The Importance of Women Planners: Article from the Atlantic Cities site!

This is such a great article, I just had to post it.

The article explains that Women planners have the ability to see growth in small, family oriented, community based projects with the bottom to top approach. The article shines a light on Jane Jacobs and really gives insight to how women think in the planning world.

This article is inspiring!

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2011/11/jane-jacobs-and-power-women-planners/502/

“You can have it all.. but you can’t have it all at the same time.”

A co worker said to me this quote earlier in the week – ” you can have it all but you cant have it all at the same time”.
What an incredible amount of wisdom and inspiration all in one little sentence. It really make me think and this is a little insight to my thoughts.

I am now trying to find a balance between Buffalo, Friends, Family and Love. Its hard. Many do not cross paths as much as I would like them to and sometimes I am up for hours working on Buffalo stuff when I should be going for a dinner date.

So this leads me to the quote. Do I want to go to Alaska? Sure. Do I want to get married in an abandoned church somewhere? Maybe. But the reality is that the goals in life are LIFE goals.. not 2012.. and sometimes being idealistic and excited makes me not realistic.

Anyhow.. if only I had a personal assistant, I could get twice as many things done AND go to Alaska. 🙂

A Walk Through the West Side

Joe and I walked to Sweetness_7 today for breakfast which required a short walk through the West Side. We live on Chenango so its really not that far of a walk but I feel compelled to write a little something about it.

You see, the West Side is changing. The housing stock is being bought for higher prices that ever before. There are cool, hip, single speed or fixed gear bikes locked up on porches on Hoyt, Auburn, Breckenridge and Grant.. there are houses being fixed up and painted, new roofs going on, book stores and sandwich shops opening… There are new people moving in that are willing to take a calculated risk on a neighborhood that is changing.

Pretty cool, huh? I mean this is what everyone wants. Investment into a neighborhood that 10 years ago was on a decline and in pretty rough shape.

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend a west side housing meeting and their main conversation was maintaining the affordable housing in the West Side. Now, I see this as very important to maintain but its also important to understand that the West Side housing market values are rising for a reason and we should take that whole heartedly and welcome the investment. I know that if I cannot buy a house in the West Side within the next 3 years, I may not be able to afford it… that may be sad in a way but the upside is that if I cannot buy one here, I will look to other areas like the East Side.

Interesting how that works right? The East Side? The craziest place in Buffalo.. but also one that many of my friends see as an opportunity.

So, where I am going with this is that we need to embrace the West Side changes and encourage growth because this will only encourage growth into other areas of the city that are desperately waiting for it.

 

Here are a couple photos of a house my friend rehabbed. He bought it cheap on the West Side and now its worth more and rents for more. Great little house.

Something Big is Happening in Buffalo

I am talking with the wonderful David Torke who just said that something big is happening in Buffalo. We have more 20 somethings here in Buffalo than ever before that are changing the landscape, questioning things and making things happen. He said this never has happened before and we are really onto something.

I will post a little more information on this sooner than later… to be continued.

 

The Importance of a Good Housing Court Judge. Vote Gillian Brown!

In Buffalo, we have many issues to deal with (not to a be negative nancy!) but I cannot stress how important housing is in our city.

Dealing with our housing issues and vacancy rates is a HUGE problem and is something that deserves much more attention that we as a city, give it.  There are a lot of great things happening and a lot of bad at the same time. We are constantly not holding building owners accountable for their neglect.. constantly demoing buildings because they have been neglected so long and constantly dealing with absentee landlords who have thousands of outstanding violations… its a big job to have and one that requires the discipline and experience that Gillian Brown has.

Tomorrow is election day. There is ONE person running who has openly expressed the want to be housing court judge.. usually no one wants it.. its sorta the forgotten step child.. but ONE person wants it and actually deserves it!

GILLIAN BROWN needs to be our new City Court Judge. He wants to run the housing court the way the wonderful judge Nowak did for 8 years. Gillian Brown wants to STAY in housing court and feels that its the happiest area of housing court because you see people give progress to neighborhoods. Gillians want to be there and his experience make him an excellent candidate for City Court Judge. Tomorrow when you are voting, please look for Gillian Browns name on the Working Family Line. If you dont know who else to vote for, consider voting only for Gillian to give him a better chance of winning.

Look folks, we have lost some major battles this year because we currently have a housing judge who does not care. Gillian Brown wants it. Lets give it to him.

Here are some media links for you to look at. 

Here is Gillian Browns facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrownForCityCourt

Here is the wonderful article from Fix Buffalo Blog: http://fixbuffalo.blogspot.com/2011/09/gillian-brown-getting-into-housing.html

Here is Buffalorisings post on Gillian Brown: http://www.buffalorising.com/2011/11/gillian-brown-getting-to-housing-court.html

Finally, here is the first of a three part series about Gillian. Its a great way to understand who he is and feel out your own opinion. He explains his goals a lot better than I can.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oPLezGmUbE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preservation Generation, Highway Loops, Greening Historic Buildings and Loving Buffalo.

Where do I start?

I am sitting with my two favorite boys – Joe and Chris at Cafe 59 looking at Buffalo’s 1971 plan where the 33 expressway ran through downtown buffalo and the inner loop of buffalo was planned to go through the best neighborhood in Buffalo, the lower west side. Buffalo could have made so many more devastating mistakes.. its unbelievable to think what would have happened had we not had many strong grass roots efforts to push the city of buffalo from making poor decisions. I am so thankful for this convo…This is my daily routine and its such an inspiring way to live..

Anyhow, the Party for the Preservation Generation was a HUGE success. Kuntsler was there, the videos went off without a problem, we raised over a thousand dollars for the campaign and everyone had fun. So much fun. The preservation conference really pushed the idea of young preservationists and the BYP party and our after party was well recieved by the national trust because for the longest time, preservationists were the older greyed woman or a gay couple. Now, the young hipsters are really changing the preservation landscape and defining the future face of preservation.

I have been working on a ton of things lately. Tomorrow is my first event of the new “sustainability series” brought to buffalo by WNYSEA. Chris and Chuck are giving two presentations about urbanism in Buffalo and how it promotes sustainability. I am very excited. There are so many topics that I want to discuss throughout the next year… its going to be fun and exciting to make WNYSEA more active in the community.

Another thing that I have been researching is greening historic buildings – i know i do this all the time but I recently met a young preservationists who knows the rules of the road for national register stuff. I think its great and I think Buffalo is an untapped market in which both myself, buffalo energy and pres. studios can really succeed. If I want to make buffalo better, I have to push what i know and help maintain one of the best things about buffalo – its building stock. Right?

Lastly, the link below is from a detroit blog that is beyond inspiring. It explains how I live my life every day in Buffalo and what it takes to promote the city you love – no matter where you are. I think its a real must read.

http://citadinedetroit.blogspot.com/2011/06/so-you-say-you-love-detroit.html?spref=fb

 

Anyhow, enough with my rambling. Time to leave Cafe 59 and go to bed!

Bernice