Today the temperature reached 90 degrees at the RDU airport. This makes the 84th day that temperature has been reached, breaking the old record set in 2007. This record heat comes after the 6th coldest winter on record. [via]
As a side note: the current Falls Lake Level is 249.29 feet, just over 2’ below “normal operating level”. The 365-day rainfall total is 0.6” below average.
The Independent Weekly’s first-ever Hopscotch Music Festival begins on Thursday night in several music venues and bars across downtown Raleigh. The event showcases over 120 of the best emerging indie acts in the country, with an emphasis on the strong talent in this region. Highlighting the festival are Public Enemy, Broken Social Scene, Panda Bear, and the North Carolina Symphony. However, that only scratches the surface of what’s going on all weekend.
The young festival has an iPhone app, but doesn’t have an Android app available. Gogoraleigh has created the next-best-thing; a calendar. Follow all 150+ events by subscribing to gogoraleigh’s Hopscotch Music Festival calendar. See an act you like? Add it to your own calendar. Unsure about an act? Open up the calendar’s event, and see the band’s hometown, follow its link to Hopscotch’s band page (where you can sample tracks from the band), and see a map to the venue. You can even enable an alert for each act if you want.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, though, let’s just follow the links to all of the great material out there about Hopscotch:
- Buy Tickets
- Gogoraleigh Event Calendar (including day parties, band and music player links)
- Venue map
- Last.fm Hopscotch Radio Channel
- The latest Hopscotch news
- @hopscotchfest on Twitter
- David Menconi’s Article (News & Observer)
Local basketball fans with iPhones, Android Phones, Blackberrys, Outlook, Palm devices and more are in luck! Gogoraleigh’s Calendars Tab is your home for free 2010-2011 basketball schedules for the entire ACC in .CSV, .ICS, and Google Calendar formats.
This year gogo goes all out, offering schedules for each individual ACC team, as well as one giant calendar which includes all games. Events on the calendars include not only the game time, but also links to ESPN’s team pages and the name of the venue where the game is being played. On some devices, like Android phones, the location becomes a link to Google Maps showing the venue’s location.
Gogoraleigh decided that these 13 calendars aren’t enough, though, and added home-only calendars for UNC and N.C. State.
Outlook-Based Blackberry/iPhone/Palm Users
- After downloading the appropriate CSV file (see below), create a new folder in your in Outlook calendar (Bball11, for example). Use the File | Import and Export… to import from “another program or file”, then “Comma Separated File (Windows)”. Be sure to pick your new calendar folder as the target. This will set up the schedule in your new sub-calendar where you can make whatever changes you want.
- iPhone Users – Open iTunes with the iPhone connected and sync (you may have to specify your newly added calendar in the “Info” tab’s Calendars section.) Now you can view the basketball schedules as their own sub-calendar or as a part of all calendars.
- If you have a device which doesn’t support subcalendars (like Treos and older Palm devices), you’ll need to copy the imported basketball events into your main calendar. When you are happy with the way the subcalendar looks, change the calendar view to “Events” (instead of 7-day or 31-Day or whatever view you’re using). “Select All” from the list, and drag them over to your main “Calendar” (The Treo and other Palm Handhelds only sync to the main calendar – time for Palm to get with the program on that one!). If you want to keep your sub-calendar intact, use Ctrl-drag instead of plain drag. That will create a copy of each event to the main Calendar and keep the Bball08 calendar in place. Sync your handheld to copy the events to the handheld.
Google Calendar/Android Users
My favorite way to follow the ACC’s basketball calendar is to add it to my Google Calendar set. The Google Calendar is a dynamic, subscribable calendar that offers much flexibility. For instance, several game times have not been announced. As soon as they are set, actual game times will magically appear in your calendar. Also, Google Calendar offers a map link for quick viewing of the game’s venue location.
Additionally, Google has created a simple interface through mobile phone browsers. It allows one to view and implement ACC Calendar events. It also recognizes hyperlinks in the event’s description, so easy access to the team files is achievable by using the online Google Calendar app. To view these add the calendar using the link below, then visit http://calendar.google.com from within Safari on the iPhone or your Android browser.
