On The Forces of Gentrification

Mike! Please don't blame artists as the initiators of gentrification! This is a common statement which does artists and community development processes a lot of harm, and I always see it as a throwaway line in articles about gentrification. It makes me feel crazy, like if we all read articles about space andevery article contained a sentence stating, "of course we all know that the moon is made of cheese". The studies on the role of artists in gentrification are generally inconclusive at best- as a field of study, creative placemaking analysis lags behind other sectors because defining who and what an artist is is extremely challenging, let alone finding reliable metrics. The arts is a huge a varied field and different types of arts producers have different effects. In fact there are many counter-studies to suggest that artists, especially local artists can immensely stabilize areas, or slow neighborhood change. Even when artists arrive from outside a neighborhood to take up low rent spaces, its important to recognize that they do so because they can't afford other locations, they will be displaced too at the end of the process, after their contributions in a neighborhood have led to the creation of a "scene" that yuppies will consume because it's cool. Gentrification is a term people throw about A LOT, but what it really is, is not change, its rapid residential displacement of a community of lower income for one of higher income, usually with an associate racial displacement from non-white to white. Artists nearly always count as LOW income. End rant.

Posted on December 11, 2014 at 2:49 pm 1

On On Engagement Ultimatums

@eatmoredumplings I think that as a society it would make a lot of sense to us to all move into the idea that cohabitation is a timeline for engagement. I know we've gone into a "what's the rush let's just live together for a while" as a nation, but I really think that moving in with someone before you even know what you both want in the future is CRAZY bad thinking. I did this in college and it was super rough to move out. And having left a long term relationship recently, I'm really happy I didn't also have to find a place to live- it went a lot better than the breakup where we lived together. If we took engagement as the standard for when you move in, it would still not mean that you have to get married if you aren't sure- lots of people have long engagements, some weddings are called off. I just think a lot of people move in with boyfriends or girlfriends too soon, without a real exit strategy, and then hope the marriage part just appears when someone is in the mood. I don't like it. Lots of people stay longer because of leases.

Posted on October 22, 2014 at 7:57 pm 0

On On Engagement Ultimatums

@Lily Rowan, I'm single now because of a relationship ultimatum and boy do I wish I went back in time and did it much sooner and more ultimatum-y! Moving forward I will. 6 months is definitely not too soon for the "so whats the potential here assessment." and I don't think I'd go more than 3 dates without asking if a person wants kids and thinks of marriage as the eventual dating goal. I will be happy to never get married if I don't meet the right person, but I won't give up my 30s (and my potential unborn children) to someone who seems like the right person if they don't even know what they want out of life yet. I had time for that in my 20s, I don't anymore. Met my ex 4 and a half years ago when I was 25. When we first started dating he was the one who was into it and I was a bit skittish. Then between years 1-2 ish we had some big serious will we or won't we break up dicussions. Then around anniversary 2 I was like, I want to know if we're going towards anything? We agreed to talk about talking, and he said basically, if we were going to get serious then he wanted to have a year of living with roommates and get a last college experience in. So I agreed under that umbrella. And I felt sort of strongly that I didn't want to move in with someone unless we were engaged and on that path. So he lived with some dudes and as we got closer to the end of the lease, he got more and more back and forth- some days getting married was a done deal, some days it totally freaked him out. He finally bailed, but not before we did a lot of "oh we are going to get married" things like looking at engagement rings, and telling the leasing company we were moving in together and reading a book of questions to ask each other before you get married. If when he said, "I want to live with dudes for a last fling" and I had said, "you know what, I want to get married to you and this is moving you away from that, not towards that" we could have parted ways with less damage all around.

Posted on October 22, 2014 at 7:48 pm 0

On The Decline of Maternity Leave Is Affecting the Workforce

Dude this makes me so angry. Also what about paternity leave/other wife/other partner leave?! Every guy I know who is having a baby is taking off max 2 weeks. THAT'S CRAZY HORRIBLE. If I had a baby I'd want my partner to take at least a month if not as long as I took. Help out while I got used to everything my body went through, got up to speed on taking care of a little human, make sure they bonded, acknowledge that dads are also part of the family unit and child care team. It's so past time for fathers to be considered part of this conversation. We shouldn't just be talking about can women get paid leave for this major life event- everyone should. It's wrenching to me that dads are being left out because it just entrenches the idea of women as the only ones with a home life to take care of. If we get a federal program I think it should be like everyone gets 12 weeks of half pay or 6 weeks full pay, to be used either in combination or separately. And then it becomes pretty standard for the first 2 weeks to be both parents at home, then mom takes 10 weeks, dad takes the next 10 and the kid basically has full time parental care for 6 months, with each parent only taking 3 months each. Single parents should get to apply for a double down too and get 24 weeks. Our cheap penny wise pound foolish country should be able to see how good this is for society. Also everything I've heard about places with paid parental leave make it clear that a society which offers this also creates regular opportunities to hire someone for a 3-6 month temporary gig, and that creates really good opportunities for people to get some work mobility and job training.

