Green House Effect


Paper Houses, Glass Mountains




I just spent the weekend in a magical little town, forty miles north of Big Bend National Park, called Marathon, Texas. Though the 2000 census reports there are only 107 houses in the whole town (around 30 streets total, with a three-block long commercial strip), at least three of them are crafted out of papercrete.

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Dante’s Inferno adds seven new floors




Yesterday, the Vatican announced the designation of seven new deadly sins. Added to the good old-fashioned standbys of gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, anger, envy and pride (I’m going on the record as having indulged in all seven) are taking drugs, genetic modification, human experimentation, causing poverty, extreme wealth, social injustice and polluting the environment. I’m guilty of fewer of these, but I’ll cop to at least two—and extreme wealth isn’t one of them. Continue reading Dante’s Inferno adds seven new floors

The Green House Effect presents... The Greenhouse Effect


Last week, I attended an event creatively titled Greenhouse Effect. Okay, maybe I’m not the only one to borrow from 1980s environmental crises for an ironic title, but at least my column is about the ups and downs of green design, building, architecture, city planning. Their Greenhouse Effect was an open house of the newest luxury green apartment building, called the Greenbelt, to rise among the uber-hipsters of Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s most fashionable address. The title is weirdly not ironic at all—just ignoring what the term actually means.

Continue reading The Green House Effect presents... The Greenhouse Effect

Sandinista Second Homes




About a year and a half ago, I embarked on a half-embarrassing travel to a luxury eco-resort in Nicaragua—embarrassing because I regularly lambaste those who venture to wild lands only to hide in some manicured, walled-off part of them. I do that, admittedly, because I am in part jealous of those who can afford such luxury. I mean, sure, it’s great riding the $1 bus from the hub city of Rivas to Grenada, especially when my boyfriend’s passport gets pickpocketed—who doesn’t love adventure—but turns out it’s pretty nice getting chauffeured in an SUV, ferried to Morgan’s Rock, along its own glorious—and private—stripe of sea. Not sure if the SUV was run on bio-diesel, but the roads couldn’t handle a Prius anyway.

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Ed Begley talks it up on faux morning show Wake Up World


Monday night, I watched Ed Begley and his wife, Rachelle, prattle on about their 1,500 foot home with the recycled plastic fence on a talk show called, well, that’s a good question. What was it called?

Before Begley got on stage—a tiny platform in a basement theater in an area we New Yorkers begrudgingly acquiesced to calling NoHo—he sat with the audience to watch a live, faux morning show (which began around 8:30 PM) called Wake Up World. The hosts are Hope Jean Paul (Plenty columnist and Daily Show creator Lizz Winstead) and Davis Miles (comedian Baron Vaughn), so thoroughly convincing in their send up of that particularly plastic brand of news institution that it was at times hard to tell what they’d written and what they’d simply culled from YouTube (the video of dancing adult diaper boxes from The View, for instance). The guest host, Williams Daily (director Tom Gilroy was filling in for Davis Miles) announced his new childhood obesity charity, Ben & Jerry’s kids, and detailed his Chunky Monkey summer camp. It is worth the $12.50 ticket, folks.

Continue reading Ed Begley talks it up on faux morning show Wake Up World

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Issue 25



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