(Note: Gogoraleigh will also carry the home-only calendars as an integrated feature of its normal Gogoraleigh Do-It Calendar).
To view a Google Calendar, go to the gogoraleigh Calendars page and click on the appropriate calendar link. Once the calendar is displayed, you can add it your set of Google Calendars by clicking on the “+Subscribe” bottom on the bottom right.
There are two options:
- Use iCalTextImport to import the .CSV version (linked above) of the schedule.
- Download the .ics file from the Calendars page and import it into iCal.
Palm Desktop and Yahoo! Calendar Users
My brother-in-law taught me a neat trick. In order to get a CSV calendar into Palm Desktop, one can use Yahoo! Calendar as an intermediary. After downloading the .CSV file from gogoraleigh, open Yahoo! Calendar and click “Options” in the upper right. Then select “Import/Export”. Go to “Import From Outlook”, selected the filename, and click “Import”. Yahoo! Calendar users are done at this point. Palm Desktop users need to verify the import, then return to the “Export to Palm Desktop” section. Pick your target and hit “Export”. The resulting .DBA file should then be ready to import into Palm Desktop.
Beware! It appears easy to lump Yahoo! Calendar events that are unrelated into one calendar. If you are simply using Yahoo! Calendar as a conduit to Palm Desktop, verify that your calendar is clean before originally importing the .CSV file, otherwise unrelated events will get lumped with basketball dates in your resulting .DBA file.
Each of the Google Calendars carries an RSS feed. This might be an interesting addition to your RSS Feed collection because each calendar change will appear in the feed. This is most useful as an alert to a game time changes in the schedule. The RSS Feed for each calendar can be found when viewing each individual Google Calendar.
Calendars are apt to change, so check back occasionally for updates. To determine the version of your schedule, open the note associated with any event, and look for the version number. If your calendar is older than those listed above, simply delete the events in Outlook in your old one and import the events of the newer file. Google Calendar is dynamically updated on the back end, so you always know you are up to date when using Google Calendar.
Use at your own risk. I do not accept responsibility for any consequences resulting from errors in the schedule.
Canes hockey fans who like electronic calendars rejoice! I’ve uploaded the 2010-2011 Carolina Hurricanes schedule in .CSV, .ICS, and Google Calendar formats. This way you can easily port the schedule over to your Android phone, iPhone, Blackberry, Google Calendar, Outlook, and more!
Without a doubt, the gogoraleigh Hurricanes Calendar is the best on the web. Not only is the complete calendar available, but also a home-only version is available. For each event, the teams playing in the event are listed in 3-digit codes, so the entire event is easy to see on devices that can’t display wide paragraphs. Additionally, the game locations are included, so devices that can automatically associate the location field with a map will offer these locations as hyperlinks. This is perfect if you are going to the game in an away city!
Finally, with the synced versions of the calendar, gametime changes and television information are automatically updated as the information becomes available.
Android/Google Calendar Users
If you already subscribe to last year’s Carolina Hurricanes schedule feeds, you don’t need to make any changes. The new events now appear in the feed. For those just getting started with this highly efficient method of scheduling, consult the calendars at the gogoraleigh Calendars’ page:
iPhone /Blackberry/Outlook/Palm Users
- Create a new folder in your in Outlook calendar (Canes11, for example). Use the File | Import and Export… to import from “another program or file”, then “Comma Separated File (Windows)”. This will set up the schedule in your new sub-calendar where you can make whatever changes you want.
- iPhone Users – You are done. Now you can view the Canes’ schedule as its own sub-calender or as a part of all calendars.
- When you are happy with the way the subcalendar looks, change the calendar view to “Events” (instead of 7-day or 31-Day or whatever view you’re using). “Select All” from the list, and drag them over to your main “Calendar” (The Treo and other Palm Handhelds only sync to the main calendar – time for Palm to get with the program on that one!). If you want to keep your sub-calendar intact, use Ctrl-drag instead of plain drag. That will create a copy of each event to the main Calendar and keep the Canes08 calendar in place. Sync your handheld to copy the events to the handheld.
- CSV Files. (right click on the link and “Save As…”)
There are two options:
- Use iCalTextImport to import the .CSV version (linked above) of the schedule.
