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)

My Comment on Chris Gray's "A Landmark Lost and Found" in the New York Times

EustonStationClick on the photo for a larger view

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)

PS: Here's a photo of one of the oldest streets in London. It was a wonderful place to walk until Global Capitalism and its bankers decided they needed new places to roost.


December 31, 2013 in Architecture, Classicism, Culture, Current Affairs, History, Travel, Urbanism | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays to all & Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it

December 25, 2013 in Architecture, Classicism, Culture, Music, Religion & Metaphysics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 16, 2013

NICE—but will drones soon be colliding over the streets of Manhattan?

December 16, 2013 in Architecture, Classicism, Current Affairs, New York, Travel, Urbanism | Permalink | Comments (0)

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.

OldNorthNewMarlOld North Road, New Marlborough, Massachusetts

I've been to old Marlborough in olde England, too. It's in our new Street Design book.

Marlborough High Street 2013-04-18_01(low_res)
High Street, Marlborough, Wiltshire

November 16, 2013 in Architecture, Classicism, New Urbanism, New York, Travel, Urbanism | Permalink | Comments (0)

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.

November 7, 2013 in Architecture, Classicism, Culture, Current Affairs, New York | Permalink | Comments (0)