Archive for hippy

Savannah, Georgia

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Historic Architecture, Organic Architecture, Recommendations & Tributes, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2013 by Drogo

Historic Architecture, Environmental Landscape, and Urban Social Art

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Savannah has the historic integrity of an ivy-league campus, yet for the poor as well as rich. Yes, it is very much the old pirate ‘Port Royal’ still, but in some ways it also surpasses the nobility of elite university campuses. Even the SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) campus is spread throughout the city, and SCAD classes are held in renovated industrial buildings, often with Richardsonian strength; so that liberal education is fully-integrated with the city. As far as competing with modern industrial metropolitan cities, Savannah has plenty of modern and post-modern architecture, and SCAD teaches cutting-edge technology; but it has no desire to be as massively impersonal as New York, or any other major city.

Savannah urban design is overwhelmingly utopian, despite there being dystopian flavors as well. The main streets force cars to either park or drive around the eleven park squares (circuses), while pedestrians can go straight through on sidewalks and bike lanes. It is easy to find any place in the formal city because there are no diagonal streets, one tall building in the middle (DeSoto Hotel), and a few tall buildings downtown parallel with the Savannah River. The downtown main-streets (River Street) on Saint Patrick’s Day are celebrated on par with Mardi-Gras. There are so many unique aspects to Savannah, from its very origins. The basic ‘Roman encampment’ grid urban layout is flavored by multiple circuses with vegetation. Live-oaks, palms, and crepe-myrtle trees are naturally hung with Spanish moss. From sandy soil hedges, herbs, flowers and grasses are also publicly grown for the enjoyment of all.

I will find out more about the city founders, besides Oglethorpe; specifically the Native American chief of the local Creek Indians, because he seems to deserve the same level of respect as the English founder, Oglethorpe. The British and Indians were friends, and one of the largest monuments in a prominent park is dedicated to the Indian Chief’s grave. Southern hospitality is less surface courtesy in Savannah, and more a part of its essence; in regards to integration of whites and blacks, international representation, multi-culturalism, and willingness to welcome even enemies (like General Sherman during the Civil War).

There are several ways to consider the social types that comprise the ‘daily population’ of Savannah. There are five basic social types; the rich residents (white blue-blood aristocracy and new-money millionaires), the poor working-class (merchant and service residents and workers), the street beggars (homeless, hustlers, artists), SCAD students (artists, professors, staff), and tourists (pedestrian, trolley, horse-buggy).

According to Dr. Hsu-Jen Huang (SCAD Architecture Professor), Savannah has been growing, even during the recession. In ten years, the city population and SCAD enrollment have doubled. Some buildings still fall between the cracks, but for every loss two more renovations or new constructs emerge. After the 1994 book Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil, Savannah has continued to blossom as one of the best cities in the World. Many of its qualities were always inherent in the original urban design, and it continues to grow because of accepted differences.

From the American Revolution, to the Civil War, and beyond; Savannah embraces its strange stories. It has an other-worldly, old world, old town feel. Ghost tours are quite at home with the lamp-lights, cobblestone streets, brick walkways, and French ironwork balconies. It is in fact a small city; one which favors pedestrian traffic more than automobiles. The whole downtown is walkable, and locals often easily commute with bicycles as well (as I did for 3 years).

There are so many fun things to do there, it might be hard to know were to begin; if Savannah were not an immediately immersible, hospitable environment. The whole city is a memory garden, which literally blooms because of all the flowers. There are less flowers and leaves in the Winter, but Fall, Winter, and Spring are best weather-wise; as there is rarely snow, and Summers are often walls of heat and humidity (which it is known for even during Fall and Spring).

Architecturally Savannah is truly unique, with historic world and southern romantic blends. Town-houses often have the side-porch design, as with nearby Charleston, SC. The cast-iron railings and french dormers have that New Orleans feel. Parks and trees really do make a huge difference for traffic. Even while continuing to grow, Savannah is still one of the most colorful and pedestrian friendly cities in America. I can say after living there, the magic is real; including the variety of character personalities that the famous book alludes to.