- Download the .ics files and import them into iCal.
- Hurricanes Schedule (Complete) – .ics file (version: 6/22/10)
Calendars are apt to change, so check back occasionally for updates. To determine the version of your schedule, open the note associated with any event, and look for the version number. If your calendar is older than those listed above, simply delete the events in Outlook in your old one and import the events of the newer file. Google Calendar is dynamically up-to-date. Use at your own risk. I do not accept responsibility for any consequences resulting from errors in the schedule.
It’s easy to fall in love with Evernote, the cloud-based note organizer. There is a desktop application as well as a slew of mobile apps for entering and quickly finding notes one has made. Use-cases include corralling perpetual shopping lists for certain stores (ie. Home Depot, Grocer, Office Depot, Costco…), lists for CDs to hear, movies to see, shows to watch, wines you loved, as well as a perfect clipper/organizer for recipes.
The list of use-cases goes on. That’s why some Evernote fans in the area are organizing a meetup on Wednesday, June 23 at the Tribeca Tavern where even more use-cases can be bounced around. More information is online as well as on Twitter (#CaryEvernoteMeetup hashtag). Please signup today so that the group can get an organizer party pack from Evernote.
My mother has an old friend who is known best for her ability to leave. Whenever she and her husband are coming, we are all excited because they are a very entertaining, energetic couple. However as the weekend moves on, the stories about how wonderful they are get old as do the passive aggressive actions by her to coerce the husband into the bedroom. By the end of the weekend we are all ecstatic so see them leave. For sure, we are glad to see them, but are especially glad to see them leave because they do it so well. They clean the bathroom, run the vacuum cleaner, and put the sheets in the washing machine before packing! They offer an experience afterward that is like no other, and are a perfect metaphor for the long-awaited Raleigh downtown amphitheater which opens today.
The project stands on land formerly occupied by Sir Walter Chevrolet, one block to the west of the Raleigh Convention Center. That center was designed for future expansion into the lot. In the meantime Raleigh officials have erected a 5,500-seat, “temporary” amphitheater site which will host around 20 events per summer.
It is important to keep the long-range plan in mind when visiting the site, because it is bare bones to say the least. There are no velvet cloaks at the entrances. If you are expecting something nice like Koka Booth Amphitheatre or Time Warner Pavilion, you will be sorely disappointed. The stage is boxed in only by a very basic lighting rig that complies to industry shed tour standards. The bathrooms are in trailers, which is a step up from porta-johns in Moore Square. The concessions are all from temporary trailers and folding tables. There is no in-house video, and spot lighting is from extremely temporary scaffolding that looks like it could blow over in a 20 mph wind.
While all of those items are expected and excusable, there are some choices designers made that will severely hamper the experience, especially for those who drive long distances and pay first rate prices for shows.
The seating is somewhat similar to Walnut Creek in that it is arranged much like a baseball diamond. Around the outer infield arc there is “box” seating, which consists of stacking chairs separated by pipes, much like the boxes at Walnut Creek. Between the stage and this arc, however, there is nothing but a sea of concrete. Officials told me the plan is to place stacking chairs in this zone to simulate reserved seating. The problem here is that there is absolutely no rise from the front row to the box seats, so everyone in the entire infield will have to stand if Row A decides to stand (and you know they will). Are these the stacking chairs from inside the Convention Center? What happens during times like now when graduations and other events demand the Convention Center chairs? How is security going to control a crowd that has stacking chairs to throw?
Behind the box seats is the only East-West arc aisle, and behind this aisle there is a large section of permanent, reserved seats which slope upward only slightly. At Walnut Creek this East-West aisle is cleverly sunken so people on the lawn are not disturbed. Not here. Patrons in the reserved seating area will have to stand in order to see the stage. That may be par for the course at rock concerts, but it presents real problems for stage productions like Rent and Chelsea Lately.
The remaining land behind the reserved seating is general admission lawn “seating”. While this area does actually have a steep rise, the view of the stage from at least 1/3 of the space, at least right now, is obstructed by tents for the soundboard and for box seating. Most likely these tents will have to go.
