Entries Tagged as 'cities'

A Subway Powerhouse Speaks To Today

March 11th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Sometimes a message of resilience can come in an instant, and often not predictably. The IRT Powerhouse on 11th Avenue isn’t giving a speech or waving a flag, and it’s not a talking head seeking to shout a point of view at passersby or boast of its strength. Yet, the sight of this 1904 building […]

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The Power of Facts in the Time of Trump

January 19th, 2017 · 12 Comments · Be a Mindful Activist

Finding and stating facts is an act of resistance in the age of Donald Trump. The Trump campaign already had stirred a strong sense that facts were under threat, besieged by a candidate who told untruths in both significant and casual ways, as Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star and others documented and compiled. Since […]

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Cleveland’s Streamline Station Survivor

March 6th, 2015 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham, Columns and Features

Let’s play word association: Think of the word “Greyhound.” Chances are, the terms “sleek,” “aerodynamic,” and “futuristic” are not likely to jump to mind. Decades ago, however, they may well have. Not too long after the automobile and road travel gained wider public acceptance, Greyhound was one of the forward-looking companies seeking to captivate those […]

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The Enduring Wonder of the Rookery

December 30th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Beyond Gotham

One could be forgiven for thinking that one of the crows in terra cotta on Chicago’s Rookery building depicts a current leader of the U.S. Congress. Some of our greatest buildings possess an expressiveness that speaks not only of the time period in which architects and builders created the structure but also to today. The […]

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Walking With the Haitian People

January 15th, 2010 · 3 Comments · Be a Mindful Activist, Beyond Gotham

The images are almost beyond belief, the damage and the suffering beyond comprehension. An earthquake gauged at 7.0, the first rumble striking Tuesday evening and lasting at least 35 seconds, destroyed an entire swath of Haiti, particularly much of its capital and largest city – Port-au-Prince. The scenes have been horrific. Bodies are lying strewn […]

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Seven Joys Amid NYC’s Holiday Mayhem

December 22nd, 2009 · 7 Comments · Explore New York

“Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile”…so go the lyrics of “Silver Bells,” the classic Christmas song from the 1950s that paints an idyllic scene of the holidays in the city. This picture of New York City at the holidays lives within many of us. Its images are of softly falling snow, carolers, bright […]

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Taking In the Subway’s Old Powerhouse

August 10th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Be a Mindful Activist, Explore New York

It was on the perimeter of a legendary slum that back then fit its name, Hell’s Kitchen. Yet it was conceived and designed by men in suits who believed that fine, grand civic buildings served to reflect the great accomplishments and ambitious aims of a city crossing a threshold. The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) […]

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Mindful Walker: A Chat With New Colonist

June 19th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Be a Mindful Activist, Explore New York

We met through Twitter and had our first real conversation for a podcast. What a world! Eric Miller is passionate about creating great and healthy cities and other communities, and so am I. He is the editor/publisher of The New Colonist, a site where he and Richard Risemberg chronicle the return of many from life […]

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The Place That Powered the Subway Lines

March 29th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Explore New York

Its architecture and ornate decoration reflect the City Beautiful movement, in which public buildings were expressions of a city’s beauty, order, and harmony. Yet it had a belly-of-the-beast interior containing massive boilers, conveyors, engines, steam pipes, and seven bunkers capable of holding up to 18,000 tons of coal. The Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) Company Powerhouse […]

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Coney Island’s Off-Season Vibe

March 8th, 2009 · 3 Comments · Explore New York

Scrawled on the cornice of a dilapidated building on Coney Island’s Surf Avenue is “Shore Hotel. Nature’s Paradise By the Sea.” But paradise this isn’t. On Coney Island’s main thoroughfare, it sits in the midst of a mish-mash of garish-colored patches of buildings, “Stores for Lease” signs, boarded-up windows, and neon that heralds “Eldorado Auto […]

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Whose Dreams Will Revive Coney Island?

February 27th, 2009 · 79 Comments · Be a Mindful Activist, Explore New York

Say the words “Coney Island” to New Yorkers, especially of a certain age, and you may well get a dreamy kind of pause and a vivid memory: feeling the sensation of a drop on the Cyclone roller coaster, seeing the steel top on the gigantic Parachute Jump from the distance, riding the fast Steeplechase horses, […]

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Lists: Ten Actions for Sustainable Cities

February 20th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Be a Mindful Activist, Beyond Gotham

Gas prices are at an average of $1.96 per gallon, far below the $4-plus they hit last year. The price of oil amid a global recession that has sharply curtailed demand declines to $35 per barrel on Feb. 20. People are fearful as many lose jobs and others go through foreclosures. In such an environment, […]

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Vertical Cities: Hong Kong and New York

January 29th, 2009 · 8 Comments · Explore New York

Sometimes in a sea of numbers, it takes just one stat to astound you into getting the picture: In one of the New Towns of Hong Kong, Tseung Kwan O, some 350,000 people live within four square miles. They live in towers that vary from 57 to 62 stories. Here’s another stat: 80 percent of […]

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Obama and Thoughts at the National Mall

January 20th, 2009 · 14 Comments · Beyond Gotham

On the November night that the United States elected Barack Obama as its new President, NBC News anchorman Brian Williams called it “a seismic shift in American politics.” Yes, it is. Yet seismic shifts are, ultimately, created by many forces and actions that culminate in a particular moment. This seemed particularly poignant while walking along […]

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Prayers and Peace at St. Francis

January 6th, 2009 · 8 Comments · Explore New York

Outside, it was a post-Christmas, rush-hour frenzy, throngs crowding near the revolving doors and the holiday windows of Macy’s or walking speedily to Penn Station. Inside St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church in New York in the midst of all of this, you’d never know it. Two men were slowly and carefully placing flowers […]

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Still Missing McHale’s

November 30th, 2008 · 25 Comments · Explore New York

In some ways, buildings are like people. They have a birth and a prime of life. As they age, they either wear well or not. They’re either cherished and well cared for, or neglected. The lives of some buildings are cut short way too soon. Others seem to thrive year upon year upon year. Still […]

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How to Stay Merry Before Christmas

November 23rd, 2008 · 2 Comments · Explore New York

Ah, the lovely holiday season in New York City is upon us. It means bright, colorful lights, enchanting holiday windows, the Rockefeller Center tree, the smell of pine in front of your corner deli…and gridlock. We’re talking vehicle gridlock and people gridlock. That’s exactly what happens in New York as Thanksgiving rounds into the crazed, […]

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A President Of the City and For the City

November 6th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Beyond Gotham

On the balmy night of Nov. 4, a jubilant crowd gathered at New York’s Times Square, arms uplifted, flags waving, many shouting “Obama! Obama!” They poured into the crossroads of the world to celebrate the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. How fitting that such an outpouring for Obama’s victory happened […]

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Pittsburgh’s Streets and Burbs

October 29th, 2008 · 15 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Talk about a starkly different experience of walking. I love to take walks wherever I go – to explore, relax, exercise, and take in the surroundings. While visiting my family in Western Pennsylvania this year — or “Western PA” as we natives call it — I could hardly have had a more different experience of […]

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Architects With the Right Touch

October 28th, 2008 · 3 Comments · Explore New York

H. Douglas Ives once placed swarms of bees in the midst of midtown Manhattan, but to inspire, not to sting. High above the thousands who scurry and stroll along Fifth Avenue sit two beehives surrounded by buzzing bees. But they’re not live – they’re part of the dazzling decoration atop the Fred F. French Building […]

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