Zaha Hadid, Floral Park & Berkeley: Nook Real Estate This Week

Every week I write 3 regular blogs for Nook Real Estate, an innovative company who addresses a lot of the issues I personally had with the home buying process.

The week of August 27, I wrote about the architect Zaha Hadid, the Nook Neighborhood Floral Park and some Fast Facts about UC Berkeley.

For Architect Zaha Hadid, The World is Not a Rectangle 

Zaha Hadid knew her place in the architectural community, in that she had no place. Hadid was her own force, creatively and as a leader of Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA). She understood that she “dangled,” in her own words, on the edges of the accepted, of the establishment. “Irrepressible, a force of nature,” is how Patrik Shumacher, senior partner at ZHA, describes her. Hadid was a living force of the very landscapes and shapes she incorporated into her work, completing 55 projects across the globe at the time of her 2016 death of a heart attack. Zaha Hadid Architects had no reason to believe their muse and leader would not be with them many more years, and now have the daunting task of 45 more projects to complete in her name, to ultimately honor her legacy.

Read more at Nook’s blog.

Floral Park Packs a Lot of Architectural History into this Santa Ana Neighborhood

We have a number of Nook Neighborhoods whose architectural cultures were formed because of World War II: Haight-AshburyCoral Gables in Miami, as well as most Eichler Modern Mid Century homes, to name a few.

It is the First World War, however that made Floral Park into the incredibly picture perfect neighborhood we know and love today. Watch out if you take the Floral Park Neighborhood Association tour, though; home sales go up after visitors fall in love while walking around the homes and gardens, according to the home tour director. Take a look at these beautiful photos to see why. Are you touring homes, museums, or art pieces? It’s hard to tell.

Read more at Nook’s blog.

The Big C, Student Protests and Escape Routes: The Legends of UC Berkeley

In 1868, the private College of California merged with the public Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College in Oakland, and the University of California, Berkeley was born. It began with a mere 40 students and 10 teachers, growing to over 1,500 full time faculty serving 27,000 undergraduates. Who knew the sort of legends that would grow out of the first of the University of California system, now the top public university in the United States?

As with many stories told through many years, this leading research institute carries in its campus many mythologies and trivia. We dug into its history to deliver the fast facts that you never knew about UC Berkeley! It’s up to you to decide if they’re true or not.

  • A Chancellor escaped from Vietnam War protesters through a series of elaborately interconnected underground steam tunnels.

    Read more on the Nook blog

Work-at-Home-Realities: You Can’t Stay at Home

I only work at home about half the time and some weeks for much less. I never needed encouragement to get my baby out of the house in general, although every single time is still a struggle. I have learned, through two babies, that we are always much happier on the days we have a nice morning outing of some sort. And although I love the one day a week that we’ve arranged for me not to drive anywhere or anyone, this Work-at-home-Mom thing wouldn’t work at all without some of the following places.

  • Public libraries. They have storytimes with music at least once a week, if not more. I’m lucky that our local library has such robust programs, including pre-preschool programs that prepared my toddler for a classroom. Find the right library branch and they’ll have games and learning toys to occupy your child while you take advantage of the free WiFi after Storytime.
  • Read more at The Mom Forum

Work-at-Home-Mom Realities The List

I’ve been a work-at-home-Mom since 2014. I loved being a freelancer, I loved being a Mom and appreciated the privilege of not needing to rush back to work for financial reasons. But by the time my Lil’ Pirate Dude was three months old, I craved the work. I desperately needed to feel a sense of accomplishment beyond getting all the diapers in the hamper which is still a challenge. I refreshed my email hourly in the hopes that a quick gig might appear. More than anything, I wanted conversations with adults that went beyond breastfeeding and formula and sleep patterns.

I knew it would be hard, but I had no idea how hard.

Read more at The Mom Forum

TVY Rising: Peeking Inside Theater for the Very Young

If you don’t spend time around babies regularly, bringing them to the theater — say, for a performance of Theater for the Very Young, or TVY — may be a strange concept. As primary caretaker to a 3-year-old and a 10-month-old, I’m often astonished by how very simple parts of our world can entertain them for extended periods of time. As I type this introduction, my own baby is completely consumed with trying to open my water bottle. He also stayed enthralled through 45 minutes of the clown antics of Beau and Aero at the Orlando Fringe Festival (suggested age: 7 and up).

For overviews of TVY, as distinct from Theater for Young Audiences (TYA), read these good articles in American Theatre and The New Yorker. I want to help artists understand how to create better, smarter theater for all ages, so I interviewed playwright Madhuri Shekar, who worked with the Alliance Theatre in Georgia to adapt the picture book A Bucket of Blessings into TVY.

Read more on The Clyde FItch Report.

Beefing up my Wikipedia Editing Game

Did you know that under 10% of Wikipedia editors identify as female? Last spring, I

bitmoji

My Bitmoji for fun.

trained to be a Wikipedia editor through Art+Feminism, but didn’t pull an event together.

I will be working to amplify female-ID voices, specifically writers to start. In order to do this right, I will need time.

Please review Wikipedia’s General Notability Guidelines to see if you or someone you knows applies. (If I am biased towards you in any way, then I will not be able to add your entry.)

If you’re interested, contact me to submit your information. Please note that I will prioritize those who identify as female.

