"Imagine ... People would have to pay for the congestion, the pollution, and the health care problems that they themselves create. In such a scenario, the suburbs would likely shrink, and the exurbs would likely atrophy altogether.
Imagine what would result. Imagine dense green urbanity, surrounded by nothing but nature. Imagine lanes of interstates reused for high speed rail. Imagine a healthy population that walks and bikes throughout their neighborhoods, and rides transit to their jobs. Imagine New Jersey as a nature preserve. Imagine being number one for takeoff.
Imagine a country of cities."
Vishaan Chakrabarti, "A Country of Cities" UrbanOmnibus
"Why is it that here in the United States we have such difficulty even imagining a different sort of society from the one whose dysfunctions and inequalities trouble us so? We appear to have lost the capacity to question the present, much less offer alternatives to it. Why is it so beyond us to conceive of a different set of arrangements to our common advantage?"
Tony Judt, What is Living and What is Dead in Social Democracy, New York Review of Books
"There's the challenge. To imagine a different sort of society, a different set of arrangements, with a reinvigorated public, and a new era of great public works."
Nancy Levinson, The Public Works, Design Observer
Shoe Box Living: Through the Eyes of a Child is a brilliant project done with the children of a primary school in Peckham, one of London's most deprived areas.
Charlotte Gainsbourg at the Bell House January 19, photos via Brooklyn Vegan
Looking through my old photos, I am reminded of how much I love Polaroids. As the NYT art critic Michael Kimmelman wrote, "Mystery clung to each impending image as it took shape, the camera conjuring up pictures of what was right before one's eyes, right before one's eyes. The miracle of photography, which Polaroids instantly exposed, never lost its primitive magic. And what resulted, as so many sentimentalists today lament, was a memory coming into focus on a small rectangle of film... Glossy talismans in unreal colors, as ephemeral as breath on glass, they wreaked all the more havoc with our emotions for being so unassuming and commonplace."
These lovely illustrations are from a folio entitled "A Selection of Hexandrian Plants" by Priscilla Susan Faulkner (1793-1869), a self-taught watercolour artist who painted exotic plants from her family's estate near Liverpool, England. The folio was published from 1831-1834, and in the preface, she wrote that it was "an endeavor to preserve some memorial of the brilliant and fugitive beauties of a particularly splendid and elegant tribe of plants." (Hexandrian plants are a Linnean class of plants having six stamens, including lilies, crinums, pancratiums, and my favorites, hippeastrums, commonly misnamed as amaryllis, which refers to a South African genus. Hippeastrums looks slightly like them, but they come from subtropical regions of the Americas. I have grown them almost every year to brighten up the dark winter days.