March 2016 archive

Reading Summary #6

colorwalk_2Color Walking”

“Color Walking”, is an article written by Phia Bennin and Brendan Mcmullan on June 29, 2012. In the beginning of the article, they talk about a tool dreamed up by Williams Burroughs to inspire his students. It involved the process of just walking out of the door, picking a color that catches your eye and while you walk just notice the objects that you come across with that same color; red bicyclist’s shorts, woman’s sunburned shoulders, and the paint on a fire hydrant. See simple enough right.

They even decided to go a little further by using more than one color and letting your eyes bounce from object to object, color to color. They began their walk in WNYC, located in lower Manhattan. They started their walk out the revolving doors introducing their eyes to their first color, blue, which led them to a woman wearing a scarf, then a girl with chipped nail polish, which then almost led then on the subway but being distracted by the blues led them in another way, on the blue basketball courts. After being distracted by the blues and basketball, they started on their second color, somehow they set their eyes on purple and not long after pink, a purple shirt drew them in first, worn by someone with sparkly eyes, which led them to leopard legs and then leopard legs and “legalize gay”  at an outdoor café, a man in pink. This walk lasted them from 4:09p.m. to 4:23p.m.

They talk about how they walked away from the experiment not only seeing the colors of the world but being able to acknowledge the colors in all forms.

The article wraps up by them giving advice on how to perform a color walk on our own. Being sure to let us know to give ourselves an hour of uninterrupted time, no plans, disruptions commute or errands just strictly eye time. Then once we have time cut out to experiment, we should pick a color or maybe even let the color jump out to our eyes and choose us.  The final advice and key to this experiment was, if we get lost, to choose another color, and if we get really lost, we will know that we are on the right track.

I realized how useful and important it is to sometimes just turn our brains and cell phones off and just pay attention to the world. A lot of times if you walk downtown or are just outside, if you pay attention, you will see that many people who are in passing seem to do so while on their phones, sometimes keeping their heads down the entire time, blocking out their surroundings.

As I read the comments, as  I usually do, I noticed someone stated that children do this all the time through a game called I-spy. I am sure many of us are familiar with this game, in which a child fixes their eyes on an color and object and says “I spy with my little eye…”. Even though children will think nothing of it, that game is teaching them to be alert, to pay attention to detail and allowing them to see the world for all that it is. And as an adult, I actually love the idea of a color walk because it is something simple and easy to do, but brings a lot of perspective about the world we live in. after all, color is perceptive, which is also know to bring forth emotions. We have to start “seeing” the world in color, through a new perspective than the one were used to , before we can enjoy the world and all the differences and emotions these colors bring forth.

Reading Summary #5

“Better Online Living through Content Moderation” Melissa King

“Better Online Living Through Content Moderation”, is an article written by Melissa Kings. In this article she discusses the uses of block and ignore functions, content/trigger warnings, block lists and privacy options that help to improve one’s computer experience by dismissing content that one chooses not to see. She goes into further detail as to what kind of people who would benefit from these content managers, such as those who suffer from PTSD who are avoiding triggers or topics that could cause anxiety, those with limited patience and anyone who wants to improve their online experience. After all, no one should have to view any content that they would prefer not to.

In this article she mentions that those who prefer to use these content moderators are criticized as being too “weak” or “sensitive”, which then creates the stigma for people to expose themselves to things that they cannot handle or is too much, whether it be violence, graphic content or even cyber-attacks due to an disagreement or in some cases intentional provoking of attacks or violence.

She then began to discuss the arguments against content control. One being that people tend to blow abuse and harassment received out of proportion and therefore should be less sensitive in terms of coping. This has been the greatest argument of them all. The term she associated with that argument is exposure therapy. Kings discussed this term by saying through gradual exposure you will be able to overcome these triggers. In other words, the more you are exposed to something, the less you will be effected. Which is not necessarily true especially for PTSD victims because overexposure can magnify the trauma instead of heal it.

