Frank Lloyd Wright once said that “every great architect is—necessarily—a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.” Given that we live in a state that stresses the importance of sustainable living and eco-friendly promise, the field of architecture has progressed with the trends of becoming environmentally viable.
So, you might ask what are some of the ways that people can become more “green,” seeing as how it's not only a topic of conversation equalling the new “Kardashians” episode, but an actual concern that's permeating the atmosphere, so to speak.
Based in Austin, Texas, Matt Swinney and James Leasure started the Modern Home Tour in 2011 in an effort to combine beautiful architecture with sustainable living. Using the likes of floor-to-ceiling windows to bring in natural light and using solar panels, rather than wasteful air conditioning units, to power the home, these little casitas are aimed and designed at giving people a fresh look at living to protect our future.
“I think that the simple fact is that resources are limited and the population is growing,” Leasure said. “A lot of the really advanced architecture and modern design can help us achieve that.”
Now, the idea of sustainable living isn't without its arguments. Having spoken to several people about the idea of sustainable living, some feel that the idea of trying to promote eco-friendly measures is something that is simply delaying the inevitable. Because of the limited resources, and the idea that the world is crumbling little by little, it would be easy to argue that the actions of a few can hardly outweigh those of the majority.
“In order to take a step, you have to take half a step, and in order to take half a step, you have to take a quarter step,” Leasure said. “There is some value here, and that's sort of our goal, that we show people that this can be interesting and attractive, and even if they won't do it for your fellow man, they can at least see this as being interesting and beautiful.”
And beauty does seem to be one of the main tenets of what Modern Home Tours hopes to achieve. Using geothermal heating and cooling as well as rainwater collection to reuse and recycle what nature gives us, they are showcasing million-dollar homes for people to see how modernity can be beneficial, and how people can use these benefits to advance their home to not only be sustainably sound, but also to educate and teach about how recycling and living green can prolong our future.
But, it seems somewhat ridiculous that people would be able to afford homes of this magnitude, much less adopt the ideas of living green as a measure of everyday life. From looking at these homes, it appears that the ideas of sustainable living can only cater to those who have fat wallets. But Leasure assures that while these homes are somewhat expensive, the ideas aren't.
“The quirks are very acceptable,” Leasure said. “If you take something like that [sustainable living and geothermal cooling] and put them in a new house that doesn't have to have a modern design, you can see that this becomes a real and tangible thing.”
Modern Home Tours will showcase their “green” homes in Taos, N.M. on Saturday, April 27 and in Santa Fe, N.M. on Sunday, April 28, both days from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance tickets are $30 and include both days of the tour, or you can purchase tickets the day of the tours for $40. Children 12 and under get in for free. For home addresses and more information, you can visit newmexico.modernhometours.com.
Whether you're an advocate for environmental protection, or a fan of art in general, the Blue Trees Project at Tingley Beach will certainly satisfy your craving to save the planet and see something beautiful at the same time. The project is an installation that promotes energy conservation and celebrates Earth Day. In an effort to raise awareness, Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos will hold lectures from April 7 to 12. However, the installation will be up and running tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Taking part in the event is Tree New Mexico and Albuquerque's Public Art Program, bringing the love of art and nature back to a city that prides itself on being both naturally and aesthetically beautiful. The event is free and open to the public. Tingley Beach • Fri Apr 12 • 10 am-5 pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
The art of moving … no, I'm not talking about rhythmic gymnastics or complicated yoga poses, I mean the actual art of switching residences and claiming a new territory as your personal sanctuary. Since, I'm in a perpetual moving limbo (waiting for a roommate to decide whether or not she's leaving the big, bad Burque), I've been searching Craigslist and various classifieds in search of a new home, a fresh start so to speak.
Since I'm [still] relatively new to the city, I'm not entirely knowledgeable about the various zip codes, what they entail, the good neighborhoods, the bad neighborhoods, the apartments that are low rent v. apartments that are close to a McDonalds. But, I've found that the actual practice of visiting complexes, searching the interweb, and conversing with various consultants is an adventure in and of itself.
For instance, I spoke to one consultant via phone. I couldn't really understand his name through the static, but it sounded something like Naim (I hope that's correct). Extremely excited and chipper on the phone, Naim said he had a great apartment that had been renovated, and the monthly rate was a whopping $450 (all bills included). Since this was in my price range, I jumped at the opportunity, and asked for the address. He informed me that the apartment was on Towner and Juan Tabo. Since I currently live near there, I assumed that the neighborhood would be somewhat nice, and the location seems central enough (in that there are a lot of businesses and stores in that area).
But, as I turned down Towner, what I envisioned as a picturesque resort-like complex of townhouses and pools was quickly overshadowed by streets with pot-holes, some dudes with jeans around their knees giving me the what-you-want stare, and buildings that didn't seem quite renovated. Now, I grew up in what some refer to as “the hood,” and though I rarely get skittish driving through neighborhoods that are considered treacherous for high crime rates (again, I just moved here, so I'm not making any assumptions), this didn't seem like it was for me. So, I kindly turned my car around after throwing the dudes a peace sign, and drove off. I called Naim and informed him that it wasn't for me, and slightly saddened, he just said, “Okay, thank you for calling. Let me know if you're looking for anything in the future.”
Aside from that, I've visited complexes that are within my price range, where the leasing consultants describe a complex as familial, yet tiresome (whatever that means). And I've gone to some that are out of my price range where the consultants said, “We like to keep it quiet around here.” So, no loud music? I'm sorry … next!
