intersection 03.28.12

Hump Day
Walking Off the Big Apple

Though we'll never recover from the loss of the bricks and mortar New York Bound books sanctuary at Rockefeller Center, having it reincarnated online is wonderful news for anyone who loves New York history.

We're all about sites for underserved niches, so we're pleased that the artistic nipples coterie, a group heretofore unknown to us, finally has their digital rendezvous courtesy of Nipples at the Met. Possibilities for horizontal integration abound.

Do we understand exactly what We Create NYC is? No, we don't! They say they're a "curated community of innovators who are interested in generating lasting economy and social change." Well, it still doesn't entirely clear things up, though we like the sound of it.

That essential New Yorker, John Tauranac, adds blogger to his already formidable resume: architectural historian, teacher, author,
and cartographer.

Another local treasure, City Lore, which documents urban life with an emphasis on grassroots cultures, has redesigned its website so that it now reflects the vitality of the mission. And it looks great, too.

Awkward Family Pet Photos maintains the tension
between funny and creepy.

The 12 most Winding Roads in the world. San Fran's Lombard Street isn't included—with only eight hairpins, it's a turn piker.

We thought we were being hoodwinked by the Motion-Induced Blindness Illusion, but the yellow dots really never go away. Your brain is causing the mischief, though scientists aren't in agreement why.

Dear Janette Sadik-Khan,
Can we please have another lane for the Peel Trident?

Artist Peter Root has created a Potato-Carved Metropolis.
[Via: What the Cool]

Cultural and literary notes, plus self-guided walks, courtesy of Walking Off the Big Apple, a strolling guide to New York City.

A Pocketbook Full of Architecture

At a size of 5.4 x 6.5 inches, How to Read New York: A Crash Course in Big Apple Architecture by Will Jones (Rizzoli, February 2012, 256 pages) conveniently slips into a purse or travel bag. For those who like to look at buildings while they walk, as opposed to looking down for the latest text message, this handy book helps sort out the complex features of our city's varied built environment. While out on walks I would enjoy consulting the fifth edition of the witty and comprehensive AIA Guide to New York City by White, Willensky, and Leadon (Oxford 2010, 1088 pages), but preferring an easier burden, I will enjoy the lightness of Mr. Jones's crash course.

New York City provides a great feast of historical architectural styles, and we all could brush up on our architectural literacy. The intention of the book is to provide a guide to identifying the key elements of Classical & Colonial, Renaissance, Deco styles, and the various eras of Modern. While the style overviews are at times muddied and anachronistic, the choice of buildings under discussion is fresh and enlightening. Jones gives attention to some of the well-known buildings in Manhattan such as Grand Central Terminal, Chrysler Building, the Flatiron, and the Seagram Building, but he also introduces the reader to places like the John Browne House, a Dutch Colonial house in Queens, and the Valentine-Varian House, a Georgian farmhouse in the Bronx. His inclusion of intriguing Staten Island buildings may have you jumping on the ferry.

Park Slope

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