It’s sunny, it’s warm, it’s a season that inspire all gardener to go all out. Even containers ones like me.
So, as of a few days ago, I found myself rumbling through my boxes for seeds. The questions though, is how I should grow them? The plant nursery has so many different seed starter kits, sparkling in front of me and tempting me. So, what are someway to start seeds indoor?
Hmm… how about the good old jiffy pots? The compressed soil tend to led to sterile soil that will develop a moldy surface. I want to use my own, healthy soil. Besides, my chives has never successfully seeded in a jiffy pot – and I plan to plant some chives seeds.
Plastic container? They don’t have it, and transplanting is going to be nightmare for the seeds I have in mind.
Oh, what’s that? Biodegradable Coco-fiber pot? And it looks shiny too. But nope – bigger than what I want, pricier than other products in store, and don’t look that biodegradable. Maybe it will degrade outdoor, but I am not so confidence about indoor without all the bacteria and rain. I want something with thinner surfaces, like paper.
…No cowpot, pulp pot, or other paper-like pots on store shelf.
In the end, I ended up buying only a bag of all-purpose “Natural Plotting Soil” from a nearby succulent shop named Succulence (Yep, they sell not only succulent soil, but also natural and occasionally organic soil, all for a lovely $2 per bag. Oh, and they have Renee seeds and… wait, wrong post! Shall shut up now).
At home, I mentally debated on which seed starter products I should use. I mindlessly took some paper out for recycling. Lo and behold, I saw a egg carton. My mindless haze cleared up, and the wheel in my brain started cranking as ideas popped into my head. I was so busy thinking about what to BUY to solve my problem, I totally forgot my Eco Crafty side! The scariness of consumerism culture.
I make a quick, sneaky gaze around the apartment trash room. Area clear. I grabbed the carton and checked for a clean condition. Good. I chucked my papers-to-be-recycle and stealthy transport my egg cartoon without any neighbors seeing me.
Once I got home, I renewed my research, now with a new mindset and a new weapon idea. Excitingly, I googled about egg carton seed starter. I immediately learned that it is too small and not very biodegradable. Fortunately, I came across other solutions – homemade paper rolls, eggshell, and newspaper containers. I didn’t had any eggshell and paper roll prepared, so newspaper it was.
I decided to forgo the tape that several blog uses, and relied on my origami folding skill. Then I rumbled through the cabinet for something to put it in. To my luck, I found a take-out rice box with a clear plastic cover – perfect for a greenhouse. All the seeds are edible plants. A lunchbox of edible garden – yummy.
From left to right, there is two strawberry, chives, nasturtium seeds.
The nasturtiums outgrown the box pretty quickly though. So I took it, and it’s now arrange symmetrically with two other baby aloe. One of the chives have also popped up. Strawberry will take a while, but I think it is a pretty successful experience so far.
When the usual Tuesday networking was cancel yesterday in prep for July 4th, one of the group member decided to visit the DeYoung on free Tuesday. Being an art history junkie, of course I went. We end up going a tour of Three Masterpieces, and then another on American Art. Interestingly, the docent inquire about our interest in art work (to decide which Masterpieces to go over) and what Masterpieces to us. To my own surprise, I immediately answered Aztec. The docent then later mentioned how people often thought of art as the western art, which is why the World art tour can offer a different perspective and is something that she really likes. Later on the tour, my companions mentioned that some of the native pieces are scary. While I agree – having a skull staring at you will creep most people out – I also like the creepy artworks.
Which brings the question, why? Western art definitely is what attracted me initially to art history class, and I never got Picasso’s fascination with African mask when I was younger as I was looking at his work on paper during my high school and early college years. But a visit to DeYoung sparked something. I think it is the same with my feeling toward architecture – reading about them on paper is great, but what constitute as great architecture and art… their true quality may only shine in person. Looking at the native mask and art on paper, there is no aesthetic appeal to me. But seeing it in person? It struck me stronger than many of the “perfect” Western art. To me, I feel those native art are very powerful. It has a strong presence and a rich history. It is very hard to grasp that on paper – the old saying of picture don’t do it justice. If I am getting a postcard, I would prefer a beautiful Western pieces, as they are elegant in any paper medium. But in term of real physical objects, I think I may enjoyed a native art or pottery instead. Well, if it doesn’t give me a scare at night, that is.