So, obviously, the art of moving to a new apartment is a bit like soul searching. You'll hit a few embarrassing moments (like when I jumped a curb next to the leasing office of Wyoming Place in front of the maintenance man), moments of realization (where I realized that a living room might actually be a nice amenity rather than a studio apartment the size of my roommate's closet), moments of clarity (ie. When I came to the conclusion that maybe I'm looking too soon, and should just be comfortable in my current situation). But that's too easy. And so, the search continues …
Contributed Photo: Back right—Adviser Jack Ehn; Middle row from left—Distribution Manager Brandy Valles, Features Reporter Shaya Rogers, Editor-in-Chief Jyllian Roach, Production Manager Jonathan Gamboa, Managing Editor Adriana Avila; Front row from left—Art Director Scott Roberts, Investigative Reporter Daniel Johnson
We here at The Weekly Alibi would like to extend a congratulatory hand to The CNM Chronicle for taking third place in the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) 2013 International Best in Show Competition at the Midwinter Conference in San Francisco, which went from Feb. 27 to March 3.
The CNM Chronicle, a student-run publication, is issued weekly at the Central New Mexico Community College (CNM). The award comes as a nice surprise, considering just a couple of years ago, there was a lag in readership.
“It's a lot of validation for us because two years ago the paper wasn't doing too well, and it was kind of considered a joke on campus.” Jyllian Roach, editor-in-chief of the paper, said. “I sat down with the editor before me, and we came up with a list of ways to make the paper better.
“We felt that we were doing a good job, and we watched our numbers go up as far as readers go, so it's nice that other people recognize that we're doing the right thing.”
Ironically, CNM doesn't even have a journalism program. So, the recognition of their work is literally derived from the intuition, ingenuity and zeal of the students who run the Chronicle.
“We only have an intro class, so more than anything, we were trying to figure out how to train ourselves and how to train our staff to do good journalism,” Roach said. “As a community college paper, our legacy is just a snapshot, and my term as editor is a snapshot.
“So, the paper will grow and change with different editors. In five years, it won't be anything like it is now.”
Texts with Alibi editor Carl Petersen, during the incident.
When we wage war, we often do it with ourselves. Whether it be second-guessing critical choices, or diverting our mind's attention to something less intrusive. Yeah, that's vague. But, sometimes a war is waged on us, and the limits of control are bursting at the seams, begging the question: What happens when it happens to me? So, I thought I'd share my first run-in with Albuquerque police and SWAT.
So, I'm sure that it's no news to people that an armed robber was gunned down near Menaul and Louisiana on March 5th after fleeing from police. I believe the breaking news article focused on businesses in the area being on lockdown as police and SWAT were in pursuit of said robber. Living in the area, approximately smack-dab in the middle of the guarded perimeter which spanned several blocks, I was unable to get into my apartment building upon returning from a grocery-shop excursion.
As my roommate and I tried to turn into our street, a police officer (that reminded me of a young Ed Harris) told us that we had to turn around and find another way home. Pointing to our building, my roommate said, “But we live right there, like RIGHT THERE!” The officer kindly replied, “I'm sorry ma'am, but it's a SWAT stand-off. Can't let anyone through.”
We turned around and went down another road, only to find that it was also being blocked by police. Clearly, they had the entire neighborhood in check. We parked about two houses down from the officer, so that we could see her leave, and we'd know the streets were safe, and we could finally put the lingering perishables in a safe, cozy freezer. To pass the time, we read breaking news reports and ascertained the situation.
After about 20 minutes of waiting, while helicopters flew overhead and seeing several cars get rejected and told to turn around, my roommate looks at me and says, “I'll love you forever if you get down and ask the cop what's going on.” At first, I was a bit hesitant, because with my luck, the robber would have come out the moment I stepped out of the vehicle and used me as a body shield. But, after a moment, I said, “okay,” and got out of the car.
I walked over to a young female officer, and politely said, “Hello … I live right over there in that apartment building, and my roommate and I were wondering about how long do you think you guys are going to be here.” Right after the words left my lips, we heard several gunshots being fired. Without losing her composure or the polite smile on her face, the officer said, “It shouldn't be too much longer.”
After some careful maneuvering, my roommate and I circled the surrounding area, noticing they stopped blocking the entrance to the Sheraton hotel on Louisiana and Menaul. So, we entered the parking lot, drove around back in an attempt to exit the back parking lot, which sits directly across the street from our building. When we got there, we were disappointed to see that it, too, had been blocked off, and officers with assault rifles walked by our car, not even noticing us.
“I think we're in the shit now,” I said. My roommate, clearly one to panic, held her composure and actually got out of the car and told an officer the situation (It being that we were literally across the street from our building and just wanted to get home and put our groceries away). The kind officer said he couldn't remove the tape to let us drive through, but that we could walk across the street and go home. Needless to say, we went home, picked up a grocery basket (my building has several in a downstairs closet), and we walked back across the street and got our groceries.
Upon entering the gate of our apartment building, we found our maintenance guy outside, drinking a Bud Light as he scoped out the situation. As we walked by, he said, “They got him.” “Oh, they did?” we asked. “Yeah, they shot him right over there, see where all those guys are standing?” We turned and saw several armed officers standing in a group on Chama Street (though we'd later discover that this wasn't actually the location where the man was killed).
After settling in our apartment and taking several trips to the balcony to see what was going on (like true nosey Mexicans), we finally went to bed. Upon later reading about the incident, I found out that the deceased's name was Parrish Dennison, and read that he had several ties to white supremacist gangs. Now, a life is a life. Regardless of your beliefs or your political standing, every life lost is always a tragedy.
As human beings, we make choices. While some decisions we make may not always reflect our most innate goodness, every human being has multiple layers that complete the indelible picture we present to people. Dennison chose to rob homes and died for what news reports said was “a guitar and a banjo.” Yet, I learned from a very early age that death is one of those inevitable, inconceivable situations that comes around to teach you the value of living. So, on that note, I say thank you, Mr. Dennison. While you may no longer be with us, you reminded me of that value.