Upcoming Event: Envision Baltimore

As a Baltimore native and resident, I am always on the lookout for opportunities to connect with others dedicated to the improvement of Charm City. Here is one such event that will take place next week. If you live in the area, Envision Baltimore will be a good opportunity to add your voice to the conversation on creating a better Baltimore.


Off-Topic Friday

My life isn’t all reading architectural plans, haggling over policy decisions and taking tours of new development sites. So I don’t see the point of this blog being just about that either. With that said, I present Off-Topic Fridays. Interesting tidbits that I find around on the web. Enjoy and Happy Weekend!

America and the ‘Fun’ Generation – Anand Giridharadas
Shameless self-promotion: My guest blog article on Susan Fales-Hill – Global Black Women
When It’s Hard to Hide Your Personal Life at Work – Wall Street Journal
Your are Somebody (Not Just a Number) – Ridiculously Extraordinary

And since this is Halloween Weekend, a very spooky looking structure called Scott Monument in Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh architecture
Source: Doug Wheller, Flickr

This Guy Must Have Read my Twitter Rant!

Last month sometime, I went on a typing frenzy on Twitter and let off some steam about my disappointment regarding America’s rail infrastructure. The twitter rant can be summed in one sentence: U.S. rail infrastructure cannot hold a candle to rail systems in Europe and Asia. Which is sad and frustrating considering this country is supposed to be an developed country and the world’s leading superpower.

Anyways, I came across the following link on The Infrastructurist’s website. Brian Donahue of the Newark Star-Ledger goes on an awesome almost four minute tirade about how the country’s rail system is lacking. Donahue is specifically discussing New Jersey’s ARC Project, a recent project that will increase rail capacity in the New York City region, if it can get funded.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The ARC tunnel saga: A Sad State of Affairs, posted with vodpod

Architecture Photog – 17 October 2010

Photo of the Basilica of the Assumption – Cathedral Street, Downtown Baltimore

Third Time’s A Charm (a.k.a. Do not blog for the wrong reasons)

Here is a somewhat shameful secret. It’s a nerdy secret. This is my third blog. And I gave up on the first two.

The first was back in 2007 right before I finished with grad school. The blog was on the Blogger platform and discussed urban issues. However, I was a novice at the whole urban development, planning, commercial real estate game so…I ran out of topics to discuss really quick. I was also working on my thesis which didn’t help in the researching for leisure/fun to provide opinions on the blog so I game up. That first blog actually did okay in that I attracted the attention of a couple of well-known bloggers. In fact, one of my men grad school colleagues made the observation that only men were commenting on my blog (I have my reasons why he felt the need to bring this up). However, it would make sense considering I work in an industry that is heavily male dominated.

Fast forward to earlier this summer and I got the idea to start a blog on green careers. Fine and well enough, however, I am not an HR professional and my bias is towards careers focusing on urban planning, urban policy and architecture. Because that is what I know. If you were looking for information on installing solar panels and wind farms and ‘clean coal’, it was the wrong place. My reasons for starting that blog were a bit shady as well. I wanted to become a blogging all-star. Which might have happened had I 1) actually cared enough about the subject material 2) cared enough to learn about the subject matter inside and out and 3) not been so pressed about being known. Besides, most people are not going to focus on such a specified subject area. There is a such thing of having too much of a niche!

By the way, if anyone out there wants to buy the domain address workingwhilegreen.com, contact me!

I truly think I have hit my stride with Wicked Urbanity. Why? I care. I care about the issues that impact cities and metro areas. I have heated conversations with my friends and family around the dinner tables (can’t wait ’til Thanksgiving for the next row!). I also care about showing the interwebs my budding skill as an amateur photographer. Also, I care deeply about international development. Besides, this is the first time, I was able to sit down and in 30 minutes come up with almost 50 topics to discuss. That never happened with the last two tries. Like I said, the reasons before were screwy. This time, I feel like I have found my blogging groove.

This must be a really self-centered post with all the “I” this and “I” that. Oh well.

Vanessa Nicole, The Urbaness Wonk

Under Construction

Hello interwebs. This work in progress will ultimately focus on urban (and suburban) policy issues, my opinions that suspiciously look like full-on rants, and photography of the built environment. My goal is to make the everyday man and woman to care about the mundane issues that impact our lives on various levels. In other words, I want to make discussion about public policy ‘sexy.’ Sexy = Important enough to stop in your tracks for a moment and give a damn.

By the way, does this WordPress theme look gritty enough? I hope so. It’s the look I am going after…

-Vanessa Nicole, The Urbaness Wonk