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Downtown Banh Mi

November 14, 2009 at 10:22pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The old D’Leon’s in downtown will now become a banh mi place in the near future. Folks who like Vietnamese cuisine or who are used to Banh Mi places in Southern California and other such areas will be excited.

You can already find pre-made banh mi in the Little Saigon market and other Vietnamese groceries in town. It will be interesting to see if freshly made banh mi will be received well by the downtown lunch crowd or students from the U. They’ll have to keep the prices cheap and the bread and ingredients very fresh in order to do well in what is obviously a very competitive market, especially since many downtowners will probably have no idea what a Vietnamese sandwich even IS.

Regardless, good luck!

The DLA Says No Way

November 14, 2009 at 3:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Oh now I get it! Downtown Lincoln Association‘s new platform is “asphalt parking lots good, new construction outside of the Haymarket bad”. It’s not a position they had made explicit to the public before, but it so perfectly explains how we ended up with two parking lots instead of “Catalyst One” and a plaza; and it explains why they oppose the redevelopment of the block bounded by 10th, 11th, M, and N. Actually, the DLA lists several reasons to oppose the project:

  • Loss of downtown parking. Forget economic development, we want a place to park our cars!
  • Inconsistency with the Downtown Master Plan. The Master Plan is a living, breathing document. This project proposes a hotel (visitors!), apartments (residents!), retail (sales tax!), and parking (cars!). Those are all supposed to be good things. If common ground cannot be found between a $45 million, mixed-use project and the Plan, then the Plan is crap.
  • A glut of hotels. I’ll come back to this one.
  • Finishing the job. It’s fine to want to ensure that a project has the resources to finish—responsible even. We don’t want a half-finished project uglying up Downtown. (cough Catalyst One cough) But opposing the project on these grounds without any direct knowledge of the specific financing situation of this project? Foolish.

Now about that glut of hotels. You know, it’s funny. I don’t recall the DLA coming out against any of the other hotel proposals in Lincoln. Does it strike you as just a tiny bit odd that they would single out this project for opposition, but not the others? I wonder if any members of the DLA’s Board of Directors could explain that to us. Perhaps one of: Will Scott; Brett Harris; Steve Hilton; Kent Peterson; or Kim Ringo-Bright. Would one of you five like to explain to us what’s going on here?

Bark. Bark. Repeat.

November 12, 2009 at 2:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

A friendly, neighborly reminder:

Please don’t let your dog bark incessantly. It’s annoying. Yes, even in the middle of the day. You should really ask yourself why your pup feels the need to bark so much. Did you raise it poorly? It’s not too late to remedy that. Is it bored? Find a way to de-bore it.

Be a good neighbor, won’t you?

Hide the Women and Children!

November 12, 2009 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady is a big proponent of Crime Mapping and similar services. And so am I. I have been subscribed to the server for several months now to help keep tabs on any crime going on near my house. There’s just one problem: crime near my house is boring. For example:

LFT SHOP W/O PAYING FOR SERVICE NAIL SERVICE W PK GEMSTONES/NAIL SERVICE W/WHI EYEBROW WAX

It’s a fantastic problem to have. I don’t want exciting crimes to be going on nearby. For the most part the crimes around here involve petty vandalism or minor domestic disputes. And they’re relatively infrequent.

How does the crime look in your neighborhood? If you don’t know, you should sign up to find out.

And be on the lookout for somebody with fabulous nails and a guilty look on their face

That Refill Will Cost You

November 11, 2009 at 9:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Which restaurants in Lincoln charge for pop refills? I can only think of two off the top of my head:

  • Yia Yia’s
  • The Downtown Oso location (not the one on 70th & Van Dorn)

Halloween With the Wilsons

November 11, 2009 at 8:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I haven’t posted any family photos or videos in a while. Here are some videos from Halloween:

Oh Happy Day

November 11, 2009 at 3:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I worked late into the night last night, so when I woke up this morning I was prepared to be tired and cranky. I couldn’t do it. I mean just look outside. Seriously, go look out a window or step outside.

I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to be in a bad mood on a day as pretty as this.

The Second Best Plan Wins

November 11, 2009 at 3:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It’s not an elementary school, but Hawthorne’s neighbors won a small victory in that the building will still be used for educational purposes. The new students will be a little older than the previous tenants, however. Bryan Community, Lincoln’s alternative high school, will move in come 2011. It feels like a pretty good decision. Bryan is currently cramped and under-resourced. Hawthorne is centrally located and available.

Of course, this just raises the next question: What do we do with Bryan’s current facility?

Yep, it WAS Cold

November 10, 2009 at 3:28pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Did you feel like autumn began early this year? You were right. The three month period of August to October was the coolest ever in Nebraska. Well, the coolest among the periods for which we have records.

My prediction for this winter: there won’t be a winter. I’m predicting a year without seasons. I hope I’m wrong, though. I love snow.

