Monday, January 31, 2011

Soho Cast in Iron

A tasty little morsel of pig iron slaughtered for the benefit of well-fed urbanism. The table is set and we are ready to eat.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Brown Angell

After residing peacefully at 147 Angell Street for almost 140 years, Brown University decided the Lippet-Guild house was in the way of where students needed to walk. So up on a trailer it went and moved 450 feet over to the corner of Brown and Angell. 

A good save and it  looks magnificent in its new, more prominent location. And it was able to get away from the noisy new neighbor of a building by Diller Scofidio, which is not worth sketching.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Liberty from Battery

A lovely Labor Day in Battery Park, enjoying the jauntiness of the ferry, Lady Liberty, and the distant cranes.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Salt in Battery

A non-labored Labor Day stroll along the many parks on the west side of Manhattan starting at the tip in Battery Park. This solid, curved, cut granite bench / light is evidence of civic beauty and practicality. I was temped to linger, but I had many miles to go before I ate, drank and slept.

Monday, January 17, 2011

In-Between in P-Town

Provincetown on Cape Cod is a unique mash-up of Old Yankees, Portuguese fishermen, taffy-chewing tourists, self-described and actual artists, flamboyant queens and bare-chested steroidal beefcakes. All of this happens on the great parade route of Commercial Street. Unlike new developments on the water, Provincetown turns its ass to the water, initially to put its business end harborside, now to effectively corral the daily circus that traipses its narrow backbone.
Breaking many rules of current design, the street has narrow, cluttered sidewalks, one-way traffic and little on-street parking. But somehow this end-of-the-world party manages to dance its way along, sneaking peaks between the buildings to the eternal blue of liquid and air.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Economic Freedom in Bonet

In all the words that have been spilled about how Haiti can 'fix' itself, the wisest are about economic self-sufficiency. This has been achieved at various points in the past, but rice subsidies, killing pigs suspected (wrongly) of swine flu, and many other well intentioned schemes have taken away the most basic component of a vibrant Haitian economy - making and selling stuff.

Haitians are great entrepreneurs and should be allowed to sell to each other (and abroad with garment assembly) easily without distortions in the market that make it hard for a rice farmer to compete with cheap Arkansas rice (thanks Prez Clinton - who at least feels bad about it now - and Senator Blanch Lincoln - who must not feel bad because she continues to support this).

One interesting development is making it easy for Haitians to buy and sell things using cell phones (widely used). This makes it safer to not have to carry around cash (which was reported to day as one of the factors in our country of lower rates of crime.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fond of Parisien

This sturdy house on a back road of Fond Parsien Haiti represents a rebuke to those who disparage Haitians as unable to build strong houses that are more than shacks. There were many still-standing concrete reinforced houses with excellent verandas and interesting details around windows made with little more than the contrast between smooth and rough stucco and colors of the surrounding hills.
Nestled amongst clusters of cacti and shaded by Dr Suessian trees, this abode would make anyone Fond of this version of Paris.