10.21.2012

I'm a father!

This changes everything. My last post, a year ago, was about my friends incredible band, and now I have a son named after that friend.

As I type, he is here in my arms, this little person who is half me. He is beautiful, adorable, cute, handsome, and a treasure to be able to watch grow every day. He has changed my perspective: I look back at life before him and wonder if I might not have been a mechanical trick, only to become a real man on the day of his birth.

He inspires me to be more than I've ever been and to see the world through his eyes. I now see the future not only through my own perspective, but through his, whatever that may be. I look at him and see that my every action will be something for this little man to learn from.

Perhaps all of this is rather commonplace for new fathers, but it's the biggest thing that has happened in my life; how am I supposed to think of my actions in the same way? Well here's how: if I can make the world just a little bit of a better place, than I know at least one person who will benefit from my efforts for longer than I am able to do so.

It's not just that I'm inspired to make the world better for him, but also the hope that if my son sees me full of hope for a better world, for change; if he sees me with a faith in humanity, perhaps he will be able to make more of it all than I have been able. I hope that I am able to pass on at least a little of my naive optimism that that one person CAN make a difference, and each member of humanity IS in their heart trying to make a better place for those they love.

I now get to see the world through my son's eyes. What a gift this is, to have a glimpse into innocence again. Innocence is where our hopes and dreams are born. They are born in a place without fact, fiction, right or wrong, in a place where raw experience allows us to imagine new experiences. Our inspiration comes not from KNOWING for sure what is true, but from learning of a possibility and then imagining the step after that.

Now as I experience the world anew with my son I see every moment as one in which he may find new inspiration. My home, my city, my friends and family are now going to work their way into each of my son's senses and into his understanding.

Here's where I want to express gratitude. Gratitude for the life that our family has, that we now get to share together. There has been outpouring of love from our friends and family towards us and our new son. We've had visitors, phone calls, gifts, cards and home cooked meals showered upon us. So many people we love and care about, weaving a web of love and support around our son. Our neighborhood, and our city provide   this family with acceptance, tolerance, diversity, and community. We are not a lone family with our own web of support, but one among many here in Portland.

I now understand why we've made our life in the way we have. We've done it for our son.

10.02.2011

Sunset Hearts New Album: Haunted Cloud

My good friend, Jesse, has been in a band for a YEAR now called Sunset Hearts. Sasha and I first saw them at Slainte sometime last year, and we were immediately won over and excited! This is good music that is very well put together!

Last night was the CD release party of the first Sunset Hearts CD, and they put on a great show!

They are also on the front of this weeks Portland Phoenix, in a article that reviews the new album. (see article)




9.08.2011

World Dance Class (by my mom!)

My mom is going to be teaching this International Folk Dancing Class. She is a great teacher, and the dances are athletic and fun to learn. You can expect to learn a bit about the culture surrounding each dance as well!

WORLD DANCE/WORLD MUSIC
Enjoy the fun, exercise, and challenge of learning traditional dances from diverse world cultures. 

Learn dances from Greece, Croatia, Armenia, Israel, Bolivia and more! Experience unique rhythms, engaging music, and a wide variety of dance styles, and formations. Dances range from energetic to calming; contemporary to ancient. 

Each week you'll learn new dances, step-by-step, and review dances already learned. These traditional dances are for both men and women, are multi-generational (ages 14 and up), and do not require a partner or prior dance experience. Dress comfortably (you will sweat) and bring non-street shoes to change into. 


WHERE: Avant Dance Event Center, 865 Spring St, Westbrook, ME
(easy access from Rts 95 & 295)
WHEN: Thursdays 7:00-8:00 PM for 4 weeks, starting 9-15-11, Second 4 week session starts 10-20-11
COST: $35 for 4 classes (if paid at first class) OR $10 drop-in
CONTACTS: 
WEB: www.avantmaine.com
E-MAIL: kcarroll2@gmail.com
PHONE: Kathleen Carroll, instructor, at 856-6415

8.17.2011

Information Overload!

I just was shown three very interesting things all at once!


  • The proportions of Porches! Walking and socially interacting with people spontaneously is just the kind of thing that helps us to trust the world around us. Trusting our world decreases anxiety, fear and suspicion. that's my take on it anyway.
  • MEAT Just read it. You'll enjoy it.
  • Federated Properties This is a HUGE project planned for Portland. I'm curious to see if it happens. I'll save my commentary for another day.
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6.21.2011

What do I live for?

I wrote this on May 12th but didn't feel comfortable posting it. Please consider reading the blog of my brother-in-law, Bogart. He inspired this entry.

On my most motivated days I live for a chance to make the world a better place where humanity can coexist with nature.
On my least motivated days I live for a home cooked meal and a cold beer in the back yard.


When I'm feeling loved I live for the chance to have and raise my own children with Sasha.
When I'm feeling unloved I live for moment when I can sag into loving arms and just belong.


Every day I live for the change of the seasons.
    I live to experience the brisk wind and the warm sun in the Fall.
    I live for the warm Summer nights that smell like an amusement park.
    I live for the blooming of lilacs, peonies and lillys-of-the-valley in Spring.
    I live clear snowy nights under a full moon.


I live for every family member, every person and everything that has made me who I am.
However much time I have, I hope that I'm making the most of what has made me.
I am too specific to be an accident, as we all are.


I live for the chance to do something better today than I did yesterday.
When I don't succeed at this, I live because I'll have another chance tomorrow.


I live for those exquisite moments of bliss in listening to music.
I live for the chance to create something beautiful.


I live for the adrenaline of competition.
I live for the comradery of being on a team.


I live for the confidence that being married has given me.
I live for the chance to be the boost that Sasha needs.


I live to make my place in the world, however I do it.


I hope that by my living I can be an example.
I aspire to live like those I most respect.


I live because I can overcome all.
I live because I am nothing, and yet by living I can become something.


I live because I cannot wait.
I live because I must let it be.


I live because then there will be a story to tell.



5.03.2011

Portland Mayor: Questions from an Architect

As Portland moves closer to the "Portland Mayoral Choose-Fest" I'm putting on my professional hat and thinking about questions that need answering.
  • Do you believe that increased regional planning can benefit the business climate or health and wellbeing for the businesses and residents of Portland? Why or why not?
  • As mayor, how much power will you have to increase efficiencies in the many permitting processes that new and existing businesses face in Portland? How will you use your given powers for the maximum effect?
  • Portland is a city that depends heavily on its image to attract a complex group of tourists from art critics to foodies to leaf peepers. How does the built environment contribute to this image? Does the city benefit from contemporary architecture?
  • What can architects and contractors do to help you and your goals for Portland?
  • Are there creative solutions for filling all the empty commercial lease spaces in Portland?
  • What is one way that the city and the creative economy can work together TODAY to help promote Portland to the world at large?
  • Portland is a mixed use city. Where is this working well and where is it NOT working well?
  • How does Portland continue on a path of economic development without making the city too expensive for its residents?
  • What is your vision for how the streets of Portland might look different in 20 years? In 50 years?
Do you have any questions for our future mayor? Post them here!

4.03.2011

Killer Joe and Architalx

Last Thursday Sasha and I went to two great events, and YOU all still have a chance to experience them!

First, we went to Architalx. If you've never been, it happens on Thursdays all April, and it's likely to be our only chance (in Portland) to hear "famous" architects talk about their work each year.

On Thursday we heard from Alan Organschi, who does fantastically fluid work with wood. I loved the Firehouse. It was a tough program with a wonderful solution that transcends the word "solution."
Our second event of the evening was Killer Joe, a play that is showing at Space during April. If I see no other theater this year, I will be happy that I saw Killer Joe. Space is an intimate venue that has led me to feel quite spoiled about seeing live theater. No audience member is more than 20 feet from the stage.

The script is a black comedy that takes no mercy. Watch what a "desperate" family will do for extra cash and how wrong it can all go.

The cast did an excellent job, with a return to Portland acting by Christopher Reiling, who was last seen on the Space stage for Speech and Debate. Chris's brings another character to life with a caricature that is too human to be dismissed as JUST a caricature. I was also excited to see a performance by Brian Chamberlain again. I last saw him on the screen in A Very Careful Man done by my friends David Miller and Charlie Simmons. Brian, the villain, is riveting. It's hard to hate him, and yet, he is evil.

I would encourage anyone who thinks they have perspective on humanity to see this play!

3.09.2011

MAST, the ZOOM Bus, and LD 673

I've been working with other members of MAST to promote LD 673, submitted by Representative Bradley Moulton of the York, Maine area. This bill would offer a significant improvement to the regional transportation infrastructure of Southern Maine.

In a nutshell, this bill would: (click here to read the bill)
  • Expand the existing ZOOM Bus route to go from York, to Augusta.
  • Require the MTA to turn over 3% of  its operating revenue for use on non-turnpike Maine roads.
  • Fund the installation of wifi on all ZOOM buses to encourage transit use as a more productive way to travel.
I made this poster to be used to promote the bill:









You can download the poster here.







Some thoughts from others on LD 673:
  • Tux Terkel of the Portland Press Herald wrote this on the proposal.
  • Christian Milneil wrote this great op.ed. on the subject
  • The Conservation Law Foundation has posted this blog on the proposal.
Please consider telling your Maine legislator to support this bill!

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PSA Featured Member

I have been enjoying my involvement on the Portland Society of Architects Advocacy Committee. Recently as part of being on that committee I was able to be the facilitator for an informal chat on contracts and project delivery methods used in the construction industry. It was a great experience and I learned quite a bit.

Even more recently than that, I was chosen to be the PSA featured member. Here's the write-up:

Evan Carroll grew up in Westbrook, Maine and attended Roger Williams University, receiving a BArch in 2006. At RWU Evan was a radio DJ, ultimate (Frizbee) player and a capella singer. Evan minored in music, studied abroad in Florence, and worked with professors as a tutor and on a statewide wind energy study.
While attending RWU Evan summered at home in Westbrook and took the bus into Portland for jobs with Pizzagalli Construction, the Portland Museum of Art, and Port City Architecture. The positive experiences with summer jobs and desire to be near family brought Evan back to Maine after graduation.
Evan is now married to Sasha Salzberg, and they live with their two cats and a dog in a house they own in East Bayside. To entertain themselves Evan and Sasha write, make art, do photography, dance, enjoy the outdoors, are music scenesters, and interfere with local politics.
Recently, Evan has been on the Westbrook Planning Board, the Executive Board for Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Maine (HOBY Maine), the Steering Committee for the Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MAST), the Pecha Kucha Board, and the PSA Advocacy Committee. Evan has just completed his AREs and is now officially a Maine Licensed Architect.
Evan and Sasha have high hopes for their involvement in the future of Portland. They love the creative, collaborative atmosphere fostered in Portland and see many opportunities for the city as a creative Mecca in the future.
Evan hopes to help Portland become a more livable city by continuing to advocate for thoughtful transportation planning on all scales as an integral part of the built environment. Evan believes that his role as an architect is to look inward at how spaces shape peoples’ lives and outward at how the built environment shapes society.
You can see the write-up on the PSA website here.

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Pecha Kucha

Sasha and I have now been on the Pecha Kucha Portland Board for a few months, and I have to say that Pecha Kucha is one of the best creative forums that there IS right now. If you're not in the Portland area, look Pecha Kucha up, as there is probably one near you.

The goal of Pecha Kucha is to get a lot of creative people together to share their ideas and images. Its set up in a super condensed format where there are TEN presenters in an evening, and each only gets 6 minutes and 40 seconds (20 slides for 20s each).

The event is truly a blast and its been an honor for us to help with the curating process. Below are the images that Sasha and I presented when we were emcees for the Portland Pecha Kucha this past Fall. There is no audio for this one, so it might not make a lot of sense.



Sasha and I also presented at PK last winter about Food Art! (This one has audio!)

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