Thanks!

CMJ

Why TYA Should Join the Dark Side (of Fairy Tales): my extended interview with Gypsy Thornton part 1

I had the pleasure to interview Gypsy Thornton of Once Upon a Blog recently. Segments of our interview appeared in the article “Why TYA Should Join the Dark Side (of Fairy Tales)”, but she had such great insight that I gained permission to publish our extended interview. 

CINDY MARIE JENKINS: Sometimes people are surprised to hear how dark the origins of their favorite fairy tales are. Why do you think that is?

GYPSY THORNTON: I think this comes from generations where people have been exposed to Disney and ‘softened’ retellings more than the traditional fairy tale collections kids grew up with before. Before video, you couldn’t just ‘pop on a show’ to entertain the kids so story collections were very popular. Collections of fairy tales before the 80’s often included one or two lesser known ones and although the language was always kid-friendly, there were usually hints in the text and illustrations that both initial conditions and, eventually, punishments for the evil-doers were quite severe.

Enter Disney marketing the new ‘princess culture’ of the 80’s that began with their hit animated musical

Marissa Meyer’s sci-fi adaptation of The Little Mermaid follows the original much more closely than Disney. -CMJ

The Little Mermaid, and the era of PC tale telling of the 90’s. Absolutes tended to disappear. Evil wasn’t so much ‘evil’ as misunderstood, and everything and everyone could be rehabilitated. Ironically one of the things I’ve found helps kids feel safe is when things are more extreme: black and white, good and evil, rules are rules and punishment is given when they’re broken. When villains are vanquished, despite that there is often death involved, kids are greatly comforted by the fact that death is final, meaning that evil- or evil person – cannot return. The hero and heroine are now safe to truly live happily ever after, and the kids feel they personally are too.

One of the effects of ‘soft’ fairy tales is that you end up with watered down versions of the tale, which makes them easier to dismiss. They’re less relevant to life as they no longer have as much resonance and kids don’t learn many valuable things from them anymore. Fairy tales weren’t a variety of stories with elements of wonder anymore – they became distillations of dreams, magic and the incredibly fantastical. Magic had flourishes and sparkles, a thrilling soundtrack and cheering at the end of every story. Unlike the stories of real people with an element of the fantastic that gave them choices, all the new protagonists were already special and magical things happened because of it.

The big take-away is that fairy tales are for ‘little kids’ and people who can’t deal with reality. I don’t think it’s a coincidence we’ve ended up with generations that are taking longer to leave home, to get married and start their own families. Being able to deal with ambiguity, having tools to battle challenges and fears and encouraging creative thinking – these are all things embedded in the ‘less sparkly’ fairy tales. When you read and hear these ‘less fantastical’ tales as children, with their black and white boundaries, their clear-cut rules and rewards, it’s a safe forum to learn these things from and to expand your understanding into as your knowledge of the world grows. When you read them for the first time as an adult, the full weight of all the implications can crash in at once, making them seem a little frightening. Despite being obviously fantasy, they can feel ‘too real’. It’s an interesting irony.

One of the things almost guaranteed to make fairy tale students and scholars groan is an article that pronounces ‘you’ll never believe the dark origins of your favorite fairy tales!’. Every second headline seems to be using this ‘clickbait’ these days, but talk to anyone who found an ‘old fairy tale’ in a difficult childhood and you’ll hear they were, and remain useful tools – for hope. [CMJ note: see my article about the musical Into the Woods]

Photo credit unknown.

The quote that ‘fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us that dragons exist, but that we can defeat them’ (GK Chesterton) is well worn but remains so relevant. In the ‘sensational’ discovery of ‘horrors’ in older versions of fairy tales, people can’t help but see they can’t be dismissed as easily. They speak on many harsh things, and, as such, can be related to the harshness of real life. A surface glance will indeed make people shy away if they’re unfamiliar, but fairy tales have staying power, not (just) because they dwell in the dark places (and recognize life is sometimes awful), but particularly because they show people the possibility of coming out the other side.

Hope is a powerful thing and fairy tales have that in spades. Nice fairy tales are ‘nice’ and are great for dreaming. There is nothing wrong with that – at all. But fairy tales that encourage you to get up on your remaining limbs and keep going? They’re the ones that tell you life is worth living, no matter how tough it gets. Unlike dreams that have a tendency to vanish in disillusionment, these are the stuff of hope. Unfortunately, in our contemporary era, the trade off of (relative) stability is that we have a tendency to try and shield our children from disillusionment, instead of seeing it as inevitable and preparing them to cope.

Read the series “Talking TYA on The Clyde Fitch Report, including “Why TYA Should Join the Dark Side (of Fairy Tales)”, (part 2).

Read more from Gypsy Thornton on Once Upon a Blog

Honoring the Tony Winners That CBS Didn’t Show

The Tony Awards broadcast continued a long-standing protocol this year. Namely that numerous awards were given prior to the CBS broadcast, with clips shown after breaks — you know, when everyone in your viewing party is rushing back from the bathroom or filling their libations. Many people on Twitter, for instance, were surprised and unhappy that James Earl Jones’ acceptance speech for a Lifetime Achievement Award was not aired.

Among these honorees are the designers, people without whom the worlds of each production, we can all agree, would not exist.

Read more at The Clyde Fitch Report. 

 

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