Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Keeping Cool on an Island of Cement

Air%20Conditioners.jpgAs the dog days of summer draw ever closer, air condition sales must be astronomical! Staying cool in the summer months is always a challenge, but The Consumerist has some really helpful hints.

Most important, size matters… At least as it pertains to AC. “Do I need 5k BTUs? Maybe I need 8k?” Here’s the answer. To get your necessary BTUs, take the total area of your room (length X width) and multiply that by 30. Add 2,000 to the answer, and that is your BTU number. But, Consumerist is sure to point out a number of important caveats.

• If the room is shaded, reduce the BTUs by 10%.
• If the room is very sunny, increase the BTUs by 10%.
• If you plan on placing the air conditioning unit in your kitchen, add 4,000 BTUs.
• If more than two people will regularly be in the room (e.g., an office), add 600 BTUs per person.

Be sure to stay cool this summer! And for some funny relevant pictures, check out Cool-Props.

[photo courtesy Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection]

Lidle’s Estate Sued

cory%20lidle%20plane%20crash.jpgIn an interesting development, 1010wins recently reported that one Upper East Side resident is suing the estate of late Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle. (Authors Note: This is actually the third lawsuit filed against the Lidle estate) As Dana reported when it happened, Lidle’s small plane crashed into a residential building on East 72nd on York after the pilot apparently becoming disoriented, cutting his own life short as well as that of his instructor, Tyler Stanger. There is no official finding as to who was actually in control of the plane at the time of the crash.

This is very interesting. Surely, an argument can be made that this is punitive, as insurance should have figuratively covered any expenses relating to repair damage of materials, and that people may or may not be trying to profit on tragedy. I personally feel that the people in the apartment whose lives were effected by the incident, tragic as it may have been, deserve restitution if they can in fact prove their suffering. After all, it was not their mistake for living in a building that was hit by a plane.

What do you think? Is this man being fair or overly litigious for suing the estate of Cory Lidle?

[photo courtesy Gawker]

City UNDER the Sea???

NYunderwater.jpgThe debate about Global Warming rages on… It will surely be a hot-button issue in the 2008 elections, and scientists argue incessantly about where facts end and opinions begin. Now, the betting industry has entered the fray.

Oddsmakers from at least one major online gambling service are now taking bets on the effects of global warming. It is an interesting and alarming thing to place a bet on, but I guess it was only a matter of time.

The alarming thing for us NYers is that the most prevalent bet on the system is that Manhattan will be submerged in the ocean by New Years on 2011… Not too far off!

Sound off, NY. What do you think?

[photo courtesy Worth1000]

Somebody didn’t pay the electric bill…

Perhaps I am the most over observant New Yorker that is awake at 1245 am with nothing better to do than stare out the window, and perhaps this is the most pointless blog ever. But I still feel the need to ask if my tired eyes are playing tricks on me, or if i’m still at least partially sane after 6 hours of class and 8 hours of homework. Anybody that can see the Chrysler Building tonight, or at least the south side of it, look at the middle row of lights on the spire. Is it just me or are they really dim tonight? I’ve never noticed this before, so I’m thinking somebody needs to get up there and change those lights.

I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up (because the floor is sloped at an angle)!


Seen from the outside, these Japanses apartment buildings by New York-based designer Shusaku Arakawa are pretty attention-grabbing. But from the inside, they’re even crazier. Turns out, they’re designed to keep senior residents young by quite literally keeping them on their toes!

The theory is that as we get older, we’re kept young by keeping our minds engaged. To that end, these apartments are packed with bizarre design features, such as erratically sloped and concave floors, mis-placed light switches, and doors you practically have to crawl through, all of which force the residents to…be on the lookout.

I’d love to see something like this pop up in New York (there are, in fact, some U.S. plans, though nothing here yet), but I can’t imagine it would ever happen. For one thing, there are public outcries here over building facades that are much less obtrusive than these; and for another, I can’t imagine anyone embracing home design that causes them to “occasionally trip and fall”–especially seniors. Don’t they have broken hips in Japan?!

[via, you guessed it, boingboing]

American’s Favorite Architecture

aia_empire.jpgThe American Institute of Architects just released their poll of America’s Favorite Architecture. At the top of the list was our very own Empire State Building, and at number nine was the Chrysler Building.

One glaring omission I noticed was Central Park, but I suppose it wasn’t included because it’s not a building or structure, but it should have been because it certainly was architected.

The World Trade Center at #19? Really? People thought that was good architecture? I guess it was a good engineering feat to make the buildings so tall, but, all sentimental value aside, they were really quite ugly. They were utilitarian, soulless buildings that stuck out like a sore thumb. It looked like they were deigned for some Orwellian fantasy that, thankfully, hasn’t come true…yet.

The Guggenheim only made it in at #74…how come so low on the list?

And in a move that is sure to knock his ego down for about five minutes, it was nice to see that no building with the “Trump” name on it made it to the list.

All NYC standings listed below:

Green-Wood Cemetery

Green-Wood Cemetery is one of the most fantastically beautiful cemeteries anywhere. It was founded in 1838 and contains a plethora of Victorian era graves. The Victorians were known for their elaborate burial ceremonies and ornate tombstones. Green-Wood is located in Brooklyn between Park Slope and Sunset Park; here’s the impressive main gate:

Weekly Poll: The New York Skyline

The New York City skyline is peppered with skyscraper. While new tall buildings keep popping up in cities across the world, and even when The Freedom Tower is complete, it will have already been topped by a number of other buildings, no city can lay claim to being the home of so many tall buildings, functioning symbiotically.

But, with so many to choose from, it becomes hard to pick a favorite! So, what do you think?


Dirty NYC

Nobody said that New York was the cleanest city in the world, but I don’t think anyone realizes just how grimy and dirty it is in certain places. This picture of a Lower East Side building really shows you in nauseating detail how dirty some buildings are. It also makes you wonder what the inside of your lungs look like.

Here’s to hoping that more of the city looks like the right hand side than the left.

[Photo Courtesy]

New York’s Gifts to the World: Gift #3

Over the next week, many Metroblogging communities will be posting a list of 7 unique things (one per day) that their cities contribute to the world. Being such an important part of world culture, New York couldn’t pass up this opportunity!

Without further ado, below is today’s gift:

NY22%20ESB%20Top%2002.jpgNYC is the land of BIG… No, Sex & The city Fans, I am not referring to Chris Noth. I am referring to the architecture and infrastructure that separates NYC from every other US mega-city and makes it the most easily traversed and interesting destinations in the world. NY does everything large. Big buildings, the broadest and most utilized subway system in the world, our well-designed road system and, of course, some of the largest and most beautiful bridges in the country.

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