You Say You Want a Regulation

November 10, 2009 at 2:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

This morning’s news features two big stories about hefty increases in local regulations and red tape:

The first involves “problem properties”. After this summer’s various neighborhood potlucks designed to bring attention to problem properties and the difficulties in getting the City to do anything about them, Lincoln is proposing a bevy of changes to how it handles these sorts of things. The changes include substantial alterations to the housing code, new inspection rules, stiffer fines, and so on.

The second article describes a host of proposed changes to deal with problem pups. Or rather, dangerous dogs. Again: more regulations, more fines, and so on.

All together, these two news stories feature a huge (proposed) increase in local regulatory activity. Yet these proposals aren’t, for the most part, seen in that light. Instead, most people seem to perceive both of these moves as the benevolent government coming to the rescue. Why is that?

And to be clear: no, I don’t want Lincoln to turn into a wasteland of problem houses; and no I don’t want children to be mauled by dangerous dogs. The validity of these particular actions is a completely separate issue. I’m just interested in thinking about why sometimes government is greeted as a White Knight, while other times it is the Great Satan. The public loves certain intrusions into their lives and loathes others. Finding the patterns and inconsistencies is great fun to think and talk about.

Where in Lincoln is this?

November 9, 2009 at 2:20pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

image

EDIT: Ahhhh, someone finally guessed the photo correctly!

Read more...

On Tailgaters, Tiny Violins, and An Ugly Stretch of Broken Concrete

November 9, 2009 at 2:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

At first I was going to play the world’s tiniest violin for these tailgaters who will soon lose their party space to a new hotel, retail stores, etc. In the battle between “people getting drunk and fat” and “real economic development”, I’ve got to take the latter.

But not so fast. Tailgating is an important part of the game day experience, and a good game day experience is, in a very real way, important to Lincoln’s economy. So while I’m most certainly not going to support holding up development efforts just so we can keep a few empty parking lots for use seven times each year, Lincoln really ought to think about what we can do to improve game day. Which brings me to…

Centennial Mall, which just happens to be a hot topic these days. It’s not as close to Memorial Stadium as would be ideal, but it’s not too far away. Can I get an amen on at least considering how we might use Centennial Mall to boost the Husker game day experience?

Cutting Class (And Other Cost Saving Measures)

November 6, 2009 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Presumably LPS is going to have to carefully ration its nickels and dimes as state aid will probably drop after the legislature does its business. Which begs the question: What should LPS cut?

And don’t just yell out “There’s too much bureaucracy! Cut the red tape!” That’s lazy and lame. There may well be too many administrative costs, but specifically which administrative costs are excessive? Which administrative costs should be cut? Should salaries be slashed? Positions eliminated? Entire departments be scrapped? It all sounds easy until you remember that much of the bureaucratic nightmare that is modern public education is required by state and/or federal requirements.

I have quietly lobbied for a few years now against public school athletics programs. Don’t get me wrong, I think athletic activity and team participation is hugely important for kids. I just don’t think it belongs in schools. Fully explaining the transition process and what sports teams would look like ten years from now is beyond the scope of this post, but let’s just say I think it’s doable. It’s not an ideal solution—the status quo is not ideal either—but it would certainly save a lot of taxpayer dollars.

So being as specific as you can be, what would you cut?

Lincoln’s Big X

November 6, 2009 at 12:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’m still not sure it was worth the expense—I’ll be happy to be proven wrong—but today will mark the grand opening of the “big X” roadway of the Antelope Valley Project. It’s a huge milestone made all the cooler by the fact that it’s 9 months early. Between this and the announcement that the flood management portion of the project is 99% complete, we’re finally getting to a point where we can aaaaalmost see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then we’ll really discover what a quarter billion bucks bought us.

Different Blueprints for Different Folks

November 5, 2009 at 2:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

While reading about the woman chosen to design the new Sheldon, I couldn’t help but notice that there’s often a disconnect between the sort of architecture that architects and artists love, and the sort that average Joes love. It’s not a perfect relationship—some buildings are universally reviled as ugly, while others are (nearly) universally loved for their beauty. But there’s definitely some kind of relationship there.

I suppose that’s true of all art. There are plenty of famous artistic works that few average Joes would fawn over if they didn’t know they were supposed to fawn over them. The Mona Lisa comes to mind.

In any event, I can’t wait for the new museum’s design to be revealed. I predict Lincolnites will be aghast at the site of it. “It’s completely contradictory to the Haymarket’s character!” they (we?) will shout. The letters to the editor in the Journal Star will be filled with diatribes about the pointlessness of contemporary art, and then by counter-diatribes about the boorish, backwards ways of Nebraskans (and so on). It will be quite a show.

Come to think of it, I’m going to be devastated if the designers have come up with something that doesn’t offend at least a few sensibilities. Arguably they will have failed if they don’t stir up at least a tiny tempest. You must have to be a bit of a sadomasochist to be a prominent architect; you’ve got to be willing to piss off others and you must be willing and able to take the resulting heat. That sounds like the start of some grad student’s dissertation.

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