The entire seating area is exposed, so be sure to bring a poncho if there is any chance of rain. There is no shelter to speak of, which may present problems for some productions. The real catalyst for the project was the receipt of a framework for a tent to cover much of the seating area. We received this for free from Denver, but had to buy a new fabric skin, which apparently was cost prohibitive given the extreme bare-bones nature of this facility.
While sight-lines and shelter are concerns for this facility, the sound looms as the biggest. Raleigh’s newest landmark, the Shimmer Wall, borders Left Field, and will probably be known as the Silver Monster to musicians. The angle of the stage is such that the entire stage left bank of PAs will be aimed directly at the shimmer wall, and likely create an acoustical mess. Rap Bap….Rap Bap is what two snare drum hits will sound like for anyone along the 3rd baseline. It will be interesting to hear music from the right baseline as the music from the stage left bank will be hitting those fans almost a full second after the stage right bank hits.
For some reason the design of the amphitheater is within the confines of the arcing access road to the Convention Center’s service tunnel. A better design would have been to relocate this road directly adjacent to and parallel to W. Cabarrus St. This would have allowed the stage to be tucked back closer to the Cabarrus/Dawson intersection, thus allowing the stage to be turned more to the south. Perhaps a better grading plan would have allowed the stage to be lower than Dawson, and the outfield to be higher than McDowell streets. This would have provided much better sightlines.
The real advantages the amphitheater has (over most in the country, in fact) come from its location. Ingress and egress will be outstanding, and a very welcome feature to those who have sat in office building parking lots in Cary for well over an hour without moving. Downtown Raleigh has well over 10,000 parking spaces, and most of them are empty during the times of use for this facility.
For people who want to kick around after the show, downtown Raleigh offers the finest nightlife experience in the Triangle. In fact, there are over 70 places to drink in downtown Raleigh, and most are a short walk from the amphitheater.
The amphitheater will end up being a great move for the City Manager’s books, especially if weather and crowd control are not problems. Built on a shoestring that would even make Tom Fetzer proud, the place is positioned to be a huge cash-cow for the city. The facility is built to be in place only a few years, and if convention center expansion gets pushed back, a renovation plan will have to be in the works. Given the rise of the internet and the stagnation of the world economy, that expansion may be further off than anticipated. In fact, I predict that the expansion of the convention center will not happen until at least 2025, probably 2030.
What will probably happen is that after 3 summers, the city will probably realize that expansion is still just a long-term goal, and must then deal with mounting complaints about The Walt. I expect to see permanent bathrooms, more substantial field lighting rigs, permanent gold circle seating implemented in the short run.
Is this review premature? Perhaps. Yes, I have not heard a band in the facility yet. The problem is that nobody else had either. As of 21 hours before showtime, the time all of these photos were taken, the facility had no PA system, no lighting in place, the bathroom access ramps had not been built, no vendors were in place, no ticketing facility was in place, and no seating existed for the gold circle. A lot will have to happen before the paying public comes in two days. We’ll know a lot more about the facility by the end of the weekend.
As reported earlier here, the City of Raleigh has an excellent attitude about fighting graffiti. It is a high priority to remove any markings within 24 hours, as this serves as a deterrent to additional graffiti. Unfortunately the State of North Carolina’s Transportation Department does not share this policy, and has allowed graffiti on I-440 to explode at an alarming rate.
I called the department and spoke with someone who explained that the department’s highest priority is maintaining roadways, and that graffiti is not a high priority this week given the number of roadway situations due to the rains. Sorry, but the state has ignored ALL graffiti markings on I-440 since mid March, and it sure hasn’t rained for that long. I also explained that painting over graffiti on red brick walls with beige paint does not quite accomplish the goals set forth by the city.
PLEASE take a moment to call the transportation department at (919) 733-2191 and explain that you care about the beauty of Raleigh and are concerned about this exponentially growing problem. This needs to be nipped in the bud before some idiot tries to argue that this type of vandalism is “art” and should remain.
Of course, if you spot graffiti in Raleigh that is not on an interstate highway, contact the City of Raleigh immediately at 919-996-6001 or email .
I’ve been doing some organizing, and figured I may as well share some data with the gogo crowd. After compiling all of our dining expenses in the recent past, I put a list together based on per capita costs of our restaurant trips, and ranked them from highest to least.
