When was the last time you heard a landscape architect say “I don’t do residential. I don’t do suburban. I work in degraded urban spaces.” Signe Nielsen opened her talk entitled “Optimistic Landscapes” for the NYBG Landscape Design Portfolio Series with that opening salvo. Nielsen spoke about 3 projects: Hunts Point Landing, The Lowline and Pier 55. If you have ever gone to the Hunts Point Market; you know it’s hard to navigate, ugly and on first glance has no livable space. […]
People ask me what’s like at the American Academy in Rome (AAR). I hope this photo blog gives the reader some idea of the physical environment that makes AAR special. Although the building and its grounds at the Academy are amazing. The most important part of being at AAR is the time to work, meet other artists and writers and explore the never-ending layers that make up Rome.
Nico Vascellari “I walk in the woods, and collect the nests which have fallen from the trees. Then I start disassembling them, twig by twig, straw by straw…Nests are the most intimate, custom-made houses one can imagine.” What I liked about going to the MAXXI : it was full of work by artists I did not know. These photographs do not do justice to Vascellari’s work, which are life size pieces from birds nests… they are a kind of calligraphy. […]
I drive to work everyday. If I see a pot hole I avoid driving over it, if possible. The really bad ones are fixed within a couple of weeks. The rest wait for the pot hole fixing time in the NYC. I know Americans and Italians view infrastructure differently. Visiting Rome, for the second time in four years, the same pot holes exist; now they are bigger and more dangerous. The sidewalks, if they exist, are uneven and cracked by […]
To go or not to go was not the question. It was GO. The Perennial Plant Association Symposium is a different kind of conference. There is an atmosphere of camaraderie and friendliness, that I have not experienced at other meetings. This is the PPA’s unique niche. The schedule of events contains the usual days of talks complemented by exhaustive tours to private gardens; not estate gardens, but the backyard gardens of plant collectors and garden designers. There is a kind […]
Same old same old. Twice a day, I walk up and down the same three blocks on my way to the drug store, grocery store or parking my car. First day back from Iceland, I started reading On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation by Victoria Horowitz. It was the following sentences on page 3 that made me realize I was sleepwalking. ” In this book, I aimed to knock myself awake. I took that walk “around […]
With a population of only 300,000 people, Icelanders are on linguistic alert. Everywhere else in the world one can say computer and it is universally understood. Iceland is different. A computer is a fusion of tala the word for number and volva the word for (prophetess). The Icelandic word for computer means prophetess of numbers. Another example is the word video which in Icelandic is mynband: translates to picture band. The word helicopter which is universally understood as copter in most parts […]
When you rent a car in Iceland, there is a warning on the glove compartment. “This car is not allowed in the highlands. Please note you are not covered for damages to the underbody or chassis damages caused when driving in water/river or driving off road. You will need a special insurance waiver for damages caused by ash/sandstorm “. There is nothing in the above about sheep running down the road. Coming back from the Kerid Crater we were waylaid by […]