Great looking at it in museum during daytime, not so great at 3 am.
Talking about artworks, I love those tiny adorable pottery. Wish I know how to make them:
Umm, maybe having a growling bear as an example doesn’t really matches the “adorable” image, but trust me, its adorable in person. The detail at such small scale is amazing.
Hmm… I have a few fun, summary notes from the PEC class I attended, but I almost forgot to post it. Well, here it is!
Designing High Performance Homes with HEED
It will not beat the accuracy of hand-calculation, but it is good for getting a quick insight. It is sort of like SketchUp for architects. You can make the shape and even a presentable perspective, but it can’t really make presentable floor plan or detail section.
If you work in the build/construct/energy industry & don’t have Climate Consultant or HEED, download it anyway just for fun. I will admit the graphic is not the most attractive or flexible, but that’s what photoshop does.
There’s a few bugs, but they are small things to smile about – just a bunch of instruction pop up. In fact, Pablo jokes about it, blunting inviting those of us in the room to send a massive group complaint to his friend in a single day. Considering that there are only 4 UCLA guys working on the program for free, the bug is understandable. In fact, it is already down right amazing.
Love the Vintage Home option that they are working with, especially since my prep day volunteer at Rebuilding Together and my water audit class at PEC reminded me the importance of building age.
Climate Consultant is as I remember it. Maybe a bit clearer in term of graphics. It also have the climate files preloaded now – no more going online to look for the right file. I did, however, learn how to twit the psychrometric chart to see how different recommendation changes the graphics. It’s pretty neat.
National Rebuilding Day, hosted by Rebuilding Together (previously named Christmas in April), is approaching fast. For the last two months, I have just been helping with calling and translating, but the Rebuilding Day… oh, that’s how my attention was initially caught. Needless to say, I have been looking forward to it.
Finally, yesterday, Prep Day started, and I signed up to helping as soon as I learned. Mostly, our group did a lot of clutter removal. We even have professional organizers! I have read a bit about it when I got a free book from Amazon about organizing houses, but its different to see it in person. One would think it is just all about making things pretty. But like interior designer and architects… Oh no, it’s a professional work. Before she arrived, we were running around trying to see what item the owner wanted to get rid off. There was a reason the garage was in a clutter in the first place – it is painful to get rid things for everyone. But once she arrived and started talking to the owner, things get chucked out at twice the speed we were going at. Some of the volunteers and I went upstairs for a moment (we went up to help the captain to clean out space for painting at the actual Rebuilding Day). By the time we came down, the 1/3 of the garage was emptied out.
It was like magic. *Jaws dropped*
By the later half of the day, I was mostly upstairs helping with moving things (for painting space later on) and sponging with a liquid call TSP. Another magical item, which whips the grease from the kitchen ceiling and wall with ease after some nice scrubbing. According to Amazon, TSP is a: “The all purpose cleaner used by professionals prior to painting exterior surfaces. It removes mold and mildew. Also de glosses surfaces that are oil base painted. Ideal for cleaning garage or basement floors. May be used to restore dried, used paintbrushes. “ Amazing stuff. The captain got it in liquid form, which was green. It smelled quite nice and non-chemical even though it’s a pretty strong cleaner. We had a running joke that it probably taste delicious.
Oh, I got to go on the ladder for a while for ceiling cleaning, which is always fun. Since I am petite, people tends to worry when I do anything that require me to go high above ground, but I actually have a strange love for height and defying gravity movements, a leftover from my gymnastic and ice skating days – plus, I get to feel taller, and that’s a good enough reason.
Through out the day, I got to chat with some of the volunteers, and I soon found out that they were mostly from the same company. There are some exceptions, which was lucky in my case, as one of the volunteers mentioned that one year she was in a group where everyone was in the same company except for her. To my own surprise though, none of the volunteers are in the ACE industry – they are actually mostly from the software industry, and some of them are quite knowledgeable in the home building field. By lunch time, our captain decided to order us some food, and we started talking while eating pizza on upside-down bucket sits. It was a nice sunny day, and while it did tired me out, it was the nice kind where you feel like you really got some good work done in a day. The much cleaner garage and kitchen definitely helped. I am going to be volunteering on Friday again, which I am definitely looking forward to.