She goes on to say that this is only one aspect as to how open our younger generations are to complex and emotional content and how they now suffer from a great pushback against sensitivity and political correctness in the western culture. She then discusses how ignorance is depicted through media and myth about the truths of PTSD and it not being something that only veterans suffer from, but can also stem from cyber-attacks. She also included a statement from Caleb Lack, who is a psychologist specializing in anxiety disorders who spoke out on the truth of disorders and the effects of cyber bullying on mental health.

She then goes on to discuss the uses of block lists towards hate groups, how to opt into them and the compelling arguments against them that come from those who haven’t done the harassing.

The article ends with the discussion of how vicious these online attacks can be and the dangers that they can cause even going as far as harassing and calling family, and posting personal information.  Which is why having these content blockers, and block lists are useful for those who want and desire to use them at their own whim for the purpose and security of themselves and to protect their mental health from the unpleasant and anxiety-triggering trolling and cyber bullying.


King, Melissa. “Better Online Living Through Content Moderation,” Model View Culture 28 (October 14, 2015). Web:

Built Environment Description


Chattahoochee Coffee Company


Here is a sign that is posted at every entrance of the Coffee Shop. It sets the tone of who and what is allowed on the premises. Although you may sit shirtless or in a bikini on the river, you can not enter into the shop without following the proper dress code. It is open to public, as long as you abide by their standards.


Although there are two locations to the Chattahoochee Coffee Company, this one lies inside an apartment community, so because it us open to the public, it would only make sense to make the environment advertising to bring in more residents. Pictured here is the order counter, menu and an apartment guide board advertising the area and providing historic information on the Coffee Company. As you can see the coffee shop leads to the leasing office.


The environment was very welcoming here. There was even music that gave off a getaway vibe. I heard one lady describe it as a “coffee retreat” lol  As you can see, I decided to take a sit in, after being welcomed in by the smell of sweet mocha 🙂 I decided to enjoy a peach apricot pear smoothie. By the way, it was incredibly smooth and delicious. I know, I know, its a coffee company, why not enjoy some coffee, but this day in particular was sort of warm, and the smoothie menu was quite irresistible.

IMG_2622 IMG_20160309_151819 IMG_20160309_151826

Pictured here are the three restrooms accessible to the public. I particularly wanted to see what kind of restrooms that they would have available. This is something that I very rarely pay attention to at all. I did notice that they had a men’s and women’s restroom and also a unisex bathroom (family restroom as we would call it) Given today’s society, Im sure this would make everyone feel comfortable being able to have access to whichever restroom the desire


As I sat here, I observed a different variety of people enter, order, mingle and leave. The environment was very welcoming and the baristas were very pleasant. In this picture you can see a few people who decided to come in on this beautiful day.I witnessed everyone chatting amongst themselves. I honestly have to say that with all of the media attention on racial issues, it was quite refreshing to see people of different backgrounds mixing and mingling, sitting having coffee and enjoying each other’s company. Sorry I didn’t zoom in, I didnt want to look too creepy lol.


As you look around in these picture you can see the modern touch that the place has. It was designed to provide comfort for all people, whether you came to sit alone and enjoy some quite alone time with a cup of coffee, or whether you came in for a group meeting or even social hour. There was just enough spacing between the seats for privacy. There is an open glass view around the entire coffee shop, I am assuming, its purpose was to allow you be able to see the calming river view, and to provide sunlight so that you can still feel like you are outside somewhat, and hey I am reaching far by saying this, but possibly allowing the sunlight to enter so that you wont fall asleep in the coffee shop (those who came to do homework, studying and such like the guy pictured here) By the way, the vaulted ceilings were beautiful, it created a dimensional and open effect, reminded me of a cabin.