Posted on January 16, 2014 at 4:25 pm 0

On Will You Be 3D Printing Your Christmas Presents?

Home laser cutter is where it's at man. That's what I want!

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm 0

On Hey Jealousy

I think if someone is a good friend you can acknowledge your conflicted feelings on something. You can be like, "I am so happy for you! But also I'm going to miss you being in the broke club with me because I'm still so broke! You aren't going to forget me and only go drink fancy places without me now, right?" The other part is about having a long perspective of what "doing well" is. If all your friends are getting married and you are still single, that seems totally hard to be excluded from, until a year or two later when you are in the early stages of a falling in love with someone great and they're all fighting with their husbands. This new job is great right now until a month or two later when your friend is working crazy long hours and you feel sympathy again. Its not that life isn't a competition so much as it's got ups and downs and tradeoffs, and its a full 9 innings long. Some people who seem charmed and blessed end up with a lot of hard things later on when everyone else is getting into the groove. Some people have good jobs and bad relationships, some people who start out sunny end up having bitter adult personalities, some people mellow as they age. You will need this friend to be happy for you later when she's bored with her job and you are doing interesting work at a new firm, or to be by your side if things get harder. Working to be genuinely happy for other people even when you aren't happy yourself is part of the black belt certification in being a good adult person.

Posted on October 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm 2

On I Bought a House With Money I Made From Airbnb

@RachelG8489 I feel pretty knee jerk about it myself. Renting your primary residence some of the time, or a guest house that's empty now attached to your primary residence most of the time is one thing. But re-renting a place you rent, or buying a place to become a short term rental, because you found someone else to move in with, is...its a moral problem. It may not be a crime against the market or whatever, but if I rent out my rent controlled unit in a building, where all these young couples and older people making middle class incomes live to make extra cash because I have the luxury of living with my boyfriend, and lets say in so doing I leave the city, thus taking my sales tax and local support elsewhere, thus preventing some other young bootstrapped couple from being able to access a safe and affordable home, and screwing the city over on the income tax en I'd consider it wrong. You are blocking the entry of contributing city residents to turn a quick buck on non residents. I don't care if it's legal or not, it's just...wrong.

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 8:15 pm 1

On Started from the Bottom and Now We're Here

Knowing people is key to getting jobs. A friend of mine just got a job, because another friend went to a meeting at a place about a year ago, asked some questions, thought, "this firm is pretty cool, I bet friend A would love it..." then he was at a party with a guy from the cool firm, started to ask him questions about the skill set, like, "oh hey I loved visiting your firm, i have a friend who does some of that kind of stuff but he's not professional, would you be able to tell him about what you do and your training?" and the guy at the firm said, "what stuff does your friend do? send him to me!" and now friend A is starting his first week there full time- he's starting at the bottom, but his base skills and a tryout were enough for them to hire him and he'll learn so much there. And it all came of some party chit chat. If you are in a new field or new place, try and nose in. Go to happy hours for the professional association, volunteer places that have people from the field you like (accountants for humanity or something like that), consider going to things that networkers go to- join your neighborhood council or a local church and then just ask questions about what the people you meet do, and how they got there. Take a class in a skill that relates- you can never learn to do too many computer programs in any field. Then suck up to your professor. People are very flattered when you say, "oh wow you are a ! I have always loved !, What kind of work do you do on daily basis? Do you mind if I ask what kind of training you had?! That sounds so neat! Would you come to lunch with me sometime, I have so many questions!"

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 6:21 pm 0

On On 'Pay What You Wish Night,' She Wanted to Pay Nothing

I don't completely remember the whole thing, but mandatory "donations" for entry to 501 c (3) nonprofits are illegal. My mom works in fundraising and it's a tax thing. She mutters quite a lot and gives the poor kids manning the door a hard time with questions if she sees suggested donation at an fundraiser. Basically if I recall correctly you get out of certain tax obligations if you call something a donation instead of a ticket price, but then it HAS to be voluntary. You can SUGGEST and shame people into a certain amount, but if you make them pay something or turn them away it is not a donation, its a minimum fee of 1 cent which makes it not tax exempt anymore. Here's a legal beagle explaining the rules: http://wagenmakerlaw.blogspot.com/2013/09/thats-ticket-suggested-donations.html This is also why street vendors sometimes have a sign that says, "suggested donation $x". It's because they can't technically sell things without a permit, so they have to pretend that they're giving it away for free, and if you so decide to "donate" to them, then that's your own unrelated act of kindness. It's a legal fiction basically.

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm 0

On Let's Throw Some Money at Our Problems: September 2013 Check-In

Slush Fund Progress: August Total: $6,214 September Total: $7,218 Goal: 25k Percent of Goal achieved: 28.87%! Spending: September: $1573 August: $1929 October Spending Goal: $900. Time to get better on spending.

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm 0