My first encounter with the America Cup Competition and Village was in the summer of 2010. The Golden Gate Yachut Club had yet to win, but my summer studio professor was looking forward to the event. My school, Cal Poly, made an exception that year after a fellow classmate’s campaign for a summer studio, allowing my teacher James Doeflour to open a summer architecture class.
Jim set our class project to the America Cup Village, and my class logically took a class field trip to my home city, San Francusco. We first visited the Oracle HQ, then we visited the Golden Gate Yachut Club. Both time, my professor managed to contact someone from the company to introduce to us to their role in the competition. Finally, we visited our project site – China Basin. As the project and site studies continued, I was awed by how a competition could possibly change the entire planning of a city. My class team came up with a revised version of the China Basin masterplan, then we individually used a combination of Revit and Rhino to create a laser-cut sculptural model for the site. Eventually, we finished the final project of that class – a landmark building on the China Basin Pier.
Two years later, I have returned to San Francisco, and the transformation brought by the America Cup is now going full force. The energy is high, and I see the name everywhere. Of course, my information network tends to gear toward the city planning aspect, what with my engagement in the sustainability community and being a Bicycle Coalition intern. As a result, yesterday I met with a group of professionals at a networking session, and is it any wonder how the conversation turned toward AIA when I am an architectural professional and another member in the session is a Sustainability Coordinator? Anyhow, I learned from her that AIA is hosting a presentation about the America Cup!
Thanks to my internship, I learned quite a bit about the role of bicycle in the America Cup, but a view from the AIA point? I was surprised (though I shouldn’t be, now that I think about it) that people are already gearing up to purchase or renovate their buildings to accommodate the crowd that America Cup will bring. Several of the visitors will actually be staying in the city for a few months because of their company business – instead of just the few days that the competition will be held. The competition site, along with the changing architecture and cityscape, goes from the Fisherman’s Wharf to as far as the China Basin, wrapping itself across the west side of the city. The presenter noted that on a architecture level, the ones most influenced would be the Hotel business, in addition to the retail business that the Competition will bring.
The information that excited me most included:
New Muni line and Bikeshare!
This year America Cup has aimed to be the most sustainable Village so far, placing priority on zero waste, bay health, and ocean health.
For number one: While I already own a bike, bikeshare means more people bicycling. How many times have I heard “Safety in Number” when it comes to bicycling? Besides, while I love biking, going all the way from Bayview to Downtown and then back… takes just too much energy for me to do anything else – what’s the point of riding to downtown if I tired myself out first? I would much rather take the T-Muni downtown, then rent a bike there. And Muni line? How can not be happy about more of it? The change in transportation system in 2013 will directly and indirectly change the cityscape, as evident now by the People Plan approved by SFMTA Board Directors (which will affect the bike and bus system around the Waterfront), not to mention the re-pavement in 2015 (AKA, The Better Market Street). I laughed when the presenter say that the message is Do Not Drive to North Bay. When it comes to San Francisco, driving is not really the best option no matter what time of the year. The America Cup will certainly test the transportation system in this jam-pack city.
For number two: Considering that America Cup will cover a significant region of San Francisco, its goal to be sustainable will be a strong influence to the city design and business, and will probably inspire relevant industries (transportation, city planning, real estate, public art, advertising, … architecture) to match the same theme in their design and work. I recall that my class team paid a good amount of focus on the open space aspect of the masterplan redesign in our project, and on how to incorporate greenscape and transportation system.
I am strangely looking forward to watching the race despite my lack of yacht knowledge, and I certainly look forward to how the Competition will redesign the city itself. San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has been doing City Rides to introduce people to the current proposals. Sadly, my schedule has been conflicting every ride. The next one is coming up on May 26, which will introduce the North part of the Bay Trail, but the date conflicts with Homestead Skillshare Festival, which I will be attending and volunteering (The festival itself will have workshops on water catchment, place-making, cohousing, urban gardening, disaster preparation, community work, activist communication skills… and Solar Ovens?). Fortunately, SFBC is doing one last bike ride – introducing the South bike trail – in June, and I have every plan to attend.
