Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Veritas et Venustas will be moving from massengale.typepad.com to blog.massengale.com. See you there.
Personal posts about topics like the glories of the New York Yankees will move to jmassengale.tumblr.com or blog.massengale.me: TBD.
Happy New Year
December 31, 2013 in Architecture, Baseball, Books, Classicism, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Film, Food and Drink, Games, History, Jokes, Music, New Urbanism, New York, Personal, Quote of the Day, Religion, Religion & Metaphysics, Science, Sports, Television, Travel, Urbanism, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)
Philip Johnson Quote of the Day
Philip [Johnson] was always a perfect gentleman of the old school. But once I saw his wit and grace take an almost grandfatherly form.
It was at the end of a splendid fall day that I had spent with him at New Canaan, reporting an article I was writing for Vanity Fair. My wife and children arrived to pick me up. As he came out of the Glass House to greet them, casting long shadows in the golden, late afternoon sun, my then-four-year-old daughter surveyed the Empyrean scene and its ancient,white, wizard-ish lord.
He welcomed her, and she looked up at him and earnestly asked, "Were you here when the world first started?"
"At last," he replied, taking her two little hands in his, "someone who 'understands' me."
My Comment on Chris Gray's "A Landmark Lost and Found" in the New York Times
FROM THE COMMENTS SECTION: Let's look at the photo again. The arch is lipstick on a pig. The station behind it looks like a Los Angeles shopping mall circa 1980–in the heart of one of the world's great cities.
The people in the drawing look like ants. The building behind them has nothing that relates to human scale. It doesn't even look like humans built it: there is no sense it was touched by a human hand, either in the design or the construction.
London is an enormously wealthy city these days. It can't do better than that? (postscript after the jump)
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Happy Holidays to all & Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it
Monday, December 23, 2013
VV REDUX: Jung On Traffic Engineers
The psychotherapist Carl Jung wrote about everything, including traffic engineers:
All time-saving methods, to which alleviaton of traffic congestion and other conveniences belong, do not, paradoxically, save any time, but simply fill the time available in such a manner that one has no more time at all. The result of this is inevitable, breathless haste, superficiality and nervous fatigue with all the related symptoms like nervous hunger, impatience, irritability, distractedness etc...
I found this at a public transit blog. Also take a look at their most popular link, P.J. O'Rourke's paean to the car in Give War A Chance ("...even if all these accusations are true, the automobile is still an improvement on its principal alternative, the pedestrian. Pedestrians are easily damaged. Try this test: Hit a pedestrian with a car. Now have the pedestrian hit the car back.... Which is in better shape?").
Monday, December 16, 2013
Children Demanding Play Streets Changed Amsterdam
NICE—but will drones soon be colliding over the streets of Manhattan?
Saturday, November 16, 2013
New York, New England, New Marlborough
ONE of the many great things about New York City is that it's easy to get from New York to many great places. We tend to head northeast to New England.
The Berkshire mountains in Western Massachusetts are distinctly not in New York, even though many New Yorkers visit the Berkshires. There are many beautiful ways to drive there, none of which require getting on an interstate highway. You can make the trip in 2 hours, or you can make it take all day. There are also trains to Dutchess County, New York, and people are working on a reviving the old rail line, which still has daily freight trains.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
#Bloomberg Administration London Envy Softens—City Planning Withdraws East Midtown Upzoning
"Key members of the Council said on Tuesday that the proposal — to rezone a 73-block area into a district of sleek glass towers that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said would make New York competitive with London and other world-class cities—" New York Times: End of Proposal to Raise Skyline on the East Side
Thursday, November 07, 2013
Two types of architecture: good, and the other kind
THE ARCHITECTURE CRITIC for New York magazine wrote about the work of Robert A.M. Stern in an article entitled Unfashionably Fashionable. I commented:
"There are two kinds of music," Duke Ellington famously said. "Good music, and the other kind."
When I had Bob Stern as a teacher, the architectural academy and the architectural establishment were equally open-minded. Bob Stern, Peter Eisenman, Léon Krier, Michael Graves, Richard Meier and many others formed a disparate and friendly group that agreed with Duke Ellington, accepting many things (and each other), as long as they were good.
Today, we have ideologues controlling much of "the discourse" in the academy and the establishment. In musical terms, they are saying that everyone must work in the tradition of Philip Glass: Classical music, Hip Hop, bebop, jazz, folk, rock, indie rock, pop...are all verboten. They're more close minded than the Tea Party.
Is this about to change? Things like the New York article or one in the magazine of the American Institute of Architects by Aaron Betsky in which Betsky calls the traditional work of former Stern employee Tom Kligerman "breathtaking in its sophistication and beauty," suggest that maybe they are. The magazine has probably never published Kligerman's work, and has certainly never praised it before.
Worth noting: like most people other than architects, the readers of New York are not ideological about traditional or modern design. You particularly see this in New York in the hangouts of the young and the hip, where you find traditional design, modern design, and places that comfortably combine both. Craftsmanship and natural materials, both conspicuously missing in the work of most Starchitects and New York's gleaming tall towers, have been strong trends for years.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
On the Second Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, the face of Global Capitalism, brought to you by the Sheik of Dubai, Chinese Communism, Starchitects, and the billionaires who broke the world economy in 2008