Although this was a interior project, I could not just show you the Coffee Shop, but what was most appealing to me and all of my senses was the River view. From the outside, you can smell the roasting of the coffee beans that the wind wafted through your nose. On the outside you can see how close you can actually get to the river. the sound of the water was serene. This place really provided me a place of peace and comfort. Pictured here are a few different people, who came out to enjoy our first few days of warmth by reading books, listening to music, bringing their newly walking babies out for a walk and so much more. I even saw ducks, how cool huh.


Chattahoochee Coffee Company has two locations in Atlanta and one is located off of Akers Mill Road in the Walton Community Apartments which are beautiful, freshly renovated apartments. It is a gated community that you must dial into to gain access, which I personally did not mind at all. Although this place is open to the public Monday through Friday, it is closed and privately caters to residents on the weekends. When I say this place made me want to give up my house and get a lease on an apartment, I mean it. It is kind of tucked away, I have lived in this area for over a year now and without this project I would have never found this little serene place.

It is in the midst of the freshly apartments, so you just kind of blend in with the residents once you are out of your car. Before I got there, I did a little research while trying to find the address, many people who left reviews did say that it was a little difficult to access due to GPS not being able to find it easily, which I agree. But once I got there I didn’t mind having to search for it.

The coffee shop was surrounded by green pasture, the calming Chattahoochee River, bare trees and friendly faces who seem to be at peace, and I can guarantee the environment and coffee had a lot to do with it. By the way, the coffee smell from the outside was superb. I sat outside before entering, and there I found ducks quacking, people reading alongside the river sipping coffee and families taking walks. There was a mix of people in the environment, mostly middle class, that made me feel very welcome. Many people I saw were dressed in business like clothes, obviously on the go, just making a stop to their favorite coffee shop.

On the inside, there were exciting colors, like orange chairs, tiled floor, and even open river view glass walls that brought a modern look which is different from a boring quiet coffee house that you’re prone to falling asleep in. As I mentioned earlier, this coffee house was very well built with relaxation and peace in mind. Also they had the best smoothies ever, and I’m sure their coffee is even more delightful.


Midterm Reflection

I have realized that in every college course that I have taken that requires research and application, things are done differently. Every professor has a different approach but the theme of it all remains the same. In other classes we have been required to write papers based off of our own knowledge, other’s testimonies, but in this particular class we tend to do lots of writing based off of texts, statistical data and research, and our own primary research, which by the way was very exciting to do. While doing the class projects we are allowed to do it all. We have the reading summaries where we interpret someone else’s articles and research, find and build our own research through annotated bibliographies, and my favorite, observe and evaluate built environments through our own eyes and senses.

I have learned that if it was possible, I would prefer to always perform primary research, it’s much more exciting and a lot of research is biased or opinionated, can be factual, but it’s important to make sure that you have the correct information at all times. That is why if you are going to use secondary research, it is important to use credible sources that provide factual and correct information.

In this class I have been learning how to do proper research, and even been able to improve my citation skills, which I could of always used some help. I plan on taking this new and improved knowledge and applying it to my remaining projects.

In this class environment, we write for one another in our blog posts. Before this class I had never written a blog before. It took some getting used to, which I’m sure is the same for others. This kind of writing makes everything I write public for anyone, particularly my classmates participating in research. Between the reading summaries, annotated bibliographies and built environments we provide research that others will not have to do on their own, which is very useful and helpful to say the least. It reminds me of a full database to find anything you want to know about Atlanta’s atmosphere and history. It feels good to know that my research can help someone else and not just end up in a trashcan after our professor grades them and to me that is a great plus.

As in every class I have my strengths and unfortunately some weaknesses, but I am happy to receive any feedback that makes me a better writer. I realize that I can make some valid points, that I am pretty concise, and I tend to be very detailed but on the other hand I have a problem staying on topic and shifting between persons, that is something that I have always done and am looking to get better at. This is why I have never really been great with summaries because I tend to flash between my opinion and opinion or facts stated.

