Image from flickr

I'm off for a week for the woods and waters of Maine, and we are not bringing our craptops, so this means there will be no posts for one week. Not that I have been posting much lately anyway.

I'm excited to come back fresh and get working again on Cityskip and This Place Is... when I return. In the meantime, here are some things to read/listen/watch:

Car, bike and pedestrian advocates debate on the Brian Lehr Show

A montage of different acts from Make Music New York at Street Films.

An example of the Playground Fence.

A new film about land development in Texas, The Unforeseen.

Make Music Day

Happy Summer Solstice - it's Make Music Day, an international event. You can catch some free music today, all around the city. Here's the complete listing. We'll be playing a short set (or two) at the Liz Christy Community Garden around 6 PM.


Street Food Cartography

I got really excited when I saw the title of this page, but then I realized that it is a narrative cartography - there isn't an actual map. Still, these are winning street food vendors, so check it out.


Endless drawing

I'm not supposed to be posting anymore, but I keep finding interesting stuff. Here's an activity map on a city-level - and multi-city level! One person's yearlong trips across the city...


I couldn't resist - this is fabulous! RiverGlow - technology that detects pollutants in the water, and is beautiful.

via inhabitat

I like the mission statement of The Living, the architecture group responsible for the idea and execution.

Communal ovens

I have been consumed by the upcoming move, so will not be writing as much until next week. And then it's a week in Maine, where I'll be totally offline.

Meanwhile, learn a little bit more about the importance of food in public spaces. Food is such a connector between people. This includes production and consumption.

The NYTimes writes about a Morrocan oven that is open to all.

But did you know that North America had its own version of such a thing? In Toronto, Jutta Mason sparked the revitalization of Dufferin Grove Park by building a community bread oven.

And for more tales of food, community and spaces, visit the Kitchen Sisters' show Hidden Kitchens.


Borough Hall

I'm moving to Brooklyn in a week or so - very excited to be back in Brooklyn! Though of course I love my neighborhood right now too. (BTW, if you are around NoHo on June 21, we'll be playing at the Liz Christy Garden.)

My go-to subway station will be Jay Street/Borough Hall. I've been pleasantly surprised at how active Borough Hall is. Doesn't this entrance to the Supreme Court building feel great with the market in front? It makes me feel like the government actually does work for me.

Borough Hall public market

There was a good amount of sitting when I was there.

Borough Hall sitting 2

But look at the cars. This area was sectioned off so people could walk through it and it feels pedestrianized, but it was no fun to walk through with all the cars taking up prime space.

borough Hall lots of cars

Though you could certainly walk through this area, everyone stayed on the sidewalk.

Borough Hall cars


Willoughby pedestrian plaza

I last visited Willoughby Plaza in February, when it was a barren space.

In the springtime, it has picked up a lot of energy.

The combination of sun and shade help it so much. (It was between 3 and 4 PM when I took these pictures).

Willoughby Plaza shade and sun

Willoughby Plaza stroller

One thing that signals a successful space is when people can share space - even a single table, and yet have a sense of privacy. How many conversations can you pick out in this photo (especially in the table to the far left)?

Willoughby Plaza conversations

Willoughby is so successful that the seating has been expanded, now wrapping around the corner.

Willoughby Plaza extension

Look, the tweens will even deign to play in this space.

Willoughby riding bike

TA Rally June 8 - For congestion pricing

From my friends at Transportation Alternatives:

Come to a rally this Friday, June 8th and show our State Legislators that the vast majority of New Yorkers support congestion pricing as the best way to improve our air quality and fund better transit.

On Friday the New York State Assembly will have a public hearing, here in New York City, on the transportation portion of the Mayor's PlaNYC: A Greater, Greener New York. The state legislature has to vote to approve significant portions of the transportation portion of the plan. If this hearing goes well and our elected officials see the broad public support for the Mayor's plan, then we are well on our way to cleaner air, better transit and safer streets; goals T.A. and our members have fought for all along.

While the Mayor's plan for congestion pricing may seem like a commonsense solution to a T.A. member like you, many Assemblymembers are still skeptical. And a small but vocal opposition threatens to dominate the crowd in the hearing room on Friday. Don't let them!

If there's one action you take this year to support greener streets, this is it. 20 minutes can change the future of New York City streets.

We need as many people as possible at the rally and at the hearing on Friday. Wear green to indicate your support for a greener Big Apple. Please RSVP if you can attend. Together we can show our strength and give our legislators the courage they need to make the right decision.

Friday, June 8th
Rally: 8:15 am
Hearing on PlaNYC: 10 am

Association of the Bar of the City of New York
42 West 44th Street
Between 5th and 6th Avenues


Itinerant Urbanist

I've been a big fan of Karrie Jacobs, and her urbanist blog on House & Garden is really good. I loved her writing for Metropolis - it was often the not-to-be-missed when the magazine seemed overwhelming. I never thought I would be directing people to House & Garden, but here it is.


Public space art/technology

Not in New York, but a very cool application of the touchable screen is this display in Helsinki, called the CityWall.

And second, a public art piece for Rockefeller Center, by the photographer Agnes Winter.


New stuff around town...

New bus shelter, this one in Livingston Street, at Court in downtown Brooklyn. Isn't it nice to know where you are just by lookng at the bus shelter? I worked on one of the teams that was responding to the RFP for the street furniture, and one of my tasks was to take photos of existing bus shelters in different contexts throughout all five boroughs so that we could figure out how to meet the needs of all the different neighborhoods with the new design. It turned into an unnecessarily difficult task because the bus shelters all look the same and they have basically no identifying marks, except maybe the name of the bus line on the post near it.

And the new recycling bins, this set in Union Square.

If only I can get our office's management company to recycle - or maybe they should put some of these in midtown, close to the office buildings. When SL Green isn't recycling, that means lots of office buildings, and their tenants, are not recycling.

And finally, enjoying some cafe time.