The sky is clear, there is a farmer’s market to my right, and a Crystal Fair to my left. But those are not my goals that day. I was there for the 2012 Orchid Expo at Fort Mason, San Francisco.
As someone who like to get into the depth of things, naturally I didn’t attend. I volunteered as well. My position was suppose to be Security, but through a series of events, I ended up helping with volunteer check-in (I am not getting into the detail, but l will just say that getting from Bayview to Fort Mason apparently can take 2 hours and half instead of the 2 hours I planned, and google maps can make mistake about locations in park. So beware if you live around that area and remember to bring a map.)
I was pair with another older, regular volunteer. The people at the volunteer booth was friendly, and my volunteer partner had many stories to tell. Being so engaged in the orchid world, the volunteers and leaders has traveled and seen quite a bit, so I loved listening to them.
Eventually, mys shift ended – early in fact, since the next group of volunteer arrived early themselves. To my surprise, I got a meal ticket. I was really there because a) I am curious about orchids, b) I want to meet people with common interest, and d) my curiousity does not warrant me to spend $15 on a ticket, but does warrant me to give hours of volunteer. So, I have apparently not read the fine print and didn’t realize that I get free meal. Extra bonus!
So I took out my camera and went out the volunteer room. I have no idea what the expo will be like. I had been late and rushed inside the volunteer room, and thus have no idea what the place look like. A giant Golden Gate Bridge surrounded by orchids was a bit of pleasant color-shock:
People gathers around the front displays. They are quite stunning as flower, but even more so as companion in display. The theme this year, very obviously, is Golden Gate Park.
Eventually I caved and got myself an orchid. I wondered around, amused and slightly horrified by the prices (since I wanted to buy an orchids and my budget don’t agree with me. The flowers are still beautiful as always). Eventually, I discovered a small numbers of booths that sell baby orchid, and one of them shows the pictures and indicates whether the full-grown version would have fragrance. One of them was the Chocolate Drop Kodoma. Fragrant, deep red flower with waxy petals. The name was attractive, and while the fragrant wouldn’t be chocolate-scented, it still seems like such a good choice. It’s just $6!
It will take me at least 2 years to get it to blossom, but I am willing to wait. Makes it all the more exciting, wouldn’t it?
Oh, I finally post image up on my Flickr, so take a look. It is fortunate that I know how to use this tool now, because converting and putting all those photos up my blog post not only would take forever, but it will probably take quite a while to load for my readers. Alas, the displays are stunningly beautiful, and I can’t stop clicking!
In addition, I also went to the Crystal Fair. They can make some amazing object from crystal, to my surprise. I had to strongly refrain from being tempted to buy anything, with only one goal – a amethyst bed to put my tumbling stone on, from a seller that knows what where her stone are sourced (<—concerns about ethical and mining chemical byproduct problem)
I was quite successful in that mission. Patience is indeed a virtue, and now I shall happily go coo over my orchid… (Float in clouds of happiness)
I have been slowly updating on events I went to or things I observed in San Francisco in this blog for last few weeks. It’s been a very fulfilling few weeks, which unfortunately slowed down my writing quite a bit. The most exciting event of all is… I started an internship! Unpaid, but I am enjoying the learning opportunity.
As of this month, I have officially started as an Advocacy Outreach Intern at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. I have always love architecture history and its effect on community development and cultural changes, which why I eventually decided to pursue the Art History minor and almost got the Anthropology minor (realize I wouldn’t get enough classes in time…). When I got to San Francisco and tried to continue bicycling in SF, I notice how much transportation plays into the role of community planning in the city. For one thing, bicycle commuting in the Bayview district is notoriously dangerous. When I look into tips on how to bicycle in SF, I learned about the Coalition. In the last few months, I have attended several events and had really enjoyed them. At the same time, through those events and my membership at SPUR (the local urban planning organization), I really got into the urban revolution that is going on in the city, which was charaterized by the combination of America Cup and the new campus of UCSF. Living in the Bayview, an area that is also going through rapid re-development, allows me to experience that change even more. So when I learn about the internship… I joined.
