Monthly Archive: April 2015

Jaw-Dropping Modern Homes in Rio de Janeiro

Modern apartment in Rio de Janeiro

When he’s not poring over the blueprints for residential and commercial projects, architect Felippe Crescenti works in the theater and on film sets—and he brings his savoir-faire to this cozy two-bedroom apartment. The apartment’s open-plan living area—and its picture windows facing a patch of tropical foliage—makes the space feel larger than it is. An Arco lamp complements a sofa by Micasa.

Uber Is Suing the City of Houston

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

From New York to Seattle, Uber recently celebrated Earth Day with city-specific promotions such as discounts and competitions in which winners will receive free transit passes and free Uber rides. Meanwhile, from a less fuzzy, more battlefront angle, Uber’s suing the city of Houston. The on-demand-ride app company hopes to prevent the release of records revealing how many Uber drivers are licensed there and how the company operates in the state.

The Huffington Post reports that the records — journalists requested them, prompting the suit — would reveal how Uber “skirt regulations” that apply to typical taxi services, as the company revs up to move deeper into the Texas market and reach 27 million potential customers. Uber reps say releasing the records would give an advantage to competitors such as Lyft.

“Uber is a private company and as such, information about driver partners is considered confidential and proprietary,” Uber spokeswoman Debbee Hancock told HuffPost.

One of the journalists asking for the info counters: “Nobody is asking for profit margins or anything like that. It’s very basic information. There’s a public safety concern, in that the whole rationale for a city being able to regulate vehicles for hire is so the public can know who’s on the road.”

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report on the “sharing economy” noted that client trust in such services — or lack of it — is a major factor for companies who are chasing after business in what PwC predicts will be a $335 billion industry by 2025.

Uber’s legal team never rests. Both it and Lyft are facing separate trials in California over whether drivers should be considered contractors or employees.

D.C. Metro Funding Could Get Sliced in Half

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Federal funding for the Metro in Washington, D.C., could get cut in half thanks to a new bill spearheaded by some Congressional Republicans via the House Appropriations Committee. Even though $150 million has been designated for Metro maintenance and development in the District since 2008, this latest move would allocate only $75 million, according to the Washington Post.

The proposed cut comes after a report showing a decline in ridership for the first time in 15 years was released last year by WMATA. The decline was attributed to an increase in telecommuting and fewer federal jobs. (New York’s MTA recently touted that its subway ridership numbers were at a 65-year high.)

The proposed bill would be in direct conflict with the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA), which promised $1.5 billion for the Metro over 10 years beginning in 2008. Until now, Republicans had not controlled both houses since PRIIA was initiated.

Some House members believe the cuts would be a disservice to the region’s transit riders.

“Providing anything less than the federal commitment of $150 million would jeopardize rider safety and the successful partnership with Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia to fund the purchase of new rail cars and vital safety improvements throughout the system,” eight House members said in a statement.

Numerous Metro accidents over the years have raised safety concerns among riders.

“It really feels like a betrayal of trust,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) told the Post. “It also is a failure to recognize that Metro is the nation’s transit system. How does Washington, D.C., the capital of the free world, run without a significant, sustained investment in Metro?”

10 Modern Design Favorites That Are Made in America

Classic midcentury lounge chair with elegant wood grain

Designed by Benjamin Cherner, the Cherner Lounge Arm Chair is defined by its welcoming, curved shape that recalls the original 1958 Cherner chair design by Benjamin’s father, Norman Cherner. The molded plywood shell, solid bentwood arm, and laminated wood base flow fluidly into one another, which gives the lounge chair an organic, calming sensibility. With a pronounced woodgrain and unobtrusive shape, the chair is an excellent accompaniment to modern interiors. Each chair is made in the Cherner studio in Connecticut.