How do they do it?
I'm at a loss as to understanding how and why people who blog blog so regularly. I never seem to find the time nor have the catalog of interesting material to share. In fact, my most interesting material I save for other projects. Mostly my long procrastinated great american novel.
But here's what's been going on out here in the west for those people who just want to peek into my life--voyeurs of the bland and uneventful.
I've been attending a lecture series at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. The series looks at the city, especially Phoenix metro, via the thoughts of some local intellectuals: Linda Hirshman, whose Homeward Bound caused quite a stir when it appeared in American Prospect; Nan Ellin, professor of urban design at ASU and a former teacher of mine at UC; and Will Bruder, a local architect who designed, among other things, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and a development in Tempe The Vale that I really wanted to move to.
The lectures--two so far--have been very interesting, with lively conversation in the Q&A and the reception afterwards. I've met a few interesting people, reintroduced myself to Nan Ellin, and garnered a few business cards in perpetuating the illusion that I might be somebody worth knowing. Last night, the lecture focused heavily on some interesting developments in Phoenix and other towns that looked to invest this rather woeful excuse for a city with a sense of community, activity and urbanity that it really lacks. I left thinking that there was a tremendous amount of opportunity in the valley of the sun (there are vacant lots all over this city) but a real lack of financial and imaginative investment by those who could do such things. Phoenix may ultimately be hampared by its rapid growth in the mid-to-late 20th century. The city really lacks the building infrastructure to draw the sort of design that might make Phoenix into another Chicago, NYC, Paris or Rome. It may always be the second biggest suburb in the world.
We're also still planning to move next month, so we have been once again trying to minimize the excess that we will cart from one domicile to the next. Certain evenings have been spent surgically removing the consumerist tumors that have metastisized in our closets, under our beds, on our bookshelves and in our storage areas. Anyone want a used queen size bed? Did we actually move a push mower from Omaha to Scottsdale? What does one do with a hamper full of used (but washed) cloth diapers?