Of course, that was one of several things that has been going on. I have also started helping at Rebuilding Together – in term of making calls to Cantonese-speaking clients – and Water Conservation Showcase – in term of prepping materials. I have been looking forward to the National Rebuilding Day in April and the Water Conservation Showcase this coming Tuesday. I attended the Showcase last year, and it had been a blast. This year, they will have GBCI CEU credits to boot! I had fun meeting other people in the sustainability field while prepping materials, so I have a feeling I will have a great time volunteering during the actual event as well. For Rebuilding Together, to my own surprise, translation has taught and intrigued me more than I expected. I found myself enjoying being able to help others. I learned some new words as well. I am looking forward to working with the tools during the National Rebuilding Day though – learn by doing is the saying of my college, after all.
I have been attending events at SPUR and PEC as usual, but I have also started attending a series of free WordPress workshops. One of the most recent tool I learned is Buddypress. I probably wouldn’t be using it now since this is an individual blog, but I can see that it will be a real power tool in an office environment.
I have also been dipping into my own hobbies by volunteering and attending at events like Sunday Street, Orchid Expo, and Green Film Festival. Wouldn’t go into detail about those – I plan to write a blog post about them. Teaser: My volunteer position at Sunday Street was “Route Rabbit” and the Orchid Expo has Golden Gate as theme this year. Photos though, can now be seen in my Flickr account!
Yes, I have also set up my Flickr account and started posting photos on there.
Like I say, its been some busy weeks. I think things are settling again though, so I will start posting updates about the events.
“Um… You know, the theater thingie. The one that looks like it will collapse. Look, just keep looking to the right of the bus window and you wouldn’t miss it. Its yellow and has a giant theater banner sticking out. I will meet you there?”
Why do certain building stand out in people’s mind? How well do you know the history of your neighborhood? I like to think that I know a bit more than most people, since I do have a fascination for architecture history. But there are so many neighborhood in San Francisco, and they all have such rich history. With my family’s tendency to move from one house to another, I ends up knowing a little about everything, but not an expert on any. Still, I know very early on that each neighborhood has something distinguish, something that people use to direct and navigate, some sort of structure that – whether loved or hated – is the landmark of that place.
A few weeks ago, I returned to the cultural hub of Richmond, which I once frequented when I live in the Sunset District as an high school student. A few buildings is always memorable, even though they are not exactly the symbol of architectural beauty and tend to be a bit rundown. As a young student, I didn’t really understand why it left such a mental mark. In fact, I didn’t even realized they had became a landmark in my mind until I attended the Rec Ride on Reid Brothers Architects in February. San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has started to host several bike ride again as the sun came back (well, not now. It’s pouring this weeks). They even had a class on how to host a bike ride for its member. The Reid Brothers ride is one of the old classics, hosted by the Coalition’s very own program director.
The building described at the start of this post is the Alexandria Theater. It’s been there forever in my memory. I always did wonder if anyone actually use it. It’s the third building we saw, so let me jump back to the beginning.
First, we gathered at the Velo Rouge Cafe. It is a good place for bicyclist, as not only do they have a lot of bike racks, they give 10% discount to SF Bicycle Coalition member. They have a pretty good street corner there for gathering, and by the time I got there, a huge crowd had gathered. My jaws dropped at the number – How the heck are we going to do a ride with this big number of people!?
But the Coalition managed. Before the ride start, we were given some papers with information on which building we were going and news articles on some of the buildings. There were a few Coalition veteran members, whom later stayed at the end of the line to make sure no one get lost. I ran out of steam later, so that system really helped me in the end. Turned out I was not adjusting well to the weird system of gears of my newly-brought bike, and one of the veteran members kindly helped me figure it out.
The tour leader was Andy Thornley, and he started by telling us about how he got interested in Reid Brothers even though he didn’t know much about architecture at first. It is quite hilarious how he just kept coming across the Reid Brothers’ architecture. I would write more about his story, but I found out he wrote an article that does a better job than I can, so I will just direct you to it.
The buildings we viewed are: Marshall Hale House, Coliseum Theater, Alexandria Theater, Balboa Theater, Caretaker’s Cottage beside the Murphy windmill, Polo Field Stadium (incomplete), Cliff House, and Spreckels Temple of Music between Deyoung and Academy of Science.
