January 22, 2010
Earlier, I wrote that the Boston Arcology is as incredible as it is implausible (and currently, unnecessary). By contrast, the NVArt digital art challenge knew that its concepts were steeped heavily in unattainable science fiction—but pretty, pretty science fiction inded.
Often, people leave the city because it’s much too hectic. Too much noise, too much chaos, too many people. Refuge is found away from the city and its worries. However, imagine if the city came with you. Or even brought you where you wanted to go:
Hi-ho, City! Away!
The latest NVArt digital art challenge invited artists to submit their visions of cities of the future, but not in the cold and desolate Blade Runner style. Rather, they were to offer an arguably more optimistic view, one in which cities and the environment were perfectly fused together. The results are nothing short of breathtaking, and I want to live in these places (more than I do Pandora).
Next Stop: Urban Fantasy Street
January 22, 2010
It’s an old-ish story from 2007 and 2008, but it’s still relevant today as there are apparently rumors that Portland wants to do something similar on a much larger scale.
In April 2007, Dutch artist Henk Hofstra painted an entire street blue to symbolize the path of a waterway that used to be there. The installation in its entirety stretched 1,000 meters (or, yes, 1 kilometer, gasp!) long and 8 meters wide. Hofstra’s work also had a bit of a snarkiness to it: in one section, a car is painted blue and is half-submerged into the road, as if the phantom urban waterway swallowed it up:
Underwater parking rules are in effect.
(More pretty, pretty photos via Henk Hofstra)
Next stop: What Does It All Mean? Boulevard
January 21, 2010
One of the oddest features I remember about SimCity 2000 was the inclusion of “arcologies,” which were gigantic, highly populous and dense hyperstructures that provided a perfect balance between human needs and sustainability. Being that the game came out in 1993 before “sustainability” became a household word, I found SimCity’s inclusion of these as something way ahead of its time, in retrospect.
And even odder, it may become a reality in our world:
The Boa (Boston Arcology) stretching into the harbor
Next Stop: Holy Crap This Is Implausible Station
January 19, 2010
Yes, I participated in the New York City one with my significant other, though we jumped in late. We auditioned for the Big Apple Lindy Hoppers (she made it, I didn’t, and much for the better). We both decided to audition knowing we wouldn’t make the Improv Everywhere event, but ended up lucking out. When we arrived at the 42nd Street/Times Square station to catch the 7 train home, we came across the parade of pantsless individuals braving the subways to the confused gaze and utter enjoyment of everyone else around us. In one of the transfer corridors, my girlfriend and I partially disrobed and joined in on the fun:
I’m not prominently in the video, but if you really wanted to put your face right in front of the screen, you can probably pick me out in the large crowd standing in Union Square. Good luck with that. I, for one, value my eyesight … more than being warm and properly dressed, apparently.
Next stop: Unfortunate Criticism Junction
January 18, 2010
HaTT is HaWT
Who comes up with neighborhood names? The history of the naming of East Village in New York is well-documented, but what about other neighborhoods? Where did “FiDi” (Financial District) come from? Or “TriBeCa” (Triangle Below Canal Street)?
Or “Harlem Tennis Triangle,” which is now a neighborhood in Harlem. AKA ‘HaTT.”
January 18, 2010
There are no words.
The recent earthquake in Haiti, by all accounts, is absolutely devastating. If you’ve not donated money to the relief effort yet but plan to, keep in mind to make yours an unrestricted donation so that the organization can earmark can earmark your money for other charitable purposes (don’t worry about corruption if you’re doing this for Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders).
Garry Pierre-Pierre (an awesome name) from the daily Haitian Times wrote an article recently profiling the current situation in Rue Berne, a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, and what it is like to spend a night on the streets. The story is uplifting as it is depressing. While it is inspiring to see how people are banding together to survive, there’s no escaping the fact that the death toll has surpassed 50,000, that few hospitals are functioning, and that the entire city has become “a giant homeless shelter.”
One line stands out however: “In many ways, those in Rue Berne are better off than many.”
January 17, 2010
Are we really this helpless? An article by Susannah Cahalan in the New York Post covers the “growing number of malfunctioning crosswalk signs” that send the confusing message of “WALK” and “DON’T WALK” simultaneously. There have been a number of 311 complaints, but I have to wonder: Honestly. Are we really this helpless and dependent on crosswalk signs?
DOT, you've doomed us all.
Next stop: Grand Confusion Station