Monday, November 30, 2009

Greensboro Project

A connection is anything, anyone, or anywhere that brings two or more people together. It brings people together for celebration or mourning, or even just to hang out. There are many different kinds of connections; the library connects people with knowledge, the roadways connect people with each other in a specific area or across the country, a church connects people with God and each other spiritually, the hospitals connect people physically for health and such, the Apple store connects people internationally through electrical devices, and (my main connection) the coffee houses connect people for and in many different ways. Connectors are important for everyone and everywhere.

The main connector I am going to discuss are the coffee shops in Greensboro. They are everywhere!! I looked at three specifically and they all had a different focus. The first one is the Tate Street Coffee House.

When you walk in, you are greeted by the cashier. The tables run up down the side of the room. It was decorated all over; colored strings and ornaments hanging from the ceiling, pictures and art on the walls, and some Christmas decorations as well. The main focus seemed to be busyness. All the decorations and the set up gave it a crowded look and feeling. When in there, I felt like I was in the way.

The second coffee shop is the Catitude Café on West Market Street. It is owned and run by Catherine Johnson. Her shop is set up very different from the Tate Street Coffee House; it is very open and homey feeling.

She has some tables set up and a couple sitting areas with couches and big comfy chairs. She had little quotes painted on the wall and a game area in the front corner. A very unique aspect that I noticed was that she had a very Christian theme set up.

“My reason for opening a coffee shop was to provide a place for friends and family to congregate without things like underage drinking present.” –Catherine Johnson

The last coffee place I looked is the Green Bean Coffeehouse on South Elm Street. It was very open and spaced out.

The ceilings are high which adds to the openness. When walking into the shop, you see all the shelves that are set up for community news. They also have a table set up to display Petfinder-an animal adoption agency. The focus seems to be community service and such.

All three coffee houses seem to be great and I look forward to trying each out someday.

Another big connector would be the roadways. All roads lead somewhere from somewhere. The main roads coming in and out of Greensboro would be the interstates and the US routes. An interstate route is a network of limited-access highways. They are widely spread and cover the entire United States, running through all the states about equally.

The US routes are the important regional connections.
They through all the states about equally.

Greensboro is part of 840, 85, and 40. run throughout the whole United States but fill most of the Eastern side. Greensboro is part of 421, 220, 70, and 29. These are the roads that connect the people and resources of Greensboro with the people and resources of other cities, regions, and states.

Just as with any other city, region, or state, Greensboro has its own personal road system. These are the roads that connect residency areas with retail areas with industrial areas. Roadways are probably the most important connector for everywhere and everyone.

The Moses Cone Memorial Hospital is the next connector. Hospitals all over the world connect people for joy (birth and healing) and grief (death and sickness).
The Moses Cone is located on North Elm Street positioning it a few blocks from the center of Greensboro.
This is important because a hospital is where life, healing, and death occur. A hospital is capable of connecting people who haven’t spoken in days, months, or even years.

Libraries are very important connectors. A library is any collection of books, articles, or videos. They connect people with the knowledge stored in books, articles, and videos. When I say they connect people, I’m talking about people in the past, present, and future. Libraries can be found almost anywhere; homes, churches, and schools all include a sort of library.
Most of the knowledge we have comes from what those from the past have written about the events.

The Greensboro Public Library is located on North Church Street. The front of the building draws people from the front and from both sides. The lobby is a big open space that allows for people to gather. This particular library has several gathering spaces other than the main book room and the lobby.
The largest space is the Nussbaum Room, used as a meeting room with audio and visual capabilities. The other space is the Tannenbaum/Sternberger Room. This space can be divided into two separate spaces or used as one bug space.
Both spaces are used for workshops, corporate meetings, and small receptions. The library also includes a computer lab which, with internet, is an international connector. There are reading areas all throughout the book room where you can just relax and enjoy the book of your choice. Without libraries, we would be without a lot of the connections that we take for granted during everyday life.

For a lot of people, churches are a very big connector. They help the connection between God and people grow while connecting people with each other spiritually. I looked specifically at the West Market Street United Methodist Church.

