Reading - NYC-style

I saw this guy reading FT right at the southern entrance to Central Park. It seemed very much like he could focus on the paper though there were cabs speeding behind him, horses clumping by, and tourists galore. This is the beauty of NYC, after all.

Time Warner Building's Front Porch

Holiday cheer

It's of course that "dead" week between holidays, which is a very lively week for the city. Now that I'm working in Midtown, I've been meaning to take photos of the new and improved Columbus Circle. I still don't much care for the Time Warner Center interior, but Columbus Circle has come alive, and that in turn has changed the "front porch" of the Time Warner building itself. There's so much activity there now - it's recaptured some of the energy from when Columbus Circle was a crossroads for many.

Happy New Year everyone!


More on luxury loos

Hard to resist. This WC1 loo doesn't qualify as totally public: though anyone can pony up the 5 pounds required for use, I would bet that there are guardians that will keep out the riff-raff.

Two more are coming in 2007, with 10 total luxury water closets by the end of 2008.

Art for the public spaces

Beautiful to look at.

Falling Gardens
and Volume.

BTW, we stopped by 11 Spring Street. What a scene. The exterior of the building looked beautiful, but the line wrapped around the outside and there was no way we were going to get in. Also, the poor organizer kept having to run outside and tell people to get out of the street because the show would be shut down by the police. Too bad - the building looks fantastic from the middle of and across the street.

photos from this weekend here and here and older photos here.


This Place Is...

Just found this new-ish blog about "people-centered place design."


TONIGHT! Green Apple Talk on the Urban Environment

It's going to be fun! Buzz Poole has written about design, music and playing cards - what else typifies our pop culture right now? Come on, admit it, you play poker (hearts, bridge) once a week with your hipster friends. If that's your community, hey, I like it. Also, read more about Alex Marshall, I especially liked his reflective pieces on how places are shaped by the way we live, which is one of the many topics the discussion will cover.

Strand Bookstore, tonight, 7PM, FREE.


Number one

This month's post about public toilets generated the highest number of comments ever. There is something universal about number one, I suppose, so here's another innovation in that area to whet the appetite. Victoria, BC is investigating the potential use of night-time public urinals. Sure beats going in the phone booth, a tactic I've seen way too many times in New York.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Portland, OR tries out "shared space" - and successfully, it seems.

X marks the holidays

Readers of this blog will know that one of my favorites ways to shop is at markets. There seems to be more of them this year - actually, too many of them to go to all. On Saturday, we hit Bustcraftacular with the ambitious goal of crossing three names off our list, a goal thwarted because we were stuck in the aisles as one would be on Sixth Avenue during the Greenwich Village Halloween parade.

Rampant popularity and its implications on my own shopping experience aside, I'm just thrilled that markets have taken hold like this in New York. There are a couple of good markets or market-like settings that are ongoing through the year: The Market NYC and Edge*nyNOHO. (For some reason the holiday markets at Union Square and Bryant Park feel touristy to me.)

Now let's up the ante with street food, especially during this time of year when you are out and about in colder weather and bearing many more bags than average. Yesterday we ate our way through Chinatown: mei fun, egg rolls, hot sweet tofu, milk tea, and pastry balls, all from street or kiosk vendors. Yum! Chinatown is the only neighborhood where I find it easy to do a few courses like that.


Green Apple Talk: The Urban Environment

Don't just read about it: come out to meet and hear a few urbanists bat around the latest on sustainability and the urban environment next Tuesday at the Strand for the upcoming Green Apple Talk. I will be on the panel as well as Alex Marshall, author of Beneath the Metropolis: the Secret Lives of Cities and Buzz Poole, editor of Green Design. The Green Apple Talk series is hosted by best-selling author Bryan Keefer.

Green Apple Talk: The Urban Environment

The Strand
828 Broadway at 12th Street
7PM, Tuesday Dec 12

Update: In the spirit of the evening, after the panel I'm heading over to the Green Drinks holiday party. It's a full green evening.

(I've been so amiss on this blog because blogger has been so temperamental and I am going through with the re-design! hurray. Thanks for your patience with the semi-silence...)