Are you a “foodie“? Do you live in the Los Angeles area? Are you a regular reader of the L.A. Times? If you answered yes to all three questions, then you have probably heard of acclaimed food critic Jonathan Gold. I recently watched City of Gold which I initially thought was just a documentary about Gold and his culinary adventures. However, as I was watching the movie, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that its focus was not solely on the Pulitzer-winning writer and his favorite restaurants; City of Gold also reveals Gold’s love for Los Angeles and how he has essentially experienced the diversity and vastness of the city through food. [Read more…] about Documentary Review: City of Gold
New York City’s new math: 100 years, $4.5 billion, 3 subway stops.
New Year’s Day 2017 saw the ribbon cut on the first phase of the Second Avenue subway, the locally-mythic train touted to alleviate the overburdened east side subways since the late 1920s. A Great Depression, a world war and a City bankruptcy interfered with its execution. After nearly 10 years of actual construction and neighborhood misery, three airy, clean and art-filled stations opened for business. [Read more…] about Take a Train: The Q – NYC’s new subway extension is airy and full of art
First, an update:
Since my first Op Ed for UrbDeZine, I’ve made the successful transition in careers I aimed to achieve: on December 21st, 2016 I celebrated my graduation as a Peer Support Specialist, a position that requires lived experience and empathy to assist and empower peers in their transition to wellness from mental challenges. [Read more…] about San Diego Architectural Foundation’s Open House tour with Orlando
This nondescript building in downtown Astoria, OR was hiding a surprise: a breathtaking expanse of clear span space with a rare domed lamella roof system. As unlikely as it appears on the exterior, this warehouse-like building was actually an Armory, constructed to provide entertainment for military personnel during World War II headquartered in this lovely Pacific Northwest spot — the gateway to the mighty Columbia River. [Read more…] about Oh the Stories They Could Tell…Astoria Armory Edition
Bob is a retired New York City fireman. Injured on the job, he went into retirement decades ago. There is pain, decades worth. But there is also time, far too much of it – the kind you must figure out what to do with rather than watch yourself wither. For Bob and so many in our community, there comes a vivid, life-encapsulating story about dusting yourself off and then pushing up from a powerfully magnetic couch.
Travel, as I have often said to my colleagues, is an excellent means to explore and understand architecture, especially if that has to do with regional values. Last year, after having missed many earlier opportunities to do so, I finally visited the sites of great architectural works of the Mughal Dynasty in India. For most people, the Taj Mahal is a household word. For me it had always been the fore-runner of an argument that mosques and mausoleums are not the same and hence their formal structures cannot share in the semiology employed by modern day designers of religious buildings in the light of Bob Venturi’s “decorated shed” paradigm. [Read more…] about A peek into the timeless past of Mughal architecture in India
I recently returned from Asia, where I noticed, as always, numerous people wearing face masks on the street. In Mainland China, I have always assumed this was because of the rampant air pollution in major cities. But I also observed masks in other cities such as Hong Kong and Taipei, where industrial and automotive pollution appears, at least to the unscientific observer, to be much less. And we Californians are also used to seeing some of our Asian neighbors wearing masks in American cities. I have wondered, is this a holdover from life in Beijing or Shenzhen or other cities in Mainland China, where the color of air can be as dull as a grey goose? (And I’m not thinking of vodka.) Or is it something else? [Read more…] about Why we had Urban Renewal
Having invested a billion and a half dollars of public funds in downtown redevelopment, it is worth asking if it helped or hindered in solving the affordable housing crisis that San Diego faces. From the catalytic start of downtown’s boom with the construction of the ballpark to the unceremonious demise of tax increment financing under Governor Brown, there has been a lot of change. [Read more…] about How San Diego’s downtown housing supply boom is making rent less affordable
In my last post, I mentioned a couple of tips and things to think about when getting ready to cycle down the Pacific Coast Highway – [Read more…] about The Pacific Coast for the Everyday Explorer: A Cyclist’s Packing Guide (Part II)
The future is urban. Per the World Bank, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. A vision of and plan for housing this mind-boggling percentage is crucial. And that was precisely the task undertaken at the October 2016 meeting of the UN-Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador. The conference produced what will surely be a crucial document, the New Urban Agenda (the complete text can be found in PDF here). [Read more…] about UN advocates a more disorderly urban form in New Urban Agenda document and Quito Papers film