I recently finally started my Flickr account, so I will direct you there:
The truth is, I never heard about the Reid Brothers before this tour. Yet, I remember them quite clearly. If someone shows a Reid building photo to me, I can point out exactly where they are even before this ride. Yet strangely, I never thought about who designed it. It is not like the Federal Building or the De Young. They didn’t have a modern giant architect, or some sort of revolutionary design. In fact, according to Andy, Reid Brothers build whatever their client commissioned – Egyptian, Greek, Classical, etc. For those who are Ayn Rand fans or modern purist, their methods are probably nightmare come true. And in the modern era of consumption culture, something so aged tends to get ignored as old and outdated. Its like what I wrote in the beginning of this post – it is going to be commented as “that old thingie that looks like it will collapse” and not “that beautiful glass structure”. Yet as I listened to Andy, the brothers really reflected the San Francisco culture and politics of the time. They were in the middle of that struggle, of that time when the city is redeveloping and recovering from the Earthquake. Why had they played such a big role?
I think the willingness to build any style is part of their professionalism, and their charm to navigate between different client needs are their strength. Client’s need and style are only part of architecture. Style can be interpreted so many ways, and its not like the Reid Brothers just rebuild the ancient Egyptian pyramid and temples. No, the building contains modern content and modern structure. In addition, architecture is not just visual or stand alone. They have technical, historical, cultural, and functional factors. Will the building be able to convert to other usage? How strong is it? Does it blend into its neighborhood? Does it works with its initial usage? What is its role in the community?
One thing Andy mentioned is that Reid Brothers’ architecture are often reuse for other purposes. That is the thing: their buildings are stylized with historical elements and scales that makes it stands out a bit more than the surrounding neighborhood, just something that says “No, I am not just a house.”, but simple and mellow enough that it doesn’t scream “I am the famous theater by xyz.” Its easy to remember them, and its easy to recognize that its from the Richmond district. It didn’t popped out, but it will last. It is not going to be the building that people dream about going or living in, but it stands out in the mind as some place special.
Well, that’s the reflection of my ride that day. Its amazing how architecture can be learn everywhere. I like how Andy learned so much about the Reid Brothers though a series of coincidence. But then, there is the famous Japanese saying that ” Nothing is coincidence in the world; There is only Hitsuzen (destiny, fate)”. I have been bumping into David Baker’s building and Salesforce news constantly for the last few months. Maybe I should do some research on that myself!
Finally, the 2012 class list for PG&E center is here. I got both their mailed calender and email alert. I have took Daylighting Fundamental when the Lighting Expo was hosted at Cuesta College, but I have been curious about their Lighting Fundamental class for a while, ever since I took their Lighting Software class in December (It was a 7-hour class on the Visual software, which sounds a bit gruesome but worth it. The computer effect is amazing, and it is pretty intuitive in its use. Sadly, it’s designed for Mac. I used PG&E’s PC laptop for the class). Naturally, the first thing I did was to sign up for the earliest Lighting Fundamental class. I also signed up for “Designing High Performance Homes with HEED” in May, since I have wanted to learn more about HEED ever since I heard about it in the college classes on environmental design.
PG&E also have a SketchUp class in March, which is not open for registration yet, but I have put it on my calender since I am fully prepare to register the moments it’s up. I found SketchUp’s ability to do lighting studies very useful in projects, so the more I learn about it the better. The class is intended for intermediate practitioner, but since I had used SU for lighting studies and knows the basic Solar Geometry from my classes, I think I should be fine. Mostly, I just to remember my computer adapter and hope that my 5-year old MacBook don’t freeze on me (Yes, my MacBook do actually freeze now – it’s been with me since I was Freshman, and it is getting tired… *pets computer and sighs*)
Since I have time, taking class at places at PG&E let me stay in touch with the industry, and it lets me fulfill my AIA CES credit in the mean time.
