Thursday, August 31, 2017

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

If the Edinburgh Fringe doesn't appeal to you, the city also hosts the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival at the same time. The book festival takes over Charlotte Square, with pavilions sheltering book stores, displays, and signings on all sides. Who's the grand marshal on the plinth? Prince Albert. [2017]

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the mother of all fringe festivals and the largest arts festival in the world. This year was its 70th birthday. What's most surprising is that the city can come up enough stages for the 30,000 performances that take place over about three weeks every August. Comedy is just one of the genres represented. [2017]

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

There is a city here because there is a castle here. There is a castle here because there is a high point here. There is a high point here because there is a plug of volcanic rock here. That volcanic plug was formed 350 million years ago, which means that the stage was set for Edinburgh's birth in the Carboniferous Period. [2017]

Monday, August 28, 2017

Landmark, Manitoba, Canada

Surprised? Probably not, but you might be if you knew what you were looking at. It's a glass silo. Silos were traditionally built of tiles, wood staves, or concrete. Then, in the early 1950s, came the glass silo that revolutionized the storage of silage. The glass is on the inside, and it's fused to the steel structure. See any sign of Canadian nationalism? [2012]

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Greencastle, Pennsylvania, USA

Surprised? Here's a brick-end barn topped by a man riding a mule. According to local legend, it started out to be a horse, but the farmer couldn't pay his bills, so the brick mason turned it into a lesser steed. It was built around 1850 when the Cumberland Valley was still the breadbasket of the nation. Next to the barn: a tile silo. [1985]

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Bath, Maine, USA

When you're reading the landscape, always be prepared for surprises! That's what make it fun. Surprised at what you see here? Are these people animals? No. Just a little unconventional. We've become used to seeing converted barns, but here's a converted silo. It's another, delightfully different, visual reminder of the agrarian past. [2008]

Friday, August 25, 2017

South Dade, Florida, USA

August 25, 1992: Twenty-five years ago today, having passed over Florida in a very short period of time, Hurricane Andrew found itself in the Gulf of Mexico bearing down on Louisiana for a third landfall. These are the inscriptions many houses bore for months after Andrew passed across South Florida. [1993]

Thursday, August 24, 2017

South Dade, Florida, USA

August 24, 1992: Twenty-five years ago today, as a Category 5 storm, Hurricane Andrew made landfall at Homestead. In some areas along the coast, winds reached 225 mph. This is what the emergent economy of south Florida looked like six months later. [1993]

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

South Dade, Florida, USA

August 23, 1992: Twenty-five years ago today, Hurricane Andrew strengthened to a Category 5 storm, with sustained winds of 155 mph when it made landfall in the Bahamas. It was inevitable: Florida would be next. This is what the landscape looked like six months after the great storm god struck Dade County. [1993]

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

South Dade, Florida, USA

August 22, 1992: Twenty-five years ago today, tropical storm Andrew was upgraded to a hurricane. As he bore down on the Bahamas and the North American mainland, he continued to strengthen. This is what south Florida looked like six months after landfall. [1993]

Monday, August 21, 2017

City Centre, Gibraltar

Main Street is the busiest shopping corridor in Gibraltar. And, here are some shoppers who look like they just purchased a tyke. That will keep them busy for the next fifteen years. [2015]

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

What do you think of the location they've chosen for their sidewalk serenade?  Does the mural enhance their drawing power or horn in on their ensemble? What will you will remember longer: the performers on the sidewalk or the performers on the wall? [2009]

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Havana, Cuba

The next Osvaldo Alonso might be learning to badger the opponent and cover the field right here in the heart of Havana. As for that woman on the wall, she's got other things on her mind, and all the noise is keeping her awake. [2017]

Friday, August 18, 2017

Haghpat, Armenia

So much for socialization! Four people: each gazing in a different direction, almost as if they don't know each other. Yet, they must. Haghpat is little more than a village, and this is the village square. [2015]

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Tbilisi, Georgia

In Tbilisi, fresh-fruit-and-vegetable vendors insinuate themselves into every nook and cranny they can find along the city's well-trafficked sidewalks. Of course, there are central markets and neighborhood markets, too. The result is that no matter where you look, there are lots of fresh-food choices. Compare with American cities. [2015[

