Monday: Green Building Fever

  • The city is test-driving “green” buildings, with ventilated air, stone floors that generate heat in the winter and absorb it in the summer, and even a waterfall that humidifies and chills the lobby. But while the Hearst Tower should be all filled up, Larry Silverstein could use a few more tenants in his green building at 7 World Trade. (The New York Times)
  • Well beyond the world of Jane Jacobs, contemporary urbanists have found a new way to voice their opposition to city projects: the blogosphere. “Like any developer, Forest City Ratner has had to contend with suspicious community groups, concerned politicians and skeptical editorial boards while seeking approval for the 8.7-million-square-foot venture.” (The New York Times)
  • The New York Times , pusher of inaccessible lifestyle, reports on the increasingly obscene compensation differential. (Read: Why people move to Queens and Brooklyn.) Most disconcerting is that the secretary of the U.S. Treasury doesn’t know why it exists–and is content with that.
  • In other serious Times news, Hugh Hefner, who “like[s] to see people dressed comfortably,” celebrated his 80th birthday. There, Three 6 Mafia performed “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” while “Mr. Hefner, who is partially deaf, clapped along randomly and shook his fists like a Bolshevik at a revolution.”
  • Another article about blondes has this to say: “‘Roots mean that you don’t have your life together,’ Johns scolds. Skip an appointment, and you might as well move to a squat in the East Village. What’s more, if you are over 25, platinum will wash out your complexion. Prepare to commit to full makeup every day. And don’t forget the high heels.” ( The New York Times )
  • New York City is becoming a leader in manner laws, but residents aren’t quick to follow. (The New York Times)
  • As developers and preservationalists continue to battle, two artists have ventured to capture what is at stake: a wave-breaking landscape. “Like the waterfront itself, their photographs are disorienting and ever-changing; a Staten Island lake appears as hot and ripe as a Florida swamp, a creek in Manhattan as picturesque and cool as the grounds of an English manor.” (The New York Times)
  • The director of operations for Kreiss furniture’s planned East Coast expansion is 24 and sets all his watches and clocks to the wrong time. “‘It’s symbolic of me. I don’t like to look at time.”‘ (The New York Times)
  • While the West reasses skyskrapers, almost 7,000 buildings of more than 11 stories have been built in Shanghai since 1990. In New York, the number is 5,500. However: “One must remember that Chinese buildings have a shorter life cycle; a building that might be put through a renovation in the West when it ages is often torn down in China. But perhaps deeper than this is a sense that China has experienced such turmoil in its past that nothing is permanent, even buildings thousands of meters tall.” (North Korea Times via Archinect)
  • France, the home of the bikini, celebrates 60 years of impressive engineering that reveals navels and supports breasts. (The Times)
  • - Riva Froymovich