Tag Archives: Curbed

Not For the Paint of Heart

Mystery brunette and GQ correspondent Taffy Brodesser-Akner rented and rented, until a bad experience with a New Jersey landlord and a fit of financial security convinced her and her husband it was time to commit to homeownership. Now for the hard part: Choosing paint colors without having a complete existential breakdown. Akner details her taupe night of the soul at Curbed:

The only positive experience I can drum up in service of paint colors involves a hotel in Palm Springs. It was called the Saguaro, and outside and inside it was painted in the most pleasing lollipop colors: lavender, purple, lime, orange, yellow. Claude and I sat at the pool and looked up at the colors and I felt them infiltrate my cornea, then my retina, then my brain, then my soul. These were the colors I wanted to look at, but I didn’t think that my house should be a day care center, like my sister said. I couldn’t remember any house where I’d ever noticed the colors, and I didn’t know if that meant that you weren’t supposed to notice the colors, or if it was yet another symptom of how damaged I was, that I couldn’t see the details of what surrounded me when my actual trade was to see the details of what surrounded me. Willful blindness, it’s called, maybe. But maybe it’s just self-protection. I guess that was the toughest part: Was I supposed to have been planning this my whole life?

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The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

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The ‘Stunt’ That Helped Pass a Barrier-Breaking Law

In 1990, a group of activists and legislators fighting for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gathered on the steps of the Capitol to make a statement. Writing for Curbed about the act’s 1990 passage and its impacts over the last quarter century, Patrick Sisson details how the group dramatized the difficulties faced by people with disabilities using the 82 stone steps that lead to the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.:

On March 12, the Capitol Crawl, organized by ADAPT (Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transit), gathered a crowd of hundreds of chanting supporters at the entrance of the country’s legislature. They watched 60 activists drop their canes or leave their wheelchairs and pull themselves up each of those steps. Dozens strained at the task, as friends and family offered them water and encouragement. Cameras focused on eight-year-old Jennifer Keelan, who had cerebral palsy. She made her way up, hands-to-knees. At one point, she told the dozens of reporters focused on her that “I’ll take all night if I have to!”

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The “stunt,” as a handful of annoyed senators called it, proved to be an important turning point in the battle for the ADA. But more importantly, it dramatized the difficulties that the built environment poses for people with disabilities, who make up nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population. Wright, who herself was blind, wanted others to see how much design can change a person’s everyday actions and level of independence, and how poor design can create a form of what she called “second-class citizenship.”

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Blueprints & Buildings: Four Stories About Architecture

1. “The Architect Who Wants to Redesign Being Dead.” (Brendan Kiley, The Stranger, March 2015)

Katrina Spade was struck with the idea of humans turning into compost. The more she thought about it, the more sense it made.

“I don’t want my last gesture as a human being, as I die, to be a big ‘fuck you’ to the earth,” she says. “I’d rather have my last gesture be at the very least benign, or even beneficial. We are full of potential—our bodies are. We have nutrients in us, and there’s no way we should be packed into a box that doesn’t let us go into the earth.”

The Urban Death Project was born. Read more…