Friday, July 13, 2012

Urbanite is not Kryptonite

We had the idea of building a pergola to help hide the ugly apt building in the rear of the backyard but changed our minds after a visit to the building permits dept. They basically said it wasn't allowed but you "go ahead and plant trees if you like". A large portion of our backyard is covered in cement which keeps us from planting any trees. How nice of them to make that suggestion?

And it turned out to be a pretty good one and turned out a lot cheaper than building a pergola. I never liked jackhammers because of the noise and mess and I've learned that some people have been converting old, discarded cement slabs (urbanite) into creative reuse projects. This website promotes the notion of removing cement in order to "free your soil". This also allows less runoff and connects you more with your land etc.etc. Check them out

So first I needed to get a cement cutter from the free Oakland Tool Library and jump into my first attempt at cutting 2-3" thick slabs of cement. I marked out a large square section I wanted to cut out to make room for the tree and planned on making cuts so I could reuse the cut slabs as tables or benches.

While researching the term "urbanite"  I came across this fun definition. A few lines are crossed out because that is NOT what we want to do.

A person who inhabits one of the major cities in the world, aged between 17 and 44 (ahem). An urbanite is an affluent consumer with an optimistic outlook on life that is very different from those who live in "small town" or rural areas.

Urbanites are both a subculture and a contemporary lifestyle. They have 6 key characteristics: Time-poor, city-proud, media-literate, brand-centric, trend-sensitive and culturally-aware.

The British newspaper Metro has listed the 10 "Great expectations" that above all else motivate and drive Urbanites:

01. Expecting to live a meaningful and experience-rich urban life.
02. Expecting to succeed in multiple areas of life (not just career).
03. Expecting to get substantial fulfillment from work (not just cash).
04. Expecting to be at the hub of a large friendship network.
05. Expecting the traditional ideal of "true love" in the modern world.
06. Expecting to have to "make time" in order to have and enjoy time.
07. Expecting to use debt to have what they want, and have it now.
08. Expecting to have a progressive government that delivers results.
09. Expecting to live in a pleasant "urban village" area of their city.
10. Expecting to live a responsible life as an urban consumer.

Hopefully we can practice that more over time.  Anyway, here are the results of the urbanite creative project of the back yard:

Here is the urbanite standing next to a very tall sunflower that will bloom any day now.

Andrea and I threw a bunch of spaghetti squash seeds into the ground a few months ago and we have about 6 big ones growing!

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