Friday, May 21, 2010

My New Heaven

My relationship with jello has not always been stellar. My mother went through an ill-advised jello phase in the mid-nineties the brought the likes of jello eggs, jello USAs, jello Christmas trees and various other sundries to our home. Wretch. I now, however, have a new reason (beyond Millie & Al's $1 favorites) to love this strange substance and it is all thanks to My Jello Americans. I really can't find a favorite. Each time I think I do, I discover something else. The Bacon & Eggs ranks high on the list, as do the watermelon slices, and who can say no to a strawberry rhubarb margarita?! So I bid you, explore! It's really a magical place.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gehry's Green Gripes: A Good Trend Gone Wrong

City Center in Las Vegas - LEED Gold?

You will not often find me praising Frank Gehry, save perhaps in an occasional acknowledgment of his brilliance in the siting of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, but his recent, much-criticized commentary on the state of green building and the US industry's narrow focus on LEED has given me cause. Designing and building for a sustainable future require so much more than a checklist. In an open letter in defense of Gehry, Fred Bernstein, using the monstrous City Center development as a prime example, argues Gehry's point supremely well - "...the question is political. If there were robust public debate, Americans might decide that projects like City Center pose environmental costs that far outweigh their benefits. Zoning regulations, taxes, and other tools of government could then be used to stop such projects. LEED, by contrast, cannot stop wasteful projects from being built, nor does it attempt to." I hope Gehry's "Starchitect" status can help keep this very important issue fresh and encourage a continued and open debate on responsible, sustainable development.