Friday afternoon: it is happening as I type this. At the office from which I’m writing this post, my co-workers are celebrating Friday afternoon by enjoying Cuban food from a nearby spot (spoiler alert: the consensus is that plantains are delicious); I am celebrating it by trying to figure out an unobtrusive way to watch the New York Mets’ spring training tilt against the Florida Marlins from my cubicle (spoiler alert: there isn’t one) and, for whatever reason, considering getting some Cuban food. On the off chance that things are similarly un-hectic at your place of work, I’m going to take a break from my usual gnarly riffage on green building issues of the moment to single out a nice, somewhat lengthy feature by the New York Observer’s Roland Li that makes for an interesting afternoon read. The Observer’s headline is right up there in the gbNYC headline — it’s the part in quotes — but if I may be permitted another spoiler alert, I’ll mention that the “eternal real estate challenge” to which Li refers is the complicated, perma-fraught relationship between New York City real estate and energy consumption.
Much of what Li discusses — the various different ways in which buildings and individuals can and cannot control energy consumption; why New Yorkers pay so much per capita for energy; the basic economic and logistical realities behind how our energy/electrical systems function — is stuff that we’ve gone over in piecemeal in various posts at gbNYC. But Li does an admirable job of bringing it all together, and of outlining one of the bigger challenges in green development. That energy issues are kind of inevitably among the more boring challenges in the field — for raw, visceral excitement, they can’t hold a candle to insulation — makes it all the more impressive that Li’s piece is a pretty enjoyable read. So, yeah: enjoy that and enjoy your weekend. I’ll resume my awkward soapbox perch next week. For now, I’m going to go get some plantains.