Now that we’ve dealt with the problems. lets talk about what I personally really liked at the Congress this year.
Being in a true walkable city.
I used a motor vehicle three times, from the airport, to Silo City (which had so much of the pedestrian friendly street furniture ripped out, it was like a ghost town between there and the hotel), and back to the airport. Even when we were blocks and blocks away, even when we looked up at our watches and realized it was way past our bedtimes, we were able to walk right home, safely and in a timely manner. The walkability was a bit much on the chilly days, but on the temperate ones, it was awesome. I walk to clear my head and for exercise and it was good to get back to that, albeit briefly.
Sitting around tables, couches and bars and shooting the breeze on the things we love
This is how I knew I’d been away from the fold for two years. When I can’t turn the corner or pop into another spot on the bar crawl without running into an old friend and spending at least 2-3 hours with them. It helped that I was rooming with one, but the rest of y’all? There are still tons of people I didn’t have a proper conversation with this Congress. Note to self, start saving money for Dallas-FTW.
Ben Hamiltion-Bailie, Harriet Tregoning, everybody in the Zombie Subdivisions panel and the Graphic Design Art Room session.
When you go to conferences like this all the time, all the information runs together. It really takes a good show person to make the information come alive. I found that in all the folks that spoke above. Also, a nod to Andreas Duany for taking it back to common sense out at the Silo City. People may not have understood what was going on, but for a person who writes a lot about not just the reality but the sense of place, this was exactly what we needed to hear. And to the folks who claim Gen X was left out, I heard that whole thing the way I hear it from my elders, a boomer telling everyone who is his junior how to make things happen.
Everything that happened at the Hotel Lafyette and the Pan American Grill
Especially the Late Show. And ok, the debates were fun. However, I think we need to get someone like the lady from the interior design program that showed up to truly debate us. We are all too close of friends and of too close of mind. Also, the park was adorable. I wish I’d had more time to play with it, but my hungry belly called me inside to the Pan American on Friday night. The roundtable podcast, the films, and of course Silo City since we are talking about NextGen stuff. I want to give a huge round of applause to one Nate Hood, the entire Strong Towns collective, the First and Main/New Urban Film Festival collective, and the local Buffalo collective for the best NextGen event yet. Even over Project Lodge. Although Project Lodge needs to come back somehow. If I get the NextGen baton, I’m going to find a way. An additional shoutout to having NextGen events in the Congress book and on the app this year.
So that’s it for CNU 22. Back to the regular program next week of writing stories and sharing thoughts on how to make better places.