Currently I have not done much to earn extra points due to my crazy work schedule and life changes but, I’m looking forward to changing that really soon because I’m not so satisfied with the effort that I’ve placed into these other activities, but I have witnessed that life is unexpected and sometimes we have to create new balances in our time and activities. I can say that I look forward to group meet ups, and participating in some of the online quizzes in some of my spare time. Overall, this class has been a helpful one, very accommodating and interesting to say the least. I plan on using the rest of the semester to improve my writing and enjoy everyone’s research.

Annotated Bibliographies 4-6

Annotated Bibliography #4

Bracey , Trayon . “The Big Discussion with Gentrification in Atlanta .” The Lifestyle Room . 20 Jan 2016. Web. 24 Feb 2016. <

The Big Discussion with Gentrification is a topic discussed with Travon Bracey published by The Atriv Magazine in the Lifestyle section. This article discusses His personal experiences of living in Atlanta and how gentrification has affected him and black culture as a whole in terms of socially, financially, politically, mentally and also educationally.

He discusses his experiences in the East Lake neighborhood as a child growing up, he reflects back on his memories of living in these neighborhoods and all the good memories he once shared there, with the people, the inspiring graffiti walled art,(what we may think is gang related), just everything in the environment that creates black culture.  He discusses the differences in the community from then to now. He makes a lot of valid points in my opinon…

This article goes to show that even though Tom Cousins and other investors who helped clean up the neighborhood, bringing about a change, completely transforming the neighborhoods, may have very well did everything that they did with GREAT intentions for us all, but not everyone sees it that way and Travon is just one of those people who decided to speak on his views on how gentrification erased the historical and sentimental meaning of the black culture in those neighborhoods, by mixing them or completely taking them over making them unrecognizable to what some used to call home.

This article was an insightful, just to be able to read another side of a story of someone who views the former East Lake neighborhood as something more than a drug filled, crime raised, dead cop zone.



Annotated Bibliography #5

“PBS Newshour.” Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America. PBS, 09 May 2015. Web. 22 Feb 2016.



Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America is described as a multi-platform public media initiative that provid​es a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society. This article, which I saw as the complete opposite of “The Big Discussion of Gentrification of Atlanta by Travon Bracey.

This platform allows Jimmy Williams, who after prison dedicated his life to improving poverty driven neighborhoods, to tell his story on how he was caught up dealing drugs in the East Lake community. He describes the toughness of the town and the difficulties to succeed and how he succumbed to the streets and dealing drugs, which landed him seven years in prison and also gave him what he needed to be who he is today, to be able to help those who was once in his position and to prevent others from being there.

This platform speaks of positivity about the transformation. Through research you’ll see that there are several sides to how gentrification has affected its people who live and have lived in these neighborhoods. This article just shows that everything that Tom Cousins and the foundation, Purpose Built Communities, set out to do to improve not just the neighborhood but the community surrounded by them, did in many ways have a great impact on many people.



Annotated Bibliography #6

Felton, Carly. “Atlanta Intown .” Transformation of East Lake.Springs Publishing LLC, 01 Aug 2009. Web. 20 Feb 2016. <;.

The Transformation at East Lake is an article published by Carly Felting, who discusses the stats that made East Lake neighborhoods such a poverty crazed and criminalized place to live in. it gives a great visual as to why, when and how to why Tom Cousins decided to embark on the journey to transforming East Lake Atlanta’s neighborhoods, these neighborhoods that were once filled with drug dealers and lords, Tom had a vision and though it is was quite risky, it was the greatest endeavor yet. This article would we great for research because it puts numbers into the equations for greater understanding as to how rough and tough these neighborhoods were before the transformation. There are also statements provided from those who were born and raised, or those who did the raising of their children there, stating that being born and subjected to this neighborhood, they never had a chance.

The article discusses the  restoration of the golf course, building of new homes,  and the transformation of the community, it is very detailed with numbers and it ends with stats showing the outcome of Tom Cousins attempt to making it greater, it shows in numbers the percentage of children and families who now have a chance.