Razing Calais: This is not a Plan

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

Whatever you may think about the refugees stranded in Calais, one thing is blazingly clear.  The powers that be have no idea what to do about it.  Their actions if anything indicate a complete lack of sympathy for the plight of their fellow human beings, and worse, a total lack of imagination about what to […]

Migration & Identity art exhibit, Hanoi

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

A friend sent me an article about two Vietnamese artists living in Berlin whose exhibition, Migration and Identity, is being hosted by the Goethe Institute in Hanoi, Vietnam.  “In 2014 about 16.4 million people or 20 per cent of the German population had an immigrant background,” the article states.  Vietnamese immigration to Germany has been […]

Calais and the Law

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

As the situation in Calais staggers into chaos and worse – a complete disregard for human rights and human life (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/29/french-authorities-begin-clearance-of-part-of-calais-jungle-camp), I have to ask myself where is the law?  Where is the order?  Instead of an orderly force of police protecting this camp, there are many reports of the police themselves attacking the refugees. […]

Alan Rickman, romantic hero

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

This is not about cities.  But it is about a human being who inhabited one.  The news of Alan Rickman’s death was as shocking to me as if he were a close friend.  I cannot explain that except to say that I loved his work.  Even without knowing what a cosmically wonderful and generous friend […]

Cities & migration

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

A big topic to explore.  Vox gave an excellent breakdown of the refugee crisis in numbers in a December 2015 blog, http://www.vox.com/2015/12/30/10684672/in-2015-one-of-122-persons-worldwide-was-a-refugee.  It ended by saying, “That’s the size of the challenge that the world faces today with displacement — and with no clear solution in sight.”  Fine for a blog post but cities have to […]

Dance, skate, enjoy

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Blog | One Comment

There are so many wonderful things about this short video it’s hard to know where to start.  It would be easy to look at this portrait of skaters in Golden Gate Park as another freaky San Francisco “event” but that would miss the point of this tribute to dancing, skating, and the human spirit.  Definitely […]

The Laundromat & Caitlyn Jenner

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in Blog | No Comments

As I was stuffing my sheets into the machine at my local laundromat in Harlem today I noticed behind me an older African-American woman wearing a dashing amethyst colored sequin top under her warm jacket (it’s freezing in New York) tending to her clothes.  I told her I thought the top was terrific and she […]

New York has a real subway

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Blog | No Comments

David Bacon writes a great photo essay about the New York subway, a love letter to the subway in fact which some may find hard to believe.  Sometimes it takes an outsider to remind you.  Have a look:  http://portside.org/2015-05-21/streets-new-york-subway

Smart Cities & People

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Blog | No Comments

The Smart Cities concept is great for joining up systems.  The companies that promote the Smart Cities concept are also selling their technology.  Nothing wrong with that but important to keep in mind.  Efficiency matters.  Cities need to save money and find better ways to serve their citizens.  But as I watched the troubles in […]

Preserving Beirut: Ruin & Revival

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Blog | No Comments

In a fascinating article, David Lepaska vividly describes the current state of ruin and revival in Beirut.  The impulse to save the remaining 20 percent of historically valuable buildings has come from the people who live there and with support from private money and local government cooperation.  This is a must read piece.  http://nextcity.org/features/view/beirut-downtown-historic-preservation-cities-middle-east-cities