One Thing I Will Miss About Texas:

Wildflower season. The bluebonnets are out in full force and they never fail to cheer me up no matter how I'm feeling. Maybe these pretty flowers will make an appearance in Louisiana?
Side Note: The engagement announcement was FINALLY submitted to my local newspaper. Yeah I know, its been 5 months, but oh well.


Fugly Architecture Thursday

Introduction of new weekly (ok, probably bi-weekly) segment entitled : Fugly Architecture Thursday.

On Wednesday myself and the girls in the research center I work at were horrified and then just astonished by this horrendous 20 story luxury apartment development proposed for Gramercy Park, NYC. Yup those two little colorful blocks in the midst of that glazed mess are historical apartments that are being built around with NO consideration whatsoever.


But then you say: well at least those considerate developers are taking account of whats already there and building around the existing historical context. Oh contrare! I say in return. Check this more recent rendering out of the SAME proposed development looking up the other side of the road:


Yup, you guessed it: they've created different schemes based upon the amount of existing tenants (in those lovely little apartments) that will give up their homes and businesses so a faceless, region-less, once again - glazed mess of a building would go in their place. Note: the original scheme was to cantilever the new building over the existing collection of unique buildings... an actually very attractive, human in scale and historically sympathetic scheme (seen below)

but NOPE.. once bullying one resident out of the area was successful the cantilevering was nixed and the buildings were planned to come down and have glazing put in its place. Now note that i am NOT against development... communities thrive on it, and I hope to enter the preservation associated part of the field after graduation. But honestly, there are SOME responsibilities that need to be assumed when anyone purchases a property or properties: if a historic building is on the property, assume the responsibility of taking care of it and being respectful of something that existed long before you ever held a deed. If you don't want the responsibility, then awesome... sell the property and move on. The most successful spaces are those that are pre-existing that daring developers take on and create a unique live/work space for people to live their lives. Humans do not want cookie cutter sterile environments. Why do you think that studio apartments which have been converted from historic warehouses are in such high demand?

Okay, rant over, but you best believe more will be coming down the road.

oh, and just if you're wondering, this is what that block looks like right now. I want one of those quaint little balconies.


Take a big breath...

lets see..... how much can I cram into one post (this is what I get for not posting in eons)

1) symposium went off really well. Friday night was a fabulous affair in a beautiful old venue. Not only that, but on Saturday the discussion between so many great minds in the preservation world was so wonderful and really brought to the surface not only that LEED needs to be revamped to address historic structures, but maybe the holy grail of the preservation world: the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation should be updated as well. Intriguing as intriguing can be for us preservation nerds.

2) On March 11 I defended my thesis and believe it or not.... I PASSED!! After 2 straight weeks of pulling 4 & 6 ams, I presented my mid-point presentation to my Masters committee and they loved it. Amazing considering that 2 weeks before I met w/ my chair and he mentioned the possibility of an August graduation based upon the amount of work I had done -- NOT something a girl who is not the biggest Texas fan wants to hear. But thankfully, w/ a lot of sleep lost and a HUGE amount of help from the big man upstairs, I passed and I am allowed to graduate in May. *sigh* what a friggin relief. Now I'm on break back in Virginia and can sleep.

3) Bama boy & I got our engagement pictures done and we were thrilled. Here's one of my faves:

Allison Cargile of Cargile Photography did a fabulous job of catching just how much fun the two of us have together and I'm kind of bummed that she isn't our photographer for the wedding (2,000 miles doesnt help). But I'm meeting the wedding photographer this week and I'm stoked for that!
4) Ok, so one thing when you're planning a destination or any other wedding where people need to travel distances is that you need to create Save the Dates. Kind of like a pre-invitation invitation. However, I cannot help but notice that in all of my wedding planning books and on alot of the wedding websites & forums, these little mailing notifications are casually referred to as STDs. Call me immature or juvenile, but does ANYONE else giggle at this reference? Is the wedding industry and other brides so sucked into this weird psycho wedding world that this goes so unnoticed? No way I'm the first to point this out. Anyhow, My Save-the-Dates have been made and I'm just waiting for a proof. Whoop!
5) I tried on my dress. GORGEOUS! perfect in every way possible, which isn't too shabby considering that I ordered it off the internet from j crew and was going off my other j crew dress sizes. I was so impressed, it was beautifully packaged and is so perfectly detailed and simple I'm just in awe. Now just gots to find some shoes for the big day.

6) The wedding website es fini! Big thanks to my fellow September wedding twin Misa at notreallyblogginmaterial for my fiance & I's witty and cute website domain name. As we're finding out at an alarming rate, great minds think alike. Misa & I are two super duper busy girls who are trying to survive two breakneck Master's programs, live normal lives full of normal interests and things all while, oh yeah, planning super simple, classy, practical and really fun September weddings without breaking the bank. Without my girls I swear I'd have thrown in the towel back in January.
And I'm out for now. My beds' calling and since I'm actually allowed to sleep now, I've got to make up for lost time.
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