Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
"dear brother i miss u i hope u r. healthy do u get marred i wish u hapyy new year mery xmas i hope to see u soon in jerusalem"
By her name the birds responding in the morning
My spirit united with your spirit
As the spirit carries the seeds of love to you and planted
With sunrise I kiss every piece of your land
Full of promise I will stay on your love Jerusalem
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23
Favorite foods: soup with fresh sheep meat
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
"Father John P. Meier, the author of three magisterial volumes under the somewhat misleading tile A Marginal Jew (with a much-needed fourth volume to come), accurately terms Jesus 'a Jewish genius.' One can go further: Jesus was the greatest of Jewish geniuses. It is as though the Yahwist or J Writer somehow was fused with King David, with the Prophets from Amos through Malachi, with the Wisdom authors of Job and Koheleth (Ecclesiastes), with the sages from Hillel through Akiba, and with the long sequence that goes from Maimonides through Spinoza on to Freud and Kafka. Jesus is the Jewish Socrates, and surpasses Plato's mentor as the supreme master of dark wisdom."
Ah...how different our worlds are, Harold Bloom. Though you trust no covenant, belated or otherwise, in the darkness where you beat your chest I bask in its light.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
In response to the World's Worst Urban Places and Spaces Pool on Flickr, someone has started the World's Best Urban Places and Spaces Pool.
Is it just me, or do I think some of the images on both of these pools could belong just as well to the other? This is a perfect visual commentary on why one can't really be sure what makes the 'best' or 'worst' of an urban anything. Urban is urban and it is disturbing or exciting depending on the time of day, your mood, your frame of reference.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
"The trouble with this nationhood, however, is that whereas before, I was defined by my education, my job, my ideas, my character - and, yes, my nationality too - now I feel stripped of all that. I am nobody because I am not a person any more. I am one of 4.5 million Croats."
(commenting on her experience of Croatian Nationalism during the Yugoslav wars)
WEIGHTLESS AND BODILESS
Some faces we dismiss lightly, colour by colour we peel away
the stretch of pain within the eye, wearied by dousing.
We do not see the eyes of those slowly leaving,
we will not recall that they had eaten,
what they spoke of to themselves.
We ended all the tales without them.
We shall gather deep voices, waning to silence,
for those remaining, see them home,
to a neglect more sensuous.
The whole space we shall draw behind us
to weightless bodiless words, words
made rich by the first of their meanings.
In them all our abandoned landscapes grow dark and ripen,
all those beautiful properties sloping towards travellers, shadows and distances.
Now, right now, all we can do is rise and move away.
Lacking the strength to forget, even one more time.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
It is overcast outside, but I'm enjoying a mentally sunny day. Which means I'm deep in thought pondering the fate of all humanity...Seriously, that is what gets me really going in the morning.
Over at BLDGBlog, a thoughtful post contemplates Server Rooms and the Future of Humanism...Seriously, they are threatening our existance (and we're not talking just mentally)!
Over at Matthew's House Project there is an interview with film writer/critic Doug Cummings on the re-release of Blade Runner...one of my all time faves. Just the kind of tasty tart in the morning to get all my apocalyptic synapses firing. In my opinion Blade Runner and ET were the last films to understand what Sci-Fi was about, prodding the depths of the human empathy bug in mankind's encounter with the Other.
But Cummings makes a more down to earth point on the difference between Blade Runner and contemporary sci-fi:
"The one thing I really noticed was what a historical last gasp Blade Runner was for pre-digital cinema. Pretty much everything in the film is either live action or props or models, and it just sort of resounds with an overwhelming physicality that’s missing from so many contemporary films that depend so heavily on digital effects. I don’t know…you watch today’s films…a lot of them have this sort of ethereal, weightless, artificiality to them, because everything is so digital..."
I couldn't agree more.
These two posts beg the question: If our history is now digital...Does that mean that it is becoming weightless? ...hmmm...
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I saw this post at Sprawled Out and couldn't help having a great chuckle to start my morning.
You smart growth people need to lighten up...It was funny, ok?
Sheez....This is why I call myself a 'camp urbanist' - unlike the CNU folks, camp urbanists appreciate a sense of humor. (That and there's Plaza Central - an environment no New Urbanist could dream up).
Monday, December 3, 2007
Digital Urban has organized the World's Worst Urban Places and Spaces Pool on Flickr. Above is the first example uploaded showing a scene from Manchester, UK...
Looking through this photo set, I can't help but to ask myself, So, what is it about these places that I find so alluring...in fact, beautiful? Is it my love affair with failed modernist housing projects?
I doubt it. In our era of revivalization aesthetics, we only see the hope these places represent. A speculator sees artist lofts and dollar signs. An urban designer already begins composing 'Before/After' images in his mind. Interestingly, we are sublimating the primitive idealism of the original designers of these worlds in the push toward revitalizing the core...This is the new hope for the postmodern (modern nostalgic) designer: we are able to peer at the morose carcasses of yesterday's failures to recast entire cities as regenerated, glittering, Bobo New Jerusalems in the post-apocalyptic world.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
As many of us with offices inhabited by recent transplants from NY know, part of Charlotte's success has been predicated on the continuing demise of Buffalo, NY. Well, an Iraqi developer is hoping to change things around! Check it out: Buffalo's Field of Dreams.
If I were an investor I'd definitely be exploring every nook and cranny of Buffalo...Not because I believe the tide is about to change (I don't think a skyscraper will do the trick), but because I actually do believe in the power of place and the long vision of a community with staying power. It's an opportunity to get in the door in the kind of cool places that are out of reach in most cities.