This church, as most others, offers a lot of opportunities to come for recreation, worship, and fellowship. These are all important assets for a church. They include a daycare, during services, and an adult library as well.

The Apple Store is the main international connection. As we all know, their big products are computers, phones, and music devices.
The computer and phone connect us with anyone anywhere. The music devices, the IPods, are becoming capable of this connection as well.
The Apple Store at the Friendly Center on West Friendly Avenue allows for Greensboro to have access to these connections.

Monday, November 16, 2009

11/7 Class Pt 5: Wrap up

so we covered all the different types of areas seen in Greensboro, or any town really. we talked about the retail and its importance in providing food, clothes, entertainment, and other odds and ends to the people, both who live here and visit from other places. the residential and its purpose to house the people, mainly the ones who live here but some who visit or pass through. the roadway and its use as a sort of free advertising for the retail part of town while some of them lead to the homes of the Greensboro natives. they all lead somewhere that had a use one way or the other. the open space we saw was very important because it is in rememberance of those who fell in the American Revolutionary War. it also shows that Greensboro see its natural environment as an important asset. i think Greensboro is a lovely little city and has a lot to offer those around and in it.

11/7 Class Pt 4: Open Space

for the November 7th class, one of the last places we visited was Battleground Park. this is where Nathanael Greene fought in the Battle of the Guilford Court House in the American Revolutionary War. the park is a beautiful peaceful place to have a picnic, take a walk, or go for class.

throughout the park, there are statues commemorating different historically important people in Greensboro. Joseph M. Moorehead who dealt with the train
depot and the transportation. Nathanael Greene, which should be obvious. William Hooper who was a big supporter of the American Revolution and was a delegate in the First Continential Congress and then in the Second as well. he was one of the signatures on the Declaration of Independance and his remains were permanently buried here at the Battleground Military Park. John Penn who served on the Continental Congresses with William Hooper and is buried along side of him in the park.

i think that it is very important for Greensboro to acknowledge that something great happened here at the park. it also helps preserve nature and give us an idea of what Greensboro was like before all the buildings went up. it is a beautiful area and should be embraced and remembered.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

11/7 Class Pt 3: Residential

throughout the course of November 7th, we passed and visited several residential areas specifically we visited the Loewenstein Residence and the Cone Mills/White Oak Mill Village.

the Loewenstein Residence was designed and built in 1954 by Edward Loewenstein for his wife and two daughters. he was very into the modern architecture so he incorporated the modern look and the desired 'homey' feel into a beautiful home for his family. the house sits flat on the ground without a boosting base. i think this is to try to blend the structure with the landscape rather that have it pop out as the other houses do. it is quite open and spacious while giving designated areas for different room with support beams in the ceiling and the way the furniture is organized. the wall of the living/gathering room are bookshelves full of books. the whole back wall is glass allowing the sun to light and warm the house. the walls in the hallways are cabinets and drawers to provide extra storage.
the neighborhood itself is quite pretty. there are a lot trees that were left in the yards of the homes, giving it shade and a nature feel. the houses are spaces nicely apart to give each house a decent sized front and back yard. unlike the neighbor hood in downtown, each house has a driveway and street mailbox. this neighborhood clearly was built to serve families rather than college students and professors.

the Cone Mill was an old jean fabric factory that was started in the late 1930's. the White Oak Mill Village was built as worker cottages. the village was just that--stores, schools, churches, jobs, and even a local cemetary were provided for the residents so that they would have easy access to work and affordable living. the village is a mini-town within Greensboro. the streets that run through the village are numbered rather than named after historically important people as the streets in town are. the houses are spaced enough to provide a decent sized front and back yard but there are barely any trees or foundation plantings around. the village was built in a huge open feild so the only trees or plants there now are the one planted by the residents to try for more privacy. there are street mailboxes and driveways for each house. there arent any sidewalks. the houses were built very modestly, frankly pretty boring. as time went on the residents added on the original structures, giving the houses a little more shape. when the village was built, there was definitely only practicality in mind--not socialization.