This gives a fairly scientific comparison of restaurant prices from the area. There are a few surprises, no doubt, and the list is by no means an indicator of my favorite restaurants in the area. The list will hopefully allow readers to get a feel for how the costs of certain restaurants stack up against others, given fairly constant conditions. The list will live in the new tab that appears at the top of every gogo page, and will be constantly updated as we are out and about. Any thoughts or additions? Feel free to comment at the page’s comment section.
When You Go…
When venturing out to the NC Museum of Art’s Grand Opening Adventure, there are a few things you should know before going:
Wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot of walking, and some surfaces are not solid and stable. Be particularly careful when the long, winding paved path from the parking lots inexplicably becomes a gravel path. Many older patrons had difficulty in this section.
Take a camera. You can now take photos in the galleries. Don’t use your flash, though. Lighting is excellent in the galleries, so your photos will likely have better results using no flash anyway.
Preview the Grand Opening Program (.pdf). It has a complete schedule of events and highlights some key areas that should not be missed.
You will need a free, Timed Ticket to enter the new West Building this weekend. Tickets are completely sold out for the weekend with the exception of Saturday at 9pm.
Download the mp3 audio tour (121Mb) and Sound Track (21Mb) tour at home before you go. That’s right, you no longer have to rent those crappy audio players the museum offers. You can download the dialogue in advance and listen with your own mp3 player. Additionally the selected exhibits with audio commentary are accessible via cell phone. The call is a local call using normal minutes on your plan. Also be sure to charge your phone before entering.
Plan for Wifi. The facility has free wifi. Be sure to check in with Foursquare or and add #ncmaOPEN to your tweets.
Going during lunch? Plan on eating there. There is a food garden this weekend located between the West and East buildings, behind the giant tent. Vendors include Big Oak Catering, Chubby’s Tacos, Hereghty Heavenly Delicious, Neomonde, Only Burger, and more. They all take credit cards. Iris, the Museum’s new restaurant, is not open during the Grand Opening Festival.
Yes. That’s actually it. After 3 years of construction, the museum’s new West Building is finally open. The 127,000 square foot building is the new home for the museum’s permanent collection. Designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners, the $72.2million, one-story building features 362 skylights as well as 50% exterior walls of glass to provide 65,000 square feet of daylit galleries. The building’s heating and cooling systems perform at 45% over ASHRAE standards, and its roof water runs to a 90,000 gallon cistern to irrigate gardens and replenish pools.
There are five courtyards accessible from the galleries, and all are paved with loose grey gravel (so be cautious of unsure footing). The courtyards feature several black fountains in which lilies have been planted. While the design near the building is cold, stark, and industrial, the pattern fades as the properties approach the surrounding grass-covered landscapes.
The hallmark of the West building is the Rodin Court and Gardens, made possible by numerous generous contributions, none greater than those of Iris Cantor. The interior portion of this exhibit finds itself in large node connecting several galleries. Oddly the numerous displays of small Rodin pieces on waist-high platforms are reminiscent of a retail setting.
Elsewhere in the West building galleries holding American, Judaic, European, Classical, African, and Modern portions of the master collection can be found. Highlights include a new “spool of thought” on the Mona Lisa, three Monet holdings, the Standing Hanukkah Lamp, and the chilling “Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian” (Michael Richards, pictured). Be absolutely sure that you read the placard for this piece.
The renovated East Building houses the box office, special events, offices, research library, auditorium, and three renovated and expanded exhibition spaces.
There are two schools of thought on the building’s daylit design. One is that a museum design should not distract the patrons and simply provide a framework for appreciating the works in an unbiased environment. By letting as much natural light in and providing a neutral interior, the colors of the works appear as they were intended, and allow a clear interpretation. In order to provide such a light system, a one-story design is used in a setting where land is abundant.