Midnight In the Garden of Good & Evil describes much of the architectural and social feel of the town. ‘Midnight’ the book has much more analysis of detail, while the film has literally has more visual images. I lived in three parts of town, and often passed by famous landmarks on daily commutes to classes. The main character’s house (Mercer Mansion) is on Bull Street along a square, towards the largest city park, Forsyth Park. Forsyth Park was my favorite park that I loved living on, because of the large open grass lawns, largest and most beautiful fountain, organic paths, and shady flora. There I was free to publicly practice Tai-Chi, hippy folk music, or jogging without much bother.

Most of this essay describes the utopian aspects of Savannah, but this paragraph should put some of the dystopian perspectives in context. The poor and the dead, out-number the rich and the living. Southern swamp-lands naturally have a salty entropic power that corrodes metals, moisture that promotes the decay of organic matter, and massive humidity that stifles productive activity, while encouraging roaches and gnats. The humane social ‘decadence’ of the town, allows for an ease of poverty. Kindness tolerates and sometimes falls prey to hustlers. Vandalism and theft are common crimes in Savannah, with the occasional mugging (typical of cities in general). Although crimes are committed by lower classes, the majority (which are poor) are respectful, lawful, and often generous. So you see despite the ‘scariness’, actual dangers are minimal for a city.

Savannah’s name appropriately indicates the climate heat, and the flat field look of the surrounding wetland marsh grasses. Old pirate maps referred to the lands inland along the River as ‘Savannah Land’. Google Street view is very impressive, with realism. It really helps get the feel for the freedom of moving through the town by photographic vista. In the 1990’s we were taking panoramic photos for architecture projects so it really feels appropriate. Day trips easily include the famous Bonaventure Cemetery, Oatland Island Wildlife Center, and Tybee Island Beach.

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Julia Butterfly Hill

Posted in Recommendations & Tributes with tags , , , , , , , on January 12, 2013 by Drogo

From 1997-1999 Julia Butterfly Hill lived in a 1500-year-old Redwood Tree named Luna. Her “tree-sitting” was part of the California logging protest movement. She has also written books and lectured on environmental subjects.

I met Julia at a lecture when she came to the Shepherdstown Nature Conservancy. I was very impressed with not only her ideas, but also her personality. I wrote her an email recently to try to reconnect, and she wrote back promptly and personally, with this…

“I am so glad to hear you are putting your care for the Earth into Action!!!

And i am blessed that my talk in WV resonated with you.

All the very, very best in your life and life’s work. – julia”

Juliabutterflyhill

Hippy-Punk

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2012 by Drogo

Hippy-Punk:  having aspects that are both punk-rock and hippy. Combinations vary; some can appear more hippy, but be aggressive protestors that listen to punk-rock music; some may look like skin-heads, but be vegan, straight-edge, and peacefully enjoy hippy music.

I guess im kind of a hippy-punk, but its amazing the animosity that many people, including punks, have against hippies. When i was a teenager I went along with hating hippies, but the more I learned about life, the sadder I felt about the common consensus. I will fight for the right for people to where what they want in America, including myself.

Also people tend to call hippies “smelly”, but I have known many other types of people that have smelled worse than most hippies Ive known, so the myth is complete bullshit. A business man in a suit all day can really stink! Besides I really like the smell of scented oils, even when over-applied I prefer them and do not think they stink. To me bigotry against hippies stinks worse than any hippy I have ever smelled!!! LOL TRUTH.

 

 

 

Midsummer Night’s Dream Festival

Posted in Events / Celebrations, Pagan with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2010 by Drogo

WV Midsummer Night’s Dream Festival 2010

Visit Event Website

Alderwood Campground

Children UNDER 14 are FREE, 14 and up pays regular price.

Regular 3 day (weekend) passes are $65.

SINGLE day passes (Friday or Sunday) $20

SINGLE day passes (Saturday) $35

Prices may change, so please check the main event website link.

