May 22, 2012

The Javits Report

Pleated paper interior by Molo Design, Ltd.  (Photo by Karrie Jacobs.)

Yeah.  I know. It’s been a while.

I love to blog, but it’s something I generally do first thing in the morning and lately my mornings have been monopolized by Memphis, a very handsome, demanding, cattle-dog mix.  And this week we — the boyfriend, the dog, and I — are about to move from Soho to Williamsburg.

Read more →

February 2, 2012

Two in Texas

The Westin hotel  (top) at The Domain in Austin with the sign that inspired my current Metropolis column and (bottom) a view of SOL Austin from the development’s first two-story house.

I went to Austin in October to report a story for the New York Times “Home Section” that finally, finallyran in today’s paper

Read more →

January 9, 2012

Tyng in Trenton.

Anne Tyng’s ideas about geometry helped shape Louis Kahn’s  iconic Trenton Bath House.

I was reading the obits for architect Anne Tyng, who just died at the age of 91.  She was a theorist who is best known for having worked closely with the architect Louis Kahn, the father of her daughter,  Alexandra.

I read this paragraph in the New York Times obit:

Kahn broke with Oscar Stonorov in 1947,

Read more →

January 5, 2012

Queens Goes Vegas?

An Arquitectonica rendering of the proposed Aqueduct convention center and casino.

The proposal floated in Governor [Andrew] Cuomo’s state-of-the-state address yesterday to transplant NYC’s convention center to Queens strikes me, surprisingly, as the first good idea I’ve heard from my state government in a long, long time.  In short, the idea is to let a Malaysian company, the Genting Group,

Read more →

October 17, 2011

What I Didn’t Say About the Future

Two streetscapes in IJBurg, the newly built section of Amsterdam.

My story about the city of the future, which wound up mostly being about Almere in the Netherlands, is  in the current issue of Travel + Leisure.  And while Almere,  founded in the 1970s,  is  an extraordinary open-air museum exhibiting successive decade’s visionary schemes, it leaves something to be desired as a city.

Read more →

September 26, 2011

Somewhat Still, Definitely Not Silent

The view of Lower Manhattan from Fort Jay on Governors Island and the view of Ground Zero from the 46th floor of 7WTC.

Initially my interest in stillspotting nyc, a project by the Guggenheim Museum, was motivated by the research I’ve done for my book on silence.  My sense is that finding reservoirs of silence within the city is more essential than going off to some remote,

Read more →

September 11, 2011


Lower Manhattan, photographed by Ann Rhoney.

What I’ve noticed in recent days is that a lot of people have found my website by searching for 9-11 photos.  I don’t have any.  I prefer to commemorate the life of the World Trade Center, rather than its death.  I prefer to remember the Twin Towers as an out-sized architectural conceit that, by the time of its destruction,

Read more →

September 9, 2011

Notes on Reality

the transfinite by Ryoji Ikeda at the Park Avenue Armory (top) and Rainbow City by Friends With You near the High Line (bottom).

In part because Travel + Leisure asked me to figure out what the term “city of the future” might mean at this juncture (see the upcoming October issue) and in part because Metropolis asked me to review Talk to Me at MoMA (in the September issue,

Read more →

August 9, 2011

Regarding Doug Garofalo

The Korean New York Presbyterian Church of Queens.  (Photo by Archidose.)

Yesterday morning, I glanced at the weekly email newsletter from The Architect’s Newspaper and saw Doug Garofalo’s name.  Without really reading the headline, I clicked on the link and was stunned to find myself staring at his obituary.

Doug died young.  He was  about to turn 53. 

Read more →