I tend to be in the second camp. While I personally am more inspired by kinetic arts, the one static art that moves me is architecture. How about the new Taubman Museum of Art (photo) in little bitty Roanoke, VA? Pretty inspiring, eh? I saw some works by some Picasso guy in the New York Guggenheim (photo) and was completely moved by the building, but can’t tell you much about the art on the walls. OK, that’s an exaggeration. However, it should help to explain how disappointed I am with this building. Clearly the building’s strength is its interior but, to me, it looks like a Crate & Barrel store (yes, Apple ripped them off). It is the coldest building complex I’ve ever encountered, and that includes N.C. State Biochemistry classrooms and several prison facilities in which I worked.
The bleak exterior unfortunately appears to have been stricken with the overwhelming bashfulness that besets this city’s architecture. As we drive our visitors around Raleigh, we will have to omit this $75M investment as it can only be appreciated with a significant investment of time and energy.
While the West building certainly earns the spotlight as the primary facility in the grounds, there is an extreme visual disconnection with the 1970’s era East Building. By no means should the museum have felt that they were locked into the existing visual theme (colors, materials, proportions, etc.). However, the West building should have carried some new reinterpretation of the East building, no matter how minor, in order to tie the complex together visually. The architect missed a fine opportunity to make this a stronger complex than it is.
That said, the overwhelming response from dozens of patrons I encountered was that the facility is a success. The West Building is a result of an incredible amount of work by a talented crew. It is a quality building that affords patrons a quality experience on par with the country’s best art museums. For the entire State of North Carolina, it is a fantastic book with an unfortunate cover that should not be missed by its people and their visitors.
The North Carolina Museum of Art today announced their concert and film season for the upcoming summer. All events take place at the museum’s outdoor amphitheater.
4/12 Update: Now with Google goodness! Click on the Google Calendar button beside each event to add it to your Google Calendar. Another option is to click the “Calendars” tab at the top of the page and subscribe to the gogoraleigh DoIt Calendar.
Once again gogoraleigh is your home for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Schedule. It is a Google Calendar which contains all 33 First Round games. Keep following it, though, as the next round games will be added as soon as they are determined. Subscribe in Google Calendar, on your iPhone, or other capable device!
Now you can download the ultimate guide to the ACC Tournament. The 16-page booklet contains player and team statistics, schedule information, and tournament brackets. It’s must-have for any ACC basketball fan, and it’s FREE! Follow these instructions for assembly:
- Download ACCGuide2010.pdf
- Print the guide on front and back (duplex along short edge)
- Stack the pages in the following manner:
- Position Virginia in the upper left
- On top of that, add the next page so Va. Tech is in the upper left.
- On top of that, add the next page so that Miami is in the upper left.
- Finally, place the page with UNC in the upper left.
- Fold into a booklet, and staple to bind. (If you do not have a long stapler, just do your best near the top and bottom of the fold.
The final product shows the UVA/BC, WFU/Miami, GT/UNC, and Clemson/NCSU game information on facing pages.
Today the ACC released the complete schedule for the upcoming football season. In typical fashion, gogoraleigh has compiled the schedules into a formats that are easy to import into almost all calendar applications. Included are not only downloadable files for the UNC and NCSU schedules, but also files for the entire ACC conference schedule.
Google Calendar users will find that the existing feed for each of these schedules has been updated, so there is no need change anything if you are already subscribed.
TV has not had a chance to affect the schedule, so the dates are not final and times are not set.
- North Carolina Loses The Great Teacher February 9, 2015
- City Lays Markings for Currituck Obstacle Course February 4, 2015
- History Making Heels and Wolfpack Prepare for Battle January 14, 2015
- 25 Predictions for 2015 January 5, 2015
- Raleigh’s 10 Biggest Stories of 2014 January 2, 2015
- 2014: The Rain Year January 2, 2015
- Tupelo Honey Sets New Casual Standard December 1, 2014
- 2013 Predictions. A Look Back November 18, 2014
- Wicked Taco Bringing Fresh-Mex to Western Blvd November 17, 2014
- DOT Unveils I-440 Widening Plans November 12, 2014
- County Power Shift Brings Major Changes to Raleigh’s Future November 5, 2014
- Jarrett Bay Store Coming to Crabtree September 25, 2014
- FirstWatch Coming to Glenwood Avenue September 9, 2014
- Big Shindig Releases Set Times September 5, 2014
- Appearance Commission to Review Residence Inn September 3, 2014