Author: William Hsu

Los Angeles – No to Measure S

Dear Friends in the City of Los Angeles, For those of you who are residents and are able to vote, there is a ballot measure to take an important stand against in next week’s local elections: Measure S. L.A. Times, Governor Brown, Mayor Garcetti, and many others have came out against this measure, (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) which will basically prohibit development in the City for the next two years and make it extremely difficult in the years after (to be explained below). For those of you that don’t know, the City of Los Angeles like the rest of California, is in the midst of a housing crisis. With a vacancy rate hovering around 2%, the supply of housing is extremely tight and housing costs are skyrocketing. What most people don’t realize is that at around $56,000, the median wage in Los Angeles is actually not that high, yet average home sale prices have now soared above half a million. That is lunacy. Renters are also suffering, with many paying more than 30% of …

Reimagined 3016

The world was wicked. They burned the ground and slowly chocked everyone and cooked everything with pillars of invisible smoke. One day, a tribe decided they must call the rain to wash the air and wash the land, so the rain came and never stopped. The water rose and rose, slowly and steadily ate the earth. At first the water was so foul, everything that touched it died. People tried to run and tried to hide but there was nowhere to go. Water became everything, drowning everywhere. Even the tribe that called the rain vanished under the water. It was many suns before the water went away. There was a woman. When the rain first came, she took her son to a mighty mountain that was the only place that was to be spared from the water. It was in the East. When they started climbing the mountain, a landslide blocked everyone behind from following them. The woman and her young son found a hidden valley, full of animals who escaped and full of trees, flowers, and plants. …

Analyzing Density Bonus Developments in the City of Los Angeles

On February 22, 2016, I started the GIS Specialization Course with UC Davis through Coursera. For those of you who have paid attention, I have started the final course of the specialization: Geospatial Analysis Project. As with other Coursera specializations, this is a Capstone project that is the culmination of the previous courses. For this project, I have to propose, design, analyze, and present a geospatial analysis project from start to finish. This week requires the creation of my project proposal, which is as follows (if any of you have suggestions on data sources and/or analysis, please feel free to comment): What is Density Bonus? Density Bonus is a program through which a developer can apply for a project with a unit density greater than that allowed by the current land use zoning, as calculated from unit floor area and floor area ratio (FAR). In exchange for the higher density, the developer must set aside a certain number of units to be affordable: this is by restricting the rent levels or sale prices to targeted income levels …

The Bus (in America)

It’s always darker in here. There are days without light. Even those loud colors are subdued on the upholstery. Then there are the bangs, shocks and impacts, direct hits of the road rattling up backs and spines. Rain dampens the floor with sun baked crumbs, gums and who knows what left behind, left forgotten. — The morning swell through the doors of untold routines and responsibilities. These weary eyes and ears time for signs to disembark. Yes, all is trapped, on routes dictated by stops. Outside the window, single passengers throttle by. It struggles to navigate the sea of more nimble cars. It struggles to maintain a timely pace. — Waiting could mean five minutes or twenty, with a near miss. Sometimes, a short sprint is required. It doesn’t wait. A suit and tie is rare among sweaters and hoodies, just as an unwashed shirt always lingers in the corners. It’s a decisive non-decision, collectively by those whose only way to get somewhere, is trapped together with some bodies. – Fu Lien Hsu Oct 27, 2016

Unexpectedly

Goes by hand Hand that used to be sand. It goes to a dozen numbers Around. Watching it Slowly. Turning away Quickly. Yet It brings everything. The one thing that matters. To be suddenly caught Standstill. Like the wind it knocks Over. Or, pull the metaphorical rug Under.

A Short About Policy Making

Have you ever wondered about the city you live in: its history, its planning, its development? The Guardian has an incredible 50-part series on the history of urbanization from around the world. The more you read about cities, the more they become a metaphor for life – patience, plans, foundations, and changes. Any sort of urban development can takes years and decades. The saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Furthermore, even the best laid plans can be easily swept aside by unforeseen circumstances or self-created consequences. Yet, without plans and goals, a city will cease to exist. Therein lies the paradox of urban planning (and of life) – each action results in an infinite possibility of reactions. You want to capture the current circumstances and anticipate future change, but it is always an impossibility. You create that which you hope to contain, and yet what you hope to contain is based on projections, assumptions, and visions that can easily fall apart in an instant… The building of cities always serves as an expression of the political …

To Remember To Forget

A face without name As I walk on a path in the hills Counting the rocks Under the beating sun I cannot remember I remember only to forget That face What’s the name? There are memories Faint visions but the face The face is always sharp In focus Each step I take I chew on words Ruminate on these images Fading A figure waves In the distance As I look up from the rocks And stop counting my steps I was so close But I already forget What was it that I tried So hard to remember? We walk towards the sunset Down the hill Into the forest And wait for the stars. – Fu Lien Hsu June 28, 2016

Half-Year Review – All that Work 就說到做到

About four months ago, I wrote about goals to achieve by the time my birthday rolled around. Well, my birthday came and went on the 8th of June and here I am today, looking back and looking forward. Before we start, big shout out to my friends with their surprise cakes. First, let’s review my goals and how much I completed: Learn Spanish – I am at 50% fluency on Duolingo! Learn to write Chinese – I am halfway there. Still in progress Complete Data Science Specialization with Coursera – Completed! Complete Half of the GIS Specialization – Yup, got them certificates! Complete a site suitability study – Done, I actually completed two but only one is public on LoopNet! Check under attachments. Write and submit poetry to Poetry Foundation – Done, but haven’t heard back yet. Work-out regularly – Almost everyday and I run on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Also started bouldering and biking from Venice Beach to Santa Monica. Practice violin everyday – Doing that as well, though been on a break the last couple …

Headwinds of Life

They come, resistance. Pressure shifts, moving from high to low. Sometimes, a breeze. Other times, a tempest. How did the pressure build? Have you experienced the winds in a storm? It blows you back. If you try to fly a kite, the string may snap. Even trees bow or crack. So do you hide? You can turn around and make them tailwinds. If you are ok with moving in a different direction? For now. Or just wait. For how long? Either way, you will arrive. They say, “All roads lead to Rome.”

Words about Life

Are you nervous? Yes. Are you scared? Yes. So why? I don’t know. Why what? Why do you keep going? There is hope. There is change. Do things really change? Always. In this second, you already are not who you were. So that’s hope? No. Hope is believing in and building for that change. If you believe, then why are you nervous and scared? There is the unknown. We all fear the unknown. What is unknown? You never know what the future holds. Then what do you do? You hope.