Category Archives: cities

Revisiting the Bosco Verticale in Milan

I love these two towers. They look like this

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Yes. They are very green. Together?

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This says it all. Enjoy!

“These two towers represent the will to reintroduce nature into everyday life. The impact of walking in Milan and finding yourself in front of an actual forest—which climbs from the street all the way up to the sky—envelops you with a sense of peace and wonder. Its colors and scents are so unexpected in an urban context. In an age like ours, where the exploitation of natural resources has greatly increased, it marks a real turning point.”

Monique Zappalà, creative director, Bentley and Bugatti Home

A High Rise in Prague that looks like a Sinking Oil Tanker? Yup

Here it is

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Here is the story.

Jarring, I would say. And would I want to be jarred every day by a structure like this?  I had not considered the possibility before and do not find it very commendable.

What do you think?

BTW, the plans are not yet approved.

Re-Thinking Bleeker Street

Long ago, the West Village in Manhattan changed from boho to something else.  What else? The simplest word is “gentrification”.  Rents went up, and the funkideliks moved out.

And that has happened in loads of cities around the world.

Which raises an interesting question. Is there a way for a place in such an area to retain and grow a unique personality? Or will it be doomed to host global brands that sell the same stuff everywhere?

That is where Bleeker Street comes in. You might not know this, but the name “Bleeker Street” comes from the family that owned the land – the Bleekers. The road used to run through their farm. Bleeker Street was pretty boho a long time ago. Funky, you might say, BTW, did you ever wonder where the word “funky” comes from?

1784, “old, musty,” in reference to cheeses, then “repulsive,” from funk (n.2) + -y (2). It began to develop an approving sense in jazz slang c. 1900, probably on the notion of “earthy, strong, deeply felt.” Funky also was used early 20c. by white writers in reference to body odor allegedly peculiar to blacks. The word reached wider popularity c. 1954 (it was defined in “Time” magazine, Nov. 8, 1954) and in the 1960s acquired a broad slang sense of “fine, stylish, excellent.”

In any event, the funk went out of the funky balloon a long time ago. Bleeker went yuppie and mainstream. But some local folks are trying to give the street more local personality.

“Love, Bleecker” is a collaboration between Skylight and Brookfield Properties, created to breathe back some life into Bleecker Street. “Love, Bleecker” has acquired four storefronts to introduce four online brands who never had a brick and mortar presence. The four brands are couture retailers Prabal Gurung, men’s leather good brand Slightly Alabama, cashmere brand Lingua Franca and plant based bodega with floral collab Bonberi & Fleurotica.

Along with the storefronts “Love, Bleecker” will also introduce art installations, music and more interactive community events in collaboration with the shops.

Check out the article for more! What fun!

An Update on Barcelona and its Superblocks

For quite some time, urban areas have been relatively helpless against the onslaught of cars. Traffic congestion, gridlock, you name it. Build bigger roads, and you get even more congestion!

The tide may be turning. Congestion pricing is changing things in great cities like London. It may come to New York as well.

But Barcelona leads the pack in embracing a huge vision to take back the city from cars. It is a big story.

And here is a great summary of what is going on.

Go for it!

Something Amazing is Happening in Brussels

Here is the background

Right now, there can be an almost eerie calm to some sections of central Brussels. Take an evening stroll down down Boulevard Anspach, the broad avenue that forms the Belgian capital’s spine, and you may find the roadway empty, its limestone and wrought-iron facades echoing the footsteps of a rare passer-by on the sidewalk.

A major city goes quiet and ped friendly? Find out more!