So far, I took Daylighting Fundamental, Lighting Design & Software for Outdoor Calculations, Energy Fundamental, and Smart Grid Fundamentals. With the Lighting Fundamental class, I would get 6 HSW. The HEED class will give me another 3.5 HSW credit, and Energy Fundamentals already gave me 2.75 HSW. All together, I will have 12.25 out of 8 required HSW credits – hmm, I actually went past the requirement without realizing it.
The Lighting Software for Outdoor Calculation class gave me 6 CES credits. Counting the HSW-qualified credits, I have 18.5 CES completed out of the required… 18 credits.
Ah, that feels good! I may still be looking for work, but at least I got (or will get) my CES credits out of the way!
Hmm… I thought I published this, but it is still in my draft box. A bit later, but here it goes:
Just attended the SF Bay Bridge Branch New Member Mixer at Herman Miller Showroom. I wasn’t sure I can go initially because I wasn’t sure I can get a ride, so I didn’t attempt to rsvp until Tuesday night. It turned out that the rsvp ended already, but the event was free with ticket available at the door, so I decided to go.
I arrived right on time. USGBC printed out name tag stickers for everyone who registered. Since I didn’t register beforehand, I just wrote my name on my tag sticker.
As title suggested, I grabbed a bottle of Yerba Mate for my drink of choice at the entrance. The mixer itself seems to be mostly wine in terms of drinks. But since I rarely drink alcoholic drinks, I decided to play safe and grabbed the Mate. Besides, Guayaki Yerba Mate is actually the result of a Cal Poly senior project. Since I am a Cal Poly graduate, what better way to bring a little bit of Mustang spirits? Considering that probably 99% of the people going to the events are people that I have never met, a bit of Mustang spirit would be a good thing to have. (In the end, it was 100%. Which was nice in a way, since I get to meet a lot of new people!)
Once I walked pass the entrance, I was… slightly lost. Where’s the back? I wandered around a bit before I found the back, where the food is. But no one had touched them yet. In fact, no one was there yet. So I stepped out of the backroom and wandered around a bit.
The location is quite nice – the Herman Miller Showroom. The walls and furniture are artistically playful, which made them fun to talk about. Of course, the food was an interesting selection as well – no pretzel and chips here, as it was real cooked food. So yes, many of the topics started with wall features, furniture, and food – the conversations are very normal yet very architectural now that I think about it…
The group though, composed of people from different occupations. I only met a few architects, and there are people from construction, engineering, real estate, and more.
Some time in, the USGBC branch members gathered people together to give their speech. It consisted mostly of welcoming everyone – especially new members – and the different events and volunteering works that are coming. Greenbuild was brought up in the talk, since it will be host at San Francisco this year. Last year, it was Toronto, and as a new grad in the mist of moving back to the bay area and working on my job portfolio, I only got to read the twitters and articles about the event. I can’t wait until November when I can finally attend it in person! I would love to go the LEED certified coffeehouse at Toronto. Why don’t San Francisco have a LEED certified coffeehouse? That would be a heaven for a coffeeholic (namely me).
By the way, jones | haydu completed a coffee bar project at Mission. Definitely bringing my camera when I finally visit there…
After that, the event was ending. I stayed a bit longer to finish my drink. I went over to the chair display at the front, where they have labels depicting each chair’s history. After reading them, I started looking around the room to try out the actual chairs (they have them on display and scattered around the room). I wished I had been there back when I was getting ready for the Vellum Furniture Competition.
It’s my first time attending an architecture-specific networking event, and I have to say I really like it. It was a bit awkward at first, but starting conversations gets easier each time I try, and it is fun getting to know different people. With experiment comes experience, and so, I shall keep moving forward in my quest to explore the city!
Nature Sketcher brings to mind many images - sitting out in the nature, papers flipping in the wind, and a pen sketches out little diagram and side notes as the holder observes her surrounding and reflects her daily lives.
My name is Amy Chan, and I live in the colorful and busy city of San Francisco. In addition to being an architecture professional seeking employment after my graduation from Cal Poly SLO, I am a blogger, designer, book lover, coffeeholic, balcony gardener, urban bicyclist, and a graduated but always learning student of architectural design. I enjoy being out in my communities, whether I am participating in a workshop, attending festivals, or volunteering. Nature Sketcher is a sketchbook of my life as I explore the outdoor life of my city.
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