29.1.09

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Sidewalk Rating: Geological

The sidewalks are snowy, and its the time of year when snowbanks pile up and collect themselves in odd ways. They persist, eroding and striating, slowly over time. The funniest things happen, infinite variegations of ice and snow and everything in between form stalagmites of the most curious nature. Ice turns into dollops of drops freezing onto the concrete like Pollock. The funniest things happen on the way to the bus stop...

For example, here is a foot divot:



This formed over time, as many feet fought through the ever-mounting snowbank... gradually it formed its crevasse. Today it looks more asymmetrical, as the occasional wayward footstep wore away the starboard parts. How is this any different from Utah buttes?


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A cover of a John Prine called 'Sabu visits the Twin Cities alone'...


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Speaking of music, I like this song about the midtown Greenway.


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It's wonky, but here's Uber-Geographer David Harvey's recent piece on how democracy and urban planning should operate together.

One step towards unifying these struggles is to adopt the right to the city as both working slogan and political ideal, precisely because it focuses on the question of who commands the necessary connection between urbanization and surplus production and use. The democratization of that right, and the construction of a broad social movement to enforce its will is imperative if the dispossessed are to take back the control which they have for so long been denied, and if they are to institute new modes of urbanization. Lefebvre was right to insist that the revolution has to be urban, in the broadest sense of that term, or nothing at all.


He uses 1850s Paris to talk about how capitalism pervades the cityscape... mostly at the expense of democratic public space.

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Here's an excellent writeup with photos of some of the sidewalks in San Francisco / Oakland, CA, and how the width of streets makes a huge difference in terms of creating space on streets.


It looks like a great blog.

2 comments:

Noodleman said...

That photo of Oakland looks like the back-streets of Paris!

momo said...

That photo is of Maiden Lane in SF, a one block street near Union Square. I don't know that there's any street that narrow in Oakland.