Lower Manhattan as seen from South Slope, Brooklyn.
When I look out my bedroom window, this is what I see. This morning it occurred to me that, of the all the places I’ve lived in New York City (10 by my count…I may be forgetting a couple), this is the only one with a view of the World Trade Center.
20 years ago today, I wasn’t living in NYC at all.
Little Island is neo-Olmstedian. (Photo: Karrie Jacobs)
Last week I rode a CitiBike from southernmost South Slope, Brooklyn to the newest attraction on the Hudson River waterfront, that Thomas Heatherwick conceived/ Barry Diller funded spectacle. And I found Little Island to be the most perfect symbol imaginable of our present moment. If anyone asked me what our relationship with the natural world is like in the third decade of the 21st century,
“And then, in what may be the strangest drive of the trip, I head west and south to Mt. Rushmore, accompanied along the way by a swarm of bikers that grows thicker as I get closer to the monument until, on the final approach road I feel like a float in a parade. In my Volkswagen, I am the only non-biker in a stream miles long. I pull into a concrete parking garage that works like a woofer,
Today is the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. It’s not an event I often think about, despite being the only time I’ve ever been anywhere near a live volcano. What I remember about it is this: on the afternoon of the eruption, I was riding the bus from my apartment on Seattle’s Capitol Hill to Pioneer Square, south of downtown. I was on my way to a print shop where,
The New Jersey Meadowlands and Turnpike at their most poetic.
Because the future of Curbed is a bit unclear, I decided to go through everything I’ve written for them over the past five years — during Kelsey Keith’s tenure as editor-in-chief — and make copies of all my stories. In the process, I reread it all.
The Kingston, NY Shopping Mall District during the pandemic.
I’d be lying if I said my fascination with walking in places where pedestrians are not exactly welcome began in late 2018 when, on assignment for Curbed, I journeyed on foot to LaGuardia Airport, accompanied by photographer Stanley Greenberg. The truth is that I’ve spent most of my life fascinated by non-places, the portions of the man made environment for which no one has bothered to craft an image,
What I wish we could do right now is dust off our pussy hats and pour into the streets to protest Trump’s criminally dysfunctional response to the coronavirus pandemic. And we also need to loudly condemn the things he’s doing while he thinks we’re too distracted by our dying neighbors to notice (like his Friday evening firing of Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community watchdog who informed Congress of the Ukraine whistleblower’s complaint).
A glimpse of the Oculus, February 2016, during a hardhat tour of the complex.
When I started Tweeting in 2013, I stopped blogging.
I think many of us — maybe most of us — did. We moved from hammering out thoughts on our own websites to making quick hits on social media. Whatever blogs remained were professionalized, less about the exploration of half-formed ideas and more about monetizing them.
Back in October, when I walked into the small gallery at MoMA that housed an exhibition called “Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter,” the thing that caught my attention was a Dorothea Lange photo called Young Mother, a Migrant taken in California in 1937. It’s not the same one you see above, but similar. It was a reminder that once, in our own country, millions of people became what relief organizations now call Internally Displaced Persons [IDPs].
One of the things I’ve been working on lately is trying to understand Prospect Park for what it is, a work of engineered nature. I’ve been trying to figure out how to write about a place I visit daily, how to analyze a familiar landscape that was willed into being, conjured from swampy ground and farmland,