Unofficial guide to hipsterhoods of the Mountain West

Source: fortunebuilders.com

Source: fortunebuilders.com

For this post, my definition of Mountain West includes the states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. College towns that are largely hipster havens are listed without specific neighborhoods unless they have been identified during research.

As usual, any additions or corrections are most welcome. Salud!

SOURCES (other than above):

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It’s a beach, not a litter box for plastic!

Photo by Kathy Donahue

Photo by Kathy Donahue

This disgusting and disgraceful view is what we were greeted with upon arriving at the beach of San Jose Island on the Texas Gulf Coast 10 days ago.  The largely uninhabited island sits on the north side of the mouth of the Aransas Pass Shipping Channel near Corpus Christi. Anyone who thinks plastic pollution is no big deal needs to have their head examined.

Source: quintanna.com

Source: quintanna.com

Thankfully, a clean-up is planned, but the fact that this much plastic $#!t can wash ashore and accumulate on a lovely beach in the first place is downright maddening. We, collectively as society, should be ashamed!

Posted in Advocacy, civics, civility, consumerism, education, environment, planning, pollution, recycling, sustainability, tourism, Travel, visual pollution | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Diving Down Under to discover super music

Source: chaptermusic.com

Source: chaptermusic.com

I know this is going way out on a limb, but given their musical talent, songwriting ability, and multi-faceted range, I think the Melbourne, Australia Indie band “Dick Diver” has the potential to be the world’s next big rock/pop band. Needless to say, a lot of timely and positive karma has to fall into place (and stay there) for this to happen – luck being one of them.

My definition of big rock/pop band is not a compilation of great musicians from various groups such as Traveling Wilburys or Asia, but an immensely popular band whose name, music, and personalities are instantly recognizable across a broad spectrum of fans. A number of English-speaking countries have been home to supergroups, including Australia. Here’s my partial list:

United Kingdom: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Def Leppard, Radiohead, Oasis, Coldplay, and Muse

United States: Beach Boys, Doors, Aerosmith, Eagles, KISS, Journey, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Green Day, and Foo Fighters

Canada: The Guess Who, Rush, and Arcade Fire

Ireland: U2

Australia: AC/DC and INXS

Source: facebook.com

Source: facebook.com

Despite its male testosterone-oriented name, Dick Diver includes a critical  female member (Steph Hughes) who is not only the lead drummer, plays guitar, and is an important contributor to the vocals, including the lead. The four band members are:

  • Rupert Edwards (guitar and vocals)
  • Steph Hughes (drums, guitar, and vocals)
  • Alistair McKay (guitar and vocals)
  • Al Montfort (bass)
Source: messandnoise.com

Source: messandnoise.com

The band’s latest release (third full length album), humorously titled Melbourne, Florida hit the shelves on March 6. Between it and their 2013 release entitled Calendar Days, this fan believes Dick Diver has developed a discography of some truly stellar songs. Here are audio to two of my favorites: “Water Damage” (my favorite) and “Tearing the Posters Down.” Enjoy!

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Unofficial guide to hipsterhoods of Texas and the Great Plains

pinterest

With the exception of Texas, much of the Great Plains is often overlooked by the national media when citing hipster-cool city neighborhoods and districts. Similar to the Rust Belt, what is actually considered Great Plains is somewhat fluid, depending on whom you ask. For this post, my definition of Great Plains includes both Dakotas, Missouri (other than St, Louis), the western half of Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. The title specifies Texas because some may not consider the entire state being a part of the Great Plains. While originally posted as part of the Unofficial Guide to Hipsterhoods of the Rust Belt, Des Moines, Iowa seemed more appropriate here.

Source:

Source: facebook.com

Having just returned from awesome San Antonio, I can certainly attest to its seriously cool and trendy neighborhoods located south of downtown, as well as the Pearl Brewery District north of the core. Any trip to this great city should now include a visit to Southtown, King William, Lavaca, Soflo, Blue Star, and other nearby districts that serve up fantastic cuisine, culture, arts, and history.

discoverthedistrict.com

discoverthedistrict.com

For smaller cities and college towns, specific neighborhoods are not listed unless they have been cited in postings, social media, or publications. A list of potential up-and-coming hipsterhoods is provided for the first time as part of this blogpost. As always, any additions, oversights, and/or corrections are welcome. Cheers!

Source: westbottoms.org

Source: westbottoms.org

Potential up-and-comers: Downtown Abilene, TX; Tech Terrace/SW Lubbock; Downtown Springfield, Missouri; and the Country Club neighborhood in Omaha

SOURCES (other than above):

 

 

Posted in adaptive reuse, architecture, art, bicycling, branding, cities, Cuisine, culture, diversity, downtown, economic development, economic gardening, entertainment, entrepreneurship, geography, historic preservation, history, Housing, inclusiveness, infrastructure, land use, new urbanism, North America, placemaking, planning, revitalization, social equity, spatial design, sustainability, urban planning, walking, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fotos de San Antonio

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Downtown from the Tower of the Americas

I love San Antonio! We spent half of a long six-day weekend in this captivating city and fell in love with its beauty, charm, history, people, cuisine, diverse cultures, architecture, arts, and many, many other countless attributes. Needless to say, San Antonio is far more than The Alamo or the River Walk and my photographs will never do the city justice, But, here are a few snapshots of this most mesmerizing metropolis. Salud!