~Namaste
Pixie of Spiritdome productions

MAIN EVENT WEBSITE

Hippies

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Environmentalism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2010 by Drogo

Hippies

Hippies are people too. Sometimes we forget because the hippie movement fell out of favor only a decade after it began. Why? Because hippies were different, hippies are made fun of, and often financially powerless because by definition they gave up desire for those social and political constructs and aspirations. Also it is popular to say they “stink” because they often smell different due to bathing and patchouli practices. It is popular to make fun of astrology, and “new age” alchemical spiritual beliefs. It is the natural tendency to make fun of people that are different than normal standards, by birth or by choice, and to be biased against them.

So “hippy” has become a derogatory label.  There was a decade when many believed and felt they were part of larger revolution, and not just a fashion taboo. Others will always believe that their idealism was flawed, and they were always just criminal bums. Those people are usually called different names by those they call hippies, to be fair.

The popular Hippie Movement during the 1960s, had evolved from the 1950s counter-culture of hipster beatniks, and embraced a revolutionary return to naturalist folk traditions. Peace was a major motivating factor for many people to become a hippy. Environmentalism, drug use, and alternative lifestyle freedoms were also very dominant aspects of the movement.

The peace symbol was developed in the UK as a logo for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and was embraced by U.S. anti-war protestors during the 1960s. Originally the “V” finger sign stood for Victory (a return to peace) in WWII, but ironically was adopted by hippies to remind people about the joys of peace. Hippies were mostly pacifists and many participated in non-violent political protests, such as marches and demonstrations for civil rights, liberties, and peace.

The degree of political involvement varied widely among hippies, from those who were active in non-violent demonstrations, to the more anti-authority street aggression of the Yippies (the most politically active hippie sub-group). The active yippy political rebels led to underground resistance groups like “The Weathermen”, and often operated violently as anarchists. Pacifist hippies tend to disagree with hateful tactics.

The Hippie Movement continues to the present day, but began to decline in the 1970s with the emergence of new popular movements like Disco, and later was rejected by Hip-hop breakdance, Goth, Punk, and Yuppism in the 1980s under the hyper-inflation of Reaganomics. The economic bubble of the 1980s (which revived the 1950s industrial enthusiasm) had a lot to do with the cultural supremacy of Cocaine.

The multi-culturalism of the 1990s was a peaceful integration of many colorful hippy values like celebrating ethnic diversity and environmentalism, with modern technology and the enthusiasm of the commercial 1980s. Improvements in transportation allowed these benefits of travel, including the popularity of tattoos. However, this positive zeitgeist was smothered by the Military Industrial Complex under Bush II.

FreesoulJAH

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2010 by Drogo

The musician known as FreesoulJAH is a spirit dedicated to peace, love, and freedom. Although his desires for humanity are harmonious, sometimes he uses subtle discord in a melody. It is clear that FSJ believes there is “more Light than Darkness”, but as a realist he is unashamed to communicate with the “darker side” of life.

Building upon Hippy and Rastafarian language, he is a free poet and a philosopher of Earth-based ethics. Transcending negative stereotypes, it is clear that he enjoys challenging the status-quo through alternative means. His songs reach between experimental folk and acid-rock, with an open hand of friendship.

FreesoulJAH is an artist that loves life, and shares with others. He is accepting of others, and has participated in creative community projects with other artists. FSJ is an example that we can express “free love, truth, wisdom, peace and justice” through music.

FreesoulJAH

1. The Blue Van with Pink Polka-Dots

Posted in Short Faerie's Tails with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2009 by Drogo

Once upon a time, there was a blue van with pink polka-dots, and a brightly colored rose painted on each door. It had a Grateful Dead bumper sticker partially faded by the sun. Although it is not known first hand by the author, I’m sure that the interior upholstery reeked of marijuana. Often I see it stream by in a roaring blur of happy color, and yesterday it ran over my dog. All in all, … it is quite a bohemian contraption.