Saturday, March 27, 2010

Transit-Oriented Development

As I am becoming more and more interested in urban planning and how it affects so much of our daily life I am learning a lot about transit-oriented development.

If you have a few minutes watch the video below.

This video is a short and inspiring summary of what transit-oriented development is and means to a community. Portland has done a great job in taking the issue of smart urban planning seriously and it can only help the city going forward.

One of my favorite quotes from the video is "If you no longer have to escape the public world you perhaps don't need quite as big a private domain." When suburbanites talk about urban living one of their first arguments is usually that they don't want to be packed like sardines into a small area and they need their own yard/etc. But one of the problems in suburbia is that there are very few good public places and everything that is public is so spread out and lacks a feeling of community. If public places are more welcoming then it is not as necessary to avoid them.

Via Fast Company.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Summer of Weddings #1

I haven't attended too many weddings in my life. I guess most of my friends (specifically from college) have decided to wait a little longer to tie the knot. Last weekend that trend has changed. I have 4 or 5 weddings I will be going to this summer. That almost doubles the number I've attended in the last 15 years!

I was given an idea this week by Kim: document my journey through all these weddings this year/summer on my blog. The point is not to critique these weddings, as they will all be wonderful in their own unique ways. The goal is to point out the many differences in these weddings, and discuss what I felt made each of these weddings special.

Wedding #1 - Nick & Theresa

My wedding season this year was kicked off last weekend with the nuptials of Nick and Theresa. Friends of mine from Fresno State and the Smittcamp Family Honors College. Nick and Theresa have a really amazing story about their lives and the journey that eventually took them to their wedding day and beyond.

Nick and Theresa's wedding ceremony and reception took place in The Grand on 10. The 10th floor ballroom of the Trade Center/San Joaquin Power building in downtown Fresno. A beautiful location for a wedding because of the view of the city and the newly renovated space. The other nice thing is I only live 7 minutes away (walking!) from The Grand.

The ceremony was great. No long-winded sermons, intimate atmosphere and capped off with the new Bride & Groom partaking in communion. Following the ceremony, the guests moved into the other side of the ballroom where the tables awaited. Both the best man and matron of honor gave toasts, first dances were done and the food was served. The color theme for the wedding party was black & white, with an overarching theme of green for the wedding.

Unique aspects:
  • Instead of a guest "book," Nick had drawn a tree with branches on a large sheet of paper. Guests would touch their thumb onto a green inkpad and leave a thumbprint as a leaf on the tree and sign ontop of the leaf.
  • Photo booth to take your picture and add it to a scrapbook/photo album.
  • Tables were organized by different aspects of Nick & Theresa's life. I was seated at the College Bowl table (as I was a member of College Bowl with Nick).
  • Invitations and wedding programs incoporated a very modern design while subtly utilizing the green color theme.

Highlights (for me):

  • I caught the garter! This was the 3rd garter I have caught, and I've only been to about 6 weddings where I've attempted to catch it.
  • I accidently showed up an hour early (due to an invitation reading error) and was able to help out with "bouncer" duties. I actually helped guide guests when they arrived with gifts, etc.
  • The wedding had some really great design elements.
  • Food was delicious.
  • The view of downtown Fresno was great.

I am very happy for Nick & Theresa and I wish them all the best in the future together.

Next wedding is next weekend, Curtis & Nicole.