On the Roman street Where We Live: Pompey’s Theater

Pompey's Theater, 55 BCE Pompey's Theater was built nearly 2,100 years ago, and was the first masonry theater in Rome. When it was completed, it could seat about 20,000 (!) by various estimates, and it covered a almost all of our neighborhood. Our apartment was on stage left, very near to the stage's apron and … Continue reading On the Roman street Where We Live: Pompey’s Theater

Home from Rome: Surely surviving Modernity

"Modernism is clearly expressed by…. the segregation of activities and peoples, the specialization and isolation of professions and the systems they create, the (rapid) centralization of ever larger (capitalist) institutions (and developments), and the monopoly of certain technologies, most notably the car."   Peter Calthorpe, The Next American Metropolis. Campo de' Fiori We have just … Continue reading Home from Rome: Surely surviving Modernity

Inside, Outside, Rooms, Memory.

“Every moment happens twice: inside and outside, and they are two different histories.” Zadie Smith Two memories emerged with startling clarity recently. Prompted by a television program, and for reasons which I do not understand, I was at once transported to Louis Kahn's Unitarian Church (1962), where an orchestra was performing on the screen and, … Continue reading Inside, Outside, Rooms, Memory.

Future Perfect. Simple.

I will be brief. For once. Last Month here I described various more or less (mostly less) attractive visions for a livable, durable and workable city of the future. Most of what I could find as I searched for places that looked like somewhere some of us might enjoy, might call lovely, might call home, … Continue reading Future Perfect. Simple.

Future Past, Future Perfect

In an attempt - perhaps futile - to find enthusiasm and hope for what lies ahead for us Earthlings, I have been re-examining all kinds of depictions of the 'Ideal City of the Future.' Images of dystopia hugely outnumber anything even moderately resembling a happier urban model for better days. This is a sad but … Continue reading Future Past, Future Perfect

A Time in the South: Charleston and Williamsburg

We have recently returned from a time in Charleston, SC and Williamsburg, VA. I wanted to offer a few thoughts about our travels and a few reactions to what we observed. I will begin in Charleston. Encountering any urban region in our time nearly always involves cars. This seems obvious: I note this as an … Continue reading A Time in the South: Charleston and Williamsburg