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River Walk

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The Alamo

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Mission Espada

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Mission Concepcion

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Alamodome

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Posted in adaptive reuse, architecture, art, cities, civics, commerce, Cuisine, culture, downtown, entertainment, Food, fun, geography, historic preservation, history, humanity, inclusiveness, infrastructure, land use, landscape architecture, Language, pictures, placemaking, planning, recreation, rivers/watersheds, skylines, spatial design, third places, tourism, Travel, urban planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DFW Airport – Dated, frustrating, and worn

Source: images.ookaboo.com

Source: images.ookaboo.com

The last time I flew through Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in 1976, it was the new kid on the block. It was “the” airport that set the bar for all others in the USA to achieve.

Last Thursday, when I flew through DFW again, the scenario was almost completely reversed. While the airport retained an air of modernity from the exterior, inside it told a whole other story. It appeared dated, drab, downright dreary in places, and well worn. Carpeting was worn and/or stained, the concrete interior was drab and dreary, lighting was subdued, natural light was minimal, the walls added for security purposes were bland and uninteresting, maintenance was lacking in places, and one felt like the facility had received little upkeep or modernizing since its opening.

The Skylink rail system was impressive, timely, and well maintained. This is good, because American Airlines seemed hellbent on changing the gate of every single flight. Our flight landed and before we even reached the gate, it was changed. Then barely 20 minutes prior to boarding, the gate of our departing flight was moved to what seemed to be 1/2 mile away. And those were not the only ones changed – it seemed like a frustrating game of musical gates was being played on the travelers. From an operational standpoint, this has to be inefficient.

Overall, it seemed like the airport design had seen better days. Over the past decade I have seen many more efficient and better msintsined airports – Denver, Detroit, Sacramento, Indy, Orlando, Baltimore, Grand Rapids, Seattle, JFK, and Dublin to name a few. Even much smaller Corpus Christi International was wholly more welcoming and pleasant to the traveler than DFW.

I’m not quite sure what led to DFW becoming a a bit of a modern-day dinosaur. Completion from Love Field, which is Southwest’s primary hub? Past hard times for American Airlines, whose primary hub is DFW? General neglect or tight budgets? A design that does not work as well in a post 9-11 world? A combination of all of the above?

Either way, both my wife and I decided that in the future we hope to avoid DFW if at all possible and reasonable.

UPDATE 3/17/15: San Antonio’s Airport is much more inviting and pleasant too.

Posted in aerospace, air travel, airport planning, airports, architecture, aviation, branding, cities, economic development, geography, government, history, infrastructure, land use, logistics, planning, product design, spatial design, tourism, transit, transportation, Travel | 1 Comment

Outdoor urban stairways from heaven

16th Avenue Tiled Steps of San Francisco - Source: tiledsteps.org

16th Avenue Tiled Steps of San Francisco, CA, USA – Source: tiledsteps.org

As a follow-up to last Friday’s post on ULI’s Building Healthy Places Toolkit, this montage depicts images of a dozen of the planet’s most famous and/or intriguing outdoor urban stairways. Aside from the public health benefits derived from promoting walkability, each is quite a breathtaking visual wonder to behold and a great way to enhance the urban setting with added flair. Enjoy!

potemkinstairsodessaapartmentsnet

Potemkin Stairs of Odessa, Ukraine – Source: odessaapartmens.net

Spanish Steps of Rome, Italy - Source: pinterest.com

Spanish Steps of Rome, Italy – Source: pinterest.com

Melkwegbridge in the Netherlands - Source: desingboom.com

Melkwegbridge in the Netherlands – Source: desingboom.com

Harbor Steps of Seattle, WA, USA - Source: flickr.com

Harbor Steps of Seattle, WA, USA – Source: flickr.com

Red Bull Steps of Valparaiso, Chile - Source:  theplacesyoucango.com

Red Bull Steps of Valparaiso, Chile – Source: theplacesyoucango.com

 

Sacre Coeur Steps of Paris, France- Source: the aussienomad.com

Sacre Coeur Steps of Paris, France- Source: the aussienomad.com

Olympic Steps of Hong Kong, China - Source: solaceinabook.com

Olympic Steps of Hong Kong, China – Source: solaceinabook.com

Calton Hill Steps of Edinburgh, Scotland - Source: filmedinburgh.org

Calton Hill Steps of Edinburgh, Scotland – Source: filmedinburgh.org

Selaron Stairs of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Source: travelinchicks.com

Selaron Stairs of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Source: travelinchicks.com

Yoga on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art - Source: yogapeach.com

Yoga on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art – Source: yogapeach.com

Peace Steps of Izmir, Turkey - Source: todayistblogger.wordpress.com

Peace Steps of Izmir, Turkey – Source: todayistblogger.wordpress.com

 

Posted in Active transportation, Alternative transportation, architecture, art, cities, fitness, fun, geography, health, hiking, historic preservation, history, infrastructure, land use, pictures, placemaking, planning, recreation, spatial design, trails, transportation, urban planning, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments