Metro briefs

* “Metropolis 2020”:http://metrojoe.org/joe.htm has posted a quiz game featuring “Metro Joe.” It has annoyingly slow animated transitions, questions that are pretty tough given the 8th grade target audience (although I haven’t seen the accompanying curricular materials), and the scoring’s a bitch: you actually lose points for incorrect answers, instead of just not winning them.
* Found a site that appears to “take credit for”:http://counterproductiveindustries.com/ much of the street theater that’s gone on in Chicago in recent years — except Critical Mass.
* Beerfly Lew Bryson has “a heartwarming read”:http://www.lewbryson.com/buzz703.htm for the “Draught Beer Preservation Society”:http://www.westnet.com/~kbehrens/lsdbps/manifesto.html:

bq. Who’s the villain here? Zoning and NIMBY. Zoning is NIMBY, which is policy-speak for Not In My Backyard… What [overly restrictive zoning in the suburbs produces] is a noisy bar that’s creating drunks. The owner may not have had that in mind, but that’s where business and zoning has driven him. Bars are caught between rising costs, public disapproval, and stiff chain competition. Is it any wonder that corner bars owners are cashing out left and right, taking big bucks for their licenses and folding up?

bq. Here’s what I’d like to see instead. If we’re going to live in the suburbs, I’d like to see subdivisions with an in-built commercial area: a grocery store (not a supermarket, a grocery store, with food), a coffee shop/deli, and a bar. And they’d have no parking. None. Just bike racks. You’d have to walk or ride there. The bar would have to close at 11, no loud music allowed. It would be a special license, a neighborhood tavern license: non-transferable, stuck to that address, and cheap, say $300 a year. They’d have to serve food: simple sandwiches, soup, stews, salads. It wouldn’t be a nuisance, it couldn’t be a nuisance.

bq. Sound like much ado about nothing? After all, do you really have to have a neighborhood bar? Consider this. Do you ever get together with neighbors and talk politics? Have you met your state legislators, your township supervisors, your school board? Your parents did, your great-grandparents did, the country’s founders did: at the local tavern.

Going away for a week to celebrate Solstice in sunnier climes. Happy Holidays, damnit.

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One thought on “Metro briefs

  1. One of the many things I hated about living in San Jose was the lack of bars and lack of bar culture. (But at least they were smoke-free once you found ’em.) I knew of only two bars in the entire city, and I hung out with journalists, who you would expect to sniff out every last tap within 100 miles. There wasn’t a bar within a two-mile walking radius of either home or work.

    I always blamed the sprawl for nobody going out to drink. Having to drive everywhere is a barrier to drinking after work — for some more than others, natch — but more so is having to drive two hours away because you can’t afford to live closer to work.

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