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Auckland, New Zealand

Gloria Jean's Coffees may have been founded in the United States (no, not in Seattle!), but it soon pioneered the coffee-house concept in Australia, which is now its biggest market. (Afterthought: New Zealand, too.) [2011]

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Pisté, Yucatan, Mexico

Spanish limes, again. Here, they are called huaya. They might be the next health food to slip across the US-Mexican border: high in antioxidants, vitamins, and calcium. [2013]

Monday, August 14, 2017

Oranjestad, Aruba

Oranjestad is not a big city, but there is still a parking problem. Here's a self-service solution. Punch in the right code, and the platform your car is on descends to ground level. What do you think about this car elevator's contribution to community aesthetics? [2017]

Sunday, August 13, 2017

San Francisco, California, USA

Whether parked or on the move, cars are extremely space-consuming technologies, and they require a lot of infrastructure. Where do you find a lot of underutilized infrastructure? On the roofs of buildings. In this case, though, it's a car dealership. [2016]

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Parking in the round makes it possible for people who live upstairs to leave their cars below. The Marina City silos were built as a mixed-use development in the 1960s. It was an effort to make cars compatible with the city. Do you think it's a little more aesthetic than the typical parking structure? [2006]

Friday, August 11, 2017

New York, New York, USA

When we have no horizontal space for cars, we create vertical space. These cars are here for the work day (or maybe longer). Obviously, there are no in-and-out privileges! Obviously, too, these are the people who ought to be taking transit to work. If you are only going to store your car for the day, why bring it to work at all? [2010]

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Jefferson City, Missouri, USA

August 10, 1821: That was the day when Missouri  was admitted to the Union. Happy Birthday, Show-Me State. It's only four more years til your bicentennial! Jefferson City will celebrate 200 years of capital-hood then, as well. In front of the capitol: the moving Vietnam Memorial Wall. [2015]

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bourne, Massachusetts, USA

This view of the Cape Cod Canal was photographed in 1974 using nothing more than a Kodak Instamatic camera and, more importantly, Kodachrome film (for "slides"), the best film ever made. Over four decades after it was processed, the original slide was still sharp and color-saturated, And, the colors held when it was scanned into a digital format. [1974]

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, USA

Thesis: The more a community is laden with authoritarian messages of threat to those who may commit crimes, the lower the crime rate will be. Discuss. [2017]

Monday, August 7, 2017

Lindley, New York, USA

Why don't we do more work outside? Lots of people say they love the great outdoors, but spend almost no time there. To hot? Too much sun? Looks like the truck makes some shade for the mechanic on duty and protects him from a little rain now and then, too. [2013]

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Spade, Texas, USA

We live in an urban world. The rural world has collapsed. The wealth produced in rural domains accrues to urban institutions that manage the work of producing food and fiber with ever more technology and ever fewer people. [2016]

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Of America's 4,000 food trucks, two were stationed at Washington Park one week-day last June. By early afternoon, the lunch crowds had dissipated and the vendors were about to roll out, probably to another destination that promised a market for break-time snacks. Being renovated in the background: Cincinnati Music Hall. [2017]

Friday, August 4, 2017

Taos, New Mexico, USA

Padre Don Antonio Jose Martinez began as a parish priest in Taos and rose from there to become "the most influential Hispano nineteenth-century New Mexico figure." He championed annexation to the United States and served in both houses of the territorial legislature. Today, his memory lives on the Taos plaza. [2017]

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Las Vegas, New Mexico, USA

As morning gives way to noon, a group of students prepares to have lunch in the gazebo. Three others, behaving like regulars, have been enjoying the plaza for a while now. It may be the middle of summer, but altitude makes the mercury perfect for outdoor engagements. Las Vegas is well over a mile above sea level. [2017]

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Looking better now than it ever has, the San Miguel mission church is regarded as the oldest church in the United States, dating back to 1610, the year Santa Fe became a provincial capital for the Spnish Crown. That was only a dozen years after El Camino Real had been extended from Mexico City to the northern reaches of the Rio Grande. [2017]

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

San Felipe de Neri Church serves as the Dean of Albuquerque's architectural landscape. It was built in 1793, but its predecessor went back to 1719. Like all Deans, it us used to being the alpha dog, but now it has to share the old plaza with some vintage cars: all quite appropriate for the city's location astride Route 66. [2017]