo cookies, the last ink factory, Hudson fireworks, hockey lock-out, law school ideas, propane tanks and lawnmowers, 2002 Cannabis Cup (see pics if you are Uncle Weed’s ‘friend’ on Flickr) and minor police incidents plus a few confessions (lousy joint roller and typist) and a self-aggrandizing plug for Zhonka Surfbreaks free wi-fi for the people

Greenwich Village Rooftop NYC Diesel Smokedown ~ Choogle On! #40 (.mp3, 23.3MB, 25:19)

Continue reading Greenwich Village Rooftop NYC Diesel Smokedown – Choogle On! #40

Canada Place Walkaround – Choogle On! #21

Uncle Weed wanders around the Canada Place compound in the rain and tries to spark the last of a doob while gazing at a Latvian or Danish ship, Stanley Park, World Trade Centre and more rain o’er Burrard Inlet and diggin the Seabus. 

Listen Up! Choogle on with Uncle Weed podcast #21!

Continue reading Canada Place Walkaround – Choogle On! #21

Talking Picasso and Snowboarding at the Ice Rink – Choogle On! #20


While seeking refuge in the ice rink, Uncle Weed profers discource about about Picasso, Emily Carr, “classified items,” at the Vancouver Art Gallery plus ponders the meaning of art, Canadian Federal election, and other podcasts including Penmachine, Radio Zoom and the Krug and Scales show. 

Listen up! Choogle on with Uncle Weed #20