Tag Archives: people

BangBang Coffee Show coming to Logan Square

25 Apr

Can’t say much, other than the BangBang Coffee Show gots me all atwitter.

tangential roots

16 Apr

When I went to Hawaii, I had never seen a banyan tree before. A banyan tree is this tree that starts with one trunk, and then when the branches branch off, little tendrils sprout off the branches and eventually grow down to the ground and take root and become another trunk, and more and more branches and tendrils develop off of that, so each banyan tree becomes its own monster-looking forest. And when I first saw one of those trees, I thought, “That is how I think.” Little thoughts just sprout off and drip down and take root, and then they end up supporting more and more tendrils of thought, until it all coheres into one thing, but it’s still rickety-looking and spooky. I like to think that my tangents have a point. I do love a tangent. I think part of it is inherent within the discipline of non-fiction.

Sarah Vowell. Via.

quiet manifesto

30 Jan

Rendering from Landscape Futures Super-Workshop, via BLDG BLOG

I’ve mentioned Geoff Manaugh a lot in recent months, pretty much since BLDG BLOG snared me as its latest catch. I’ve mostly mentioned him at TBE, since his expertise is in “architectural conjecture, urban speculation, and landscape futures”—if one can be said to have expertise in such things.

Speaking of expertise, that very subject was brought up on the blog not that long ago, and for some reason, the exchange stuck with me. A comment on a November post read, rather abrasively, “I have tried and failed to ascertain exactly which if any qualifications Geoff Manaugh has? For all the white noise on the internet by this guy there is not one CV.” To which Manaugh responded, “Qualifications for what?”

Precisely. Qualifications for… having a blog? It would seem to me blogs are innocuous things, and that instead it’s the commenters on those blogs we need to screen; what are Anonymous’ qualifications for being able to chime in with his passive-aggressive concern?

More than that, Manaugh has been transparent about his aversion to a narrow scope from the beginning. In the intro The BLDG BLOG Book he sums up his purpose perfectly:

“Forget academic rigor. Never take the appropriate next step. Talk about Chinese urban design, the European space program, the landscape in the films of Alfred Hitchcock in the span of three sentences—because it’s fun, and the juxtapositions might take you somewhere. Most importantly, follow your lines of interest.”

He follows his interests and synthesizes them wondrously. No qualifications necessary.

And this: “Never take the appropriate next step.” It’s like a quiet, potent manifesto.